PHILIPSBURG–Opposition National Alliance and United St. Maarten Party want to put under a microscope government’s decision to approve the part grant/part loan from the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to reconstruct Hurricane Irma-damaged Princess Juliana International Airport.
The two parties have called for an “urgent” meeting of Parliament. The meeting request, submitted to Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams this week, calls for the presence of Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin and shareholder’s representative for the airport Tourism and Transportation Minister Stuart Johnson.
The Council of Ministers supported by United Democrats and St. Maarten Christian Party approved last week a US $50 million grant from the Dutch government-financed, World Bank-administrated Recovery Trust Fund and the same amount in the form of a loan from the EIB to get the airport project moving.
In return for the low interest loan and grant, the Dutch government has demanded one position each on the airport’s supervisory and management boards.
US Party leader Member of Parliament Frans Richardson said in a press statement that government’s decision “could have substantial consequences for the company and country.”
Parliament needs clarity about what this grant/loan proposal entails, such as what government has agreed to and about the apparent “reversed position on the conditions,” said Richardson
The decision, Richardson said, “contradicts previous statements” made by one minister, thus raising additional questions that will be delved into when the urgent meeting is convened.
In the meeting request letter, MPs Richardson and Rolando Brison (US Party), and Christophe Emmanuel, Ardwell Irion and Jurendy Doran of NA call for the sitting to be held “sooner than the 4×24 hours” outlined in Parliament’s Rules of Order Article 33, Sub. 5, due to “the severity of the issue at hand.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/84496-us-party-na-request-urgent-meeting-on-airport-proposal