DH editorial: No free lunch

The Daily Herald ~ Editorial ~ Tuesday Oct 18, 2016

No free lunch

There is some good news to report from The Hague about St. Maarten for a change (see related stories). A NAf. 26 million loan for the country has been extended, which also explains why a new bond issue to that amount announced by the Central Bank was suddenly cancelled.

Still, the Dutch Government also warns that the 2016 budget is no longer in compliance with the Financial Supervision Law. The loan was nevertheless prolonged by seven years with tightened payment conditions to prevent St. Maarten from ending up in a default situation, but it’s pretty clear that public finances remain fragile, to say the least.

The other welcome tiding is that justice entities of the Netherlands remain willing to help with St. Maarten’s prison and Police Force. The progress – or lack thereof – in executing the so-called Plans of Approach regarding law enforcement is to be discussed as soon as the new Government now being formed in Philipsburg after the recent election takes office.

Improvement projects apparently were worked out jointly back in April, so it’s not like the wheel has to be reinvented. However, while not wanting to put more pressure on an already-overburdened national treasury sounds nice, the money will have to come from somewhere.

“Voor niks gaat de zon op,” they say in Holland, or – loosely translated – there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Souce: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/editorial/61001-no-free-lunch