PHILIPSBURG – Prime Minister and Minister responsible for General Affairs William Marlin wished all a happy and prosperous 2017, in Wednesday’s Press Briefing, and said they are looking forward to being in office for four years.
“Not that it means that the government will now relax and take it easy because you have four years, but it gives you a better opportunity to plan and prepare and to execute, and to tackle many of the problems that we have had to deal with,” Prime Minister Marlin stated. He welcomed Minister of Justice Rafael Boasman, who was not present last week. He mentioned that Boasman was also filling in for the Minister of Economic Affairs.
He mentioned several issues that will be tackled like beefing up immediately the time that it takes for someone who requested a health drivers’ permit, to get one. Providing efficient service to the people across the board, and Government putting such mechanisms in place.
He also expressed sympathy to the family of the young man who suffered serious injuries due to a defective firework. He has had discussions trying to resolve issues about fireworks that were imported and whether they met the requirements or not. He stated that the proper procedures are in place to ensure that they have proper licensing, and are investigating the incident.
He noted that the Council of Ministers is almost in full force for their first press briefing, with five of the six ministers present. Notably absent was, Minister of Finance Richard Gibson, who went to Curaçao for a meeting with the Consul General of China based in Curaçao, to discuss the cooperation between China and St. Maarten, and, specifically the Pearl of China project.
According to him, St. Maarten is a small country with limited land and resources, and there are quite some challenges to fit the Pearl of China project in the entire development of St. Maarten. However, it will bring “tremendous advantages if carried out responsibly,” Marlin stated. It will create, “opportunities for the future of St. Maarten.”