Who says it is illegal?

George Pantophlet


Did the Committee for Financial Supervision Cft say that the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten in announcing that there would be a Naf 75 million issue on behalf of St. Maarten government illegal? Is the Committee for Financial Supervision saying that the management of the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten are ignorant of what the law states regarding the issuance of bonds or loans?

The Committee of Financial Supervision agrees that there is a deficit that was largely caused by covid19. I must again continuously remind our readers that prior to hurricane “Irma” St. Maarten was well on her way to securing its third consecutive balanced budget. This would have meant “good bye or so long Committee for Financial Supervision. Can the Committee for Financial Supervision explain why the Naf 40 million for capital investments in 2019 on which they gave a positive advice was ignored by the Kingdom Council of Ministers?

And let us be clear, the Committee for Financial Supervision stated that and I quote; “the CFT is of the opinion” end of quote. The very use of the word opinion is a clear indication that they are not sure what the facts are. Reference is consistently being made to the interest free loan promised by the Dutch government to the islands. But what should also be mentioned is the conditions attached to those loans which is the hijacking of our autonomy for the next 7 years.

The Minister of Finance Irion made it clear what the floating of the bonds is for. It is done in the interest of the population of St. Maarten. I definitely agree with his statements relating to some articles in the Kingdom Charter being vague and I conclude that this is done intentionally leaving room for different interpretations.

One such infamous article is article 26 that states, freely translated; In the event Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten desires to enter into an international economic or financial agreement which is exclusive to the country concerned the Kingdom Government shall corporate unless the connectivity of the country in the Kingdom is against such. My interpretation is the following; If we are on good terms they will approve the loan and if not they will disapprove or reject the loan.

But as Aruba has proven when it comes to your people’s wellbeing they are above the so called law. And this is why Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyn Wever-Croes took the decision to seek funding on the International market. It is up to the lending institution to determine whether we can repay the loan or not and not some bias colonialist some 8000 kilometers away.

State Secretary Knops who I am sure knows the Charter well, instead of saying Aruba can’t borrow on the international market said and I paraphrase it is not a good idea, since the Dutch Government is offering an interest free loan instead of 5% that Aruba would have to repay. The constant moving of the goal post is what is causing serious negative connectedness in the Kingdom. Another vague article in the charter is #36 freely translated; Holland, Aruba, Curacao and St Maarten grants/ gives each other help and assistance.

But there are no explanatory notes on this article, therefore the Dutch government decided to attach far reaching conditions to these loans. No mention was made of gifts as was done for their European partners. I am a firm believer that the debt owed to Holland by Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire should be cancelled because if we could find an international court to adjudicate the matter fairly, Holland would owe us an insurmountable amount of money for the hundreds of years of unpaid labor.

I leave you with the words of a man I have great respect and admiration for by the name of Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda and I quote “We don’t follow rules, we follow choices. There is no rule book for us. If things work for us we celebrate, if they don’t we don’t blame anybody, we look back and ask where did we go wrong end of quote.”

St. Maarten it is time to follow our own choices.

George Pantophlet
Member of Parliament