PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The discussion on the third tranche of liquidity support commenced this morning, Friday, November 13, 2020, after the Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR) meeting, wherein SS Knops expressed willingness of the Netherlands to engage in discussions with St. Maarten on the third tranche for liquidity support. St. Maarten has been given the green light to commence discussions on the third tranche of liquidity support. Following a constructive conclusion of the negotiations with the College Financieel Toezicht (CFT) for which a positive advice was rendered to the Chair of the Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR), Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs secured a meeting with State Secretary Raymond Knops together with their support teams on November 11, 2020. During the meeting, SS Knops confirmed that St. Maarten had sufficiently complied with the requirements regarding the second tranche of liquidity support and could now begin the long-awaited discussions with the Netherlands for the third tranche of liquidity support.
Prime Minister Jacobs reconfirmed St. Maarten’s willingness for dialogue on the Dutch proposal of the Caribbean Reform Entity (CHE) as presented on July 10, taking into consideration the changes to the Caribisch Hervorminings en Ontwikkelingsorgan (COHO) which has been sent to the Kingdom Council of State. Jacobs highlighted the motion of Parliament which mandates the Government of St. Maarten to continue to negotiate with the Dutch government in the best interest of the people of St. Maarten. These negotiations would be aimed at the arrival to a consensus on the conditions for the much-needed third tranche of liquidity support. She stressed that it was important for parties to make strides to meet each other with understanding for the current liquidity position. “It is important that St. Maarten is given enough negotiating room, just as the other Caribbean countries have, in order to develop a package that could be brought to parliament,” Prime Minister Jacobs expressed during the meeting.
Prime Minister Jacobs also looks forward to solutions for the maturing loan of NAf 50 million and expects to have this finalized ahead of the November 18th deadline. This is one of Government’s top priorities for dialogue with the Netherlands. SS Knops expressed willingness to have an open discussion on this point as well and arrangements were made related to the composition of the technical teams on both sides.
The technical discussions that begun today will focus on St. Maarten’s concerns related to the Caribbean Reform Entity as well as St. Maarten’s stance on the country packages. St. Maarten is happy to finally have the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue on the proposed Kingdom Law. “The Government of St. Maarten looks forward to receiving much-needed clarity on the nuances of the law, its effect and influence on the governing processes, the financial consequences, and the manner in which the country packages can be envisioned in execution. As such, I pledged to continue in keeping Parliament updated throughout the process,” stated Prime Minister Jacobs.