~ Govt. should meet urgently, float bond ~
PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Independent Member of Parliament Christope Emmanuel on Friday night said that he has no qualms with the COHO deal not seeing the light of day, but pointed out that the government of St. Maarten continues to allow itself and St. Maarten to be insulted and treated like children. St. Maarten, he said, should move now to go back to the table to find alternatives including floating another bond (see below).
MP Emmanuel said the Dutch “gave us a preview of how the COHO will operate in this country.” “Imagine the Dutch government wanting St. Maarten’s Prime Minister to apologize and distance herself from opinions of duly elected Members of Parliament and independent foundations in her country. So when the COHO is setup, if they don’t get what they want, they will act the same way. I warned that this is what’s coming to our country, this is what the PM and her government is bringing on this country. Parliament will be looked at as a rubber stamp and nothing more,” he stressed
MP Emmanuel was reacting to the Dutch position that no deal could be reached unless St. Maarten distances itself from comments made by Members of Parliament and the Pro Soualiga Foundation. “It is about stripping our voice of democracy, our free will, freedoms and liberties. We cannot have any type of say whatsoever and we must discourage all dissenting voices in our country. In that sense then, all foundation should cease to exist. The Dutch are who they are, it is a colonial mentality. The big question is who are we? Does the Prime and her Government have no sense of identity?” The MP asked.
The MP suggested that the government find its courage, get back to the table in an emergency session and revisit floating a bond of Naf approximately 125 million that local entities (APS ect) can subscribe to. With the funds, he said, pay off the 50 million maturing loan and use the balance to get us through and find our own way. “Some might say asking entities to subscribe to a bond is a forceful move, and I will counter and ask if this isn’t the same thing Knops is doing presently to St. Maarten. Our companies, our million dollar companies should invest in us,” the MP said.
He added that this kind of treatment is brought on by the government of weakness of St. Maarten having to negotiate from a very weak position and cowering just for pennies. “St. Maarten does need adult supervision. St. Maarten should be treated fairly with understanding and respect in the Kingdom. Not burdened by blackmail clouded in nice words of caring for our people and acting in the opposite. But again, this is what we allow. Now lets see if the PM will again forget who she is and throw all dignity to the wind,” he said.