Prime Minister Jacobs seeks meeting with new Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations Van Huffelen

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PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Prime Minister of Sint Maarten Hon. Silveria Jacobs is seeking a virtual meeting with the new Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalizing Alexandra van Huffelen once she has been sworn in.

The new Dutch Government coalition comprises of the following political parties, VVD, D66, CDA and the ChristenUnie. The new cabinet of the Dutch Government, the fourth to be led by Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs Mark Rutte will be sworn in on Monday, January 10.

“The winds of change have blown in, and Sint Maarten is looking forward to equitable, transparent and open communications with the Netherlands in 2022 that will lead to better opportunities for the people of this country. In 2021 we have been in the trenches and have seen the ups and downs where our relations are concerned within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

“The dialogue will continue, and we will work towards improving our relationship even more in 2022.  In 2021 we built some bridges and look forward to building them further as we learn to cope along with the rest of the world with this global pandemic.  I would like to once again congratulate the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his cabinet as he prepares to lead his fourth administration on Monday, January 10,” Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacobs said on Thursday.

Some of the points that Prime Minister Jacobs would like to address with the new Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalizing Alexandra van Huffelen via a virtual meeting are the three decision points that have cause for concern for Sint Maarten and were postponed until the upcoming Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting scheduled for January 21.

“The new Dutch Government in equitable collaboration with Sint Maarten and the other countries will have many issues to address and finalize including agenda points that were postponed in December.  This will be the first Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting for 2022, and we look forward to favourable decisions being made that would allow Sint Maarten to continue on the track of moving forward, by effectuating the budget 2022 still to be debated in Parliament from which the in country package will be executed. We expect the measures together with other initiatives will make the country more resilient.

“As a country, sufficient room is needed considering the current pandemic and economic challenges we are facing in order for us to move forward.  We are eager to get discussions going again as time is of an essence. Sint Maarten has requested the approval of the deviation for the budgetary norms of article 15 of the Rijkswet Financieel Toezicht (Rft).

“The Committee for Financial Supervision (Cft), has also advised positively on the necessary deviation of article 15 (Rft) which allows for a budget deficit. Sint Maarten requested for article 25 (Rft) to be applied, allowing the country in times of a disaster the right to deviate from Article 15 (Rft) which establishes the budgetary norms. This legally empowers Sint Maarten to enact the law for an approved budget deficit and will in the end allow for the financing of the reforms in the Country Packages.

“The current global pandemic can be classified as a disaster for the country, and we have been operating in this manner for almost two years. We look forward to resolving this matter in the next Kingdom Council of Ministers,” Prime Minister Hon. Silveria Jacopbs said on Thursday.