PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In a recent letter to the Hon. President of Parliament and Chair of Parliament’s Committee of General Affairs, MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten requested an urgent meeting with the Hon. Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs in order to discuss and get an update on a number of critical issues. One of these issues is the status of the refinancing of the COVID-19 liquidity support and conditions set by the Dutch Government for favorable interest conditions.
“While the Parliament and people have yet to receive an update from the Hon. Prime Minister about the refinancing negotiations, the Dutch Government has stated that solving the ENNIA issue is a pre-condition for St. Maarten to receive refinancing on favorable terms,” according to MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten in a press release issued on Tuesday evening.
“Then today, I read in the AweMainta newspaper that the Prime Minister of Aruba has stated that the conditions for refinancing set for Aruba by the Dutch Government, which is the approval by Aruba of the Kingdom supervision law (RAft), will only be met if the COVID-related debt is cancelled,” Heyliger-Marten stated.
“Whether one agrees with this position or not, it is a clear one and shows the vision and fortitude of Aruba when it comes to negotiating with the Dutch Government. Unfortunately, it also exposes and confirms the fact that our Hon. Prime Minister lacks these very same qualities. What is even more notable is that Aruba took this position without having the unanimous support of its Parliament in the form of a debt-cancellation motion.
Prime Minister Jacobs’ own party member MP George Pantophlet got such a motion passed in Parliament, yet unlike her Aruban colleague she does not seem able to use that Parliamentary support to defend her nation’s interest in her negotiation with the Dutch Government.
This lack of negotiation skills is worrisome, and I hope that our Hon. Prime Minister will meet with Parliament as soon as possible to provide the people of St. Maarten with an update on this and other topics,” Heyliger-Marten concluded.