Swept under the rug

George Pantophlet


I presented a motion in June of 2021 almost 3 years ago asking that the subject of debt cancellation for St. Maarten  be discussed. I was moved to do so after discovering that St. Maarten was paying 12.7 million guilders annually on an almost 1 billion guilder’s debt. It is no secret that it would take some 100 years to pay it off, hence my motion which was unanimously supported.

The International Monetary Fund had also suggested that the Dutch government look at Debt cancellation, however what came afterwards due to the covid19 pandemic is additional loans of some 300 million guilders. When we tried to help ourselves by floating bonds, we were threatened with default of a loan which was due. Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion eventually retracted on the matter. It is no public secret that grants were given to other European countries with no conditions.

But to date nothing about our so called Debts. What irks me is that we have gone extremely silent on the matter. The Netherlands are continuing to give grants to Ukraine in the billions of euro’s but we have remained silent. The outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte made an apology in December of 2022, King Willem Alexander also   made an apology in July of 2023 but still nothing about debt cancellation or reparations and we remain silent. However, on page 18 of yesterday’s daily newspaper it says “1 billion euros more in military aid to Ukraine.”

Are we sure we are brothers and sisters? (Statements by the outgoing State Secretary van Huffelen during one of her inaugural meetings with us on St. Maarten). While we are busy fighting each other for power, we are neglecting the people and future generations on St. Maarten. Mr. Wilders who is trying to form a government for some 5 months now and recently walked out of another discussion made some statements that have some people panicking. He is not God and he does not own St. Maarten.

He can only do as much as we allow him to do. And for those who are still mentally enslaved I want to remind you that we are entitled to Debt cancellation and reparations not tomorrow but today. Swept under the rug.

George Pantophlet