Published On: Fri, Jun 18th, 2021

Knops releases liquidity support

THE HAGUE — State Secretary Raymond Knops (Kingdom Relations) released the fifth tranche of liquidity support to St. Maarten. The Netherlands will transfer 39 million guilders ($21.8 million) by the end of next week, around June 25.

In a letter dated June 17, Knops writes to the Second Chamber that St. Maarten has worked “energetically on the restoration of good governance at the Princess Juliana International Airport,” adding that Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs informed him and the Royal Schiphol Group several times about the state of affairs. The state secretary emphasizes that these measures are of a structural nature, meaning that any attempt to undo them will result in yet another conflict.

“The Royal Schiphol Group has played a critical role during the past couple of years in the reconstruction project and in guaranteeing good governance. The actions St. Maarten has undertaken to restore good governance at the airport are giving the prime minister, the minister of finance and me sufficient confidence to release the fifth tranche of liquidity support.”

Knops writes that the Royal Schiphol Group is positive about the steps St. Maarten has taken, without specifying what these steps are.

On May 28, Knops informed the Dutch parliament about the worrisome developments in the field of corporate governance at Princess Juliana International Airport. Those concerns were driven by the unlawful dismissal of the airport’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Mingo and by reports from representatives of the Royal Schiphol Group about questionable decision-making procedures at the holding company.

The court has in the meantime reinstated Mingo and the holding’s director Dexter Doncher has been suspended.

Knops’ decision to pay out the liquidity support puts an end to a preventable conflict between the kingdom and the government of St. Maarten and according to the letter this solution arrives just on time. The state secretary emphasizes that the liquidity support will have to be paid out in a hurry “because of St. Maarten’s by now very negative liquidity position. Without the support, the government won’t be able to pay the civil servants-salaries at the end of June.”

Furthermore, “St. Maarten would be unable to pay the payroll-support program resulting in possible bankruptcies of companies and the loss of employment.”