Published On: Tue, Sep 18th, 2018

Only brief reference to St. Maarten in Troonrede

King Willem Alexander & Maxima - Prinsjesdag 2018 - Photo by RTL

THE HAGUE / PHILIPSBURG – Four paragraphs before the end of the annual Troonrede in Den Haag, King Willem-Alexander devoted more space than usual on the Caribbean part of the Kingdom on Tuesday. There is only a brief reference to the reconstruction efforts in St. Maarten though; most of the attention goes to the BES-islands and to Curacao and Aruba.

This is what the king said verbatim:

In the context of the Kingdom the reconstruction of St. Maarten, Statia and Saba had high priority after two devastating hurricanes in 2017. The coming years more than 600 million (euro) will be made available for this. The Netherlands is working on concrete improvements with the governments of Curacao and Aruba; for instance by interesting more Dutch companies in investments in Curacao and by supporting the improvements of assistance to the youth in Aruba. The joint coastguard plays a crucial role in managing migration and maintaining law and order. The government is taking concrete measures to combat poverty in Bonaire, Statia and Saba. Social premiums for employers will be lowered by 5 percent; therefore, the minimum wage and social benefits can go up by 5 percent. Furthermore there is 30 million (euro) available to combat poverty, for infrastructure and for economic development.

This way we keep shaping a kingdom together wherein we are helping each other.

Readers will find an integral translation of the Troonrede elsewhere on stmaartennews.com here.

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Photo caption: His Majesty King Willem Alexander & Her Majesty Queen Maxima. Photo by RTL.