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Published On: Sat, Dec 19th, 2020

Government responds to RMR moving of the goalpost for liquidity support

PHILIPSBURG – In the Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR) meeting held this morning in the Netherlands, Sint Maarten’s Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus was present to deliver Sint Maarten’s position for receiving the third tranche of liquidity support. However, this was not before an agenda point pertaining to statements made in a central committee meeting of Sint Maarten’s Parliament held on Monday, December 14, were addressed and discussed.

Following the RMR meeting, St. Maarten received word from Minister Plenipotentiary Violenus and later in a call with State Secretary Knops, that the Government of Sint Maarten would need to express in clear and no uncertain terms that it does not support the negative statements echoed by the members of parliament who stated such. Moreover, the Government of Sint Maarten was requested to also distance itself from actions of the Foundation Pro Soualiga which cited that the Kingdom Charter does not comply with international law and as a result should be null and void.

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs stated, “the Government of Sint Maarten has done everything in its power to comply with the conditions proposed for the third tranche of liquidity support and we remain open to the established agreements made thus far. However, there is an additional condition imposed on Sint Maarten each time we move forward.”

The Council of Ministers met today, and after deliberations, decided it would need the request of the Government of the Netherlands in writing from State Secretary Raymond Knops or the Kingdom Council of Ministers. As such, it would then be clear as to exactly what the Government of Sint Maarten is being asked to distance itself from, seeing that Sint Maarten had agreed to all conditions stipulated prior.

In response to Sint Maarten’s request for the letter, State Secretary Knops indicated that the Kingdom Council of Ministers could not agree to move forward until the request of the RMR was honored and later submitted the decision in a letter to the Council of Ministers.

In a letter responding to State Secretary Knops, again after deliberation with the Council of Ministers this evening, Prime Minister Jacobs expressed that the Government of Sint Maarten should not be held accountable for statements made publicly by any third party, including Foundation Pro Soualiga. The Government of Sint Maarten has never met, endorsed nor financed this foundation, and as such, any actions taken and statements made by them are for their account.

“While as government of Sint Maarten we do not agree with all statements made in Parliament, we are pleased as State Secretary Knops is to have received broad support across factions to enter into agreements with the Netherlands for the third tranche of liquidity support. As such, understanding and respect for the free mandate of individual members of Parliament is recognized and appreciated. The Council of Ministers remains committed to continue to work with the Netherlands in accordance with the Kingdom Charter,” concluded Prime Minister Jacobs.

As the response may have been received quite late in the Netherlands, the Council of Ministers looks forward to hearing from State Secretary Knops tomorrow, Saturday, December 19, regarding the submitted letter.

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