Published On: Wed, Jan 16th, 2019

No clear indication on when the financing will become available for the airport

New Government Administration Building

PHILIPSBURG — There has been no clear indication from the Council of Ministers of how long it will take to pay back the Euros 100 million which was offered to the Government of St. Maarten from the Netherlands to have the Princess Juliana International fully renovated to the post hurricane status. During the Council of Ministers press conference the Deputy Prime Minister Wycliffe Smith and Minister of Justice Cornelius De Weever made an attempt to answer the question on how long it will take to pay back the loan and grant to the Netherlands for the airport.

Deputy Prime Minister explained that the persons who will take up positions in the Supervisory Board and the Holding company of the airport will be there for two years and indicated that this was not finalized as yet. Minister of Justice Cornelius De Weever stated that the airport has the right to react to the proposal and also seek alternative financing for the airport, leaving the choice up to them.

He pointed out that as government they have the responsibility to secure the funding for the reconstruction of the project.

However, during last week press conference Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin she said that the Board of the Princess Juliana International Airport had indicated that they could not find alternative financers so the decision was made to go along with the Netherlands and the European Investment Bank to have the airport fixed.

These are conflicting statements from the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister even though all the ministers have collective responsibilities for all portfolios. Meanwhile, according to sources from the airport, this initiative by the Netherlands and the European Investment Bank may not be available now since it will take some time to have the necessary arrangements finalized.