Published On: Thu, Sep 14th, 2023

Curacao’s position on Ennia could cost St. Maarten a lot of money

THE HAGUE — If Curacao continues to object to the rescue plan for Ennia’s pension fund it could have dire consequences for St. Maarten, DossierKoninkrijksrelaties.nl reports. If Curacao does not cooperate, St. Maarten will be confronted with a higher interest rate for the 1.1 billion guilder liquidity loans it received during the COVIF-19 pandemic: 6 to 8 percent instead of 3.1 percent.

The issue came up during a debate with the parliamentary committee for Kingdom Relations with State Secretary Alexandra van Huffelen.

The Netherlands has opted to put the Ennia rescue plan in an agreement between Curacao, St. Maarten, the Netherlands and the Central Bank. St. Maarten has met all conditions to qualify for the low interest rate but to get it, it depends on cooperation from Curacao. Prime Minister Gilmar Pisas said earlier this week that the Kingdom has to use its equity to solve the problems at Ennia.

MP Jorien Wuite (D66) asked the State Secretary to prevent that St. Maarten becomes the victim of this situation. Joba van den Berg (CDA) said it would be sad if the country that has met the conditions gets punished because of Curacao.

Van Huffelen said she is confident that Curacao will in the end agree with the solution. The deadline for reaching an agreement about the rescue of Ennia is September 30.

The debate made clear that the Dutch parliament approves of the refinancing of the 1.1 billion guilders corona-loans. A decision about the conditions still has to be taken; this will happen in October. The parliaments of Curacao and St. Maarten also have to discuss this issue, as well as the 600 million euro loan to safeguard the Ennia-pensions.

Aruba will have to pay an interest rate of 6 to 8 percent because it refuses to agree with the establishment of a kingdom law Aruba financial supervision. Van Huffelen said that this is irresponsible because Aruba’s annual interest burden will increase by 30 million because of it.


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