Published On: Mon, Nov 20th, 2017

Samuel discusses reconstruction with Erwin Arkenbout

Rodolphe Samuel & Erwin Arkenbout 2017-11-20

GREAT BAY — On Friday November 17th, MP drs Rodolphe Samuel met with the Dutch Representative for Reconstruction Projects in St Maarten, dr Erwin Arkenbout. Also in attendance was Faction Policy Advisor, Oswald G. Bell.

The discussion centered around the €550,000,000,= that the Government of the Netherlands has earmarked for St. Maarten’s Reconstruction Fund, the detailed plan of how the funds will be used is seemingly not yet finalized. Also a determination has to yet be made as to how much of the funds will given as a grant and how much as a loan.

It was learned that the projected NAF148,000,000.= in Direct Budgetary Assistance needed by St Maarten – which Holland is prepared to provide – in all likelihood will be deducted from the €550M. This would mean that from the original allotted €550,000,000,= about € 479.000,000 will remain for yet to be designated purposes/projects.

Dr Arkenbout was asked if he would be receptive to an invitation to come to Parliament to entertain a broader discussion with all the MP’s. He said he would welcome such an invitation.

MP Samuel feels that it would a good idea and a welcome opportunity for his colleges to meet, and exchange views with dr Arkenbout. MP Samuel will be requesting the Chairlady to convene such a meeting as soonest possible as dr Arkenbout is scheduled to leave the island shortly for the Netherlands.

Dr Arkenbout was also asked to review the possibility of State Secretary drs Knops being available to meet in a central committee meeting of Parliament.

From MP Samuels discussions it became clear that it will take sometime before the actual disbursement of the designated €550,000,000,= to the Government and the people of St Maarten shall take place.

Hopefully the people of St Maarten might see the disbursement of the €550,000,000,= take place before the end of May 2018.