WILLEMSTAD--Based on the suggestion of Dutch State Secretary for Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops, the Kingdom Council of Ministers is to determine today, Friday, if Curaçao will be given a budgetary instruction to drastically reduce this year’s expected financial deficit of over NAf. 100 million.

  It regards an extraordinary meeting, as no decision was taken last week. At the same time, the Dutch cabinet and Curaçao’s PAR/MAN/PIN government may sign a “growth agreement” to boost the island’s fledgling economy.

  The instruction advised by the Committee Financial Supervision CFT was initially on the table a month ago, but Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath travelled to The Hague and managed to get a three-week delay. During that period the Dutch Caribbean country was to present a package of reforms and fiscal measures that would make direct intervention unnecessary.

  However, last Friday the Kingdom Council decided to give Curaçao another week and over the past few days official consultations have been held about the implementation of an austerity package. Whether that has given the Netherlands enough confidence to abandon the instruction remains to be seen.

  The instruction would bind the Rhuggenaath Cabinet to a concrete objective in terms of real figures that can only be achieved with drastic steps to cut cost and increase income.