THE HAGUE--The Curaçao and Dutch governments are on the verge of signing an agreement which will release the third tranche of liquidity support. The last details are being filled in and early next week, possibly on Monday, the agreement should be signed in Willemstad.
Curaçao Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath and Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Raymond Knops were very optimistic after Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting.
“We had a very good meeting today. Curaçao has complied with the conditions of the second tranche. This makes it possible to comply with the third tranche. We are now putting the finishing touches to arrive at a final agreement. We have expressed the political commitment, and hopefully we can sign next week,” Rhuggenaath said.
“I am glad that we are standing here together,” said Knops about jointly addressing the media with Rhuggenaath after the Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting. “I see this as a milestone of a trajectory that we have gone through in the past months whereby we had very good and constructive talks,” said Knops.
“We are almost there. But at least we concluded today that Curaçao has complied with the conditions of the second tranche. We now have to proceed with the third tranche, but this is an important intermediate step. I want to thank the Curaçao government for its constructive input. This is in the interest of the people in Curaçao,” said Knops.
The trajectory that will now run its course includes both an investment package as well as reform measures. “We can now start talking about how we will execute the new phase, because there are many good things in the agreement, but also a big responsibility for Curaçao to carry out the reforms in a speedy manner, with expert support from the Netherlands,” said Rhuggenaath.
The prime minister was content with the new agreement that has been negotiated. “There is now a much better package on the table. Also, a draft Kingdom Law of which we support the content. And, a country package with reforms that we will be carrying out together. That creates prospects for Curaçao, also where it concerns possible investments.”
The agreement is very urgent because the cash flow of government has been depleted. As such, Curaçao had little choice but to secure an agreement with the Netherlands. “That is why it is good timing. It is not about having another choice. It is about the best solution, in cooperation with the Netherlands. We are going for the best alternative,” said Rhuggenaath.
Rhuggenaath and Knops will be flying to Curaçao on Sunday, and after a meeting with the Curaçao Council of Ministers, it is the intention to sign the agreement early next week. Rhuggenaath showed his appreciation for the input of State Secretary Knops and his team, and also for his own team.
Further liquidity support for St. Maarten and Aruba was not on the agenda of Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting. St. Maarten Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus said that St. Maarten was still working on reaching an agreement with the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT about complying with the conditions of the second tranche.
Violenus confirmed that a meeting was scheduled on Friday afternoon between the CFT and Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs and Finance Minister Ardwell Irion. Once the CFT has given a positive advice, the talks with State Secretary Knops and his team about the third tranche liquidity support will start.
“Hopefully, we can start next week. We are awaiting the advice of the CFT and once that is in, we can start,” said Violenus, who added that the aim was to have this on the agenda of the next Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting in November.
Aruba Minister Plenipotentiary Guillfred Besaril said that his government was still working out the last details in the negotiations with the Netherlands. He was hopeful that the talks would soon be successfully completed, after which the Kingdom Council of Ministers can give the go-ahead for the next liquidity support tranche.