TEATT Minister Ludmila de Weever.
PHILIPSBURG--Recently sworn in Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever says the country is facing its greatest economic challenge yet, in dealing with the coronavirus COVID-19.
“There is no way for me to sugar-coat this. St. Maarten faces perhaps its greatest economic challenge yet. Just when we were attempting to recover from the strongest hurricane in our history, we are yet again faced with another tremendous challenge,” de Weever said in her first public address as TEATT Minister on Wednesday.
She said the COVID-19 pandemic not only threatens the lives of the people of St. Maarten, but it has also practically shut down the global economy.
“This council of Ministers takes office at a time of a major crisis in our country. We have hit the ground running and will execute a plan of action in the coming days,” she said. “I want the public to know that the stimulus package has the full attention of the Ministry of TEATT. We are working diligently and in cooperation with the ministry of finance and the ministry of VSA (Health, Labour and Social Affairs) to ensure that we have as comprehensive a package as possible, including representing the interests of the smaller businesses. I would like to commend all stakeholders for doing their part during this time and we will continue to keep all communication lines open.”
She continued: “We also need each and every person in St. Maarten to be responsible by staying at home and only leaving your home for emergency or essential purposes. When in doubt, stay home. This could save your life, the life of a family member or the life of someone in our community.”
She said the sooner everyone takes personal responsibility by staying home and following the directions of health professionals and the decisions taken by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), the sooner the country will be able to overcome the pandemic and get its economy back on track.
“I am counting on the cooperation of everyone. I am also counting on everyone to be patient, especially when it comes to receiving updates during this time. We are in this together. It is only through working together in good faith and with our community in mind, that we will overcome this great obstacle before us,” she said.