PHILIPSBURG--After a deal could not be reached for the third tranche of liquidity support in Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting in The Hague, the St. Maarten Cabinet sent a letter to the Netherlands late Friday night which said that government does not endorse Pro Soualiga Foundation and its statements.
During Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting, Minister Plenipotentiary Rene Violenus read a statement which was not well received by the Dutch government. This was reportedly after the Kingdom Council of Ministers discussed the comments made by some of St. Maarten Members of Parliament (MPs) on Monday, which included characterising Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops under the symbolism of organised crime and infamous dictators.
Despite this, the Dutch government still indicated a willingness to conclude the agreement, if the St. Maarten government distanced itself from the harsh statements made by some MPs and from the actions of Pro Soualiga Foundation. Because this was not forthcoming by the end of the lengthy meeting, the Dutch kept the deal off the table.
Both Violenus and Knops later relayed the Kingdom Council of Ministers’ request to the St. Maarten government.
The Council of Ministers decided to request the Dutch government to send its demands in writing. “It would then be clear as to exactly what the government of St. Maarten is being asked to distance itself from, seeing that St. Maarten had agreed to all conditions stipulated prior,” it was stated in a press release issued by the Cabinet of Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs on Friday night.
“The government of St. Maarten has done everything in its power to comply with the conditions proposed for the third tranche of liquidity support and we remain open to the established agreements made thus far. However, there is an additional condition imposed on Sint Maarten each time we move forward,” said Jacobs.
Knops submitted the requested letter on Friday, and reiterated that the agreement could not be made until St. Maarten expressed, in no uncertain terms, that it does not support the negative comments by St. Maarten MPs and the actions of Pro Soualiga.
The St. Maarten government said it sent a letter to that effect late Friday night.
“The government of St. Maarten should not be held accountable for statements made publicly by any third party, including Foundation Pro Soualiga. The government of St. Maarten has never met, endorsed or financed this foundation and, as such, any actions taken and statements made by them are for their account,” it was stated in the press release.
“While as government of St. Maarten we do not agree with all statements made in Parliament, we are pleased, as State Secretary Knops is, to have received broad support across factions to enter into agreements with the Netherlands for the third tranche of liquidity support.
“As such, understanding and respect for the free mandate of individual Members of Parliament is recognised and appreciated. The Council of Ministers remains committed to continue to work with the Netherlands in accordance with the Kingdom Charter,” said Jacobs.