New Curaçao coalition wants IMF, not COHO

New Curaçao coalition  wants IMF, not COHO

MFK-leader Gilmar Pisas on election night

WILLEMSTAD--The incoming MFK/PNP government wants the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be handle Curaçao's restructuring measures.

  According to the new coalition partners a yet to be established Caribbean body for Reform and Development, the so-called COHO, does not have the experience and knowledge that the IMF has. That can lead to a waste of time and that is why they argue in favour of involving the IMF in the major reform programme that the Netherlands and Dutch Caribbean country have in mind.

  The two parties have sent a letter to the Parliaments of the Netherlands, Aruba and St. Maarten to present the plans in their governing accord. They are hopeful for fruitful cooperation within the Kingdom and want to put the wellbeing of citizens at the centre of public policy for the next four years.

  In their document dated April 28, 2021 MFK and PNP recognise the need for reforms and can largely agree with the objectives of the “country package” but see no room or role for the proposed COHO in this. Moreover, according to them, such a “far-reaching programme” can only succeed if it is managed within the framework of a tailor-made appaoch, with a rigorous monitoring regime and performance criteria (milestones) against which progress can be measured and in case of deviations corrective action can be taken.

  “MFK and the PNP are of the opinion that a body yet to be established such as COHO does not have the necessary experience and knowledge to successfully guide and manage such a programme, with the risk that this will lead to unnecessary loss of time, something that Curaçao cannot afford in its current precarious situation.

  “Financial programming and policy development are not a science, but more of an art that requires experience. Financial programming is a framework to analyse the current state of the economy, predict where the economy is going and identify economic policies that can change the course of the economy.

  “It follows from the foregoing that discussions about the magnitude of the financial need, the funding sources and modalities will form part of this financial programming and will be addressed in that process,” the parties said in the document.

  Political leaders Gilmar “Piki” Pisas (MFK) and Ruthmilda Larmonie-Cicilia (PNP) say the World Bank and the IMF in particular "have unparalleled experience in the field of recovery and structural adjustment, the latter of which is already familiar with Curaçao.”

  MFK and PNP therefore prefer to formally call in the IMF as soon as their cabinet takes office. “The incoming government is strongly committed to structuring the Country Package in an adjustment programme with the seal of the IMF. Not only is the IMF the appropriate institution to prepare, guide and monitor such a reform programme; it also gives the programme the necessary credibility that Curaçao needs to get out of this deep economic trough.”

  The two party leaders say they count on the support of the Kingdom government and refer to articles 25 through 29 of the Kingdom Charter. "We would therefore appreciate it if the Dutch government will support Curaçao in entering into discussions with the IMF with a view to reaching an agreement with the IMF on a fund-supported programme.”