WILLEMSTAD, ORANJESTAD - Aruba is not happy with the money that the Netherlands wants to lend to the island for acute emergency aid. Aruba can borrow about 21 million euros but had asked for a donation of about 200 million euros.
Prime Minister of Aruba Evelyn Wever-Croes initially said she could not agree to the low amount, but later stated that she appreciated the loan from the Netherlands.
Other politicians openly express their frustration. They say that the Netherlands does not understand that 80 percent of the island is dependent on tourism and that almost all income has been lost due to the corona crisis. They feel disadvantaged in the kingdom.
Curaçao business owners also want more help from the Netherlands. They fear an increase in unemployment from 20 to 50 percent.
Interior Minister Raymond Knops announced on Thursday that Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten will receive soft loans for emergency aid in addition to medical aid and, where necessary, help from Defense for the protection of public order. Curaçao had requested more than 393 million euros, but will receive a loan of 90 million. Sint Maarten asked for 126 million and gets 25 million.
In Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, these days, social media often refers to the large fundraising campaigns that were held on the islands when the Netherlands was hit by the flood in 1953. Images of newspaper articles from that time are shared via Facebook and WhatsApp.
Curaçao's Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath also mentioned these actions in 1953 as an example of the solidarity he expected.