Government plans insufficient for a full recovery

THE HAGUE - A real recovery of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten after the corona crisis requires much more far-reaching reforms than the governments intend. That is the conclusion of experts consulted by the Dutch government.

The reforms should not be limited to reducing the civil service, restructuring public finances, and stimulating the economy, but also strengthening care, education, and law enforcement.

Without it, the recovery of the countries will fall far short of the standard of living they knew before the outbreak of the corona pandemic and which would decline even further in the event of a new setback, the experts have told the Dutch government. Consequently, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten will continue to depend on financial support from The Hague on a structural basis and emigration to the Netherlands will increase.

To invest

This explains the Dutch willingness to invest more than a billion euros in the CAS countries (Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten), if necessary, consisting of a combination of loans (which may be partially reapid later), gifts and the provision of expertise and implementation power. The entire operation will come under the supervision of a so-called Caribbean Reform Entity, managed by the Netherlands.

The governments and parliaments of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten are displeased with the approach advocated by the Netherlands. Their criticism, incidentally, seems to focus more on the procedure and rather than on the content of the reform plans. Prime Ministers Rhuggenaath and Wever-Croes travelled to the Netherlands to reinforce their objections in the Kingdom Council of Ministers.

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