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Dutch State Secretary or Government does not know Miedema.

~ Proposal to refinance loans seems like a scam.~

PHILIPSBURG:---Dutch State Secretary Alexandra Van Huffelen in a letter to the Minister of Finance Ardwell Irion in response to his letter enquiring of the Dutch loan and guarantees said that Miedema is not known to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or anyone in the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations.
Van Huffelen said no one in her circle knows Miedema who met with the government to discuss the refinancing of all Dutch loans to St. Maarten.

The State Secretary also informed St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance that based on the information he has provided she could not respond in detail to the proposal.

The Dutch State Secretary made clear that it is improbable that the Dutch State will provide a full guarantee on the financing of any loan that St. Maarten has entered into with the Netherlands since there are risks involved. The letter from Van Huffelen can be found here.

Background on the Miedema Proposal.

Based on the correspondence SMN News has received it is clear that the proposal and suggestion to have a third party refinance all Dutch loans to St. Maarten came from the former chair of Parliament Grisha Heyliger Marten. 

Heyliger Marten in one of her correspondences said that Xavier Blackman was contacted by a financial intermediary about the possibility to refinance the Covid-19-related liquidity loans provided by the Dutch Government by a private consortium based in the Netherlands.

Heyliger Marten said that talks with the consortium began in 2021 when Aruba was seeking to refinance foreign loans which led to the drafting of a term sheet. These negotiations ended when Aruba and the Netherlands altered their relations. She, however, said that those negotiations were re-initiated in 2022 with both Aruba and Curacao.

In that communication, Heyliger Marten laid out the following.

  • The lender is a Dutch legal entity that obtains funds from Dutch and non-Dutch institutions.
  • In the event of an agreement in principle by the government of Sint Maarten, the process will be initiated on the basis of exclusivity.
  • The (first) financing will be the currently existing liquidity loans, in the form of a 10-year loan, which will have to be repaid on the 10th anniversary of the loan, under the application of Dutch law.
  • The interest of, at the moment, 4% p.a. is due semi-annually.
  • Voluntary repayment can take place from the 5th, anniversary of the loan.
  • The loan will be provided on the basis of an irrevocable guarantee from the Dutch State.
  • The further conditions will be the usual ones for this type of financing.
  • Part of the process will be legal opinions under Dutch law and the law of Sint Maarten.
  • The fees of the transaction will be included in the principal amount of the loan and paid out by the lender of the loan.
  • A rating will be given to the loan of at least BBB, by an agent of your choice.

With part of this communication published, it is the hope that the former chair of parliament would have her memory refreshed.

 On June 23rd, 2022, the former chair of parliament had her secretary dispatch an invitation with the details for them to join a teams meeting with Miedema, following that meeting Heyliger Marten sent out another communication where she dispatched a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that she wanted to be signed by St. Maarten’s Minister of Finance. In her communication, Heyliger Marten said that the Minister of Finance preferred a draft term sheet prior to signing off on an MOU. In the communication, Heyliger Marten said she did not see any issues with the Minister of Finance signing off on the MOU and even suggested that someone could convince the Minister of Finance to sign MOU, and afterward, she would draft the term sheet.

Hopefully, with parts of the communication from Heyliger Marten, she would be able to truthfully inform the people of St. Maarten about her role in the refinancing of the Dutch loans but most importantly she light on who exactly is Miedema. 

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