PHILIPSBURG:--- Member of Parliament and Faction leader of the USP Claudius Buncamper on Wednesday proposed to the government of St. Maarten that they put in place a Ministerial Decree that would allow the government to sell shares from its government-owned companies in exchange for $100M.
Buncamper agreed with the government of St. Maarten not to accept the proposed entity that the Dutch government wants to establish on St. Maarten. The UPS MP said that St. Maarten and its people need to take a stand and do what is necessary to assist its people. Buncamper said that the government should also ensure that there is a clause that would allow the government to buy back the shares from USZV.
It should be known that USZV is charged with managing funds which they are not supposed to invest in real estate but was invested and spent on projects such as the New General Hospital.
National Alliance Faction leader William Marlin reminded parliament of what transpired in 2017 post-Irma when the Dutch Government decided to impose conditions prior to assisting St. Maarten with the $550M for reconstruction. Marlin said that back then St. Maarten and its people should have stood together when the Dutch demanded the establishment of an integrity chamber and have border control under their belts. Marlin said some politicians sold St. Maarten out for the sake of power. Marlin said back then he made clear that the Dutch Government had been working on their plan to further take control of St. Maarten.
Marlin further explained that the National Alliance Faction in Parliament will be presenting a motion that will address the concerns of the draft law.
Member of Parliament Christopher Emmanuel asked the Minister of Finance to provide parliament with plan B that the government has in place. Emmanuel said he is not at all surprised by the conditions set down by the Dutch Government however, he feels that the government and people of St. Maarten must be proactive in order to get out of this financial hole.
Emmanuel also proposed that St. Maarten begins using the rapid testing at PJIAE should they decide to further open up the island. He said other countries are promoting the rapid testing and thinks St. Maarten should do the same to better isolate the spread of the COVID-19.
Emmanuel who was passionate in his speech said that government should open the island to the Caribbean Islands and begin promotion that will attract their Caribbean sister and brothers to the island for shopping and nightlife, while he also thinks that all persons including civil servants and employees of government-owned companies can be asked to donate at least $50 every month that will be used to prepare food baskets for those that are currently not employed. The Member of Parliament is convinced that the people of St. Maarten could assist and get themselves out of the current hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emmanuel also called on the Minister of Finance to ensure that the SSRP payment goes directly to the employees and no longer to the employers.