WILLEMSTAD – According to the Dutch Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops the government of Curaçao has not done enough in the past six months to implement the Growth Agreement for the economy of the island.
According to the Dutch Minister, the Netherlands has offered “knowledge, expertise and skills”, but the Rhuggenaath government has not done enough to further stimulate the economy of Curaçao with that help.
The Minister indicated that Dutch experts are quickly seen as “interference”. But civil servants are professionals in their field who can provide good advice on the various scenarios. What it will ultimately be is a decision of the Curaçao government but appointing someone from the Netherlands is not a violation of autonomy. “It is like calling in a doctor when you are sick,” said Knops during a press conference held at the Dutch Representation in Willemstad.
According to Knops, there is a crisis situation and then it is important to switch. The Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations refers to a combination of problems: Venezuela and the migrants and their impact, the faltering economy and the lack of confidence as a result of the failure of the Central Bank to oversee Giro Bank.
If Knops then says “Curaçao cannot do this alone”, in his opinion that is “not blunt”, but a statement and a guide. Knops believe that the countries in the Kingdom must help each other now more than ever. “There are opportunities if we keep pace. And trust is needed.”
Knops addressed the situation at Giro with a striking amount of emphasis. “Very big mistakes were made. We all make mistakes, but this is about systems. That is unacceptable and irresponsible,” referring to the way in which the Central Bank CBCS acted for the emergency scheme in 2013 and beyond, or better: did not act.
Knops is in contact with his fellow party minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance about the issue. The price that Curaçao will have to pay “is high”.