WILLEMSTAD – The Prime Minister of Curacao Eugene Rhuggenaath said that the Growth Strategy is the compass of his government. It indicates which way his government should go, so that Curaçao can progress not only financially but also economically and socially again. But now something has to happen. There is no time left for unnecessary consultation.
The message of the Prime Minister is now known. Yes, the government budget is a problem. That must be better. The housekeeping book is out of order, too many expenses, too little income. This requires drastic measures. For example, spending cuts and tax increases for more income. But only cutting, cutting, cutting will not get you there.
“We believe in a broader strategy,” emphasized Rhuggenaath. “The Growth Strategy that we also presented in parliament in October is the basis of the route that we follow for financial, economic and social improvements. This is the direction. We have to put that on. I may not make myself popular, but it is about our country, not about personal interests.”
In addition to the short-term measures, an investment program is of vital importance for sustainable improvements.
“With the Growth Agreement, the Netherlands has recognized that we need more room for financing the necessary investments. Also reports from our own central bank and from the International Monetary Fund show that it is not wise to pour out all measures on the community like a tidal wave. That can be at the expense of, for example, social development and education.”
Rhuggenaath says that he and his fellow ministers “regret that the Council of Ministers of the Kingdom has nevertheless made use of the possibility to give a budgetary instruction” that is aimed in particular at insufficient government finances.
Because the hard measures that are required to comply with the Financial Supervision Act (Rft) have an adverse effect because they lead to social and economic decline and, for example, deterioration of the digital infrastructure on the island.
“We have drawn up a social agenda with projects and can convince the Netherlands that investments need to be made. It is a program that is aimed at families and neighborhoods.”
But it must happen now. It is time for action. Rhuggenaath argues in favor of jointly supporting the Growth Strategy and the projects that result from it. “We have talked about it for a long time. The strategy and the deadlines are ambitious, that is true. But now is the time to implement. It’s about big changes.”
The prime minister is convinced that the path taken is the right one and that the entire population will ultimately benefit from it.
“If everyone cooperates and not only the government, but also the private sector invests, the economy will grow again. Then we become less dependent on other islands and we are stronger. Then we can show our true face with more confidence.”