Friday, June 05, 2020

May 15, 2020  WILLEMSTAD -  During a press conference on Thursday, Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath declared that now is the time to unite as a population of Curaçao for less dependence and against the "unrealistic conditions" that the Netherlands attaches to providing loans in connection with the corona crisis.

On the eve of a decision to be in the Kingdom Council of Ministers (RMR), the head of government was preparing everyone to take measures to become more economically, financially, and mentally independent.

“We have known political instability for a long time. For those who think that the Netherlands is the solution, I want to say: The Netherlands is only interested in us if we do not become their problem and we do not cause "hassle". And then this government is always accused of dancing to the pipes of the Netherlands ("much mandá"), but I no longer want to be dependent on the Netherlands. Am I a "much mandá"?

Well, I am aware of the role that the Netherlands plays in the Kingdom and I believe in cooperation, also with the BES islands. But if you borrow money, conditions are set. I agree with that. As a former banker, I know better than anyone that you have to set conditions for customers who borrow money, but always with the aim of making that customer stronger and better. The Netherlands has unrealistic conditions that we cannot meet.”

The prime minister: “So now we have to do it ourselves, not for the Netherlands, but for ourselves. Take your own steps to move forward, with a strong mindset and as an internal unit. We must stop the dependent mentality and inferiority. We are going to achieve this together, with everyone in society: the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the government, unions, parliament, the opposition and the community. Anyone who wants to contribute is "bon biní" (welcome).”

Curaçao should no longer be tempted to obtain finance through the Netherlands, which is bad for its own reputation. “To be financially and economically independent, we must make sacrifices and suffer pain, but it will make us stronger in the long run. And we can, because just look at the corona crisis. We are not inferior to other countries in the world and we have worked together better than ever.”

According to Rhuggenaath, Curaçao is at a crossroads: "Either we bend under the pressure from the outside and follow the decisions that others make and impose on us, or we come together to construct our own country.”

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