May 15, 2020 WILLEMSTAD - According to Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath, the Netherlands has 'unrealistic demands' on new corona support. According to the Premier, Curaçao should do more to become “economically, financially and mentally” independent. During a press conference leading up to discussions in the Netherlands about the aid, he emphasized that he is 'not an errand boy' for the Netherlands.
The conditions set by the Netherlands are not too strict, stated Undersecretary of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops on Friday after consultation with the plenipotentiary ministers from Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten about the extension of corona support to the Caribbean countries in the Kingdom. There was no decision yet on the new aid package. The plenipotentiary ministers first want further consultation with their governments. More clarity will come on Wednesday.
Knops wants countries to reform their public finances. He previously said that "their housekeeping book is not in order." Knops wants to make agreements, among other things, about capping salaries in the public sector and reducing the government apparatus. "This situation is so serious... That it really requires measures to intervene in the public administration," said Knops.
The Netherlands lent 177 million Antillean guilders (90 million euros) to Curaçao six weeks ago. It would again be a six-week support package of around EUR 150 million for the three countries. "If I were in the shoes of the countries, I would look very carefully at this offer of support," said Knops after the cabinet.
According to Rhuggenaath, Curaçao is busy with austerity measures, but the Netherlands "sets conditions that we cannot meet despite all the effort." He emphasizes that Curaçao is working on a major reorganization of the government apparatus.