Member of Parliament George Pantophlet

June 27, 2023  -The Hague Plans to lend St. Maarten Naf. 60.9 million”. It cannot be business as usual. We don’t need any more loans, what we need is debt cancellation and the issuance of grants while the matter of reparations is being worked on. What the Dutch government is doing is increasing our debt.

What I find interesting, is the following and I quote; “if St. Maarten were to seek financing on its own on the international capital market it would be confronted with a high interest rate which would have a negative impact on the country’s debt tenability” end of quote. Can they explain to the people of St. Maarten the following: why would we have to pay a higher interest rate? It is it not so that the Dutch government is given loans for as low as 2% and 1%? And if we wanted to borrow on the international market will we not be offered the same interest rate as the Netherlands? Why do Caribbean countries,

Latin American countries and the continent of Africa or the proverbial countries of the South have to pay higher interest rates? Is it the World Bank and International Monetary Fund who determine these rates? Both these institutions are controlled by Europe and the United States of America. This is a bias structure.

The apology for Slavery cannot be just a byword. Action has to follow and it starts with debt cancellation. My suggestion is that no payment be made to the Dutch government on any loans. My suggestion is that instead of paying any loans, the payments are used to invest in our island. Discussions on reparations have begun, a report came out where the Crown earned some $600 million from the slave trade. And it was only from 1660 to 1770. Slavery was abolished in 1865 some 95 years later.

Can you imagine when the research is completed regarding the Crown and It is no doubt when the entire Netherland is included that it will run into billions maybe trillions of Dollars. I want to remind the people of St. Maarten that it is the same Dutch government who have Budgeted some 2.5 billion Euro’s to assist Ukraine, this is the same Dutch government whose market size for the Defence in the Netherlands is estimated to be $18.1 billion. Our illegal debt is around 1.4 billion guilders which amounts to a mere $650 million. This amount should be cancelled immediately. No more loans.

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