~ MP Theodore Heyliger and PM Romeo Marlin met with Dutch State Secretary to sell out PJAIE.~
PHILIPSBURG:--- On Wednesday reporters that attended the weekly Council of Minister's press briefing asked Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin if St. Maarten was turning over Government-owned companies to the Dutch Government in order to obtain assistance. Romeo Marlin in her response said that the Dutch were not taking over the Government owned companies she also said that workers were not going to be laid off.
SMN News published an article on Tuesday outlining some of the conditions set forth by the Dutch Government in order for the World Bank to grant Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) a loan for the repairs of the badly damaged Terminal Building.
On November 8th 2018, a press release was published in the Washington Post where the Steering Committee of St. Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust met in Washington D. C to take stock of the implementation of the three emergency projects amounting to USD 102M, and reviewed the preparation for three new projects focused on the reconstruction of the airport terminal (US$50 million), support to small and medium enterprises (US$35 million), and debris removal and suppression of the fire in the Great Lake Pond disposal site (US$25 million).
In the press release, it states that the Steering Committee agreed that USD$50M will go towards PJIAE Terminal Building while additional funding will come from the European Investment Bank and other potential donors.
The Dutch representative Frans Weekers made clear that final endorsement by the Netherlands of the financing discussed, will require Dutch participation in the airport’s management and supervisory board.”
SMN News managed to obtain the proposal issued by the Royal Schipol Group (RSG) on November 6th, 2018. That proposal outlined all the assistance RSG will provide to PJIAE however they also mentioned that in order for RSG to provide assistance they would need temporary management contract of PJIAE that would cover their personnel costs and other relevant expenses. The proposal sent by RSG can be viewed below this article and press release published in the Washington Post.
Upon reading the articles where Marcel Gumbs and Weekers were quoted a number of questions arises, one being how much conditions will the Dutch Government levy against St. Maarten in order for the government and people of St. Maarten to obtain funding from the Trust Funds. Already the Government of St. Maarten agreed to several conditions post Irma those being the implementation of an Integrity Chamber and Border Control. Indications are that the Dutch will soon take control of all the Government owned companies then they will certainly add another “S” to the BES islands all of which are being done with the approval of the current Council of Ministers namely the Prime Minister Leona Romeo Marlin and Leader of Government MP Theodore Heyliger.
Another question raised is if Heyliger used the current management team and Supervisory Board of Directors of PJIAE to rent a floor from his luxurious building in Simpson Bay then sold out the company to the Dutch hoping they will spear him in all the ongoing investigations undertaken by the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Minister of TEATT had suspended the Supervisory Board for two months but did not do anything further to terminate them, thus the Supervisory Board members were reinstated, during their suspension period they approved the rental agreement for Heyliger’s building one must wonder if in fact Heyliger stroke a deal with the Management team and Supervisory Board members to rent his building for USD$13,000,00 monthly before agreeing to turn over PJIAE to the Dutch Government.