Deeper in Debt

Gradus, the president of our financial supervisory organ CAFT, was in Aruba. He gave a two-hour talk at the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, to update those interested about the island’s financial situation.

The room was quite full.

But, not a single parliamentarian attended — the Governor and MinPres were invited — because they were probably busy ratifying the ridiculous budget that states we are now set to spend 4.5 million per calendar day and collect 3.5 million, according to the rosiest projections, we will probably end up increasing the actual deficit by half a BILLION florins.

Do you see any logic in that?

And, we’re late in discussing/submitting the budget, anyway.

A few days ago CAFT published an announcement titled: GOA doesn’t care about its financial supervisory board. In the statement they explained GOA repeatedly failed to follow up on the recommendations of the financial supervisory board, CAFT. CAFT was writing publicly in response to Aruba’s preliminary financial results for 2021, and the ongoing deliberation over the 2022 budget. Despite a strong improvement of the economy, it is still lagging behind, because of the disastrous burden of the 2020 results. CAFT would like to get some further explanation from the Wever-Croes cabinet, how it sees the situation.

What they say is clear: The current rounds of budget talks in parliament are a complete waste of time. The concept being discussed does not reflect the imposed Landspakketten reforms and will just grow the deficit, with close to half a billion florins.

Which is completely unacceptable.

The nerve they have to even discuss a ridiculous compilation of meaningless numbers.

It shows a complete disregard for the Advisory Board, RVA, and CAFT suggestions.

The RVA reaction to the 2022 budget contained spot-on observations. They also see a further increase in deficit, because GOA is already committed to much higher expenses than income projected. Basically they say, do not present this fluffy budget to parliament without changing it accordingly.

Which will not happen of course. L

This exercise in budget-futility demonstrates Aruba’s inability to take responsibility to govern itself properly.

Consciously driving us into a direct-collision path with the Dutch overseers.

Parliament is wasting its time and efforts.

They should apply themselves into restructuring GOA, into something we can afford, probably at half the current level of expenses.

And…. we should be taking into account that the Dutch do not have much tolerance for stupid games.

In Europe, the Netherlands and other economies, are under huge pressures, 10+% inflation, triplication of defense budgets and saving millions of Ukrainian refugees, all together drain resources and GOODWILL of a lot of Europeans.

Where in the past we would be somehow tolerated, the near future could prove much different and possibly a far-right reaction with the option of “my way or the highway.”

Choose either total independence and financial ruin, or pick the Bonaire model of becoming a full municipality.

We cannot burn our resources much longer.

Once inflation does its chaotic work in the Dutch and Aruban economies, we will see how the kingdom holds up, and how patient it is.

We have so much in comparison to other countries yet we cannot allocate anything to the sick and elderly…you know why.

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April 06, 2022
Rona Coster