Hard Deadline In October

You know we have to start paying back the Corona-aid loans in October, right?

We borrowed almost one billion florins, from the Netherlands.

On top of the other loans taken regularly since 1986, and being regularly repaid, costing our country’s budget almost one third of our tax revenue.

Thirty cents of every florin collected by DIMP, is earmarked to repay debts.

Some fortunes are owed to local bond holders, some to the IMF, banks all over the world, the USA, China, who knows.

Many IOUs are held by the Dutch government and they have been merciful, charging between zero to two percent, unlike foreign entities that charge double, perhaps triple.

I am not an economist, nor accountant, nor psychic, so above is a guestimate!

I don’t think GOA reports accurately, and that is why it has been difficult to audit, with information habitually missing. Our accounting has also been flawed since 1986, and according to the land plan, the Landspakket, we do not have sufficient qualified people to handle our book keeping and the major fiscal issues we have.

The Dutch state secretary in charge of the Caribbean islands announced a hard deadline. Aruba must respond to demand, so that terms of our Corona-aid loan re-financing, are agreed upon. Why? Because they must budget for it, and get it ratified, no last minute budget increases or adjustments for the Dutch. They must know in advance, in an orderly fashion.

They cannot dick with budget; it has to be set in stone.

MinPres signed that famous loan agreement with the Dutch on our behalf, twice, she promised reforms in return for liquidity support, the terms of reimbursement to be determined post-pandemic.

Then the Dutch allowed us to recover nicely, and now again, they would like to hear from us, how are we planning to refinance?

With their help at 2 to 3%

With the help of the world at 5 to 7%

What would you do?

I know what you would do, you are reasonable.

The lower interest comes with a caveat, Aruba is to sign a revised financial supervision by law, RAFT – which is what we had all along, under a different name, only a bit stricter.

MinPres is not showing a sign that she intends to sign. No sirree.

She does not want to go down in history as the one who handed the keys over to the kingdom, which is of course a political dramatization, since by not adhering to budgets, GOA proved its inability to guard and maintain our independence within the kingdom. Our make-belief status aparte. We handed the keys over, by being fiscally irresponsible.

The issue here is financial scrutiny, checks and balances, which GOA doesn’t like, it likes things messy.

It stands to reason that our parliament SHOULD require MinPres to sign the RAFT. They are our representatives and they SHOULD do what’s good for us. And if she refuses to sign, they should ask for her resignation, because she committed something, in their name. A something she is not about to deliver.

But our parliament won’t do it. It allows the ministers to run the show. A normal country would have voted her out for allowing this issue to hang, but not One Happy Island, Aruba.

Here two signatures on the Corona-aid loan must not mean much.

Will GOA refinance at 7 -8% thru non-Dutch financial institutions, we will know soon . In any case, the tax-payer will be burdened, and the extra revenue raised by charging BBO at the border, won’t go far. We might be squeezed further.






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July 22, 2023
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