He who bounces the ball, will get it on his head

MinPres had this pearl of Dutch humor on her wall this week, and it is true, we played ball in the pool of Aqua Windie’s last weekend and I dropped it on my head repeatedly. I felt I was simply clumsy, but now that I see it posted on her wall, it must be scientifically proven.

Wie de bal kaatst krigt hem op zijn kop

We’re finally playing ball. MinPres left to the Netherlands yesterday where she will participate in the Kingdom’s Council of Ministers meeting, on Friday.

They meet once a week, and we’re lucky that Friday the 13th will forever be remembered as the day the switch was flicked, the tide turned.

I have a lot to say about this non-dramatic moment:

We’ve been waiting since July and now that it’s here it seems almost anticlimactic.

Some parliamentarians faked surprise she was gone and claimed they heard about the trip from her FB, which is totally bogus, they must have seen it coming. Last week it was the Curacao’s MinPres who traveled, and following that example, it was our turn.

I understand MinPres left with a Carte Blanche, a parliamentary blessing, permission to sign the Dutch-Aid Agreement, without submitting first what will be signed. She even dictated Parliament’s approval response, in advance.

That woman crosses all Ts and dots all Is.

Throughout the process MinPres insisted on the use of ‘negotiations,’ which is confusing, as the opposition pointed out the document being signed is almost identical to the one originally presented. Yet MinPres continues to claim that in its present format the document is now more balanced and respectful of our autonomy. Astoundingly she lays the total blame for our financial failure on Covid19, not a word about wasteful administration and/or careless handling of public funds.

I mentioned the flicking the switch, above.

Wrong. It will not be easy. See developments at AAA and HOH and RDA soon, and the teachers and the customs officers, they don’t get it. They have not really suffered since March, they were all paid on time, and received extra cushy health-care benefits, yet still they are restless.

They all have to realize that signing is the easy part.

Complying with reform measures will be THE CHALLENGE.

And with the pandemic raging on, it will take years to even start turning things around.

Get ready for a lean and mean diet.

I asked around: What’s the plan after the signing ceremony?

A totally different approach was the answer, and don’t expect any of the local politician to help, they are in it for power and influence, not true public service.

But the Dutch will find their way around them.

The signing on Friday will guarantee the 3rd tranche, we have already spent. Then the remaining 300M in financial needs are conditional against the reform agenda. Who knows what that is. Low hanging fruit? Make the easiest changes first?  Easier said than done.

According to the budget amended last week we still need about 500M to finish the year, yet, we’re not getting anything close to that. We don’t know what the plan is, but it will surely include a sharp pair of scissors, a machete and a cleaver.

We’ll end the year with about 200M short, or over-budget, whatever you wanna call it.

My question: What do we do with the money? Smoke it? How can a small island with modest people burn through so much paper? What do we spend all our tax money on??  

 

 

 

 

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November 12, 2020
Rona Coster