In one of her numerous press releases MinFec expressed disappointment and frustration, she thought Aruba was fulfilling its side of the financial supervision deal and still the threat of a KB or a ‘aanwijzing,’ hangs over the island’s head at the end of the year’s second financial quarter.

I had little interest in local politics until 2015, but I do pay a bit of attention now that the stakes are higher and the sheep are asked to carry an immense burden.  Yes, I just noticed my personal LB, went up considerably, not to mention what happened to my buying power.

So the press release starts with 2010 when trouble began, and the kingdom indicated it would from then on, oversee public finances in order to cure us from overspending. But despite clear intentions, under the green flag, GOA doubled our national debt. Welcome to 2016 and the new government jumping through hoops in order to avoid a KB, a royal decree, a laundry-list of what MUST be done.  

The parties recently met in New York, there were niceties and photo opportunities and upon their return to the Netherlands, the officials recommended that dreaded laundry-list for Aruba, an ‘aanwijzing,’as the ultimate instrument, enforcing compliance.

I asked around what is meant.  

If you compare it to a private company, says one of my friends, the Supervisory Board would from now on dictate every move to Management.

Will the island get one?

It’s 51%-49% chance to the disadvantage of Aruba, he thought.

The biggest issue with the Dutch government is the island’s personnel expenses, the size of the government machine. It’s huge.

Of course Aruba may appeal the decision, Curacao did, but why bite the helping hand?  The island should instead attempt to foster a friendlier relation with the wealthy mother-ship.

Aruba, he says, needs an alternative source of income, it must reinvent itself, come up with a new-money making industry, the sheep can no longer sustain the pressure.

The road to salvation is made of new economic pillars.

And cities around the world have reinvented themselves successfully by thinking out of the box. Bilbao, Spain, opened a museum and found revival, Medellin developed medical tourism and cashed in, Colorado cultivated Cannabis in 2014, and secured $683,523,739, in the first year.

We need someone to come up with a brilliant idea.

But in order to cash in on a brilliant private sector idea, the public sector, i.e. GOA, must prepare good infrastructures.

Ask yourself: How easy is it to register a company, open a bank account, get a license, apply for a work permit?

It’s hell. We’re very bureaucratic, and as long as we stick to the old ways of doing things, nothing will change.


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October 17, 2019
Rona Coster