On my mind

Raiz has my attention

In the Noticia Cla survey from last weekend RAIZ obtained 14% of the votes. Let’s do a ridiculous exercise and try to guess how many votes Raiz collects during the upcoming general elections in 2021. Same percentage will yield in excess of 8,000 people, about three seats. We have gained grounds, says party leader Ursell Arends, we are getting ready to showcase our new candidates.

Setar has my attention

True, they have to make money. We transitioned to calling each other on WhatsApp and took that business away from Setar, so they have to charge us for other services, BUT, my retired friends using internet services 60+, ADSL Awg. 85 get 10MPbs and feel discriminated, because people who are flush, bundle the high-speed internet with cable and enjoy 150MBps, fifteen times the speed for the same price.

Does this seem fair?    

Retirees are forced to bundle in cable if they want their high-speed internet. Setar won’t provide fiber internet service, if one doesn’t pay for cable. Sure they have to dig, lay expensive copper fiber tubes for each household, such inconvenience! Consequently, consumers are forced to pay for it, hostages of Setar especially retirees who are trying to economize — in view of the meager pensions on Aruba, a few hundred florins a month, hardly enough for anything. In a state-owned monopoly, where the regulator DTZ doesn’t dare challenge the telcom, and promotes the interest of the company over the interest of the consumer, it ends up on the backs of the elderly population. And there is no antitrust authority, no ombudsman!

A violation of consumer rights, and we have no one to turn to…

Setar, where did the protection of the vulnerable go?

Opening Day at Parliament had my attention

I never noticed they were on vacation, we just watched them on TV for many hours, last week, but apparently Parliament was in recess and had just returned. The ceremony was odd, and all that dress up, with hats and clutches, seemed dissonant, GOA should have worn burlap tunics and rubber slippers, in view of our financial situations, in lieu of fancy duds.  

The MinPres looked spectacular in an outfit, I have seen it before, inspired by Queen Maxima’s cape, in royal blue and pearls. She looked aristocratic, hair and makeup pure perfection. Her message to the masses focused on the re-election of the speaker Ady Thijsen, he did a fantastic job, she fibbed, and will continue to spin his magic for the next parliamentary year. She showed great solidarity.

Thijsen gained notoriety in the previous week with his silly letter to the Dutch Council of Ministers, affiliating us with the other Dutch Antilles we worked so hard to distance ourselves from, and associating us with communist-inspired, China controlled COPPPAL. MinPres stood by her man nicely, granting him a feather for his cap! But we know better.   

Immigration has my attention

Professor Raymond Gradus our financial supervisor, CAFT, was part of a virtual economic summit on Sept 1st, and he shared many good observations, he really sees our situation clearly, and feels the uncertainty we suffer regarding salaries, pensions, the labor market, taxation, public health, and finances. As part of his presentation he talked about stimulating migration of 25.000 people from Aruba. That is probably something sensible to do. There will be no work for so many people on this island, nothing to do for 120.000. The island cannot sustain all of us. It is a simple economic truth. Usually people get it by themselves and just move. Now, they don’t.

Back then when Lago closed its doors, many people left for the Netherlands. I think few started moving already. I see the Yard Sale signs during weekends, popping up around the island. But in general, people are still hopeful. Strange, but true, they are just staying put, frozen.

In any case, GOA will have to shrink in size dramatically, Gradus says, but no one is moving in that direction either.

Meanwhile, I still see the empty Arubus every morning, with zero passengers, up and down my street. Nothing changing.

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September 09, 2020
Rona Coster