The King Is Naked

Parliamentarian Miguel Mansur, Accion21, published a very honest press release this week, most of it worth repeating, in the name of our democracy.

He was reacting to a press conference held by MinFic, our minister of finance and culture, she was commenting on the letter our financial supervisors, CAft, send to GOA at the beginning of May.

The letter dated May 10th, gave GOA until May 24th to respond, but we don’t know if the request was answered.

At her press conference, MinFic was of the opinion, which she publicly expressed, that CAft letters should remain confidential, and discreet. She did not want to air dirty laundry, and childishly expressed her dismay, at the public embarrassment of CAft’s diagnosis that the king is naked.

We all understand that transparency can be painful, when the truth is laid bare.

She stated the letter re-hashes old information, and repeats itself.

Naturally, because all previous suggested cures to our dire financial situation were ignored.

She wanted to have a study made in the region to measure how we do in comparison, forgetting we have some some pretty corrupt neighbors.

Perhaps she wanted to kill criticism, because some business players here enjoy the current Laissez-Faire state of events.

She might have wanted to prepare for Aruba to be able to borrow on the international market, away from Dutch scrutiny.

Mansur in his press release says he understand the pain and inconvenience, when the public is informed about its government’s poor management of public funds, for example, the burdensome size of the government machine.

In Curacao with 160.000 residents the government supports 2,500 public sector employees, in Aruba with 100.000 residents, perhaps a bit more, the government employs 4,500 people plus those working in 40+ government-supported foundations.

That monstrous over-head according to CAft, which must be structurally reduced.

The CAft letter contained some very damning facts, which Thursday’s Bati Bleki Buzz column outlined.

Thursday’s column

One of the most outlandish facts revealed is rent. The government is renting a great number of buildings and facilities, most of the time from political sponsors and/or family members, and that rent has gone up 40% since 2016. Another budget line, the cost of products and services, is 39 million florins higher than the average in previous years.

Mansur suggests the current government plots to allow the next government to solve our financial problems, a policy which would dig us deeper in the hole in view of global inflation and rising interest rates. Discounting the advice of CAft and other supervisory bodies such as, Raad van Advies, Algemene Rekenkamer, and the IMF, proves a chronic lack of political will, or worse, lack of abilities.

Aruba’s national debt is killing the country, he concludes, because GOA is determined to fake reduction of expenses, yet raise taxes instead, in order to finance its needs, since it is 100% financed by tax-payers.

 

That point was also clearly discussed in a recent interview on Noticia Cla, with Tisa LaSorte, the AHATA CEO. More about it, later!

Tisa LaSorte on Noticia Cla

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June 04, 2022
Rona Coster