IPKO was a kingdom inter-island parliamentary gathering, and in the recent Zoom meeting attended by Aruba’s delegation leader Rocco Tjon, a MEP parliamentarian, he was quick to put his foot in the mouth, and really make us all look foolish.
In the planned session, the Dutch territories and islands were asked to deliver a brief overview of how Covid19 affected their countries, and Tjon decided to falsely claim that according to data collected, unemployment on the island is at 77% now, while it was just 7.3% pre-corona crisis.
He also lamented the cuts and measures imposed by GOA to mitigate the effects of the crisis and went on to criticize the financial supervision imposed on Aruba in addition to stating that Aruba handled its autonomy with great difference and care, reprimanding all who state differently for being wrong and unethical because “Aruba has fulfilled all budgetary commitments.”
Imagine, he did not utter one word of gratitude for the fact that every single one of those 77% supposedly unemployed Arubans got 60% of their salary paid courtesy of the Dutch kingdom in May, and are about to also collect in June.
His self-righteous, ungrateful attitude was matched by his arrogance and was not well received in kingdom circles. Moreover, upon his return to his office he sent out a press release reiterating his outrageous claims, naming the Labor department as the information source, namely 77% unemployment among men, 69.6% among women, for a total percentage of 73.1 %.
The MinPres was fast to correct him that in reality our unemployment rate is around 12 or 13% because we are all receiving handouts from the kingdom, which saved our hide from total disaster.
After his ungracious comments, he also expressed hope that the Dutch will convert the no interest and low interest loans into grants to the Caribbean countries.
My sources report: “The kingdom and the islands are experiencing difficult times and no one is served if blatantly wrong information is spun. It doesn’t create good will and it doesn’t reflect well on us, that after dishing out 100 million florins for our payroll expenses the Dutch are confronted with incomprehensible and unintelligent behavior.”
Our leaders worked hard to keep things up and running, and the kick in the shin Tjon decided to give his benefactors, literally bit the hand that fed him.
The MinPres should give him a timeout, for a long time, and hopefully his destructive performance will be forgotten and NOT result in a tougher stance by our financial supervisors. We now need financial aid from the Netherlands, more than ever.
My sources report that Aruba was ahead of the game, compliant and polite, ensuring that those who have lost their jobs receive financial support on time, but now we may be clumped together with the ill-tempered island politicians of St Martin and Curacao.