Tuesday, Jul 23rd

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Editorial - Calm and stability

No news is good news, it is often said, and one can only hope that will prove the case for Friday's meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers when it comes to St. Maarten. After all, there was concern that a possible advice from the Committee for Financial Supervision CFT for a "targeted instruction" on settling the arrears to Social and Health Care SZV and the general pension APS would be acted on.

On top of that, some had expected the withdrawn draft general measure of kingdom governance to impose an Integrity Chamber on St. Maarten to resurface once the Gumbs cabinet was not able to comply with an agreement to have the law proposal with its own version passed in Parliament by the end of June.

But Dutch Minister of Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk would not say much afterwards, except that "this has to be done carefully." Exactly what that means is anybody's guess.

A positive sign could be that Plasterk had contact with both Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs and Justice Minister Dennis Richardson during the preceding week. Perhaps that convinced the Dutch Government not to act rashly and to allow for the summer recess to pass before the matter is taken up again.

If that is so it's most probably a mere stay of execution, as these issues obviously are not going to go away on their own. However, it does give local public administrators and elected representatives the opportunity to get their act together and take the necessary steps that can prevent worst-case scenarios.

Should they be able to do so before the political establishment in The Hague fully gets going following its summer vacation there may be at least some prospect that these crises too can be resolved, so that relations within the Kingdom of the Netherlands don't grow even more strained.

In that sense it's high time for some calm and stability for a change.