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The opposition should talk less and focus on working together

Dear Editor,

The governing of this territory is the responsibility of the Island Council with the executive council tasked with the execution. That there is an overall concern since the instruction of BZK is understandable. The coalition government is surely taking this instruction seriously. What is a pity, is the fact that DP Statia is trying to prey on this instruction for political traction, which is understandable seeing their desperate need to govern, with the goal of executing the will of The Hague.

Statia isn’t strongly divided on the issue of the constitutional future, the outcome of the referendum in December is documented proof of that. But what is cumbersome is the fear they breed in the minds of the people by highlighting a doomsday scenario, such as that Nustar might be leaving if the harbor ordinance is implemented. The new harbor ordinance contains updated legislation that reflects the accepted norms and standards in the maritime industry and replaces the old harbor ordinance of 1982.

No investors under this circumstance will be interested in investing in Statia. What is pitiful to me is the fact that they are portraying to being the only party with governing ability for Statia. People, simply ask yourselves how did Statia reach to this point in the first place. Is it not this same DP Statia that was instrumental in getting us into this status? The DP members of Statia are the marionettes of The Hague, who sold us out to the overseas puppet master.

What is to a certain extent pathetic is the fact they are eagerly trying to create the perception that the PLP/UPC government is unconcerned about the instruction, and that government is placing all its time and energy in the quest for more autonomy. Rest assured my people, while taking the wish of the people for more autonomy seriously, the government is working diligently to find solutions for the obstacles we are now facing.

Of course, it is understandable that DP Statia is a strong proponent of government to just lay down and play dead by submitting to the will of The Hague. The Masa attitude they so strongly advocate is the attitude that The Hague had wished for after the March 18 election.

In dealing with Nustar, DP Statia made mention of the extra levied environmental taxes. These are not levied upon instruction of the government of Statia. Therefore, if DP Statia is really concerned, they should not create the impression that because of the implemented Harbor Ordinance, Nustar might consider leaving. Call a spade a spade; point the finger to The Hague and join with the coalition government to indicate to your puppet master that this is unacceptable and unfair.

In dealing with the matter of Eutel NV, I stand behind Commissioner Zaandam’s position of not going along with KPN taking over Eutel NV in exchange of high-speed Internet, 4G mobile services and IP-TV. What DP Statia conveniently failed to tell the people is that the Commissioner also mentioned that these same upgrades can also be reached without giving away this patrimony. Anytime we from the Caribbean take a stand in defending what is ours, we have been called emotional and that we don’t have the sight of the big picture.

In dealing with STUCO, it is correct that STUCO had a negative fiscal 2014. But again, what DP Statia conveniently forgot to mention is that it has agreed upon that the loss of 2014 is covered by Holland. To establish exactly what this loss will be, it is prudent to await the financial year report 2014 that will be presented to government late August 2015. So, people this loss will be reflected in the financial year report 2014 of the government, but will not have any negative impact on the deficit of 2014.

Hotel development is important. Furthermore, it must be clear that the mentioned projects have government’s attention. It is easy to say that government must take away all stumbling blocks to make these projects possible. But if DP Statia would take a closer look, it should be clear that many of these obstacles cannot be solved by government alone. It takes a cohesive approach of all the stakeholders to be able to find traction forward.

It is clear that the points of concern mentioned, such as the provision of water, altering of the spatial plan and sewage plan are the responsibility of the Directorate of infrastructure to establish an action plan in an effort to solve and or make the necessary adjustments in the interest of these hotel development projects.

 

Elvin Henriquez

Deputy Leader of the UPC

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