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Editorial - Enough crying

Parliament meets today, Tuesday, on a draft ordinance to make October 10 a public holiday instead of Kingdom Day, December 15. Some might see this as a message concerning the lately strained ties with The Hague, but there is no reason to believe this.

The whole idea behind the proposal that goes back quite a while is actually to give more content to the day when St. Maarten gained country status. That achievement followed a lengthy process, including two referenda, the first of which was held already two decades ago.

Granted, there has been a lot of criticism since on what was agreed to as part of dismantling the Netherlands Antilles and the consequences thereof. After all, when leaving the Antillean constellation back in 1986, Aruba was not made to share its Central Bank, currency or Attorney General as St. Maarten and Curaçao were.

The current so-called Consensus Kingdom Laws to control public finances and law enforcement, among other things, were never in play for Aruba either. Still, that island too had to swallow a Financial Supervision Law and Committee of its own recently.

In addition, St. Maarten was unable to collect much of its share of the national debt relief by the Dutch Government that accompanied the constitutional reforms, mainly due to administrative shortcomings. That is a reality from which one cannot get away, but it also appears to be very much a “passed station” as far as the Netherlands is concerned.

In any case, it’s been five years since the new relations took effect and one can’t keep complaining forever. The situation “is what it is” and while the evaluation of the new arrangements was planned for 2015, the time surely has come to start being more positive about what occurred on 10-10-10.

If leaders continue to cry about and lament what they can’t change, this doesn’t exactly help motivate the population. One could compare it to, for example, educators constantly telling students the learning materials are inadequate instead of trying to teach them as best possible.

No matter how you turn it, October 10, now known as Constitution Day, is a memorable date in the political history of St. Maarten. Making it a holiday reflects that importance regardless of what people may think of the result, if nothing else at least as a step towards more freedom and autonomy.

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Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
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Friday Oct. 16, 2015
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