Published On: Mon, Dec 31st, 2012

New Premier Daniel Hodge: ‘We’re going to lay the foundation for a new Curaçao’

WILLEMSTAD – "The community of Curaçao has invested much in me. I now have the chance to do something in return. We can no longer stand by and watch from the sideline. If we do, nothing will change”, this is how PSB-Bank Director Daniel Hodge responded to the announcement of his candidature by PS-leader Helmin Wiels. According to Hodge, the transition-cabinet which was installed this morning must begin laying the foundation for the urgently needed changes on Curaçao. It is the intention that the new cabinet takes the oath on January 2nd. Hodge was recommended by the PS to lead this ‘task-cabinet’, which consists of non-politicians and will stay on for six months. In this period the government will have to function in accordance with the contents of the coalition agreement ‘Akuerdo pa un gobernashon enfoká riba pas, trankilidat i prosperidat’ (Agreement for a Government, focused on peace, tranquility and prosperity), which the parties PS, Pais, PNP and Independent Member of Parliament Glenn Sulvaran agreed on.

The new Premier states he gladly accepted the request to lead a transitional-cabinet. “This is my chance to do something in return for my island. He considers this a challenge. Curaçao has been divided long enough as No and Yes parties (No: against the new constitution, Yes: for the new constitution). “Now is the time to move on, considering the current situation of our country. Our most important task in the next six months is to lay a foundation for the further development of Curaçao. Actually, six months is too short to make a change but it is sufficient to lay a foundation for the necessary changes.”

Hodge is familiar with making changes and pointed out his ample experience in this field. “People forget that when I set to work at the PSB Bank the company had been under receivership for seven years. We worked very hard on a turn around and we succeeded. We intend to do the same for the country Curaçao. Let’s do this for our children and grandchildren.”

Hodge believes the first priority of the transition-cabinet that is to bear his name is the approval of the budget for 2013. “It’s a fact that we don’t have a budget at this moment. The discussion in the Parliament has been postponed to early January, which is good on the one hand. This means as new Government we must first concentrate on this. It’s not only about measures to be financially sound again; we must invest in ‘prosperidat’ (prosperity) as outlined in our coalition agreement. What’s the point of these measures if crime increases more and more? Our priorities will therefore include economic development and employment.”

Hodge, who is the director of PSB since 2002, is now making an arrangement with his employer to return to the bank after the six months of his premiership. It is the intention that the second director of the PSB Bank, Guiveron Weert, will replace Hodge in the intervening period, assisted by the management team of the banking institution.

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