Published On: Mon, Jun 16th, 2014

Plasterk: “Parliament has no control on cheap loans to Dutch Caribbean countries”

Minister PlasterkTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – The Lower House in the Dutch Parliament has no direct control option on the cheap loans given to Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten from The Netherlands.

“Those loans are always repaid and the countries are responsible for them,”Minister Plasterk of Kingdom Relations announced again during a recent debate. However, the Minister is will get a better understanding of these loans on the insistence of the political parties VVD and SP.

Within the VVD and SP, there have been some concerns for some time now about the possible risks The Netherlands takes by giving these cheap loans to the three Dutch Caribbean islands. They are afraid that the Netherlands should ultimately bear the costs if these countries cannot repay the loan.

This is why André Bosman (VVD) and Ronald van Raak (SP) Plasterk want to know how to be absolutely sure that this money is spent wisely by the countries. “How do we know that the Dutch money for the new hospital on Curaçao is well spent?” Van Raak asks.

But that question is not up to parliament to ask, Plasterk said. The minister has already indicated several times in previous debates that the Netherlands is hardly at risk and that the Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) can appeal to the three countries in emergencies. He repeats this message, but clarified by saying that these loans do not really stand on the Dutch budget. This is why the Parliament cannot ask questions about these loans. He is said that his proposal is that the Kingdom Council of Ministers will get more insight into how the CFT determines whether the countries can get loans or not.

According to Plasterk, the MPs will never have to worry. The countries are responsible for their own expenses, he says, also for the use of the loans. “The effectiveness of spending is evaluated only in assessing the risk of the loan. If things go wrong the Financial Supervision (CFT) can appeal to the countries on this.”

By Jamila Baaziz (Caribbean Network)

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