Published On: Mon, Apr 14th, 2014

EOP strongly criticized


WILLEMSTAD - The Island Development Plan (EOP) does not contribute to the growth of the local economy. This is according to the vice president of Curacao Business Organization (VBC), Joop Kusters, during a Central Committee meeting of Parliament.

According to Kusters, the EOP proved in practice to be a barrier for many investors on the island, while the development plan is not implemented as originally intended.

Thus, the five-year assessment never took place. Kusters and developer Randy Neuman were invited at the request of the Pueblo Soberano Party (PS) faction to talk about their experiences with the EOP. They mainly criticized the way the plan was put into practice.

Kusters insisted on the importance of economic growth on the island, but found that the plan has not helped here. The plan also contains many ambiguities leading to confusion for many investors and business owners on the island.

Developer Neuman cited three projects, all of which, in one way or another, have to do with the EOP. He cited a project for a hotel and apartments in
Jeremi, the project for Majestic Apartments in front of Pietermaai Parking in Punda and a proposal for homes in Julianadorp.

All three projects were thwarted, Neuman indicated. He said that although the project at Jeremi did meet all the EOP requirements, the government nevertheless decided that they could not build 1100 units, but only 385.

Majestic Apartments could not be five, but four floors high, while many buildings in the neighborhood are higher. There is no consistency between officials and the government, according to the developer.

Finally Neuman referred to the project in Julianadorp, which should have come in a catchment area where, according to the investor, all other buildings are located. Neuman insinuated that the latter project was stopped, so that others could execute it.

The developer criticized the fact that the interpretation of the EOP would often depend on the subjective opinion of officials or government in power. After the presentation of the two, there was some confusion in the parliament hall on how to continue.

Infrastructure Minister Earl Balborda was also invited by the PS group. PAIS MP Alex Rosaria asked for a presentation by the minister, so that he could go into more depth on the criticisms brought forth by Kusters and Neuman.

But PNP MP, Humphrey Davelaar requested his party colleague Minister Balborda to leave the meeting so he could continue with this debate with the MPs on another occasion.

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