Published On: Sat, Dec 15th, 2012

Curacao is in a serious financial situation

WILLEMSTAD — The current financial situation of the country Curaçao is a sorry plight, according to interim Minister Cornelis  Smits. His colleague Minister of Finance José Jardim in turn explained that Curaçao is becoming poorer and if action remains forthcoming the government will not have enough collateral between April and September next year to meet its commitments.

Jardim conjured up a shocking image. The country Curaçao had over 400 million guilders in the state coffers on 10-10-’10, but very little is left, said Jardim. Of that amount only slightly more than 100 million guilders was left at the end of November this year. Jardim also concluded that Curaçao has become poorer. “We now have approx. 130 million guilders on our accounts. Our liquidity position is getting worse. This situation also got worse this year because we had to pay 70 million at once to cover deficits of the medical fund, but also the medical fund government pensioners (FZOG) from last year.”

If nothing is done to reverse the current trend the problems will only increase for the country, said the minister of Finance. Jardim pointed out the necessity of a combination of economy measures, revenue-increasing measures and steps leading to economic growth.

Jardim expects an economic downswing of 7.7 percent next year with the current policy. “It’s a doom scenario, but we strive to prevent this”, said the outgoing minister. With the measures in the draft budget 2013 the government expects to limit this negative growth to 2.2 percent. In 2014, we expect this to be 0.6 percent but in 2015 we aim for an actual growth of 1.3 percent, and even predict a growth of 1.9 percent for 2016.

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