Published On: Mon, Feb 4th, 2013

Rosaria: Many Questions, Few Answers about Space Project

WILLEMSTAD – Contrary to what some sources have mentioned in the media, there was no official meeting in the Parliament with the Space Expedition (SXC)

The intention was that the SXC would give a presentation to the Standing Committee on Economic Development States. Because there were not enough members present, however, this meeting could not take place. The chairman of this committee Alex Rosaria (PAIS) find it very unfortunate that there was no quorum. But given the fact that the representatives of the SXC were still present, it was decided to hold an informal session with this group.

"I do not understand why certain actors have distorted the facts and done as though a meeting with the Parliament took place. What I regret is the fact that impression is created that the Parliament has given its approval to this project," said Rosaria.

According Rosaria, the informal meeting has raised more questions than there were answers given. It is not clear why the Curaçao Airport Holding (CAH) has given,  in 2010, an amount of Naf 702,000. - (without an agreement on how the amount will be repaid) to SXC. This, while under-SXC-space, over 200 tickets have been sold. Nor is it clear who will pay for the spaceport (from NAf. 25,000,000) and whether the CAH is expected to invest more money (Naf 1,000,000 up to now) in this project. This is because in 2010 an Investment Agreement has been reached between SXC and CAH. What is more worrying is the fact that according to Rosaria this project stands or falls with International Traffic in Arms Regulation permit issued by the U.S. which has to be given to Curaçao. In an interview last week which he had with the U.S. Charge d'Affaires in The Hague and the Consul General to Willemstad he found out that the ITAR license has never been given to a territory outside the United States. The ITAR-law has been created by the U.S.A. to protect the weapons technology of the U.S., where billions of dollars have been invested in R & D. And the so-called rocket plane based on that technology.

Rosaria: "I'm not going to stand in the way of a private initiative. But given what has happened in recent years, this country cannot afford not to deal carefully with public funds. Therefore I will, in the next few days, send a number of written questions about it to the Minister of Economic Development, although there are no indications that the current government is seriously considering investing public money in this project.

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