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Prime Minister of Sint Maarten responds to reports ...

PHILIPSBURG -- On December 14th, the General Audit Chamber of the Netherlands released a focus study on the contribution of the Netherlands to the recovery and reconstruction of Sint Maarten. This report recognizes some of the challenges that the ...

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Dear Reader

News about protests on the French side of St. Martin spread like wild fire on social media. The sympathetic feelings in Great Bay were strong. We get the impression that many of our Dutch side brothers and sisters were ready to head over to the Northern side to stand with their French brothers and sisters was it not for the news that the French Gendarmes had swarmed Sandy Ground and had the place on lock down.

Coincidentally, a letter writer to StMaartenNews desk wrote that it is time to call for “a yellow vest” movement on the island to protest all the unrightful pocketing of monies by individuals and members of government institutions.

There seems to be feelings of unruly behavior and lawlessness permeating society just under the surface, percolating and ready to explode. (Or is it the dump?)

We can't put our finger on it just yet. But we have the feeling that the sense of injustice many are experiencing and the evidence of depravity many are witnessing may just give rise to a new movement indeed.

We will see...

In the meantime, do enjoy reading our full newsletter today.

Happy readings!


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### Lead Stories
Minister of TEATT on Financing Airport Reconstruction

PHILIPSBURG:--- Minister of TEATT Stuart Johnson reacted to the various articles that state that the Dutch Government and the European Investment Bank wanted to finance the reconstruction of PJIAE to the tune of $100M and the government of St.

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Edible Fruit Arrangements/Edible Bouquets Now On Sale Again

Due to popular demand, is now delivering Edible Bouquets again. Our edible fruit arrangements can be ordered online once again. Minimum order budget is $50 US Dollars + $15 delivery fee (Dutch side) + 5% creditcard surcharge.

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GEBE and KADASTER in serious financial difficulties

PHILIPSBURG - The financial situation of the Kadaster and the island utility company GEBE is said to be in dire straits. According to reliable sources it was stated that the former Minister of Finance Richard F. Gibson had ordered the utility co ...

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Johnson describes action by MP as an embarrassment

PHILIPSBURG - The Minister responsible for Tourism Stuart Johnson has described the actions of Member of Parliament Rolando Brison for withholding funds that was to be paid to Caribbean Tourism Organization as an embarrassment to St. Maarten....

Read more - Cartoon Satire Letters to the Editor
NEEDED: A massive SXM marketing offense!

Dear Editor,

St. Maarten needs to step up its marketing game! We are losing market share, and economic income to the competition. From news reports, St. Kitts for one is eating more and more of our lunch! Just take a look at what is reported in our daily newspaper: On Tuesday, December 18, 2018 we read that the M/Y LIMITLESS, the same mega yacht that inaugurated the expanded Simpsonbay Lagoon entrance (after Government successfully lengthened the Lejuez Bridge back in 2003), has now gone to St. Kitts to buy fuel???!???

Remember, this vessel has been at Yacht Club Isle de Sol every year since in 2003. It is the LIMITLESS that officially kicked off an unprecedented 13 years of true diversification and growth of our one pillar “TOURISM” economy by choosing St. Maarten as its Winter Homeport. Over the years literally hundreds of other mega yachts followed suit. The SXM Marine Industry exploded, and in its peak year contributed over 17% to our island’s GDP.

Clearly St. Kitts looked and learned. Its leaders encouraged investors to build a top notch Marina, and today, for reasons we MUST investigate, the mega yachts can buy fuel in St. Kitts CHEAPER than in St. Maarten. Not to use stronger language, this is a true WTH-moment, considering that amongst other things, St. Maarten is a “Duty-Free” port (unlike St. Kitts).

There is more: Today, December 19th, we read in the Daily Herald: “ Norwegian Escape 7th (SEVENTH!!!!!) inaugural call for the season (for St. Kitts that is)”!! Guess at which island’s expense???

The challenges are not only coming from our competitors. Some of our problems are self-induced. Let's go back to the newspaper. The Herald’s headlines on December 19, 2018 proclaim: “ St. Maarten Gov’t bypassed offer for Airport financing” and “ Gov’t wants conditions of airport loan before taking decision”.

What I read is: The process of rebuilding the SXM Airport will be further delayed. It is more than a little worrying to know that the wait is likely to take longer especially when other destinations are stepping up their game to compete for the business some on St. Maarten seem to take for granted, or worse, knowingly jeopardizing for reasons of personal greed.

Yes, we are back in an improvised part of the terminal, but getting to this point has taken way too long. A picture on the same December 19th Daily Herald front page shows some of the folks that have been in charge of what I (and many others) perceive as the most poorly (almost criminal) handling of the Irma inflicted damage to our island’s economic air portal. In it they are seen smilingly doing some 6-month-overdue ribbon cutting.

While St. Maarten is busy procrastinating and “players” are jockeying to get into what could be the best “deal-me-in” position, among other shenanigans, St. Kitts and other Caribbean destinations are leaving no stone unturned to “nyam we lunch”.

Instead of cheap talk every day, we had better find (re-allocate) funds to aggressively market destination SXM, all the while making the best airport-repair-financing-deal (for the airport, not the individuals) without mortgaging our children’s future in the process.
Maybe it is also a good idea to remove the two half sunken boat wrecks that are in plain view of every air-arrival coming to St. Maarten through the PJIA SXM Airport.

And talking about cleaning up, while I now have personal experience to determine how best to spend the few guilders our Government has in its coffers at any one time, my former colleagues might seriously consider to finally tear down the wrecked old Gov’t Administration Building on the Clem Labega Square that we who live here hardly even notice anymore. But sure as heck visitors to this Tourist destination must scratch their heads wondering: “WHEN ARE THESE PEOPLE GOING TO CLEAN UP THE HURRICANE MESS IN THE CENTER OF THEIR CAPITAL?

This is a project for which funds were identified and allocated back in June of this year. Primarily because of this building, the town center of Philipsburg still looks like a war zone 16 months after Hurricane Irma came to visit. Let’s worry about what will be built there at a later date. In the meantime, we can use additional parking spots in Great Bay Town.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Michael J. Ferrier

NEEDED: “A yellow vest” movement on the island!

Dear Editor,

I miss your comment on the fact that the airport and some political pundits don’t want to accept the offer from the Dutch government to finance the reconstruction of the airport.

They would rather lend money from other financiers at a higher rent percentage thus indebting the country more and putting a higher burden on the people.

Jessurun mentions in his report that 90% of the people live under the poverty line. The cost of living on SXM is the highest in the Caribbean region. Price control on the island is out of the question and the tariff hike on containers to fund the causeway are matters that also contribute to high prices of goods. 

I would like to see your paper address these matters more and explain in detail what is happening in this country. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. It is time to call for “a yellow vest” movement on the island to protest all the unrightful pocketing of monies by individuals and members of government institutions.

Name withheld

A Headline News
Lee gives an update on INSO; reports travel to Italy false

POND ISLAND - The project team for the new St. Maarten General Hospital continues to work on the execution of the Hospital construction project. "We maintain a close and positive contact with the three Extraordinary Commissioners managing the...

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Sandy Ground Residents Protesting, district on lock down

Local Yellow Vests Group takes action ~ Sandy Ground -- Residents of Sandy Ground has locked down the district beginning early Wednesday morning as they began protesting all the ills facing them. Poor reconstruction since the passing of hurricane ...

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NAGICO's Christmas Raffle

Draw date Friday December 28, 2018 at 3 pm. Witness Live Drawing by Independent Auditors from Grant Thornton. To be eligible you must have a valid NAGICO Insurance Policy not expired and paid in full before December 26th, 2018.

Read more Feature Stories
Court denies Smartplay right to text message lottery

Philipsburg - Telecom provider UTS does not have to offer services for phone lotteries to Smartplay, the company doing business as Robbie's Lottery in St. Maarten. The Common Court of Justice rejected Smartplay's appeal against an earlier court...

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Richards bids farewell to eight years of inspection and...

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards delivered his farewell remarks in a ceremony of the Council of Law Enforcement to mark his eight years of being a member of the aforementioned which comes to an end on December...

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NAGICO Group-sponsored rowing team begins 3,000 mile row

With support from NAGICO, Atlantic Discovery team rows from the Canary Islands to Antigua to raise money to fight Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Four-man rowing team Atlantic Discovery commenced The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge Wednesday morning,...

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SXM Airport Acting CEO/CFO Daryanani: Long journey

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY-AIRPORT) - Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ravi Daryanani welcomed dignitaries to SXM Airport Terminal Building on Tuesday in connection...

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COO Hyman: Return of Arrival and Departure Operations...

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - On the occasion of the return of operations at the SXM Airport Terminal Building, Chief Operations Officers (COO) Michel Hyman delivered the following speech. Good morning and welcome back to the Terminal Building of...

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Newly Upgraded RADEX BCMS Border Control Goes Live at AUA

SINT MAARTEN/ARUBA - For ten years, Migracion Aruba has been using the RADEX Border Control Management System (BCMS) at the Aruba Airport to ensure safe and effective border control. Two years ago, the developer of RADEX, Gamma IT Solutions, was...

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D-Day for InselAir

WILLEMSTAD - InterCaribbean Airways did not comply with the with was agreed upon last month. The airline had to present the required bank guarantee in connection with the acquisition of InselAir International. Yesterday it was formally the last...

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The status of InselAir

WILLEMSTAD - During the court session yesterday, the approval of the agreement accepted by InselAir's creditors was discussed. The management of InselAir and the superintendent have informed the court that the intended buyer of the shares,...

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SMHDF Director Queries Misrepresentation of Facts

SINT MAARTEN (BELVEDERE) - St. Maarten Housing Development Foundation (SMHDF) Director Helen Salomons took note of correspondence received from law firm Hoeve & Rogers with some frustration, the law firm having been contracted by various SMHDF...

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Baby Clinic receives donation of AED machine

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Baby Clinic located at the Vineyard building recently received a donation of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) machine for babies and children by Mr. Wisman and Mr. Bolthuis of the Vineyard Office Park....

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Victorious Living Thanks Supporters, Volunteers & ....

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - 2018 though a year of challenge for St. Maarten and the surrounding islands who were ravaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria,...

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BIP SXM submits Multi-Annual Budget & Policy Plan...

PHILIPSBURG-The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic & Telecommunication (TEATT), the Honourable Stuart Johnson has received the Bureau Intellectual Properties' Policy Plan and financial forecasts for 2019 to 2023. It is a requirement...

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Johnson and Giterson present new designs for marketplaces

PHILIPSBURG/SIMPSON BAY--Market vendors in Philipsburg and Simpson Bay learnt from TEATT Minister Stuart Johnson that plans were being finalised to erect modern facilities to replace those in Philipsburg that were destroyed by hurricanes and to ...

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Prosecutor decides to prosecute VROMI minister for DUI

PHILIPSBURG–The Prosecutor has decided to go ahead and prosecute Minister of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure VROMI Miklos Giterson for his involvement in a car accident on September 6.

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Rotary Club of St Martin Sunset Installs Little Free Library

SINT MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN (MARIGOT) - On December 13 th, The Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunset installed its first Little Free Library in on the waterfront in Marigot, with a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony in the presence of Rotary International...

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Great interest in lecture on medicinal cannabis

WILLEMSTAD - Minister of Public Health, Nature and Environment Suzanne Camelia-Römer gave a lecture at the University of Curacao last night about the government's policy regarding medicinal cannabis. This meeting was primarily intended for those...

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OM disappointed after postponement pretrial session...

WILLEMSTAD - No pretrial session this morning in the Maximus case against former Minister of Finance George Jamaloodin. Jamaloodin's lawyer Eldon Sulvaran has filed a notice of objection against the prosecution of his client. Jamaloodin is...

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Curaçao in the top 10 of Miss Universe 2018

WILLEMSTAD - Curaçao is very happy with the performance of Akisha Albert during the Miss Universe competition 2018. Curaçao is back in the Top 10 finalists. Akisha Pabien! Curaçao is proud of you. Check out the introduction video of Miss Curaçao...

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Caribbean islands can expect greater influx of Venezuelans

WILLEMSTAD - Aruba and Curaçao must be prepared for even more refugees from Venezuela. In Aruba, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago together there are now an estimated 147,000 Venezuelan migrants. That number will...

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75 people receive Dutch nationality

WILLEMSTAD - On Monday afternoon, December 17, a total of 75 people made the declaration of solidarity in front of the acting Governor of Curaçao in a naturalization ceremony. They have thereby acquired Dutch citizenship. Photo: The Acting...

Read more Finance News
Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten publishes financials

PHILIPSBURG/WILLEMSTAD - Over a week ago, the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten published its financial statements for 2017. In a press release the Bank announced that the 2017 financial statements of the Centrale Bank van Curaçao en Sint...

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CBCS announces new bond issue for government of Curaçao

WILLEMSTAD - On Friday, January 11, 2019, there will be a bond issue on behalf of the country of Curaçao. The bond will have a semi-annual coupon as follows: NAf 69,100,000 bond with duration of 30 years. Interest rate is based on the Dutch yield ...

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Foster children in the Caribbean Netherlands receive less

By Caribisch Netwerk| Jacqueline Hooftman Kralendijk - If you want to take care of a foster child in a Dutch Caribbean municipality, you get 9.47 dollars a day. On St. Eustatius you can only buy a pack of milk and six eggs. "It does not do...

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Second catch of criminal acts for station ship Zeeland

Kralendijk - On Tuesday evening, the Zeeland had its second catch in the Caribbean shortly, a Go Fast with four people on board who probably transported illicit means. The persons and funds were transferred to the Bonairean authorities (KPCN)...

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Saba continues to work on stronger tourism product

The Bottom, SABA - Saba keeps working on strengthening its tourism product through promotion in the United States (US), Canada and the Netherlands, by attending trade shows abroad and by strengthening the relations with surrounding islands....

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Weather Forecast: Thursday to Saturday

DATE ISSUED: Wednesday, December 19, 2018 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Thursday evening (18:00 LST) December 20, 2018 Tonight through Thursday evening: Partly cloudy and breezy with brief isolated showers possible. Forecast High: 29°C /...

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2019 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid Eco-Conscious Model Introduced ...

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - A new era has dawned upon the tropical paradise of St. Maarten/ St. Martin, as Motorworld stands proud to make an unprecedented introduction of the New 2019 Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient car in America.

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NAGICO launches the Hurricane Xtra Policy

PHILIPSBURG (Monday, July 23, 2018) - Today, NAGICO Insurances unveiled a new insurance product called the NAGICO Hurricane Xtra Policy. It's designed as a supplemental coverage to insure uncovered expenses that may arise following a hurricane as ...

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Safe holidays: Don't Drink & Drive

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, DCOMM) - The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, and the Department of Communication (DCOMM), in a collective public service message is...

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Review LuminAID Packlite Max, a Solar Powered Phone Charger

ST. JOHN'S ESTATE - The Wizards, specializing in computer repairs and onsite services, is now the official reseller for an environmentally-friendly product that has a very unusual feature: A solar powered LED lantern that is a phone charger as...

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Poll sponsored by  StMaartenFlowers.comwhere you order online and we deliver offline.
Do you believe GEBE has financial problems?
No - Regional News
New regulations for self-employment enter into force in Cuba

HAVANA, Cuba (ACN) - Modifications to laws governing self-employment came into effect last Friday in Cuba, as part of the policy to improve the legal framework under which 13 percent of the Cuban workforce operates as self employed. Such workers...

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Call us today at +1-721-523-3564 or whatsapp +1-721-588-0800. Or email to schedule an appointment. Visit for more information.. Online News Stories
Unions and CARICOM weigh in on Scotiabank sale -...

By Caribbean News Now contributor BRIDGETOWN, Barbados - The Caribbean Congress of Labour (CCL) and the CARICOM Competition Commission have both issued statements regarding the recently announced intention of Republic Financial Holdings Limited...

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Let's Cruise - Eastern, Western, Southern Caribbean... is offering cruise vacations on the best and biggest cruise ships in the world with brand name cruises and destinations in the Eastern, Western and Southern Caribbean, Alaska, Europe and the Mediterranean, ...

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Antigua-Barbuda PM invites Scotiabank to early meeting...

ST JOHN'S, Antigua - Prime Minister Gaston Browne has invited the competent authorities of the Bank of Nova Scotia to a meeting by January 7, 2019, to discuss the purchase of the bank's branch holdings in Antigua and Barbuda. The invitation is...

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Canned food recalled due to under-processing

WALNUT CREEK, USA - Del Monte Foods has announced a recall of 64,242 cases of Fiesta Corn Seasoned with Red and Green Peppers due to under-processing. These deviations were part of the commercial sterilization process and could result in...

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The global increase in cryptocurrency investment

This year has seen the biggest surge in the amount of people investing in cryptocurrency trading. The concept is now a stable within financial markets and more investors are starting to discover the benefits of delving into this worldwide...

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Dutch economy still doing well, but is past its peak:...

The Dutch economy continues to do well but is now past its peak, the government's macro-economic think-tank CPB said in its December economic forecast. Next year, the CPB forecasts 'robust' economic growth of 2.2%, but given the growth...

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Minister investigates Uber drivers fraud

Junior transport minister Steintje van van Veldhoven has asked ministry inspectors to look into claims that drivers for the Uber taxi service are trading in their accounts to allow unlicenced drivers to work for the company.

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Ryanair applies to sack all its Netherlands based workforce

Irish budget airline Ryanair has put in a formal request to sack its entire workforce in the Netherlands because of the company's poor economic performance, Dutch pilots union VNV said. The request is now being studied by the government's UWV job ...

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Energy firm Eneco to be privatised via a controlled auction

Eneco, the last big Dutch energy company in public hands, is to be sold, the company's shareholders and management board have finally decided after months of talks. Eneco is currently owned by 53 local authorities including Rotterdam and will be...

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SXM Daily News - 19 Dec 2018
SXM Daily News December 19, 2018

SXM Daily News December 19, 2018

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TVCarib Informer

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Book your November trip with AirSXM
Looking for a November vacation trip? Search for flights, hotels, car rentals and vacation packages online on AirStMaarten's booking site.
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