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A Cinderella Story or The Case of The Mass Miscommunications

Due to demand, exclusively for our newsletter subscribers, one day only, the full story of the "Case of The Mass Miscommunications - A Cinderella Story" is available for free online to read today. Read now before it is put back behind the paywall...

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Dear Reader

Due to demand, we have decided today - for one day only - to unlock the access to our special report entitled “ A Cinderella Story or The Case of The Mass Miscommunications?”.

You will have one day to read the full article free of charge. After that, you will need a paid subscription in order to read it in the future. As a matter of fact, this is the first segment in a 3-part series on this topic. So there is more to come.

Today also, we publish exclusively for our newsletter readers the full text of our articles on the report of the informateurs submitted to the governor, including our analysis and editorial. The report is only available online on our website for download.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of our newsletter.

Do have a great day!

The Publisher

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Report informateurs available online for download

Harbour View - In keeping with the press release yesterday, cabinet of the Governor's office has released a copy of report of the informateurs to the press. This report is entitled "More than the Numbers" and is available online here for download.

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Human factor the largest stumbling block for new coalition

PHILIPSBURG – The St. Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) does not want to be part of a coalition that includes the United St. Maarten party (USp). This appears from the final report informateurs Dr. Nilda Arduin and Jan Beaujon presented to Governor Drs. Eugène Holiday on Monday.

In their search for a coalition with the broadest possible support, the informateurs ended up with two options: United Democrats (UD) - National Alliance (NA) - USp (14 seats) or UD-NA-SMCP (13 seats).

These are “the most viable options,” the report states, “however this is not a guarantee for a stable government. All parties expressed that the human factor is the weakening element for creating stability in government.”

Party programs and priorities are not the real bottlenecks, the informateurs learned from talks with the different parties. “Differences in personality, trust and animosity are the real stumbling blocks in providing the country with a stable government.”

The UD and the NA both mentioned the human factor as a stumbling block, thereby indicating that the pain caused by the motion of no confidence against former Prime Minister William Marlin – based on his perceived malfunctioning in the wake of Hurricane Irma – has not been forgotten by a long shot.

The report from the informateurs does not go into the legal troubles that are haunting USp-leader Frans Richardson. In the negotiations about a coalition this is apparently only an issue for the SMCP that told the informateurs that it would not work with Richardson’s party as a matter of principle. NA and UD have not excluded anyone.

The informateurs also spoke with stakeholders like the Indian Merchants Association, the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, the Timeshare Association, the Chamber of Commerce, the Bankers Association and the Bar Association.

These stakeholders said that “a strong opposition is needed to control government and to ensure proper checks and balances.”

The informateurs did not find major differences in the political manifestos of the parties or in their priorities. But there is still a lot of work to be done for any coalition. This has to do with the governing program. “No steps of approach on the execution of the priority areas are outlined in the manifestos.”

Governor Holiday asked the informateurs when he gave them the assignment to look for a coalition that is willing to pay attention to five topics. These are…

1.      sustainable reconstruction with priority for critical infrastructure, the tourist sector, the social infrastructure, law enforcement and public finances;
2.      cooperation with the Netherlands and the World Bank in connection with the reconstruction fund;
3.      the preparation of St. Maarten for the upcoming hurricane season;
4.      finding a sustainable and durable solution for the landfill and waste processing; and
5.      the role of social partners in the reconstruction.

All parties subscribed to these issues, the informateurs found.

All parties expressed “great concern” about the preparation for the next hurricane season. They provided “valuable suggestions” but the report does not give any details.

In conclusion, the informateurs suggest that the formateur should explore which direction is the most viable – a coalition that includes the two big parties UD and NA or a coalition of UD-USp or UD-SMCP. The formateur should also research whether parties can find common ground in a governing program “despite the human factor.” Editorial
The human factor

By Hilbert Haar

The final report informateurs Dr. Nilda Arduin and Jan Beaujon submitted on Monday to Governor Drs. Eugène Holiday is a solid piece of work – the first of its kind in the history of country St. Maarten but it does not contain any real surprises.

Okay, the only remarkable fact – but not a surprise – is that Wycliffe Smith’s Christian Party has closed the door firmly on getting into a coalition with Frans Richardson’s United St. Maarten party. That position is based on principle – and I like it a lot because Smith makes thereby crystal clear where he stands on matters like integrity. The silence of the other parties on this topic is telling; but again – not surprising.

That the informateurs found the human factor as the largest stumbling block for the formation of a broad-based coalition cannot surprise anyone either. The criticism former Prime Minister William Marlin had to endure in the wake of Hurricane Irma – justified or not – has not been forgotten by either side.

It would indeed be odd to find the United Democrats who sent Marlin home last year (under the banners of UP, DP and MP Chanel Brownbill) in the same political bed as the National Alliance after the elections.

We all know though that politics makes strange bedfellows and, as the slogan goes – impossible is nothing.

A coalition of fourteen seats (that would be UD – NA – USp) seems to me rather unhealthy for the democratic process, since it leaves the opposition with one seat and no political clout at all. In that sense, the bemoaned human factor may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it would exclude a combination of UD and NA with any of the other two parties.
Of course, the UD still has the option to get together with the USp for a majority of nine seats.

In my mind, the cleanest option is a coalition of the UD with the SMCP. It’s just a 1-seat majority, but it would give the country also a strong opposition with seven seats. In such an environment the political debate could flourish. That’s a better option than a parliament that is almost completely tied to an executive branch it supports. Political Letters
The Formation of Parliament and Government (Part 2)

by Wycliffe Smith After one week of discussions with party leaders, MPs-elect, social partners and others, informateurs Mr. Jan Beaujon and Dr. Arduin will be submitting their findings to His Excellency, Governor Eugene Holiday. The first...

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Sarah on what a national broad based government means

National government, broad based, representative government: what do we mean when we call for such? The process to form the next government as initiated by the Governor, H. E. Eugene Holiday is taking its course. In fact the "information" phase...

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The idiot's guide to the Caribbean

By Chris Morvan ~ It's all Christopher Columbus's fault. He was trying to get from Spain to south Asia, but ended up in the Caribbean. Easy mistake to make. Just fail to turn left when you come out of the Mediterranean and you are heading across...

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Council of Ministers approves VNG recovery project

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Council of Ministers approved the proposal for the recovery project of VNG International, who presented the scope of their project and its activities to the ministers.

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Minister of Tourism & Economic De Weever encourages...

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - Acting Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Cornelius de Weever,...

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St Maarten to participate in CARIBE WAVE 18 tsunami exercise

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY), (DCOMM) - The Emergency Operations Center (EOC)/Office of Disaster Management (ODM), will be participating in the March 15 CARIBE WAVE 18 tsunami wave regional exercise. The purpose of the exercise is to evaluate local...

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Y.E.S Foundation Sponsors Free Community Event

BELAIR - The Youth Empowered for Success Foundation, (Y.E.S.) will sponsor a free Motivation Speech in celebration of National Women's Month for the St. Maarten community titled, "Queens You Deserve the Whole Loaf" on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at ...

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UNDP "Building Back Better St. Maarten"

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - With the substantial damages caused by Hurricane Irma on St. Maarten, the Dutch government has therefore reserved €550 million for St Maarten's recovery. Though a significant portion of this money is being...

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MDGs-SDGs Pilot project on Poverty Alleviation good example

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - In September 2016 the project 'Community Back Yard Gardening program St. Maarten' embarked at Spaceless Garden in St. Peters as one of the pilot projects to combine several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)...

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Les Fruits de Mer is Relaunching Amuseum Naturalis

ST. MARTIN (GRAND CASE) - After delighting over 10,000 visitors in its first two years, Amuseum Naturalis is coming back in a new location in 2018. St...

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A Record High 27.2 Million Passengers to Cruise in 2018

PORT ST. MAARTEN - Based on discussions at the recently concluded Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Port St. Maarten Management discussed the industry outlook along with the forecasting for St. Maarten specifically....

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From St. Martin to Cancún: Tourism poetry of Lasana Sekou

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Literary critic David Anuar has placed Lasana Sekou's poetry about tourism under a microscope in the new edition of the Mexican cultural journal, Tropo a la uña, a said Jacqueline Sample of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

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Owners can claim looted items at police station in April

PHILIPSBURG - Owners of goods that were stolen in de aftermath of Hurricane Irma can reclaim their property on Friday, April 6 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the police station in Philipsburg. The prosecutor's office said in a press statement that...

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714 signatures for Statia pro elections petition

ORANJESTAD - The Brighter Path Foundation is taking a grass-roots approach to spread the word about their petition for elections on Statia next year. "We are very satisfied within four weeks, collecting 714 signatures. We're aiming for thousand...

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'Need for Saba DOET next year'

THE BOTTOM - Saba, the only Dutch island without a DOET volunteer program, participated within SXM DOET on Saturday for the first time. "It is in our nature as Sabans to give a helping hand. I feel joining the DOET is a good fit for us", says Leo ...

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Statia DOET covers forty projects, but budget is limited

ORANJESTAD - "The funding for projects via 'Statia Doet' and the additional help from volunteers annually is a big help for us, because we can finally get the needed manpower of volunteers to help out", says Misha Spanner of the Simon Donker...

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Invitation Bonaire AIR RALLY 2018

23 Kralendijk (March 13th, 2018) - Tourism Corporation Bonaire and BIA would like to invite the Bonaire community for the first Air Rally event on Bonaire. This event will take place on Sunday March 18th - March 20th, 2018. This is part of the...

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Curaçao strengthens ties with Aruba and St. Maarten

WILLEMSTAD - Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath has the honor to welcome the government leaders of St. Maarten Mrs. Leona Marlin-Romero and Aruba, Mrs. Evelyn Wever-Croes here in Curaçao to conduct high-level discussions on several topics of...

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We're starting all over again. Are we going to make it?
Reminder Deadline approaching for feedback and...

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) - Interested persons, business owners, community councils/leaders, institutions and organizations, still have a few days to share their suggestions and challenges with respect to the prevention of mosquito borne diseases such...

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Election Cay Bay Community Council March 15th

CAY BAY - The Cay Bay Community Care Taker Team is extending an invitation to all residence of Cay Bay to a General Meeting where the members of the Community that postulated themselves for a position on the Community Council will be presented...

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PHILIPSBURG - Social & Health Insurances SZV has introduced several online services in 2017, including the Employer Portal where companies can submit their ZV/OV declarations digitally. Employers are obligated by law to submit and pay their ZV/OV ...

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Gibbs disappointed in financial support from France

Marigot -- Following the inter-ministerial meeting held on Monday in Paris about the reconstruction of St. Martin, President Daniel Gibbs gave several interviews to the local and national press. ... Some articles are restricted exclusively for...

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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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Country's main business group SHTA publishes Post-Irma stats

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The country's main business group, the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) has issued an Open Letter to everyone regarding post-Irma statistical analyses including various stakeholders on St. Maarten...

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Alert Raised as Activity Increases at Underwater Volcano ...

ST GEORGE'S, Grenada, Tuesday March 13, 2018 - Seismic officials have increased the alert level for underwater volcano, Kick 'em Jenny, to orange after recording increased activity. And even after activity declined on Tuesday, the alert remained.

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ECCB to Embark on Digital Currency Pilot with Bitt

BASSETERRE, St Kitts, Tuesday March 13, 2018 - The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Barbados-based fintech company, Bitt Inc. today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to conduct a FinTech pilot on blockchain technology in the ...

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PM: "Curacao has limited resources for refugees Venezuela"

WILLEMSTAD - In light of the continuing outflow of Venezuelans to neighboring countries and beyond, The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, has released new guidance for governments to address the...

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U.S. sanctions and worries of a coup erode Maduro's control

CARACAS - When military counter-intelligence officers went to Fort Tiuna in Caracas on March 2, they found the Ayala Battalion's Russian-made armored vehicles loaded with ammunition, in violation of regulations. The battalion's commander was...

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Confiscated gold costs owner in Dubai $20-30,000 per day

ORANJESTAD, WILLEMSTAD - Last Friday, an interesting case was treated in the Court of Justice in Aruba. This concerned a case related to the detention of the man who was arrested at Aruba airport with 50 kilos of gold with a value of...

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Innovative enhancements chosen for airport F&B and Duty Free

With the Curaçao Airport terminal doubling in size soon... WILLEMSTAD - As Curaçao Airport Partners moves onward and on schedule with the airport expansion project, it has already taken grand leaps towards enhancing the airport experience...

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Weather Forecast: Wednesday to Friday

DATE ISSUED: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 18:00 LST (22:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Wednesday evening (18:00 LST) March 14, 2018 ....A HIGH SURF ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR ST. MAARTEN UNTIL FRIDAY... WEATHER: Tonight through Wednesday evening: Mainly fair....

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Suspect fatal robbery arrested

WILLEMSTAD, DORDRECHT - One of the two suspects of the deadly robbery in May 2013 at the Chinese mini-market Hua Jiant on the Caracasbaaiweg in Willemstad was arrested in Dordrecht. It is a 26-year-old Curaçaoan who was the henchman of the...

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MPs approve anti-piracy measures, armed guards on ships

MPs on Tuesday approved a bill that will permit armed security guards aboard merchant vessels sailing under the Dutch flag. The shipping sector had been demanding the anti-piracy measure for more than 10 years, the Financieele Dagblad said on...

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Eight in 10 Dutch kids get pocket money and 75% have account

One third of Dutch children now get pocket money paid directly into their bank account, according to research by Wijzer in Geldzaken, a government-backed organisation which aims to help people make sense of their finances. In total, eight in 10...

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SXM Daily News - 13 Mar 2018
SXM Daily News March 13, 2018

SXM Daily News March 13, 2018

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With the high season upon us and more and more airlines are resuming flights to and from St. Maarten, we are also open to take your flight bookings to and from St. Maarten as well.
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