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Aruba budget 2013 not yet rated positive by Dutch minister Plasterk

MONDAY, 08 JULY 2013

ARUBA – Dutch Minister of  Interior and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk (PvdA)  has emphasised that the  Kingdom Council of Ministers is yet to state its opinion  on the stability of the finances  of the Aruban government.  The permission given to negotiate loans abroad has  nothing to do with the financial situation in the country,  he told the Second Chamber  of Parliament in The Netherlands.

“Aruba itself will contract the  loan abroad and we will only  examine if that loan could  embarrass the Kingdom by  getting it from a dubious regime, or if it affects foreign  policy,” said Plasterk. “I read  in the Antillean press that by  approving this loan we gave  our opinion on the finances  of the Aruban government,  but that is not the case.”  The press release that the  Government of Aruba issued after the decision of  the Kingdom Council of  Ministers created a different  impression. “It’s good to see  that the people in The Netherlands have confidence in  the economic, social and especially financial stability of  Aruba,” Minister of Finance  Mike de Meza (AVP) had  written.

However, Plasterk emphasised that the stability of the  finances of the Aruban government won’t be tested until  the moment that Aruba issues  a debenture stock (bond loan)  and The Netherlands subscribes to such. At that moment, strict criteria will apply, said the Dutch minister.  Second Chamber member André Bosman (VVD) queried the state of affairs. “So  Aruba has been given the  chance to contract a loan via  The Netherlands at a very low  interest but didn’t seize this  opportunity. Did Aruba think it couldn’t meet the criteria and therefore decided to contract a loan elsewhere?”  Plasterk replied that the Government of Aruba can  only make use of the agreements with The Netherlands  if it regards refinancing of the  national debt, but not with  other loans.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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