SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Other than the Dutch wanting to know what is happening on St. Maarten, what is the purpose or necessity of a new protocol on border control with the Netherlands? MP Christophe Emmanuel on Wednesday dispatched a letter to Minister of Justice Anna Richardson asking for details of a reported new border control protocol she signed with Dutch Kingdom partners.
According to media reports the Netherlands has drawn up a joint protocol for strengthening border control together with Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten. In this protocol, it has been agreed that additional investments will be made in border control for the next seven years.
"So what were the results of the last protocol we had giving the Dutch border control as part of their demands to support St. Maarten financially in 2017? Where are the reports? What was accomplished? What was not accomplished?" MP Emmanuel asked. "Also, it media reports clearly stated that the Dutch drafted these latest plans, so without input of St. Maarten? Why was this necessary again and now for 7 years? What are these investments? More Dutch personnel on the island? How many? Who is paying?
"We are continuing with the same way of operating in this country where we let others announce to the St. Maarten people things that should be announced by St. Maarten's elected representatives first. But I suspect this was another case of this government agreeing to something in the recent agreements it signed with the Dutch, with little to say about it. But I need answers to keep the people of St. Maarten properly informed about what's happening in their country," the MP said.
He added that the Minister has yet to explain in detail to the public or provide information to Parliament. He said he hopes the Minister can devote time in short order to answer his questions, since she has not found the time to update the public.