Sint Maarten sent a highly publicized letter dated 21 April 2020 the Central Bank (CBCS) headquarters in Curaçao calling for urgent actions in light of the economic downfall due to covid 19. After more than two weeks, the CBCS sends Sint Maarten a letter which starts with sarcastic remarks about a quote which was used in the letter of 21 April.
It then continues (5 pages long) with lectures and defensive self-veneration without addressing the concerns raised by Philipsburg. Mind you, Sint Maarten and Curaçao are together in a monetary union.
During a Kingdom Consultation in 2006 it was decided to create a monetary union between Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Not due to any economic arguments, but because The Netherlands didn’t trust Sint Maarten to have its own central bank. I was the sole member of the cabinet who objected. Have you noticed that when The Hague points the finger at us for not doing enough to bring order to our financial and economic mess, it never ever talks about our dysfunctional monetary union?
In any monetary union like the Eastern Caribbean Union which has not 2 but 8 members, policy discussions are not conducted in the media as we are doing, but through established consultation platforms where macroeconomic and monetary issues are discussed, like adults. But since 2006, we have yet to establish the structures. Even worse, we seem oblivious that we are in a monetary union. Just take a look at the Groei Strategie. How can you talk about economic growth as part of a monetary union when you don’t even acknowledge its existence in policy matters?
The above-mentioned sad exchange of letters speaks volumes about our willingness to take the monetary union seriously. We either get our act together, behave like adults or go our separate ways.
Alex David Rosaria (50) is from Curaçao and has a MBA from the University of Iowa. He is a former Member of Parliament, Minister of Economic Affairs, State Secretary of Finance and UN Implementation Officer in Africa and Central America.
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