EnglishLocal/Aruba

Who comes with the law? Small opposition filed motion urging government to accept RAft

Small Opposition Filed Motion Urging Government To Accept Raft.2

During the second round of the treatment of the Raft law (Rijkswet Aruba FinancieelToezicht), the Aruba Parliament was presented with a motion from the side of the Accion21 faction, MAS and independent parliamentarian Mr. Santos Do Nascimento.

Notably, the independent parliamentarian Ms. Gerlien Croes took the flip-flop like pose. On 22 August 2023 during the first round, she supported the first motion to agree to a Kingdom Law (Rijkswet) and two weeks later on 7 September 2023, she did not sign the second version of the motion but at the end of the night voted pro-choice. This is clearly an indecisive position.

Consequently, the Raft was abandoned.

The Consensus “Rijkswet’ Aruba “Financial supervision” (Raft) has had several negative consequences, including: On 10 March 2021 the Royal Council of State gave an advisory opinion on the Raft proposal, whereby the Parliament of Aruba expects the Netherlands to give the necessary attention to the various points of concern that have been raised. To this day, the Dutch do not seem to have taken these points into account. On 10 March 2021, the Aruba Council of Advisers issued an advisory opinion on the Raft proposal, recommending that the government of Aruba pay the necessary attention to certain points that are important when reaching agreements with the government of the Netherlands regarding the Raft. On April 29, 2022, the Parliament of Aruba dealt with the Raft in a closed meeting. Many were concerned that the RAFT would undermine Aruba’s parliament, because by the time you accept this RAFT, it will be the House of Representatives and the Dutch people who will decide the life and future of Aruba. And so the Parliament of Aruba can no longer make use of its budget right.

Raft inequality

In contrast to our sister islands Curaçao and Sint Maarten, when they accepted the RFT in 2010, they received a “ijtschelding” of their national debt. In addition to the same kind of taxation that the Netherlands imposes on Aruba, the Netherlands does not want to talk about “kwijtschelding”; in fact, without giving a good reason.

In contrast, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are always financed through the Netherlands, receive a 3% interest from their government revenues. So for Aruba, it would be 3.2% if we accept the Raft. If you don’t accept it, you will have to pay between 6% and 8%. Is this a real help that the Netherlands wants to give to Aruba?

The Netherlands requires Aruba to have a surplus in its budget and whatever surplus is found must be paid to pay off the debt. But compared to Curaçao and Sint Maarten, they only need to have a balanced budget to be able to borrow from the Netherlands. The Raft that the Netherlands wants to impose is based on only 15% of Aruba’s national debt, whereas 85% of our debt is to international banks and for 37 years they have never demanded a payment arrangement of this kind.

The reality of an RFT!

Based on the advice of the “Evaluatie commissie 2021” (RFT evaluation for the years 2018-2020). Here we can point out that in Curaçao and Sint Maarten, at the moment the financial supervision that is implemented on these two islands, has undesirable effects on the long-term socio-economic development. The General Accounting Office of Curaçao released its report on August 29, which shows how devastating the economic situation in Curaçao is.

In conclusion, given the content of the Raft that the Netherlands is imposing on Aruba, it is not possible to agree with this bill as it is presented at the moment. That’s why MEPs, RAIZ and AVP with a total of 16 votes in favour passed the motion urging the government to continue negotiations with the Netherlands!

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