WILLEMSTAD, Curacao -- Efforts to formulate a balanced division of the properties and debts of the former Netherlands Antilles are entering their final stage. Faroe Metry, who is the chairman of the committee for the division of properties and debts, believes that in two months it will be ready to present its findings.
“We are still waiting on the reports of the government’s accountants bureau (SOAB) and the KPMG for the final balance,” Metry said. As was previously announced, the committee has worked on various provisional balances and had to make adjustments as the work progressed.
“It was a long and arduous work and a very difficult process,” Metry said.
Once the process is finished and the final reports are on the table, the committee will inform the ministers of finance of Curacao and St Maarten and the Dutch minister of kingdom relations about their final proposal for a formula to divide the properties and debts of the Netherlands Antilles between Curacao, St Maarten and the BES Islands (Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba).
The three ministers have the final say in the process. Metry indicated that they had a hard time explaining to the Netherlands that it was not correct for them to expropriate the Saba Bank Resources Inc. This company was initiated in the early 1980s for the exploitation of oil in Saba territorial waters (Saba Bank). And this company must be part of the division of properties.
“Maybe it was an unnecessary effort because probably there are no natural resources in the plateau known as Saba Bank. But maybe with the new technology and some luck, the company will be able to find oil in the area and, if this is true, than all the islands, which were part of the Netherlands Antilles should participate in this wealth,” Metry said.
The Netherlands Antilles was an autonomous Caribbean country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands before being dissolved on 10 October 2010, reconstituting Curacao and St Maarten as new constituent countries and the BES Islands as special municipalities within the Netherlands.
Republished with permission of the Curacao Chronicle