Opinion: Daylight robbery

POSTED: 07/12/12 11:57 AM

Last week independent MP Frans Richardson said that he is not in favor of a merger between TelEm and UTS given the way Curacao has dealt with the assets of the post office: the government in Willemstad simply robbed all the assets that were on our island and disappeared with them.
Now there is a similar case of daylight robbery underway at telecom provider UTS. The Schotte-government claims that the assets Curacao telecom brought into the UTS public limited liability company are of a higher value than those of the former Landsradio. A quick calculation must have brought smiles on the face of Curacao’s embattled Finance Minister George Jamaloodin: the excess value is 11.7 million guilders and Curacao wants to take that money out of the company as part of desperate attempts to fix its budget.
Not so fast, Finance Minister Roland Tuitt said yesterday. St. Maarten is a shareholder in UTS and Curacao should not extract money from it without consultation. And by the way, who calculated this so-called surplus value to Curacao’s benefit?
To make things a bit more interesting UTS must borrow money to be able to pay Curacao its 11.7 million. The Board of financial supervision (Cft) strongly disagrees with the plan the Schotte-government cooked up, while Minister Tuitt, a certified professional accountant, said yesterday that he had never in his life heard of a company that paid out surplus value to its shareholders.
Schotte has a pleasant Friday (the thirteenth) ahead of him at a meeting with the Kingdom Council of Ministers in the Hague, where our Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams will be present as well.
The question is: who will stop Curacao from robbing UTS?

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