King praises St. Maarten’s progress

POSTED: 11/15/13 2:49 PM

St. Maarten – In a speech Willem-Alexander delivered on the spur of the moment in the Festival Village on Wednesday evening during a cultural evening with performances by students from the National Institute of Arts, the king had nothing but praise for the progress the country has made during the past couple of years, Jean Mentens reported on Caribisch Netwerk.

First the king brought up that he remembered the island from his first visit in 1987. Next he said that it had struck him how much progress the island had made since he visited Sint Maarten previously together with his mother Queen (now Princess) Beatrix.

Willem-Alexander said that he was impressed by the improvements. “Let us emphasize the things that went well and not just the things that did not happen, he said, adding that he is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation within the Kingdom.

The king’s statements contrast sharply with a statement Prime Minister Mark Rutte made when he visited the island in July, saying that as far as he is concerned the independence of Sint Maarten can be arranged with a simple phone call. During the past couple of months there was also a torrent of question in the Dutch Parliament about matters concerning Sint Maarten. The Kingdom Council of Ministers ordered the governor to start an investigation into the integrity of the public administration – a decision vehemently opposed by the government that has in the meantime put together a team of its own to do an integrity probe.

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