Prime Minister on Emilio Wilson Estate: Parliament missed opportunity

POSTED: 03/17/14 6:46 PM

St. Maarten - Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams said during her weekly call-in radio program that Parliament missed the opportunity to have a fruitful discussion regarding the Emilio Wilson Estate. “Generally speaking, the Parliament of St. Maarten missed an opportunity to have a good discussion regarding the future of the Emilio Wilson Estate. Considering that there are politicians in Parliament you would expect some politicking; however, you would also expect some good and fundamental discussion,” Wescot-Williams said.

“If you look at the players they all in some point have been involved in the decision making process concerning the Emilio Wilson Estate.  When certain matters pertaining to the development of the land did not materialize new proposals were made. In 2013 it was decided that government purchase the land through the instrument of a bond; however, this option expired due to the late handling of the budget and for 2014 it must be clear that there is a ceiling under which government can borrow money,” the Prime Minister explained.

“It is up to government under that ceiling to decide what we can borrow money for. If the decision is finalized that the government will buy the land then government will have to make the necessary adjustment to purchase the property. The court has made clear that no matter what the changes in government are the owners of the Emilio Wilson Estate could have shown correspondence from one or more members of government that should be complied with,” the Prime Minister continued.

“When government purchases that property we need to look at creating the balance of maintaining as much of the estate in its current state and what type of development we can have that would benefit the majority of St. Maarten’s people with the least amount of damage to the estate,” Wescot-Williams said.

“We need to again focus on having sustainable development on such a valuable piece of property on St. Maarten. How can we restore the damage any development would bring along with it? I have told members of Parliament that decisions will be taken in the context of good governance for this country for which I am responsible. It is unfortunate where we have seen individual Ministers go outside of their portfolios and make decisions that affect the country disregarding the rules and laws of this land,” commented the Prime Minister.


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