DP unhappy with criticism on cooperation with French St. Martin

POSTED: 07/27/14 10:59 PM

St. Maarten– Democratic Party-leader Sarah Wescot-Williams has reacted disappointed to  a report parliamentarian Daniel Gibbs submitted to the French senate that claims that Dutch St. Maarten is not interested in working together with the French side.

Wescot-Williams called the report unfortunate. “It seems to suggest that things are not going well and that this is all the fault of the Dutch side. That does not do us justice.”

Wescot-Williams said that the police and the gendarmerie are working together, as are the offices of the public prosecutors. There is also exchange of information about detainees and cooperation between the immigration departments. “I did not appreciate the gist of this report and I will discuss this with my French counterpart,” Wescot-Williams said with a reference to Aline Hanson, President of the Collectivité d’Outre Mer de Saint Martin.

Public Health Minister Cornelius de Weever – number two on the DP-list for the August 29 elections – added other examples of cooperation, like the water connection between the two sides of the island in Oyster Pond, the joint chikungunya campaign, the plans for a joint sewage plant and the cooperation between the Dutch- and French-side hospitals.

Michael Ferrier, former president and now public relations officer of the DP, looked at the cooperation from an economic point of view. “If the development of the economy on the French side and the Dutch side is not on equal footing, this will result in crime. It is for us important that the economic position of the French side improves dramatically.”

Ferrier said that the two sides of the island are not in competition with each other. “It is important for us to support the development of the waterfront in Marigot. We have to complement each other, not compete.”

Ferrier added that it is time for France to realize that Saint Martin is unique, that all hands need to be on deck in Paris, The Hague, Marigot and Philipsburg and that the French side needs to dollarize. “Some may think that it is to the benefit of the Dutch side if companies on the French side go out of business, but that way we’ll all go down the drain.”

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