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Editorial - Posted by on September 10, 2014

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Editorial: Government’s policy challenges and opportunities

Not an outline of the government’s agenda for the coming year, but a focus on policy challenges and opportunities. That was, by necessity, the focus of the governor’s address at the opening of the parliamentary year. This way, the address rema

Editorial - Posted by on September 9, 2014

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Editorial: Departure policy

The parliamentary year 2013-02014 closed without any fireworks, or it must be the motion departing DP-faction leader Roy Marlin tabled. That motion urges the prime minister to inform the members of her cabinet not to do anything that would encumbe

Editorial - Posted by on September 5, 2014

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Editorial: Energy policy

The National Energy Policy is a visionary document that outlines the direction the country has to go to become less dependent on fossil fuels for its energy production. Is this policy long overdue? Certainly, but it is there and it sketches the co

Editorial - Posted by on September 4, 2014

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Editorial: Partial cleanup (of shady politicians in Government)

Drama does not get much better – or worse, depending on which side you are – than it did at the Central Voting Bureau yesterday. The tight race for the seventh seat in Parliament for the UP-faction started with Maria Buncamper-Molanus holding

Editorial - Posted by on September 3, 2014

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Editorial: The nature of things

The departure of Sarah Wescot-Williams as the country’s prime minister is imminent. The DP-leader who stood so long at the head of the country’s government will get another – yet unknown – role in the new government, or maybe in parliament as

Editorial - Posted by on September 1, 2014

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Editorial: Governing program

A hangover for the party that won most of the votes and a tough job ahead for the three parties that intend to form the new government. That sums up the political developments that unfolded on Friday and that continued into the wee morning hours on S

Editorial - Posted by on August 29, 2014

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Editorial: Missed opportunity by Prosecutor’s Office

The prosecutor’s office missed a golden opportunity to save its reputation when it announced yesterday that is has appealed the verdict in the Masbangu-case. On Monday, four defendants accused of election fraud walked out of the courthouse without

Editorial - Posted by on August 29, 2014

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Editorial: Manifestos

With Election Day approaching rapidly, the electorate has to make up its mind and determine which party is the best option for the next four years. We have no rightwing, leftwing or green parties in St. Maarten and the manifestos the parties have

Editorial - Posted by on August 26, 2014

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Editorial: They’re all guilty

The court ruling in the election fraud case must be manna from heaven for politicians. No crime was committed; the favorite line of UP-candidate Maria Buncamper-Molanus might soon become the mantra of other misguided politicians. The court declare

Editorial - Posted by on August 25, 2014

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Editorial: Guns off the streets

The crackdown on illegal firearms by the police is long overdue. There is another epidemic on St. Maarten besides dengue and chikungunya: the gun virus. Thursday’s confiscation of 4 semi-automatic pistols with extended clips and a snub nosed AK 47

Editorial - Posted by on August 22, 2014

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Editorial: St. Maarten Government embracing integrity report

That the government embraces the integrity report from the Wit-committee sounds like a piece of good news. If the government supports “99.9 percent” of the recommendations it feels like there is real change in the air. The way Prime Minister W

Editorial - Posted by on August 20, 2014

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Editorial: Uphill battle (fixing St. Maarten’s integrity deficiencies)

That someone chose of all options the integrity report from the Wit-Committee as a potential weapon to damage political opponents says something about how integrity is understood in St. Maarten. From what this newspaper has been able to divine fro

Editorial - Posted by on August 19, 2014

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Editorial: Benefit of the doubt

We hope that it was not intentional that the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) didn’t officially invite both Governor Holiday and President of Parliament to their Independence Day celebration tonight with the presence of Ambassador Purushottam, be

Editorial - Posted by on August 18, 2014

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Editorial: Done nothing

Two things made us take notice in the paper today. One is the statement from the Democratic Party wanting to eliminate the turnover tax, and the other are the remarks made by former President of Parliament and National Alliance candidate Rodolphe Sam

Editorial - Posted by on August 18, 2014

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Editorial: Racist vandalism

People have vandalized public property since time immemorial and come election time it’s expected that rival and immature supporters of different political factions will attempt to deface their opponents. We don’t condone such actions, of course,

Editorial - Posted by on August 14, 2014

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Editorial: Diversification

More often than we’d like to hear, people casually throw out words like diversification or diversifying the local economy. Their point is that there is a need to ease St. Maarten’s heavy dependence on tourism as its main supply of income. But tha

Editorial - Posted by on August 13, 2014

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Editorial: Number of cruise ship passengers and supporting them

Is it good news or bad news that the (projected) number of cruise passengers could exceed the 2 million mark this year? To the casual observer this question is a no-brainer. More tourists are good for the economy, right? Well, that depends. Fir

Editorial - Posted by on August 12, 2014

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Editorial: Budget woes of Country St. Maarten

The 2015 budget follows a familiar pattern. Like in previous years, the budget will not make the deadline of September 1, when it ought to be submitted to Parliament. The deadline for submitting the draft budget to the Council of Advice and the finan

Editorial - Posted by on August 10, 2014

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Editorial: Long lease (Wheeling and dealing)

Follow the money. That is always a wise thing to do when things do not smell right. The court ruling that allows a local bank to continue with the auction of the Caravanserai Resort next week put long lease rights smack in the center of attention.

Editorial - Posted by on August 10, 2014

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Editorial: Fallout (Malaysia Airlines flight MH17) EU/US Impose Sanctions, Russia counters with Sanctions as well

How quickly the attention has faded from the disaster with the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down in the Ukraine. The fallout of this human tragedy now continues on the political stage. The European Union and the United States have imposed

Editorial - Posted by on August 7, 2014

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Editorial: Roundabouts

What exactly is the perimeter of a roundabout? Believe it or not, opinions differ on this little matter. The Democratic Party has taken the view that the campaign billboard it has erected in Belvedere near the Delta Petroleum gas station is not stand

Editorial - Posted by on August 7, 2014

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Editorial: Troubled youth

Most of the crime committed on the island is by males, specifically young males. The initiative to intervene in the lives of socially vulnerable youth is a good one, and hopefully the fruits of such an initiative will be felt. How effective the progr

Editorial - Posted by on August 5, 2014

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Editorial: Undue delay of court cases

Things are the way they are and so it is for the investigations that the National Detective Agency cranks out. Understaffing, limited resources and more urgent matters – they all play somehow against the proper administration of justice. Yesterd

Editorial - Posted by on August 3, 2014

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Editorial: Annual accounts (of subsidies to foundations)

The government does not have a good track record when it comes to subsidies – and that is being kind. The subsidy ordinance contains one simple rule: entities that request subsidies on an annual basis have to submit an annual financial report over

Editorial - Posted by on August 1, 2014

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Golden rule in assessing politicians promises: if something sounds too good to be true…

As our front page article shows, not all promises political parties make before an election become a reality. Not by a long shot. There are all kinds of reasons for this. Government fall, as we have witnessed during the now almost complete term of

Editorial - Posted by on July 31, 2014

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Editorial: Public disclosure

That former ministers have to file a declaration about their assets and finances within thirty days after leaving office seemed like a good idea. The reality is that this requirement – even though non-compliance carries a maximum prison sentence of

Editorial - Posted by on July 30, 2014

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Editorial: Beautiful present

The trouble at Caravanserai is not over yet. A third auction is scheduled, and the bank that wants to recoup its investment this way is confronted with the baffling circumstances surrounding the sale of the Dunes Casino to the Corallo-company IFPS.

Editorial - Posted by on July 29, 2014

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Editorial: Health insurance

The National Health Insurance plan has been a bit of a running gag for at least the past five years. Now the Democratic Party proposes in its election platform a phased introduction if this system. In March 2010, party-leader Wescot-Williams (then

Editorial - Posted by on July 29, 2014

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Editorial: Words into action

The recent Parlatino forum on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) is a topic with actual relevance and meaning to the social reality on St. Maarten. In light of the recent spree of armed robberies in Cole Bay and Front Street, not to mention the shoo

Editorial - Posted by on July 27, 2014

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Editorial: University of St. Martin: A step in the right direction

The University of St. Martin (USM) seems to be heading in the right direction with its current degree program arrangement with Monroe College and the Study Financing Department. For too long, USM hobbled along, crippled by both bad internal decisions

Editorial - Posted by on July 27, 2014

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Editorial: Helmin Wiels murder investigation is getting uglier by the day.

With the arrest of former MFK Minister of Finance George Jamaloodin the Wiels murder investigation in Curacao is getting uglier by the day. Two weeks ago, Carlos Monk said he is a suspect in this investigation as well. Monk was a Pueblo Soberano-mini

Editorial - Posted by on July 24, 2014

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Editorial: Hurting ourselves

The good news is that one of the suspects in a daylight robbery of a Front Street store in complete disregard and disrespect of the law and civil norms was arrested, sending a signal to other would be criminals that the police aren’t going to take

Editorial - Posted by on July 23, 2014

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Editorial: Perceptions (Criminal court cases in the works against politicians)

As our front-page article shows, the UP may have to take a lot of flack in the weeks before the elections on August 29. There is literally a barrage of criminal court cases in the works and they are all in one way or another linked to the green party

Editorial - Posted by on July 22, 2014

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Editorial: Authorities are treating political parties with kid gloves.

There are many ways to look at the general permit the Justice Ministry issued for political parties on July 8. One could argue, for instance, that the permit’s conditions do not apply to every billboard that was already in place before that date

Editorial - Posted by on July 21, 2014

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Editorial: Irony (St. Maarten elections)

It’s election time again and boy do politicians think we have a short term memory. The recent statements by the DP leader about being against “one party rule” made us do a double take. What? Is this coming from the same party that has been in p

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