Financial supervision only reinstated as a last resort

THE HAGUE--The financial supervision imposed on Curaçao and St. Maarten is temporary and will only be reintroduced when the proper governance of the future countries is at stake, the Dutch Government confirmed in a document to the First Chamber on Monday.

"In our opinion it is not a good idea to permanently maintain the Kingdom Law Financial Supervision Curaçao and St. Maarten. Curaçao and St. Maarten will become countries shortly and according to government, financial supervision wouldn't fit in," stated Dutch caretaker Minister of Justice, Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ernst Hirsch Ballin and State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ank Bijleveld-Schouten in their response to questions and observations of the First Chamber.

Each country is responsible for its own decent financial management and proper governance. According to Hirsch Ballin and Bijleveld-Schouten, the proposed law on financial supervision, which the Senate will handle on July 6, offers sufficient instruments to intervene if this is deemed necessary.

The Socialist Party (SP) in the First Chamber had posed several questions on financial supervision, the guarantee function in article 43 of the Kingdom Charter and the possibilities to intervene if Curaçao or St. Maarten refused to stick to measures of financial supervision, which could result in financial problems for the future countries. SP wanted to know if in the latter case the Netherlands could draft a budget for Curaçao or St. Maarten and whether it would be better to maintain financial supervision.

The Minister and State Secretary stressed that intervention by the Kingdom Government, based on articles 43, 50 and 51 of the Charter, was an "ultimate remedy" and before resorting to this severe measure, parties would first try to improve the situation through cooperation, as stated in article 36 in the Charter.

Hirsch Ballin and Bijleveld-Schouten stated that they didn't think it would be necessary to invoke article 50 and 51 to annul decisions or legislation of the involved country, or impose a General Measure of Kingdom Government (Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur).
In the "ultimate case" the Kingdom Government could give the country in question directions to adapt its budget. The financial supervision law doesn't provide further measures if that country doesn't follow the directions. But, depending on the circumstances of the concrete case, a situation could evolve as meant in articles 50 and 51, meaning that the Kingdom Government can directly intervene.

As for SP's question about possible financial problems due to budgetary mismanagement, Hirsch Ballin and Bijleveld stated that Dutch Government would keep abreast with the financial situation in Curaçao. "If the Kingdom Government comes to the conclusion that there are good reasons to reintroduce supervision, the first option remains a form of cooperation: a mutual arrangement based on article 38 of the Charter."

If that mutual cooperation didn't get off the ground because the country in question didn't want to cooperate and, in the opinion of the Kingdom Government, proper governance was at stake, and there were no other less intrusive means to reach the goal, such a legal arrangement could be organised based on article 51. But in this case too, there would be no room for structural financial supervision.

23 June 2010

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