Saturday , March 2 2024

Commissioners discuss continued cooperation with Statia

The Daily Herald writes that Commissioners Chris Johnson and Bruce Zagers of Saba held a summit with their political counterparts of St. Eustatius, Commissioners Reginald Zaandam and Carlyle Tearr in St. Maarten last week Friday, August 2. Also in attendance were Island Secretaries Menno van der Velde of Saba and Jan Helmond of Statia. The meeting was a prelude to the upcoming Caribbean Netherlands week, which will be held in October, and also about continued cooperation between Saba and Statia.

The primary topic of discussion was the 2015 evaluation of the constitutional transition, commonly referred to as 10-10-10. Both islands agreed that the islands must play an integral role in the evaluation process. Starting point is the decision made between the Netherlands and Bonaire, Saba and Statia in January 2008, regarding the “Four Pillars,” which reads: “The premise is that standards be established to ensure that the areas of education, healthcare, social affairs on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba are on an acceptable level to that of the Netherlands.” The Commissioners con- page on this issue and look curred further that the anchoring of the new constitutional status should not take place before the 2015 evaluation. The islands also agreed that issues such as the tax structure and the division of tasks must be included in the evaluation process, along with other relevant topics.

Also tabled for discussion was the impending withdrawal of the two islands from NV GEBE, with the transferring of shares currently in progress, as Saba and Statia establish their own respective electric companies. Commissioners of Energy Johnson and Zaandam stated they are on the same page on this issue and look forward to working together on this project.

Since the constitutional transition, both islands have seen an increase in the cost of living. In an effort to curtail the growing cost of everyday living, experienced by the islands’ inhabitants, the Commissioners shared ideas on the future implementation of effective price control. As a follow-up to this meeting, the Commissioners of Saba and Statia are to meet with their political counterparts of Bonaire early September

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