photo: Elisa Koek

ORANJESTAD – Leading lawyers, accountants, engineers, IT’ers and other specialists on St. Eustatius will team up in a private assembly this Wednesday to put together a development plan for the island over the coming year. The Netherlands has been informed of this initiative and has been invited to participate.

Finance Commissioner Charles Woodley wants to host a meeting with the Netherlands in the week of March 22, to deliberate the future of the island based on a multidisciplinary, long term plan with focus on ending the impasse with the Netherlands.

“It is about enabling Statians to take the development of their island into their own hands,” said Woodley. “The multiannual plan of BZK (Foreign Affairs and Kingdom Relations) has been setback with procedural matters and offers no prospect in funding the development plan for St. Eustatius.”

By the end of March economic development of the island needs to be outlined on a short and long term. Moreover the island’s infrastructure has to be addressed, the manner in which financial assistance should be distributed and means in which the island can support itself. Already St. Eustatius will receive its share from the Development Bank of the Netherlands (OBNA).