photo: Hilbert Haar

PHILIPSBURG – State Secretary Raymond Knops will help St. Maarten to find a solution to the problems with the landfill. Last week, fires at the dump caused major problems in Philipsburg.

The discussion about an incineration plant – that also has to generate electricity for the island – has been going on for many years, but there is no solution yet.

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By Laura Bijnsdorp

Knops welcomed the suggestion of interim Prime Minister Leona Marlin-Romeo to seek cooperation with the French side of the island. “I think that’s necessary, considering the scale of the island. It will be a historic moment if we can solve this for St. Maarten”, according to Knops.

Help after Hurricane Irma
Knops was in Brussels last week to talk about European aid after the devastating hurricane Irma in September. Marlin-Romeo will soon travel to Brussels with the same goal. The state secretary is on St. Maarten to discuss the reconstruction. He was on St. Eustatius on Wednesday to speak to the people about the recent Dutch intervention on that island.

The State Secretary also said that it is not the intention to finance a large part of the new hospital from the 550 million euro reconstruction fund. Minister Emil Lee (Public Health) lobbiet for a long time for a Dutch extra contribution of 25 million dollars.

Business plan
This year, the construction of a new hospital will commence, which will have to become hurricane proof and can fulfill a regional function for neighboring islands. “There must be a good business plan. The Netherlands is willing to help, but the initiative must come from St. Maarten, “said Knops.

There will be elections at Sint Maarten next month. Knops calls for ‘fair elections that will benefit the people of Sint-Maarten’:

By Laura Bijnsdorp