PHILLIPSBURG – The two minutes of silence at 09:06 to commemorate the passing of hurricane Irma one year ago, passed without much fanfare on the island. It seemed like people didn’t have time for it.
By Tim van Dijk (Dutch, and English spoken)
Some companies, schools, and other institutions such as the Algemeen Pensioenfonds Sint Maarten, and the Representation of the Netherlands organized their own memorials.
Noticeably absent on this day was the Prime Minister, Leona Marlin-Romeo, who is abroad. This while the government appealed to citizens a few weeks back to remember hurricane Irma.
Gambling Prime Minister
Her absence parallels the stunt pulled by her predecessor, William Marlin. As the sitting Prime Minister when Irma ravaged the island, he flew to Miami two days after the hurricane to support family members undergoing surgery. However he flew to Las Vegas afterwards to go gamble amongst other things. This all happened when Sint Maarten was in chaos because the government did not prepare properly for the aftermath of the hurricane.
On the afternoon of the National Day of Reflection, it became clear that a minister had been arrested. He was drunk, and hit a bus on the L.B. Scot Road according to the police. The minister in question, Miklos Giterson, is the Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure. The accident which left several people with minor injuries, happened at 05:45 in the morning just a few hours before the moment of silence.