Governor General highlights challenges facing Curaçao at opening of new parliamentary year.
SER remains committed to multidisciplinary, data-driven solutions
WILLEMSTAD, September 13, 2023 – Her Excellency the Governor General of Curaçao Mrs. L.A. George-Wout opened the new parliamentary year 2023-2024 on Tuesday, Sept. 12, with a comprehensive overview of the key challenges facing Curaçao. These challenges will have profound implications for the national budget and require a bold, data-driven approach.
The socioeconomic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic
The Governor General emphasized in her speech that, analogous to the global situation, Curaçao is still experiencing the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant liquidity support from the Netherlands has provided some financial relief. However, this support introduces complex questions around both short-term relief and long-term dependence.
Financial instability at insurance company ENNIA
Specific attention was given to the precarious situation at ENNIA, one of the largest insurance companies in the Dutch Caribbean. Due to financial irregularities, an Emergency Regulation, instituted by the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten (CBCS), has been in effect since July 2018. This situation compromises the pension obligations of 25,000 policyholders and risks serious consequences for the monetary union between Curaçao and St. Maarten.
Continuity of Care at Curaçao Medical Center (CMC).
The Governor also stressed the vital importance of a reliable health care system. An outline agreement was reached between the government and the management of the Curaçao Medical Center (CMC) to ensure continuity of care, an agreement with direct implications for both public health and the national budget.
Budget 2024: A Flexible Framework
The Governor General called for the 2024 budget to be treated as a flexible framework. “This framework should be adaptable based on the results from the negotiations with the Netherlands and outcomes of ongoing studies at the CMC.”
The Social and Economic Council (SER) underlines the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to effectively address these challenges. In keeping with our mission, we will continue to provide thorough, data-driven advice to the government and the parliament of Curaçao, with the ambition of contributing to a more stable and prosperous future for the island.