and here they are:
the Clowns
maybe not so funny

Curaçao Island

the 2023 Curaçao political circus

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Welcome Back!

Don't forget to adjust your bookmark: 2024

Somebody's gotta be angry or nothing gets fixed.
Carl Hiaasen, Sick Puppy, p 457

"Hanlon's razor"
A rule of thumb that states: "never attribute to malice
what is adequately explained by stupidity."

"Hear Hear"
Companies do not want to be where the price of energy is expensive.
Princeton Physicist dr. Will Happer

"Old, Still Gold"
One of the advantages of being [a voter] was that you were never able to worry about anything long, because just after you started buckling down to it,
something even worse was sure to happen and you had to switch off and begin worrying about that.
P.G. Wodehouse—Laughing Gas

PipeLine Dream
Every so often there's talk of a pipe line to transport LNG so the Isla refinery will have cleaner fuel. If Isla will ever need any fuel anymore, but that's another question. Anyway, now the idea pops up again. It's not even known from where to where it's supposed to run.

Oho, That's It
Those guys who had to be saved from the waves? They were arrested right away, suspected of drug smuggling.

MAN's Cleopa thinks the driving around of cars without proper documents has to stop. Is what we all have felt for years. He thinks the introduction of new license plates is a good opportunity to start efficient controls. Don't make me laugh, Cleopa. We've had license plates for longer than I've lived and it's just growing worse. Cleopa also blames foreigners who drive around here without minding our traffic rules.

After strong letters from Monumentenraad [monument council] and others, Mudbelly Cooper admits that there may be some value in Willemstad being on the World Heritage list, although the monetary value is hard to estimate, he adds. In itself, true enough.
But mark: he continues by saying that a city has its own dynamics and decisions will be taken that are not appreciated by everybody. "And finally the administrator decides"—in other words, who's Boss here? Shades of PM Prick Pias and other Bullies.

Thirty-Four More
Illegal Venezuelans trying to reach Curaçao. Eventually, after being picked up they succeeded and were handed over there to the CPK police corps.

That's a Lot
Marine/Dutch Navy intercepted 8000 keys of coke and 4000 of marihuana this year. The old rule of fist says, 10 times those numbers came in.
In Dutch Zwolle, seven members of a cocaine smuggling gang were convicted for smuggling "hundreds of keys" of coke. From Willemstad.

What Else, New
SER social-economic council has very little good words for Silly Bully's LOK gambling-enabling proposal. Join the growing club, SER! Almost nobody thinks that thing is worth the paper it's written on.
But I bet it will be accepted anyway.

Suicide Traffic
28% of cars involved in an accident have no insurance. Even worse, much worse, than last year's 16% which was bad enough. Too bad.
The flatfoots say 67% of all fines are for no proper papers; but that's only 500 fines over the year.

Not Saying, Just Thinking
Some [fill the word that occurs to you—I'm holding back] guy who was rescued from the sea a few days ago was in trouble at the same spot again. On the North Coast, known for its heavy wave action. I'm almost sorry to say he got saved again.
This time, he was accompanied by two other guys; rescue operations would be continued when daylight breaks.

Happy Now?
AOV welfare pensioners who have no other source of income from now on will get 130 guilders/month extra. But it only applies to those who at 60 years age opted for going to the pension anyway, instead of waiting until for the new 65 age.

Game Over; But Wait
Let's hope so. The following is a boiled-down version of an article by our national resource Marguérite Nahar in KKN. The Dutch High Court, the highest justice court in the Kingdom, has declared that 1/ sublicenses of gambling permits is illegal; 2/ master licenses combined with sub-licensing form a money laundering route; and 3/ can be qualified as a large-scale tax fraud when no taxes are paid. Which is the end of the road of minister Silly Bully's LOK law, now in parliament.
On the other hand, it also means that the same minister will be able, and in my opinion will be obliged to, start collecting the master licensees' unpaid taxes, plus fines for neglecting to declare profit tax over the past 26 years; plus additional income tax assessments for share holders.
Nahar ends by expressing her expectation that Silly Bully will not fail to make use of this opportunity to fatten the country's coffers.
Alas, I'm not so sure.

The Surinamese high court has postponed Bouterse's jail time for 8 days, so his lawyer can submit a grace request. It's the country's president who decides on granting or refusing it. (He's expected to follow the judge's advise.)

Trouble Brewing
Clean Air Curaçao Everywhere has written a letter to PM Pisas, expressing worries about the announced plans to start an asphalt factory on the Isla refinery premises. Isla's present nuisance permit allows much higher pollution levels than granted by court verdicts.
Clean Air also points out that the website luchtmetingencuracao.org has not been udpdated since June 2023.
If these requirements are not granted, Clean Air announces further judicial steps, including imposing penalty payments.

Minimum Wages
January 1 these will go up from 10.70 to 11.28 guilders per hour, because price index this year has gone up with 5.4%.
This doesn't seem to apply to the no-good wastrels old folks, who are still stuck with their 2013-level AOW.

Just Bad
No surprise at all. The new LOK law is terrible, and KKN has a good review of it. Here are some highlights:
For starters, minister Sylvania has never bothered to comment on the fact that all gambling permits since 2008 are in fact illegal. It's impossible to control all those gambling sites. Silly Vain talks about 400 licenses, but there are 15-20,000 gambling sites. If a compliance officer controls 4 sites, you'd need 3000 of them. Which is totally unrealistic. Money laundering should be a main concern, but it's extremely doubtful if that will be adequately impugned.
Finally, the 20 million a year that the country will receive as a result is nothing but a disgrace.

Oh, Go Ahead
Some people care, I don't one way or the other. Now it's attorney-general Snijders who advises the high court that nothing would stop same-gender marriages. Both Aruba and Curaçao have protested the local court's decision amounting to the same conclusion.
Interestingly, our Staatsinrichting/constitution empowers the judges to a constitutional assessment, which in this case would mean that, as discrimination of individuals is forbidden, not permitting homosexual marriages can't be tolerated.
Get it over with, please? What a waste of effort.

Well, What?
A scientific research project into the use of Papiamento in education, done by Nijmegen Radboud University and University of Curaçao, concludes that it works just as well to start teaching local kids in Papiamento as in Dutch. But the Like group thinks different. They doubt the conclusions and further point at the limited availability of teaching materials in Papiamentu.
These discussions have been going on forever. If you want my personal unscientific view, since the switch from Dutch to Papiamento the level of education obviously has gone down, down and down. If those facts are related is not for me to say.

Good to Know
The High Court has decided that illegal gambling institutes may be called illegal. Cyberluck and others went to court to fight Knipselkrant's use of the term.
If the use of "mafiosi" like I'm wont to do is permitted as well" I guess not. So sue me, already. I won't fight it.

Oh Wait, Here
In case you care, and who wouldn't, the new energy prices are (all in guilders): gasoline 1.94/liter, diesel 1.88, cooking gas the same, 16/20lbs, 60/40lbs (don't ask), electricity (min) 0.6589/kW, water 8.748/m3.

WinAir has paid off all debts to Holland, from where they received loans connected with the Covid-pandemic. Winair did even better than Holland demanded.
See? It is possible to run an airline here... as long as you keep within the modest ;possibilities.

Pillar of Economy
That's how Silly Bully calls the online gambling mafia, for wich "his" (in reality, their) LOK law has finally been introduced in parliament. A pretty weak pillar: Silly brags that it will bring in 20 million/year for the government.
At the same time, Holland introduces plans for stricter rules for online gambling enabglers.

X-Mas Miracle
Fuel, diesel, electricity, and water rates will decrease as from December 28. By how much, I couldn't say. Nor about cooking gas.

Guess So
PAR party has some remarks on the proposed 2024 budget. To mention some, PAR wonders if the 50 million budget for MOP [multi-year maintenance program] infrastructure is all meant for roads, public lighting, sewage; as if other Traffic and Transport posts do not need any money. Like Maritime Authority MAC, Civil Aviation CBA, and MDC Meteo.
Par also criticizes the way income is rounded off down and expenses up. which is not realistic.
In more ways than what PAR seems to mean, I have to add.

Just So
As was only to be expected, SMOC's Peter van Leeuwen has a few things to say on the PdVSA-Isla oil deal.
Firstly, van Leeuwen wonders how a refinery with a capacity of over 200,000 barrels/day can possibly pay for 10% of the national budget, as PM Prick claims, by processing a mere 1,600 bpd. Secondly, even with the use of LNG as fuel the heavy sulfur-rich Venezuelan oil can be expected to exceed the present legally permitted standards.

Desi Bouterse has been found guilty, by the highest court there is in Suriname. He'll now have to go to jail for 20 years (but may enjoy his company in there).
Let's see if the good Suriname people start rioting; or maybe not.

You call that a solution? Ennia is saved, after all. By the country, paying out 30 million a year and CBCS central bank another 15 million in a "resolution fund". Which will go on for 30 years.
If Ennia owns you a pension, let's hope this works for you. We all will pay for it.

Trouble Brewing
Today, Suriname's ex-president Desi Bouterse and four of his goons may be sentenced to 20 years in the hoosegow. Because of the ~1980 "October murders" when after Bouterse's coup 15 of his prominent opponents were arrested, tortured in Fort Zeelandia and finally murdered.
Now the police warns to be on the lookout for riots on Wednesday and following days.
What can you do with a people that reacts that way?

We Lose, PdVSA Wins
A $1 billion claim by, to keep it simple, Isla refinery has been settled by PdVSA for $450 million. To be payable over ten years in crude oil, which may well be sanctioned by the USA and probably impossible to refine here in the first place.
Rumors are rife, what else, that some guys who I wisely leave unnamed have made a killing on that fishy deal.

No Pix (Please)
After an accident by the infamous bridge, where a car which must have driving recklessly fast hit a parked police car and/which (not clear) ended up on top of another car (would I lie to you?), somebody who was taking videos of the sorry results was maltreated by a 22-year old youth.
No details on who, how and why about that hothead.

Only My Guess
"No Way!" But I may be wrong, once again. This is a Jan Huurman idea expressed in an Amigoe article: move the responsibility for CMC new hospital to Holland; just like foreign affairs, coast guard and jurisdiction, he adds. It certainly would mean that our problem here: "how to pay for this pink elephant?" has been solved.
On the other hand, why should the Dutch tax payer have to cover the thievery by our BLeeders?
The best solution seems, a Kingdom guardianship for the island and get all that sho*t over with. Are you there, PVV? EEEK!

Power Struggle
Since a few weeks or so, a Water Taxi has started its service. It will take you to the beach or for a trip. Now ministers Cijntje and Mudbelly are in the clinch because it's supposed to have, or have not (where did I read that expression before?) the proper permits. Cijntje says they do, Mudbelly says they don't.
The entrepreneur says Mudbelly is [censored] because the taxi doesn't even enter the harbor, which Mudbelly says is prohibited. So?

You Don't Say
There's high corruption, "relatively" in the Caribbean Netherlands, "such as the improper issuance of permits, overlooking violations, and sharing insider information during tendering processes."
A good thing this is about the BES-islands, not us here. Or?

Something strange going on here. Hard to upload new items. Must be Flow, what/who else? All my computers have the same problem, so...

Ho Boy!
JetAir is planning flights to Venezuela. Again. Some people never learn their lesson: remember how that reputedly caused InsulAir to go down the drain? Among other factors, to be sure. Planned are 2 weekly flights to Barquisimeto, Valencia and Las Piedras. Routes to Aruba and Bonaire will be added as well.

Better Fuel
The stuff has arrived! Only, it will take 2 months to get 100% better Mogas in your tank, and even longer (4 months) for Diesel.

Over. For Now
Presidents of Guyana and Venezuela shook each other's hand after palavering for two hours in St. Vincent. They agree they didn't want a war; only could not agree which international law institute carried weight here. Next meeting in Brazil, 3 months from now.

Jesus Freaks on the Loose
A group of men dressed in purple calling themselves 'Israel United in Christ', arriving with a cruise ship, "moved mainly through the city center with specific expressions." Makes you curious as to what those were. To prevent panic, the police requested them to break up into smaller groups. They did have a permit.

So Who Pays?
Repairing education will cost 360 million guilders, spread over 5 years. 60 million of that will come from taxes. It's not clear to me where the rest will come from.

0.54 Million?
€uros, that is. Or 1.06 million guilders per bus, is what Oslo paid for their Electric Buses. Now they have broken down, as the batteries couldn't stand the cold.
At least that won't happen so soon here. But now at least we have an idea of what it may cost us. Not counting the solar panels and chargers, I guess. We also read that soon, 5 new buses (regular Diesel) will be bought, total 2 million guilders. That's 400,000/each, not even half that price for EV buses. Which are 2.5 times as expensive.

So Much for That
The announced 2022 Curaçao economy growth of 7.9% went down to 4.1% this year. But take heart: in 2024 it will be 4.4%! At least, that's the prediction. Would mean the economy will be back at the pre-Covid 2019 level. On the other hand, future growth is estimated at 1.7%. Not so good.
And besides, 2019 was not so great either, in the first place. We are still the poorest island of the Dutch Caribbean. Used to be the richest by far. Oh, sweet memories.

The new "ultra-right populist" Argentina president has paused all public works. Among other things where corruption flowers.

Full Steam
The Big Oilers don't seem very impressed by Venezuela president Maduro's saber-rattling threats he will occupy part of Guyana. They go ahead "aggressively" with their development plans. Good.

There You Have It
Terrorist danger level in the Netherlands is now called "significant". But Wilders's PVV party, that won the elections by a landslide, is still called ultra-rightist and xenophobic. By the Losers, of course.

A Profit?!
Yes, Aqulectra utility made a profit. Howzat possible? 19.6 million guilders.

On the Amster Dam, at some sort of official occasion, the Curaçao flag was hung upside down.
The occasion was the South Korean's president visit. Between you and me, he can't possibly have noticed.

Don't Make Me Larff
Barbados wants $4.9 trillion in slave reparations. That's even more than, at least as the Boston-based Brattle Group (Hoo Hee?) figures, the Netherlands owe in total: $4.86 trillion. As Barbados presently has 303,431 inhabitants (est.), that works out at 16,150/head; more than a year's average income. Hardly "Then we never have to work anymore."
But don't worry, the heads will never get it. Only the Heads.
If and when.
With an average family size of 2.85, every family would, or would probably not, get 3 yearly incomes. If there are 2 workers, half that.

Sic 'Em, Cijntje
Ex-PS™ and ex-MP Cijntje says it's a waste to start a parliamentary survey into CMC new hospital. The guilty parties are already well known, and he points to ex-PMs Arsjes and Whiteman;both also PS™ members. They caused the building cost of the hospital to go up from 400 million to 600 million guilders.
Cijntje was a PS™ member until Whiteman became PM, when he left.

'Splain, Please
CFT financial supervision poses several nasty questions on the government's buying Super Bordello Campo Alegre. In the first place, CFT wonders about the lack of other bidders. Then, how does the government see the acquirement as a secure and low-risk investment? It's what people in the streets mainly ask themselves, as well.

Tip or No Tip
That's the question. Discussions have restarted. Must a 12% service charge be included in the total? CHATA tourism club is against: employment opportunities and service level will go down. In a nutshell, my translation, CHATA doesn't want to pay personnel more.
In several countries I've visited, and not backward ones either, tipping is out of the question. By a coincidence (you think?) those are the same countries where service mostly is excellent. Personnel just get decent wages and that's that.

Sounds Right
Hato customs say it's not their fault passengers have to wait so long before they can finally leave the airport: it's bad infrastructure.
Passengers are forced to exit via a tax-free shop. Really. Good for business, I guess, which is all that counts. Customs worry about what will happen when a fire'd break out.

Color Me Skeptical
Curaçao government has signed an agreement to have a totally fossil-free energy supply in 2045. What they will do with the refinery is anybody's guess; also theirs I presume. But who cares? It sounds good and won't do a thing.
At any rate, that's ten years later than what we keep hearing elsewhere.

Oh, Don't Worry
It's up the international justice courts to say if Venezuela has a right to steal the largest part of Guyana, or not. So PM Pisas tells us.
Sure, thanks. We're totally reassured now.
By a coincidence? Eric de Brabander just introduced his new book on Urbina's 1929 coup. De Brabander pointed out there are many more Venezolanos on the island now (though I wouldn't know about percentages).

Drunk & Driving
Last year, there were "only" 35 traffic accidents onvolving a drunk driver; this year, we've alreadty reached 52—and the heavy weeks are still coming.

For Him, OK
Finance minister Silly Vain Bully is much too busy enabling the gambling mafia, scolding the medics and condoning taxes for some (surely I left something out) to be bothered with submitting reports on his own actions within the legal term.

Oh, That Will Be Fun
Not so much, really. The USA and UK have already taken up a standpoint in the threatening Guyana-Venezuela conflict (we can for now only guess which standpoint). If this ends up as a war, watch out. Party MAN wants the Pisas government to express its opinion, and also insists on a parliament meeting.
Especially the relationship of Oryx with Qatar, Iran, China, Venezuela, Gaza and Hezbollah bears careful watching, which we can't be convinced that our government and Isla RdK are able of or willing to.

Talking Back
CMC hospital's director Martina finally opens his mouth. "If nobody dares to say so and keeps accepting this minister's behavior - behavior that's not a bit wrong, but very much wrong - I do say so and I will keep on doing it." About finance minister Silly Bully, who 's peed off because he wasn't invited to an internal personnel meeting. He was actually invited by a co-roeker, but the invitation was withdrawn.
Martina quotes minister Sylvania: "I'm starting a war to the death with you if you don't do as I say."

Tell Us about It
"Corruption is our culture"; no, that's not exactly how it was said in a CBCS central bank seminar. The exact phrase used was "Corruption is culture-bound." Speaker Schotborgh pointed out several ways to fight this, among which implementing strict anti-corruption laws.
Dream on, with our leaders in charge.

Double Down
The cops also warn they'll control alcohol use of drivers this month, and warn them.
Better warn us for drunk drivers who'll escape the control.

I'm Curious, Help!
Oh how I hope to make it until 2035 and see what comes true, or rather, not of all those insane plans to limit global warming. Like EVs... more and more wind and solar power (as if)...
Not to mention the crazy anti-semitic movement raising it's repugnant head; just like the Nazis were not stamped them out in WWII.
Oh, it's now called ZEV —Zero Emissions Vehicle you have to guess. Those names keep 'a-changing.

But Traffic, Not So Much
The flatties will show extra vigilance during this month, to avoid crime. Like guns, drug sales and other illegal activities.
Burglaries. thefts and atrakos will be attended to as well. Shop owners are advised not to have too much money in their cash box. Throw those cash clients out! Only plastic is accepted here.
Not a word about traffic, except warnings that "fevering" is dangerous and a steering-wheel lock is advisable against theft.

A Ferry on Its Way!
This one's supposed to connect Curaçao with Coro, Venezuela. Supposed to be run by Caribbean Fast Ferry, and starting May next year.
I can only find the Baleara Caribbean Fast Ferry, which connects the USA with the Bahamas. So...?

Black Oil Mess
It seems that Count Energy after all has been able to pay for the Bullenbaai terminal oil; at least, "the money is on its way." Only, Count Energy is not Surinamese but from Rotterdam. The company is now responsible for further rent and transport away from Bullenbaai.
In 2019, the same company claimed there was a big chance they'd take over Isla refinery exploitation. So have many more.

Cooper Don't Care
As confidently expected. Michael Newton of Monumentenraad [council] writes that the Curaçao government itself will have, in cooperation with APC pension fund and Dutch Heritage Plaza Consortioum, to reduce the scale of the Plaza Masterplan project.
And mention is made of Caroline Manuel, who as a government rep has been charged for many years with world heritage matters. If you believe Cooper, nobody (which would include Manuel) could tell him what's the added value of Willemstad's World Heritage status. He must have forgotten to ask her.
And we also read that building the Pen Resort (now called Pylon) is going full speed ahead, as Cooper has given the project a new building permit. Easy, huh? More monument destruction. By now we're used to it, with Mudbelly in the saddle (poor horse).
I finally also know what the planned height is: 20 meters. Well over the maximum of 8.

Bright Idea; Hmmm
A South African judge, once more, decided that beurtkrag [load shedding] by their version of Aqualectra, Eskom, is unconstitutional. Idea?
I'm afraid it won't help one bit, there; and wouldn't do so here either.

We Know and Agree
So what? Former MAN MP Plet complains about the lack of transparency in the cabinet. He specifically mentions the refinery, Ennia and tax reform. Nothing worth listening to is told us about those.
Tax "reform" of course means, old tax debts need not be paid.

True; But Will it?
Former MP Cleopa opines that the government must accept its responsibility and raise the budget for health care. To wit, the costs for CMC hospital, which are exorbitant but largely caused by the failed policies of former governments, must be carried by the government.

Now That
The oil stored in Bullenbaai Terminal, which was auctioned off twice, has meanwhile been paid for by the buyer, Count Energy of Suriname. Imagine that.
But it won't do much good, because it can't be delivered, as there's a USA sanction on it. Even though RdK refinery director Newton says their customers must follow the law. We all have our ideas how that works out.

Much Too Late?
On December 14, so announces minister Silly Bully, he will announce on a press meeting that the LOK law is ready to go to parliament. From what we know, even that law's bending over backwards to accommodate the gambling mafia is not good enough for the mafiosi, who are already leaving for greener pastures.
Smart, Silly!
Silly doesn't say when he expects the LOK law to become operative.

Who Cares
Maybe I got it wrong; so what? CRU must pay to Isla—oh no, it seems the other way around—33.4 million dollars plus interest for oil products still stored in their tanks, court has ordered. Why and how? Go figure.

That's Not So Much
Other sources say that only 1.5 million Venezuelans bothered to vote for invading Guyana. And president "Maduro assured Caribbean countries that he will not invade the region."
I don't think Maduro is very trustable. So does Guyana.
Remember the Falklands?

That'll Teach him?
No, it won't. Nobody can teach Mudbelly Cooper anything. He is now pissed off at Unesco because they did not like the disgustingly disgraceful plans APC has for the Plaza Hotel. Not at all. Good! nor do I.
Mudbelly asks himself, and us all, on the much-vaunted conference Invest Willemstad what the added value is of Curaçao's listing on the World Heritage List. And KKN chamber of commerce seems to agree with him. "That doesn't bring in any tourists." Quite a difference with the enthusiastic pep-talks we got because we got on there. Here, check it out and see who's right: Mudbelly or Unesco. O Lord, make this horror pass us by.

More Blackouts!
There was another one yesterday, although not over the complete island. Caused by testing the Aqualectra-net, to avoid further future blackouts. Nice huh?
As testing will go on, we may expect more of the same.

Of Course
That so-called "referendum" in Venezuela? It passed: allegedly over 10 million voters were 96-98% "for" annexing 2/3rds of neighbor Guyana, where then a new state will be created. Not an independent state, don't be foolish. A state of Venezuela!
There's oil in Guyana. Plus gold and other minerals. Just like, next step? in Suriname. If Brazil doesn't get there first.
Total population on Venezuela is estimated at 22 million.

It Takes Time...
Exactly two years ago DMO/SKO got the license to arrange parking in Willemstad. Since then, it has been free as the parking meters just didn't work. A five year contract was supposed to be signed in January 2023 with Mudbelly's (he again) ministry, but that still hasn't been done. Even after that has happened, it will take three more months to install new equipment, which DMO/SKO (wisely) don't risk ordering before the agreement has been signed. And they hope it will be renewed after five years.
Payment will be possible by a smart phone app, so drivers don't have to rush back to the location to avoid a wheel clamp; which in my opinion obliterates the entire idea of parking meters serving to avoid long-term parkers, so other drivers get a chance to find a parking place. I call Bullshit: they only serve to bring more money in somebody's pockets.
There are 1070 parking places and 4 EV charge stations inolved. DMO/SKO hope the former exploiter is prepared to sell the old meters for a reasonable sum.

Makes No Difference
MP Calmes wants to change the law and have it state explicitly a marriage is between a man and a woman, so a homo-marriage can't be possible. This in case the Dutch High Court judges that the Staatsregeling/constitution does permit it because otherwise, it would be discriminating.
But the Raad van Advies advises that when the High Court comes to that conclusion, that new law amendment Calmes proposes would also be against the constitution and thus unlawful.
Smart, Calmes. Now shut up, please?
But what is a man, or for that matter a woman, these days? Oooh I'm getting a headache...
And if you wonder why homosexuals are so keen on marriage while less and less heteros are, that's a very good question.

And We Thinking It Was Worked On
PAR MP Pauletta happened to stumble upon an illegal trash dump that was "almost run professionally." And she asks the minister, our friend Silly Bully, who's much too busy to care for such minor details, how he plans to tackle this phenomenon on an inter-ministerial level.
Good questions, as we had plenty of promises about it already. But that's the rule rather than the exception for this no-good bunch of nitwits government.

Sounds Reasonable
PAR member Faneyte writes in a letter shared with the press, that the level of Curaçao education is too low, in spite of "many plans, promises and populism." He continues "It looks like we consciously made the choice to lose control" and points to the "horrible decline of our society."
Sounds much more than reasonable, in fact. And horrible, as well.

Not Peanuts
To them maybe; for us, it's more like Brazil nuts. Several gambling enablers got heavy fines in Europe for transgressing anti money laundering laws. (Not very) big surprise: they were sublicensed by Antillephone. Betent got a €3 million fine, after in October GoldWin got one of 6.8 million. More may follow. I'm sure they all can afford it.
Antillephone itself didn't get its permit extended in 2008, but minister Dick gave them a gedoogvergunning [tolerance permit]; which was illegal according to the original 1996 permit.

Who Cares
All workers at Telecuraçao television station are on strike. I'm among the many who won't miss them.

Now we're told that the 2023 hurricane season, which ended yesterday, was 20% more intense than normally. Other sources say, with a normal index (watever that's supposed to stand for) of 6.5, this season had one of 7. Which sounds appreciably less than 20%.
And of course, we're warned that next year is expected to be even worse! Never less...
The difference in opinions may be, many of those storms and hurricanes never reached a coast and thus did no damage. So who cares?

Doesn't Matter
The UoC (which nobody calls by its official much-too-long name) has a budget shortage of 7 million guilders/year.
What else is new?

Sure, Auntie
Auntie Sushi Römer (and don't forget the Camelia!) says it's a damn lie that she applied the money for building a family replacement Totolika house to her "wellness and prevention" programs instead. Auntie says it's the Virus epidemic instead that ruined the plans.
She blames ministers after her for the failure, and of course specifically the present one, Silly Bully.
Not that I trust any of them; but as for her pulling that stunt? I wouldn't be surprised at all.

One More Time
Reminds me of the Count Basie/Ella Fitzgerald rendering of Duke Ellington's April in Paris... There will be one more auction (at least an attempt) to sell off the Bullenbaai oilstock. The former highest bidder can't pay. Nor, it sure looks like, the next highest.
Why not have the government buy it, like they did with Campo Alegre? After all, we've plenty of money... plenty.

Welcome to the Club
The economy of the Netherlands is in a recession, Amigoe tells us. No kidding.

Who's Next?
Next Sunday, Venezuela will hold a referendum on whether or not to conquer (part of) Guyana.
What chutzpah! The Guayanese won't partake in it, wot you teenk, mon. Guyana has oil and minerals. Not to ask the question, knowing Maduro and friends, what would that referendum be worth, anyway?
So does Suriname have oil and minerals. And an army best at killing its own compatriots.
We don't but we do have a harbor, oil terminal and refinery, perfectly good for, much better than, the crummy things Venezuela makes do with.

Smart Guy
IJs is still unwise. He was against the coalition governing system, but after having talked with Suriname president Venetiaan he changed his mind. Venetiaan assured him that the coalition system is a blessing for his country.
Sure. We've all see how that worked out. Even if IJs is right for once, this is entirely the wrong model.
IJs also acclaims the new cooperation of MAN and PIN. I can't agree so easily.

Forget It
Don't waste more of your our time and your our money. PM Beirded Weardo Prick Pisas tells us that the government has talked to the Venezuelan government, to get 'em to control the barquettes to Curaçao more strictly.
As if.

Now Pay Up, F*ckers
Again, court has told some online gambling casinos to pay the winners. It concerns hundreds of thousands of €uros. Even a sublicensee who has been out of the game for years (and went on offering games anyway) was ordered to pay, which of course means their master license holder must do so.
Downright risible, and the judge thought so too, is the sorry excuse why they didn't pay one winner. He'd said he came from Wien, which the gambling mafia stated was different from Vienna. The judge explained that it is the same Austrian city.

Wait Some More
By end January we'll finally get decent gasoline to drive on. And it won't even be more expensive! This quality standard was only completely introduced in Europe by 2009.
Diesel owners, and we who inhale their exhausts, will have to wait still longer. Present sulfur content is 500ppm but the goal is 15ppm.

It's Our Culture!
SOAB Foundation Government Accounting Bureau is late with the yearly accounts. SOAB gave Silly Bully the reasons (but we're not informed about them). Neither can SOAB tell when they will be ready.
Don' try this at home! SOAB will come and get you. When they get 'round to it.

That's It! Thanks for Splaining, Mudbelly
Curaçao has about 30 car accidents per day. Per year, we have 15 to 25 traffic deaths. ("On average", we read, whatever is meant by that.) Which makes us WHO list champs. But minister Mudbelly says the situation isn't dangerous at all: "there are just people who don't keep to the rules."
Like, not stopping for red lights. The police don't bother anyway.

All six controlled restaurants/snacks at Sambil mall Food Court have been closed down at an inspection by MEO ministry.
There are seven more, but they all hastily shut down when they noticed an inspection was coming, so they couldn't be controlled. They can inspect an inspection soon.
Reason for the inspectors' visit was, at one of the restaurants people got sick after eating there. All kitchens were filthy; in two fungus was found; two had holes in the ceiling; and three personnel members had an expired inspection card.

Let's Hope So

Minister Cijntje and all others who might be in the know deny the plans to start a new airline, "Jet Curaçao" in spite of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf even publishing details like, 3 Airbus 319 aircaft would be bought.
But can we trust them? I don't.

Financial Intelligence Unite FIU will take hard action against non-registered entrepreneurs. To avoid money laundering, which still looks to be rife. Mentioned are estate agents, car dealers, public notaries, lawyers, tax advisers, accountants and administration offices, jewelers and building materials dealers.
They all have to be registered at FIU or may be fined up to 1 million guilders.

Go Figure
Kadaster shouldn't have been privatized 20 years ago, says the country: it's against the law. So their money belongs to the country? But adviser van Rijn still thinks Kadaster's privatization is a good thing.

Filthy, Closed
Six out of seven "hospitality establishments" were closed after inspection. Tip: Almost Home was the one allowed to go on.

Eye Peeled
Mostly, I'm not too interested in political Holland. One reason is, they may not be much better than our BLeeders. But since the election success of Wilders's PVV things may change for us, so...
His first formation adviser stepped down because of fraud allegations (denied,what else); now it's PvdA's leftist Plasterk's turn. He's no climate fanatic either and sounds pretty realistic.

Don't Count on It
Finally, it's getting through to the hard heads of the tourism proponents (CTB, Casha, MEO minister Cijntje) that not everybody else is rapturous about its cancerous growth. Now that we've reached well over half a million, next goal aimed for is double that! The mind boggles.
In two years or so, we already went from 4600 rooms to 8500.
Results, prices go up in supermarkets, snacks and bars, leaving the locals in the lurch. Sounds familiar? We're supposed to earn from tourism, not pay for it. Not to mention the low earnings for hotel workers.
The more the people get to see the problems with more and more tourists coming in, the stronger their resentment may grow. Which will result in the tourists not leaving the resorts, which in turn will make the contrast between rich visitors and poor locals even worse.

They'd Like That
The country has gone to court to try and force Kadaster [land registry] to treansfer surplus funds to the government. Trouble is, there is no arrangement whatsoever to force Kadaster to do so.
Sourest point may be, Kadaster actually makes money instead of spending it!

Depends on your viewpoint. The new LOK law which oh-so-smart Silly Bully hoped would make Curaçao the gambling center of the world, has already resulted in several of the online mafiosi moving to other paradises.
I prefer to see that as a positive development.

Now Go Home and Shut Up
Anthony Godett has spent his last day as civil servant. At UOW, which we can only guess is close to DOW. He's been drawing his salary (plus often that as a "People's Representative") for 44 years, 10 months and 23 days. Plus I'm not saying, but suspect, more.
"Good riddance to bad rubbish" as the saying goes. We can only hope.

The entrance to the container terminal has been blocked by transporters. They don't like that CPS port services treats them different than others. Says CPS's da Costa Gomez, "That's no reason to block the entire terminal. If you don't like the treatment, go stand along the road with banners."
Guess the smaller transporters don't have much confidence in that.

But for Whom?
The Dutch election landslide is most disappointing, says a defeated VVD-party member. Ya bet; but for whom? For her and others, to be sure. Not for many voters, presumably.
The same person reminds us that PVV-leader Wilders once said that the Caribbean islands might "be put into the market for the highest bidder." And finding no takers, there's that.
Others state that the election result motivates them to fight still harder for their ideals. That's democratic representation for you, folks! When they don't like the voters' wishes, "democracy" is called "populism".

Robbers' Nest
An ABC bus driver "allegedly" broke the seal of the tourniquet counting oncoming passengers. But "it's very hard to prove" we read. At any rate, he preferred to take his leave instead of being prosecuted.
The tourniquets now have a double seal, which makes it "practically impossible" to manipulate counts.

God Help Us
They never learn, do they? Minister Cijntje tells Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that there are plans to start yet another Curaçao airline. After the grandiose money-eating flops (our money) of ALM, DCA, CAL, InselAir—there's even more, you name 'em—there we go again. The idea is to compete with KLM. Too bad there's also TUI, Corendon and soon expected, maybe, SLM to compete with.

Copyright Fees
Organization Ducapro in the clinch with all the pirates making freely use of materials delivered by artists. This time it's music (not a logo). All public performances should pay their dues, but in this pirates' nest (we learned it from the Dutch) hardly anybody does. "Then the consumer has to pay!" we hear (for enjoying listening to music). "It's bad for tourism!" (as if they don't pay in almost any country they visit). "Radio ads will become more expensive!" (so there will be less of them? good!)
An agreement has now been reached with Canadian organization SOCAN. Maybe that works.
And then on to other rip-offs, the rule rather than the exception.

PVV's election gain worries every official body. Which is why they won. State secretary van Hufteren can't shut up about it. She says that things agreed upon can't be discarded; but also, that a new government may come with new proposals to be agreed upon.
Translation: she has no inkling. But we knew that already.

True, Yes
The burnt palapas at Mari Pompun won't be renewed before next year, says minister Cijntje. It has to follow the government procedure, "that's how it works."
Tell us about it.
For a welcome laugh: It's not clear if the palapas were alighted deliberately. Maybe not to the minister; but then, he's not the brightest fire on the beach.

No Medication Money
Because SVB social security has decided, they prefer to pay the Soiled Rats pensioners their bonuses, helping our BLeeders out of a problem.
MP Braam says that SVB should take more care monitoring costs. Ya think?

Ouch, That Hurts
HAL headquarters, remnants of Holland-America Line who sold out to Caribbean Cruises (close enough) is moving to Holland. They prefer to pay 15% tax there instead of nothing here. Explanation: the €C doesn't like that. "Curaçao loses enormous income" says Amigoe, without explaining how and why.

Now That's Fine... Just Fine
Carmabi has raised the entrance fee to two National Parks from $10 to $15, for tourists. Locals will pay 2 guilders (was 5) to visit Christoffel Park.

Botikas Re-open
The judge said they were in the right, so the pharmacies suspended their action. Next, a meeting with Silly Bully.
And possibly an appeal by the government—which we'll pay for.

Sweat in the Heat
Out off the 21 ABC buses, only 11 had working aircoes but these have fudzed out as well. Overhaul costs 8000 guilders each, which we're told isn't worth it as the buses date from 2008.
New buses will be bought, even though there's no money in the budget. Who cares? Only marks on paper: Mudbelly says it's always possible to find more money.
3 quotes for 5 new buses must be obtained before that budget will be discussed. Let's hope they're diesels.

Not So Much
As from November 1, water price wil go down (for a change) to ANG9.2708/m3 (as long as use is below 9 m3/month), and electricity (max. 250kW) To 0.6973 /kW.
That's $4.17 and $0.31.
Other sources mention other prices. So don't ask.

Other Way Around
As from yesterday, pharmacies will open 6 hours/day and their VAE club will start court procedures against the government. Their proposed fee of 10 guilders/prescription is maintained.
But in contrast with other groups we could mention, and have done so, VAE advises members to keep to government instructions.

They Might Well Worry
"Caribbean community is worried about the Dutch election result" we read. Yes... But not everybody is worried. Many express their relief that finally, we may get a Dutch government that will not tolerate the crookedly cunning maneuvering of our BLeeders.
Goodbye, van Hufteren & friends.
Van Hufteren says that, until there's a new Dutch government, she will remain committed to cooperation with the island governments, "bases on mutual trust and respect." See what I mean?

Just had to buy (and pay cash for) a new airco. Now the government plans to lower import duty for energy-efficient ones.
As if with the Aqualectra prices here everybody with more sense than a billiard ball wouldn't opt for those already.

Gas Si, Diesel No
Car fuel price next Tuesday will go down from 2.48 to 2.04/liter. Diesel not; that stock was bought two months ago.

The medical specialists will be forced to accept the LNT arrangement: no higher salaries than the PM's (except when you're Aqualectra or other SOE boss).
Result may be that some many go work elsewhere, with the result that the quality of medical care will go down.

Wishful Thinking Ends
The German plans to build a 30MW hydrogen electrolysis plant are canceled: "despite millions in subsidies, the project is a money loser." And "energy from green hydrogen is just too expensive."
But not so fast; there's still hope for Chong and Piar to fill their pockets. German Environment Minister Goldschmidt (Green Party) insists that the "Hyscale 100" electrolyser plant—which is 3 times larger—will continue with the support of the state government.
At any rate, the enthusiastic support of the Dutch government probably is over.

Only Five, Not Fifteen
ABC bus company has asked for money to buy 15 buses, but Mudbelly Cooper says the request was submitted too late,. Now, Parliament will try to find budget room to buy 5. Price: 10 million guilders.
Let's assume meant are solid diesel-engine buses, because we wouldn't ever be told how much the EV buses cost.

What Else
PM Beirded Weardo promised-parliament a meeting about the Ennia fiasco, but just canceled it.
In a way, knowing him and his fellow thugs, understandably, because he can't possibly offer a solution to the problem of 25,000 pensioners left without an income.

For Good or Bad
In Holland, PVV party led by Geert Wilders won the elections with a hammerblow. PVV's political points must have struck a chord: stop the climate hysteria—largely stop immigration.
This time, little was heard from PVV about the Caribbean islands, which do cost the Netherlands tax-payers a lot of money, let's face it. Curaçao has been described by a Dutch MP as a "robbers' nest" and you can only agree.
PVV's trouble right now is, find a party that wants to govern with them. One reason is, Wilders got a thing (or more) against muslims and jihad which others think is restricting the freedom of religion.
If you care for my view: taking the quran at its own face value, islam doesn't give any other religion any freedom. And there you go.

I fully realize why this Circus isn't very popular. People just get disgusted about the clowns' acts and would rather not know. Which, on the other hand, largely helps explain why and how we're in such a mess.
I was therefore knocked out by a letter by Miguel Goede, that's making the rounds on WhatsApp, going into the same problems. Only, while I try to keep seeing the humorous aspects, Goede doesn't make such an effort. Read it here? Link is dead, sorry! It was in Dutch anyway.

Botika Battle
The botikas/pharmacies have closed their doors for prescriptions. In an open-air meeting of the botikas with minister Silly Bully he left and told them they might continue inside.
For now, only the CMC hospital pharmacy handles prescriptions, but only for hospital patients (and personnel).
The inspection threatens the botikas with a court case if they don't re-open immediately. We await their reaction.

Not True!
Of course not. How could we possibly believe there are coalition troubles between PNP and M*F*K? No, there's no crisis at all, in spite of the persistent rumors. Presumed causes would be the Soiled Rats' pensions and payments of old debts to Holland'—which is hard to disbelieve.

Peterson is a real clown. His plea in the Homosexual Marriage case is so bad, a first-year law student could have done better, says jurist Eustatia-Palm. Curaçao's Staatsinrichting/constitution is quite clear, he explains: no sexual (or other) discrimination is allowed.
It's only now I read Peterson proposes a referendum on the question; which would mean having the population vote for or against their own constitution; a juridical nonsense idea.

Do It Now
Everybody (well, almost everybody, I guess) is in a hurry to adopt the new WvSv Code of Criminal Procedure. Because shortly, CFATF Caribbean Financial Action Task Force will evaluate Curaçao and if no new law, we'll be on the "grey list".
Which means problems with (inter)national banking and even credit cards used by tourists (and by us). The law has been around for discussion in parliament only since 2019.

Foul Play!
Isn't that completely laughable? A bunch of drug smugglers protest that they were outside the 7-miles zone off the Venezuelan coast when they were caught by the Kustwacht/coast guard. So they were not in international waters.
And as we all know, Venezuela does not care at all about drug smugglers. Hey, it brings in money!
After shots disabled one of the Go-Fast motors, seven Venezuelans were arrested. In total 2000 kilos of marihuana and 3 keys of cocaine were confiscated from 2 Go-Fasts.
The smugglers claim they could still see the lights on the Venezuela coast, which "proves" they were within 7 miles. Tough.

To Be Sure
At the 2021 elections, Kòrsow Transparante presented to participating political parties a questionnaire on integrity, transparency and corruption. Of these 15 parties, 10 responded, and of those reactions, 6 were labeled "inadequate".

That's More Like It
CBCS central bank makes it known that the mandatory reserve of 19% has been maintained. Numerically, it went up because the amount it's based on went up.
Interestingly, the deposits of APC and ACU went down because of transfers to the exterior.

Goes to Show You
Because Silly Bully's LOK gambling law to enable the gambling mafia is seen as "weak", other places are trying to jump in as competitors. Among those is the island of Anjouan, much smaller and higher than Curaçao with even less rain and many more people living there.
I say, let 'em and good luck
But our gamblers are worried. (I say, let 'em.). If Curaçao charges too much, many of the licensees will depart for cheaper niches. Especially if our licenses are of no value in the first place, hey.

Mark that Remark
Oblique aerial photos will be made of the island next year. At least, that's the plan. To explain, oblique means not straight down but under a larger dan 3 degree angle, thus showing height and number of floors a building has.
When the plan in fact is realized depends on the subscribtions to a public tender.
First buildings that will grab attention are the illegal ones. Good, you say. But mark: after the owners have paid an advance, their cases will be settled faster.
Where are the promises of demolishing without pardon?

Monument Molesting Mudbelly
After in 2010 (that year again) the independent Monument Bureau has been scratched, expertise and efficiency in the field of heritage has been lost. Now, Michael Newton of the Monument Council wants to bring that back in the Fundashon Monumento. And he asks the minister of VVRP to please pay attention.
As if he will... That would be Cooper.

Drugs Yes, Goats No
While looking for stolen goats the cops found a plantation with 100 marihuana plants and a drugs lab. We are not informed about what kind of drugs.
No goats were found.

They Want More
The 31 botikas/drugstores have been getting 7 guilders per prescription. For the past 14 years. They feel it must be double that and are losing their patience with SVB social insurance.

They Are "Illegal"
In a process started by Cyberluck against KKC, the High Court came out with the verdict that the sub-licensees of online gambling sites may be called illegal. All other complaints were discarded as well.
To quote KKC: "Curaçao sublicenses are used to launder billions in profits annually from drug, arms and human trafficking. There is no oversight." And KKC adds, it's doubtable that Silly Bully's new LOK law will end the illegal activities.

No Allowance Either
APC pension fund can not accede Silly Bully's request to index the pensions. The penshonados won't get an extra allowance to help them through the expensive December month either. APC just has no money.
Coverage is below 105%. Which is irresponsible, but that's another story.

For Worse or Better
The Kukuku Man team, consisting of 40 volunteers who regularly go out to collect dumped trash, reports that in the first 3 quarters this year, 36% less trash has been collected. On the other hand, popular dumping spots have grown even more popular.

Watch Ur 4$$
We've had 23 incidents with dogs this year. That doesn't sound so bad, considering that MAN MP McWilliam says there are 4000 to 5000 feral dogs hanging around. Could be much worse... But good to hear that justice minister Hato is working on it.

Security Not Our Thing
Disaster upon debacle. Fail Safe is not the term... Recently the Chinese camera flop thanks to PIAS Navarro. Still fresh in our memory, the Mari Pompun palapa arson where security didn't help at all. Now, it's the Aqualectra security that was supposed to prevent the latest black-out but instead, helped to promote and magnify it.
"Measures taken by Aqualectra were not sufficient to prevent blackouts." Truer word was never spoken, boy. Wait for the next one.

No Luck There
APC pension fund does not plan indexing of pensions. The coverage is insufficient.
Translation: no money. What now, Bully?

Floating Drugs &c. Market
The Floating Market barquettes, after years of fumbling and stumbling, are back again in harbor. Oooo... big surprise! On one of them have been found drugs, guns, ammunition and 300 kilograms of illegal bell peppers. These were contaminated with several diseases and vermin.
The bell peppers had an official Venezuelan declaration of health. Also a big surprise, that.

Bad for Bully
Online casinos with a Curaçao license are not allowed to operate in Holland or the USA. In other good news, not a single one of the 5 "master license holders" has a valid license. Says Curaçao.nu. There may be 8, or more, who knows?
Let alone the sub-license holders.
You say Bully won't give a damn? Good point.

What a Relief
There is money to repair the vandalized Mari Pompun palapas after all. At least, that's what PNP MP Osepa claims.
Osepa also wants to educate the youngsters who set fire to the things (I take it, not only them). Good luck with that, Osepa. Much too late.

The complete term is from Lenin: "Useful idiots" but I'm too polite to use it. I'm talking about the 50 people who held a demonstration to demand that Israel stops the "attack on Palestine" (meaning, on Hamas in Gaza). They should refresh their memory on what happened October 7th, when Hamas broke the existing truce with Israel by raping, torturing, killing, looting and taking hostages.
Meanwhile, there are less rockets coming in from Gaza into Israel—but they are still coming.

Finance minister Silly Bully, always on his toes to fight for the Soiled Rats' rights, puts pressure on APC pension fund (which handles government employees' pensions) to index the poor babies' pensions. He gives APC a 7-day deadline, ending yesterday. His so-called friendly request serves for "shielding the population, particularly the economically vulnerable, from the repercussions of persistent high inflation and diminishing purchasing power."
Well, those pensioners are just about the last group we would call "economically vulnerable."
The clincher is APC should accede despite legal constraints. Who cares about legal niceties? Not the government.
Here, have another banana. There's plenty.

Political parties MAN and (auntie Sushi's) PIN have joined forces. Remarks a KKC letter-writer: "Birds of a feather flock together." No further comment is needed.
If this will last longer than next elections is the question.

Gambling Burlesque
Our genius finance minister Silly Bully Vain did not manage to pass his LOK law in time. The idea of LOK is further to enable the gambling mafia. But they are, understandably, jostling for permits; almost 100 applications have already been submitted in anticipation.
Presently, Silly Bully is in Malta to brag about his achievements.
That LOK law has largely been written by the gambling mafiosi themselves. No wonder it's so popular.

Three out of nine palapas at Mari Pompun beach have been vandalized by arson. Suspected are three youngsters hanging around there. For now, CTB has no money to renew the straw roofs.
There is a security guard at Mari Pompun, who, says CTB, duly did his job: he reported the incident to the authorities. You call that "security"?
But it fits nicely in the history of the beach.

Trust in Aqualectra "begins" to run out, says Amigoe. Shows you, if true, how patient Curazoleños are. I lost all confidence in that outfit many years ago, when I was one of the first around to install solar panels. The price per kW is exorbitant, much higher than what Aqualectra charges, but I made it back the first year because of electronics that were saved from ruination.
Not to mention working hours not lost. But now, lawyer Achim Henriquez wants to start actions to force Aqualectra to pay for damages and is even considering sanctions; he is looking for support on his FakeBooc page.

Thanks, BLeeders
Oh great. Iran is already boasting that its oil production is going up since US president Biden relieved the Venezuela sanctions. Already the third-largest OPEC producer, Iran financed Venezuela to repair its run-down oil refineries.
And now, Isla refinery is next.
Which means that from a cocaine distribution hub "our" island moved up to being another terror-financing center as well.

Blacked Out
The umpteenth time in much less years: yesterday the island had a total blackout again. I guess you noticed all right. Aqualectra put it on FakeBooc: they had a blackout. No shot, min.
It took from 11:00 to 18:30 before it came back here. Eastern Bandariba, where the average income is appreciably higher than in the West, came first—but naturally! And, also as always, here we had no water either all that time.
Convinces us that the Evil Spirit of director Jonis still influences the management, even if he went for greener pastures.
Who cares what was the cause this time? Bumbling overpaid fools, all.
Good to know, what a relief: Aqualectra assures us that it was not (N.O.T.) a shortage of production capacity.

Good Plan
Parliament has voted for 4 motions to try and force FKP social housing to come across with facts & figures. Their last yearly account is from 2012 (but look who's talking); and ARC accounting must review especially FKP's financial management.

Blaming the Blamed
Minister Mudbelly can tell us that the deplorable state of our roads is caused by the former cabinets. (And by him, using the money meant for road maintenance to buy X-mas decorations.) He's working his ass off to get them all repaired, which will take 7 years and cost 50 to 60 million guilders. Peanuts, but then again, much less than what we heard before.

Right On, Huurman
Forgot to mention it: Huurman wants a criminal investigation into the ways new CMC hospital has been planned and built.
But will we ever get it? Many, too many people have dirtied their hands and fattened their wallets in the process.
Or was that "critical"? I'm for "criminal".

Putting It Mildly
KKC's Koninkrijksbelangen blog just mentions, almost in passing (meaning: no details; maybe, hopefully, they're coming), that a "New Laundering Route is Disastrous". Giving you the gist (there's little more): PM Prick Pisas and Silly Vain act contrary to principles of good governance in legislation. It's beyond understanding there's no amnesty regulation for backward taxes and governmental fines for offering illegal gambling sites. The gambling clubs' licenses will increase their value.
"The perpetrators are believed to have engaged in complex schemes to hide their identities and the true sources of the funds." More Please, Nardy? Soon? And we all know you're busy.

Still More Good News
Global Oil Management Group will start asphalt production in May 2024, a bit later than planned, using 10-15% of Isla refinery's capacity. Crude oil for the asphalt production will be imported from Venezuela. There's a 5-year contract, which could be terminated on a short term in case Oryx would be interested in producing asphalt.
Oryx also announces planning a "small" LNG terminal to replace heavy fuel oils.
Total investment by Oryx is now planned 750,000,000 guilders—a far cry from what we were told was necessary for a reboot.

21% More
We can't wait. This winter, number of airline seats to/from Curaçao will be enlarged with 21%. Mainly US and South-American flights.
48% still comes from Amsterdam.

Oh, All Right Already
A new online payment system, on which company Sentoo has been working since 2016, will be introduced. In 2024, 3 new banks will join the club which brings the total to 5. Best (?) news, you can pay your taxes via Sentroo and still at the same time via your own bank as well. Ain't that great?

Another Monument Gone
Not yet, but soon expected to. The imposing Quarantine building in Otrabanda is losing bits and pieces of its structure. It has been sitting there for tens of years without anybody caring.
It belongs to the government, need I say more?

What Makes You Think That?
Rdk/Isla management reacts to Vigilante paper's article that the CPR-group, supposed to be a candidate for the refinery take-over, was "a joke". One reason why CPR must be taken seriously is that Isla manager Newton and CPR had a lot of meetings in the office, at lunches and dinners.
That, and other reasons. RdK seems to think, will convince us that CPR was a serious candidate and that Vigilante is just waffling. Well, it doesn't convince me.

Thieves and Robbers
Leave it to them. The Girobank funds of FKP social housing were transferred to GiRo Settlement Holding—who stick to it like glue. FKP director Con calls it a "barbaric" situation and an "ornery money robbery". The money is held by CBCS central bank and the government.
Which in turn looks promising for the penshonados with Ennia pensions.

Welcome Back, Huurman
Former Inspector of Health, who got kicked out, or went before he actually was, I forget. Don't make no real difference. However, he published a book (caveat: which I haven't read yet) in which he insists on a parliamentary survey committee that must examine complex decision-making and potential abuses around the construction of the new CMC hospital.
The decision to build a new hospital was taken by the 2012 Betrian government, already on its way out, that for some reasons (at which we can guess...) didn't leave it to be taken by its successor.
Huurman's main point is, "Why go for a new hospital instead of renovating the old SEHOS?" We'd all like to know, even if we have our ideas suspicions.

Well Done, Bully
The budget surplus 2023 has shrunk from 142 million to 22 million guilders. Come on, guys, you can do better worse than that! Still more than 6 weeks to get rid of the rest. I mean you, Silly Vain. And the others; no, I'm not forgetting the others.
Cft financial supervision blames "increased expenditures in ministries on goods and services, as well as higher subsidy grants."
In plainer words, they spent money like there's no tomorrow. And who's getting those subsidies?

What is? You'll never guess... not even neo-colonialism. It's called out by the lawyer in court for homosexual marriages Yes or No.. To make it clear, that's Peterson, AKA Peppi of the Peppi & Kokki stooges team, back to his old tricks.
This is in the appeal at the Supreme Court in The Hague, Holland, where the decision on the earlier Curaçao decision ("No - it's the law") is delayed.

Say What, Chong?
Those monsters supposed to start producing hydrogen keep looking more and more like a boondoggle. Now it's the premise of having them float that's analyzed to the point of "are you kidding me?".
Take a floating boat with a 600'/180m mast (we read about still larger ones here) and that mast supporting three 500'/150m blades of a windmill. I can't even guess at how large that boat would have to be. (Think hurricanes.)
Then there are monstrous, again, anchor cables needed, in all directions. Estimated cost 2 to 3 times that of a metal tube.
The following problem is to hook up the hydrogen pipes to that bobbing platform. Even much simpler electrical connections are a problem already.
The highly specialized fabrication facilities and work boats required to make and install all this stuff in deep water do not exist. Over 50 vastly different floating wind designs have been proposed, but none built. No utility-scale floating wind facility exists in the world today.
But no problem. Chong will make it happen.
Please excuse me for beating a dead dog. It hurts me more than it does the dog.

800 Million
That's how much finance minister Silly Vain let slip away when he announced remission of old taxes. Put another way, over 2/3rds of what's needed to pay out pensions lost by the Ennia debacle.
As long as somebody made some money, am I right?

Bad News
In KKC, letter writer Luigi Faneyte warns about the Bullenbaai fuel oil sale: "There will be repercussions for RdK/CRU and the government of Curaçao due to the simple fact that this involves the smuggling of products from PDVSA through pirate intermediary companies and, moreover, contraband. This is to avoid sanctions imposed by the still-effective U.S. government."
He has pretty good arguments, check them out, and ends with what looks like good advice: Return the contraband oil to PdVSA.

Your pet is safe. The plans to kill all feral (?) dogs and cats found are off.

That Will Won't Help>
Visitors to Klein Curaçao will be asked to fill out a form on their recreational behavior there.
Even in, for example, medical surveys such forms of self-reporting are not to be trusted. And in this case: does GMN ministry really think people will report how they disturbed birds' nests, or sea turtles?
I'd call that almost criminally naïve.

Those Cameras
They were bought at almost 1000 guilders each, but the total project cost was 21.6 million. But in reality, many costs seem to have not been foreseen. Then minister of justice, PIAS Navarro, is ultimately responsible.
So when will he be arrested?

About Budgets
I'd have to look up how much the budget deficit is for Curaçao. But in Israel, where some money is being spent for getting Gaza under control (to put it as neutrally as possible) the resulting deficit is predicted to be 2.6% "as government shells out billions for the war effort."
Maybe they run a better ship of state there than we here. Ya think? Wouldn't be hard.

That's Good
Over half of the Dutch Girobank load has already been paid back, to wit 100 million guilders of a 170m total. And way too fast as well; the end term is 2037.

Who Needs Investing
Filling your own pockets is much more lucrative, after all. Difficult to avoid the impression that's how our BLeeders seem to think. For once, Dutch state secretary van Hufteren is getting worried. She quotes Cft financial supervision that "the budget appears to be balanced until 2026" [emphasis added] and that "there are concerns about the impact of a shrinking and aging population on future tax revenues."

Oh... Bad News
Seems the Oryx group, which is now first in line for take-over of the Isla refinery,is a Qatar enterprise. Just what we needed: another Middle-East country with solid relations in the Muslim world. Like Iran, Qatar also is allegedly supporting Palestinian Hamas and its savagely barbarian murder, torture and rape party in Israel of October 7th.
It took Qatar a year of secret negotiations with the USA Biden government to end the Venezuela sanctions.
No surprise ex-Aqualectra director Jonis would like them. Hey, as the Dutch say, "poen is poen"—moolah is moolah.

Whatever, Guys
The trade unions show their close relationship with the Spoiled Rats. They demand, re the Ennia debacle, that the government must resume negotiations with Holland and ask to change 30-50% of the Corona loans "as a gift". Which would be half of the 1.2 billion Holland was willing to loan the Government, who did not accept this.
Sure. Anything you say.

We'll See
The Damen Shipyards 3-year CAO is seen as a guarantee for thye contyinuation of its activities. With the history in mind, I can't be so sure.

Who Cares
The "provisional" (well-chosen word) budget now in parliament shows amounts of 0, zero, guilders for "digitizing education" and "archeology and museums".
Feel free to supply your own comment5s.

Oh, It's Only Greenpeace
Who listens to those lying maniacs any longer? Now they are protesting that the Dutch government doesn't do hardly enough to "save" the BES islands from [fill in the latest climate scare word].

No Kidding
According to Cft financial supervision, our government has borrowed 200 million (guilders, €uros?) to cover the Covid costs. How in hell is that even possible? MP PNP Osepa warns us that we'll have to pay them back. You and me, right?
Osepa also warns that Bully Silly Vain's gaming laws may lead to serious trouble. He not-so-subtly mentions that next year there are budgeted 75 million more costs for Vain's ministry. Unspecified, to be sure. Other MPs point out even worse things.
Worst may be, there's hardly any mention of the Ennia- and Covid loans problems.

Dengue Time Is Here
We are all asked to take the same old measures to prevent the responsible mosquito to breed, by removing old tires and all that from our gardens. A lot of good that will do as long as illegal dumping goes on all over.

Oh Yeah...
Those security cameras, bought (from China, where else?) by former PIAS justice minister Navarro, are for a large part still rotting in the warehouses. There was no money to install them, is why. By now, of course, they're obsolete.

Small Wonder
Personnel costs for VVRP ministry go up every year, year by year. Leave it to minister Mudbelly! This year it's from 82 million to 88, 93%.
The given reason for hiring more personnel was, it would save costs. Parkinson's Law, anyone?
There much more, but why bore you?
Except for this: Customs expects much more money will come in from import duties next year. Which we will cough up, who else?

That's Serious
Shell Oil prefers to pay 60 million dollars to get out of the SouthCoast Wind generator agreement with Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil, rather than continue on a loser's path. Now, a quarter of all US wind deals has been canceled, and electricity cost from subsidized offshore wind is up almost 50% from 2021.

There are complaints about the treatment of tourists by the Hato airport immigration service. Specifically, Colombian tourists get a humiliating treatment or are even illegally detained. This hs been given attention already, but nothing seems to have changed.

If They're Still Here
At Damen Shipyards, or DOK, or CDM, whatever, a three-year CAO collective workers' agreement will be signed with personnel.
Tat's a pretty long time, considering.

Big Deal
What's the difference? The 2024 budget is being discussed in Staten/parliament, but isn't ready yet. Who cares? It's a farce anyway.

Tonton Macoute, Here?
Our police corps is accused of getting more and more violent. Shades of the Haïti Papa Doc's regime, maybe. The resemblance isn't that far out, with a PM who thinks he's the boss and everybody must do what he says. Better beware.

We've Been Around Longer
Longer than state secretary van Hufteren, who says she has confidence in reforms.
We don't, sorry.

Do Tell
There's an enormous difference between prices in different supermarkets, in some cases amounting to almost doube (if you're a pessimist) or half the price (for optimists).
These are products listed in the makuto ba´siko—which we're told is having more problems before it will, finally, be realized. As we thought.

Wait for It
MEO economic development minister Cijntje announced that, shortly, American Airlines will get competition on the MIA-CUR route. The AA price is almost $600 which can only be called outrageous.
But which company will join the fun he doesn't say. According to Amigoe, it may be Air Aruba.
Don't count on the price going down, though. We all remember how ALM, Aruba Airlines and InselAir preferred to charge as much as AA.
Air Aruba? Methinks Amigoe may mean Aruba Airlines

Talk Is Cheap
Curaçao and Aruba say they're interested in the Bonaire-Saba-St. Eustatius efforts to realize a subsistence minimum. (#MeToo.) I'll believe it when those 45% below the poverty line do get some money.
First come, first serve, the Spoiled Brats of course.

The Answer Is Blowing in the Wind
Shell Oil announced they will stop offshore wind generator activities. There's no future in it.
Hear that, Chong?

Why Not
Minister Silly Bully published on FakeBooc, which as some letter writer remarked now seems to be the official communication channel of the government, that two banks and a large hoisting company (all three unnamed) do not have to pay their OB sales tax after all. They charged for it and they were paid, but now they may keep it for themselves.
Silly Vain explains that as we suckers all paid so much tax, there's no need for those three to pay as well.
You think they paid less elsewhere? Perish the thought!

Help! No Kidding
Minister Kid Martina wanted 68 million to help the spoiled brats celebrate X-mas, but they have to make do with only 48. Later, kids.
Next week, the Brats will have a meeting on how they'll react.

Will Wonders Never Cease
Cooper's VVRP ministry has been checking on several illegal activities, like stealing terrain, illegal building, trash dumping, diabase stealing, illegal piers in sea. PTH project team explains that when they encounter illegal activities, they are stopped and fitting measures are taken against the workers and/or owners.
That's something new for sure. Until now, we very rarely hear about implications for the transgressors. Wonder if it helps.

Surprise, Not
Government has agreed with the payment of salary indexing 2019/2020 to the Spoiled Brats of in total 46 million guilders. The Brats hoped to get more, but there's no money; so they are disappointed. Even if they get more than promised. Also no surprise.

Another One Closed
Iguana Café for an unhygienic filthy kitchen. Several others visited around Mambo Beach got a warning for expired licenses.

The highest bidder in the Bullenbaai fuel oil auction is a local company, I&E Petroleum Group. Never heard of them, which doesn't mean a thing of course.
They have to pay up this afternoon or the next highest bidder, a Dutch group, will get the goodies.

Next Year?
Aqualectra utility, reacting on MP Doran's questions about the recent considerable price raises, announces that next year tariffs will go down substantially.
This will be thanks to the expanding use of "green" energy sources. Like in Germany and elsewhere?
That would be a miracle for sure. Wait and see...

They Don't Like That
The restaurant keepers have had a meeting with the MeO economic development minister, on the inspections of restaurants and snackbars. They agree "it's necessary to have a safe and healthy environment for consumers" [and of course have to add:] "and entrepreneurs." They want to cooperate to ensure the inspections are conducted effectively and honestly.
Wait. Hang on. Do they implicate the inspections with their embarrassingly disastrous results are not "honest"? Phooey on you!
As for more "effective", I'm all for that.

4 out of 6
... restaurants/snackbars had to close immediately upon inspection. Filthy. That makes it 24 closed out of 31, in 3 days.

Betcha They'll Get It, Anyway
Minister Martina holds up the X-mas payments for Boiled Rats, announced by Silly Bully. His problem seems to be that it has not been budgeted for. But who cares?

A Mere Drop
A bid for the Bullenbaai oil auction has exceeded all expectations: $ 29 million, which is a lot more than the needed 9.2m to cover rental debt. They're now checking if the (unknown) bidder can pay that at all.
Still a lot less than what the refinery is costing us.

Take That, Cooper
The judge has ordered VVRP, Mudbelly Cooper's ministry, to destroy the 2022 building permit for a new hotel in Penstraat, after protests by 3 neighborhood residents. The 300 rooms Pen Resort hotel has a planned height over 8 meters, which is more than EOP development plan approves. VVRP gets 4 month's time to come with a new decision, in which the demands of the complainers must be taken into account.
Pen Resort would also ruin renovate Kas di Pueblo and Cerro Bonito, two landmark monuments, resulting in a "further facelift" of Pietermaai. At least, that's what is claimed.
VVRP must also take into account the nuisance and uglifying a higher building may involve.

Somebody or something, we don't know who or what, has deposited 9.2 million dollars into RdK refinery's account, to pay for the Bullenbaai fuel oil. That is to say, to pay for the outstanding tanks' rent. But the plot thickens, again: now Panamá's Lead Oil claims ownership. The contraband fuel oil will be auctioned if payment is not received before November 1.
Hey, that's today!

Sure They Are
The Soiled Rats are glad, and they have reason to. Finance minister Silly Bully made 32 million available to give out at X-mas time. It's for overdue payments. Payment in December averages 10,000 guilders/month.
Even better, this will augment their pensions; for reasons we don't have to go into. Take it as read.
So we have 3200 of 'em, still. That's 1 per 50 citizens.

ASAP, Please
Justice minister Hato is working on a system where consumers can get their rights in a simpler and more direct way, resulting in much smaller costs for them when having to go to court.

Oh, Marvelous
At least 40 specialists working in CMC new hospital are contemplating moving their ass to other countries, where their income is guaranteed. This is in consequence of the Salary Cap Law, starting to work in 2025, by which the government desperately tries to compensate for the losses and shortages caused by them and their predecessors: the building is much too expensive and SVB social insurance bank eats money. For itself.
But the specialists want to leave before 2025 to get their children in schools in time.

Not everybody will like this, but the stream of tourists is expected to go over half a million this year. Next year may be even better; or worse depending on your point of view.
But surprisingly (?), tourism has a bad image. It must be turned from a low-wage sector into a sector with opportunities, says minister Cijntje.

Now It's 10 Years
We heard before, 6 and then the Malpais landfill is full. Didn't they see that coming a bit earlier? As that may be, since 1.5 weeks they're sorting out there the contents of 2-4 sushi-trucks daily. Most trash is organic, with remarkably many diapers and sanitary napkins. The process will go on till April 2024.

You Are What You Eat
8 out of 9 Bandabao restaurants were closed after an health inspection visit. Makes you think a bit. Only the Heirloom Restaurant at Lelienberg was allowed to remain open.
One day before, 12 restaurants out of 16 were closed. Different ones, in Willemstad. Total in 2 days, 20 closed out of 25.
You definitely get the idea that nobody has been checking these places in a long, long time.

Peak Oil
We have been getting predictions on this for as long as sonce the first crude was pumped up. We even have been reading that peak oil was already past! Now, IEA International Energy Agency predicts that it will happen in 2030 (including coal and gas), drawing nothing but scorn from the oil companies: Chevron, ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips are expanding because "real-world demand for oil continues to rise" and OPEC predicts a 16.5% increase in oil use by 2045.
Other news is, Shell plans to cut its low-carbons division staff by 15% and scales back its hydrogen division. Are you listening, Chong?

We Can Only Hope So
State secretary van Hufteren assures us that all solutions to the Ennia debacle will be judged by experts on financial solidity and sustainability.
It concerns "largely confidential information which may only be accessed by experts and can't be shared publicly." Transparency hits again.

Oh, Where to Go?
Now the bakery of Boulevard Supermarket has been closed, a Paseata and Ya Mei restaurant as well. Too filthy to touch. Like many more. It's our Culture!

Hey, Silly Vain?
Dutch gaming authority KSA requests Curaçao's Gaming Control Board to do something about illegal online gambling houses. Not for the first time, but those stubborn mules just lay their ears back and refuse to budge.

Ticket Price
KLM predicts that, what with the plans to shrink Schiphol airport and higher fuel &c. taxes, flight ticket prices will become considerably higher. Resulting in more people flying from foreign airports. To Curaçao as well? Not many to choose from.

Apart from Costs
Where will we here put them?
"In California, which is slated to ban sales of new gasoline-powered cars in just 12 years, government estimates indicate the state may need to install at least 20 electric chargers for every gas pump now in service to create a reliable, seamless network." We now have 27 gas stations; most have at least 4 pumps available. So we'd need to install 2160 EV chargers.

Nice Hobby
Since 2013, people who grow vegetables "as a hobby" get 2cu.m./month of irrigation water, delivered in trucks, of which 2 more were added a some years ago; demand has been increasing all the time. We're not told how much these hobby gardeners pay for that water, nor how many trucks there are in total.

Ups and Downs
Next month, water price is going up to ANG9.27/cu.m. for the first 9 cu.m., 12 cents up; electricity up 1.5 cents to 0.70/kW. Car gas will go down from 2.501 to2.484/liter; diesel up from 1.911 to 2.044/l.

Some Supervision
After 13 years of independence, our national debt is now 4 billion guilders. Seems that Cft financial supervision doesn't work very well: "politicians support Cft because it means more money in the treasury for reckless spending" we read in Curaçao Chronicle.

Tell Us Again
In spite of the generous help from Holland, writes Amigoe, since 2010 the average income of Curaçao's inhabitants has gone down by 23%
And it would be even worse, much worse, without the Dutch Kingdom's support. Ain't independence great?

Do It
MEO ministry of economic development announces to intensify the checks on restaurants and snacks. Unsurprisingly, 61% of them turn out not to comply with the regulations. Better than we figured... The idea is, after two transgressions their licenses will be revoked.
Now let's wait for the enforcement.

Finally, Great
Aqualectra utility plans to fine illegal users thieves of water and electricity with high amounts, up to 20,000 guilders. As from next month.
Potential hang-up, besides the Police and OM public ministry it will be Aqualectra agents who'll control.
People who want to "regulate" their situation can do so until end this month.

MEO ministry of economic development is seriously considering the possibility that Damen Shipyards will leave Curaçao. They've already set apart 4 million guilders (stop me if you heard this one before) to continue paying the workers' salaries.
There's talk about a reboot already; this one we did hear several times before.

Not for Us
The idea is to raise the tax free income in the Dutch BES islands to $20,424 (ANG37,171, or 3097/month) so the raise of minimum wage will not be swallowed up by tax.
I couldn't tell you what the tax-free income is in Curaçao, sorry. I do know that our minimum income is much lower than on the BES islands, where it is 1900 guilders/month.

What Else?
"Ennia Caribe spending millions of pensioners' money on lawyers" we is the headline in Curaçao Chronicle. Until now, it's 20 million guilders and will be sure to go up.
Not so much local lawyers: mainly from the USA and Holland.

Good Idea
PAR wants a central commission meeting on APC civil servants' pension fund's annual report 2022. Snappily, if APC fails (not unthinkable at all) it will be an order of magnitude worse than the Ennia debacle.

Now That
So the banks are cautious about receiving payments for the Bullenbaai fuel oil. As they well may be, even if we don't get many details. It stinks.

Oho! That Explains It!
Everybody was mightily surprised when Aqualectra director Jonis took his leave after several black-outs struck the island in fast succession. He [almost] made us think he felt his responsibilities; which made us wonder about his real motives.
Now they're clear: he's the man, or person, behind Oryx Petroleum who just signed a MoU with RdK on take-over of Isla refinery. Greener pastures for Jonis.
Let's not forget the judge has spoken: "There was mismanagement from 2010-2012 in Aqualectra and RdK" when Jonis fulfilled functions in both companies. June 13, 2017.

Hold Your Breath
Now it's the Bureau Intellectual Property that will have to decide what to do with the motto? coat of arms? whatever. Leaves us little doubt that fraudulent copyright-infringing designer Andresetti Monart will get her fee paid out. We never doubted that anyway.

Not We
Duutch parliament has decided that as from July 2024 the Dutch Caribbean islands (meaning Bonaire, Saba and St. Estatius) will get a social minimum income. Which means that the people will get a realistic amount to live on.
After 14 years of waiting, it's added. Well, we here have been waiting only 10 years.

Protect the Dummy
PM Prick Pisas gets a 30-person strong security corps to protect him, because of the Hamas-terrorists torturing, raping and murdering Israeli citizens.
I do wonder whether they will also accompany him on his foreign flights. At any rate, his expensive bungalow, gift from his gambling mafia's moll, should offer enough room to accommodate that private army.
Did you notice any torturing going on here? Except of course the usual acts of government.

How Like Her
Auntie Sushi Römer's court case has been seponated, because the public ministry thought it of little practical value, as her "alleged" transgression took place three years ago. That was when she omitted when applying for a minister's post to mention a private job; in actual fact, committing fraud by changing dates in her application.
Now auntie Trash is fulminating that she was oh so upright and honest all along, it was all the fault of her the Blue Liaison Real Estate company.

Oh, Now They Have Them
All of a sudden, Ennia comes out with a yearly account. Only of 2022, though. This after they were criticized because of obscure deals full of empty promises, when there were no yearly accounts over the past few years at all.
Only the damage insurance part, not the life insurance division. Which of course is of much more importance re. the pensions.

Pays Much Better
Another fishing boat from Curaçao has been stopped by kustwacht/coast guard. It had 260 keys of cocaine on board.
Potential profits much higher than having your nets cut open by diving schools.

For How Much?
The fuel oil stored in Bullenbaai oil terminal will not be auctioned, but sold. When owner (? it's contraband) Lead Group and Knob Trading do not succeed in selling it, and then paying RdK 9.1 million debt, the oil will be auctioned anyway. We're not told the selling price of the fuel oil. For transparency reasons, we all guess.

In the Clinch
The Spoiled Rats' unions have a conflict with the government, who until now did not come up with data for indexing, wage step [up, of course!] and 3% lumpsum for those who are at their maximum already.
The government thinks a wage step-up can only be realized after a positive job evaluation; unions don't agree.

Riddles Galore
The financial world has reacted in surprise to Ennia's press release that clients can continue with their present insurances and take out new policies. The more so as yearly accounts of Ennia are still missing.
Ennia, Central Bank CBCS and the governments of Curaçao and St. Maarten will look at other solutions for Ennia's problems in the coming weeks. About time, don't you think?

For Good?
Don't count on it. 6 Chinese restaurants have been closed down because of, to put it crudely, filthy conditions. We read that out of 8 restaurants and tokos inspected, 3 were allowed to continue operations and the rest were closed.
Looks like the inspection, and/or the media, should go "ask their schooling money back" as the saying goes.

¡Que Viva Turismo!
A fight broke out on Playa Piskadó, by now a regular trouble spot, because a group of tourists wanted some locals to turn down their music volume. It's our culture! The locals resented the tourists' attitude and physically attacked two female visitors and a guy who tried to protect them.
Nice huh?

Fast Work
RdK has already signed an MoU Memory of Understanding with Oryx Petroleum. We can only hope they looked before they leaped.
"RdK will keep the community informed of developments as the further process unfolds." Now really!

What Law? Who Cares?
There's still lack of transparency in political party financing, in spite of laws meant to prevent this. Quelle surprise! Another useless law because it's not maintained. For reasons we can only guess at.

Another One
Now there's talk of Oryx Petroleum as a take-over partner of RdK Isla refinery. We're told that it's a Hong Kong enterprise, which these days means controlled by Communist China, but the HQ is based in Calgary, Canada. In fact, Oryx is owned by Zeg Oil and Gas Ltd., Tortola, British Virgin Islands. In 2020 Zeg paid a total of US$16.4 million for all of Oryx's shares; not at all impressive compared to the money needed for renewal.
RdK still claims that there are 19 interested parties for a take-over, of which 7 have been put on a shortlist. Whatever.

There We Go? Again.
Turns out only now, there exists no signed agreement between PdVSA and penshonados of Isla refinery.
The Weird Beard promises the government will do everything possible to collect the necessary information. Now that's promising!
Next, we'll have to pay those penshonados out of our taxes. Here's an idea: let's emigrate!

Staten/Parliament would like to be informed in advance of ministers' foreign trips. Now, they often get the news on the day of departure—or even after that.

Oh Yeah, About Those Buses
"Solar power company stocks tumbled after sliding European demand." From 9%-28%.
You know what that means? That those EV buses with their feeding park will become even more expensive than what they don't dare tell us even now.
Are Europeans smarter after all? I couldn't say. But compared to our BLeeders, easily possible.

Just Forget It
Keeping it snappy, just a few quotes from this article:
"When produced from hydrocarbons, [hydrogen] costs only about a dollar a kilogram. About 99 percent of the world's 70 million tons of annual hydrogen production comes from gas, using steam methane reforming, or from coal, using coal gasification. But advocates propose to produce green hydrogen from electrolysis of water, using electricity from wind, solar, and other renewable sources."
"Hydrogen from electrolysis, called green hydrogen, typically costs more than $5 per kilogram, or more than five times the price when produced from natural gas."
"To produce a kilogram of hydrogen, the electricity alone costs about $3 in the US and $6 in Germany, or three and six times the price of hydrogen produced by natural gas." Admittedly, we here have no natural gas. But is that a reason to produce the same product in a much more expensive way? It's just absurd lunacy.
There's more; just read it all.

Good for Them
The spoiled rats will get 200 guilders for a christmas dinner. Not in cash, though: that would mean they'd have to pay taxes over that amount; which of course can't be tolerated. As far as I get it, they will get a dinner for that price. (And their families? Don't ask.)
Not so fast: another minister says that this can't be done, but Silly Vain says it's his decision to take, so there.

So What Is It?
Amigoe reports that, from now on, the tax "service" will have one central email-address
Too bad we can't find what that is in the article..

We're Not
State secretary van Hufteren is "confounded" by the belated reaction of our government BLeeders to the Enna-Covid loans problems. With the result that we, tax payers,. will have to cough up more interest.
Well, for us it's just more of the same, lady. We never expected better from that bunch of no-good nitwits. Too bad we were right.

There You Have It
Because our genius finance minister Silly Bully ended collecting taxes over 5 years old, the court decided that FKP social housing may not charge interest over their loans to home-tenants. Lei pa un lei pa tur: one law for everybody, seems to be the court's motive.

Going on Already
PNP MP Osepa wants an investigation into corruption within the public works department. A bit late, maybe, but still a thing that must be pursued. For a start. It's our culture, right?
Osepa calls the situation "alarming". So it is, and has been for as long as we remember. This is Cooper's ministry. Just saying.

Business as Usual
Marguérite Nahar, a national resource, writes (from Holland). What she has to tell makes your eyebrows raise, not to mention the hairs on top of your head: there was a company ready and willing to take over Bullenbaai oil terminal and even fixing its backlog in maintenance. A company owning its own tanker fleet and selling all over the world.
But our BLeeders thought that would reduce Curoil's significance (translated, meaning less money flowing in some pockets?), which according to Nahar is a mistake; to the contrary, it might well have been a boost for Curoil. Another chance lost.

We Know... Or Do We?
Not really. Cft financial supervision tells us that, because of the Ennia "solution" and refinancing of the Covid loans, in the coming years the government will have to spend more money. (Well, that's one thing they assuredly can.) Now we hear that the Ennia loan from the Kingdom will not go through, but "the country will make the required resources available for a controlled settlement." Which means what? Contradiction follows contradiction and we can only await the storm.

Half a million barrels of crude oil stored in Bullenbaai oil terminal will be auctioned on November 1. This after years of legal battles about who's the actual owner. Seems to have been resolved now.
But how and what is still a Big Secret. Rumors are the oil may still be property of PdVSA and thus sanctioned by the USA. Go figure, I can't.

Thank God
Silly Bully has acceded Mudbelly Cooper's request for 500,000 guilders (that's half a million, folks!) to decorate downtown Willemstad in Christmas time.
At least for once it is isn't paid for by the car-tax financed road fund.

That's "Intervention"?
Again, divers have cut open nets containing fish so these escaped.
Casha and CTB are indignant and protest. Which is called they "intervene" in the press.
Ain't tourism great? Makes us all grow fat and wealthy.
Just picture those divers snickering behind their masks.

Hope It Works
Skipping boring details, there's an article 15 that enables Curaçao (the tax payers) and also the penshonados, 30,000 of them as direct stakeholders to lodge complaints with OM public ministry and have them criminally sue the responsible persons.
Let's all join the fun! Much better than fruitless demonstrations.

You Betcha
"Despite increasing income, Curaçao is facing major challenges" warns Cft financial supervision. Named are Ennia and Covid liquidity loans. And not even mentioned is the question, what if the income does not grow?
Maybe that's one reason why SER social-economic council wants to get rid of using the Gross Domestic Product GDP as measure of prosperity. SER wants to include social welfare, social equity and environmental sustainability.

Make Some Haste
Princess Beatrix will be visiting Curaçao from 7-9 November. Shake that Mudbelly, Cooper! and get at least some roads resurfaced for her. Like last time we had a royal visit... Because we don't matter so much.

Hundreds of Israelis are considering fleeing to the Netherlands because of the Hamas terror. They can't be well aware of the Dutch attitude towards the Jews during the WWII Nazi occupation: in some respects, worst of Europe.
A Palestinian flag was projected on the Utrecht Dom church; albeit with no authorization.

Even They Wised Up
On the very same day that Mudbelly announced in his civilized diplomatic manner that Holland "could go take a dump" our BLeeders retracted their conditions for a Dutch loan, with interest, to cover the Ennia pensions.
Much better, for them, than one alternative offered.
But it's not great news at all: prepare to pay up, you tax-paying sucker! Interest will go down from 5.1% to 3.4%; still millions per month.

Cut-Out Jobs
ACFE, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, has been set up in Curaçao. Boy, do they have jobs waiting!

Not Only That
It keeps getting worse and worse. And we don't mean the heat. No, those electric buses for which preparations are going full blast; we now read that the plans include batteries. So the buses can charge up at night I can only guess. Problem is, that will double the price per kW; but that's only to be expected. In Wyoming, all their eight buses that cost $200,000 instead of the diesels' 50,000 price each, have broken down. And so on.
And we still don't get to know how much this bad but expensive joke is gonna cost us. Why not? We can guess. The joke is on us, but we're not laughing.

Works for Me
Amigoe offers a dangerously revolutionary solution for the Ennia problems: raise the AOW/AVV welfare pensions to the subsistence minimum; in which case even when the Ennia penshonados can't get their money—a situation that looks more realistic by the day—at least they won 't die of hunger.
But there's not much hope, sorry. It would entail a 25% cut in employment conditions in public and semi-public sectors (hear them whine), and higher taxes for the rich. "Why should the tax payer have to guarantee and finance Ennia pensions?" ask Amigoe. Good question.
Welfare pension is 1900 guilders/month on BES (Dutch province) islands; here 862. Since 2013.

Horrors! A Cat!
7 restaurants were controlled and 4 of 'em had to close. In one of them, a cat was found in the kitchen.
Well, our cat visits our home kitchen on a regular base and is welcome to it. Better dan rats.

Casha, club of small tourism enterprises, complains that Corendon gets "too powerful". Corendon, at least that's what Casha claims, will soon control 30% of the market since acquiring the Ritz hotel. But, that's at least what Corendon claims, it will be only 7%. Casha says that Corendon will then control prices and salaries, get power over the government, and make the rules. (Which can't be good: CTB is supposed to do all that!) To top it off, Casha says that, things go on like that, it won't make a difference if you are in Curaçao, the Dominican Republic or Turkey. Which seems to be an exact description of what our esteemed government (and CTB, no, we don't forget CTB) is trying to achieve.
Finally, Casha apologizes and says that Corendon's 7% figure "may be right".

Fine with Me
All kingdom negotiations on international treaties will be transferred to the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs. They are now handled by the Directorate of Kingdom Relations (BZK). Let us hope that will mean a more professional approach.

65 vehicles were controlled and 5 drivers had been drinking. But only 1 had to relinquish his license.
The rest went on, on their merry way?
I have to add, these controls took place Friday night on the roads back from two popular entertainment centers. What else to expect?

But would be much better if we got any relief from our taxes as a result: since apartment rentals are tracked down and in consequence pay their dues, tax receipts have gone up by 20%.
Now go spend it, fellas. An unneeded advice. But alas, not unheeded.

Amazing? Not Even Surprising
While our BLeeders are protesting against the interest Holland wants to charge on loans, they still go on charging us, the citizens, for delayed tax payments.
That dispute still runs on.

2 Months and 14 Roads to Go
Better shake that belly, Cooper! Still 14 roads need resurfacing this year.
Don't make me laugh, for want of crying. As good bad as any road you drive on needs resurfacing. It's downright shameful; has been that for many long years and is only getting worse.

Banana, Banana, Banana Kuné
We were reminded of that old hit son yesterday. About 6 in the morning Flow telephone and internet gave up, and only came back at about 7 in the evening. When it grew too dark to "work" and the diligent workers at Flow/UTS/Antelecom/Setel decided they had made enough overtime.

Let's Hope So
There's no corruption in the salary administration of Curaçao Country. At least, there hasn't been found any by ARC court of audit.

But Why?
We're not told why the next booster campaign for Covid has been delayed. While all the panic stories about those injections may be of highly doubtable value, it still makes you think a bit. Also, when it's getting almost impossible to distinguish between Covid, flu or a common cold, why bother?

Four tokos and restaurants were inspected; two had to close immediately and one only got a warning (there was meat rotting in the freezer? refrigerator?—can\'t be serious... seriously?) Bon appétit!

Why Stop?
There's no stopping them. If the dumpers of trash are fined at all, what they have to pay is ridiculously low., Now the people of Rooi Santu are protesting; again. They threaten to dump the old tires delivered to a just cleaned location, back at the owner's Jan Bos place.
May result in a long game of back-and-forth. Plenty of other dumping places!

What They Would Say
The coalition still cries that the 5.1% interest on Covid-loans is a disgrace. And the Ennia-pension loan as a result still hangs in the air.
Even state secretary van Hufteren is losing her patience. Quite an accomplishment, that woman bends over backwards to accommodate our BLeeders.

Do It
After in 2021 online gambling was made legal in the Netherlands, parliament is already working on a bill to end that. "The number of people with a gambling addiction has sharply increased, notably among young adults."
As if PM Bearded Weirdo and minister Silly Bully would care, here. As long as they grow fat on the deals. It's our Culture!

Oh, So
Seems our plenipotentiary minister in Holland, Manuel Piar, failed musician, is the guru pushing Chong's evil hydrogen plans. One more, and very good, reason to assume it's all one more hot air idea that will only cost us money. Not to mention landscape.

The Megalo Maniacs Strike Again
The plans to buy electric buses and have them charged by solar panels is a world first, hurray! Small wonder: most buses drive in daytime, which is the only time solar panels work. There's a contradiction here: you can't charge them at night so have to take them out of schedule to do that. Means, extra buses.
Also, we're still not told what the price tag will be. No worries: somebody will make money on the deal.

Is a word we keep hearing uttered to tell Israel how they should act after the atrocious Hamas attack. Now Dutch PM Rutte has joined that club of nitwits; what's actually meant is, "treat those poor Palestinians with love."
But come right down to it, "proportionate" would actually mean, just kill all the Hamas sympathisers. Problem is, not all Palestinians are fanatic Jew-haters.

Curaçao Chronicle tells us that on inspection of two retirement homes, almost everything was in order. Good, you think. But Amigoe reports differently: in one, the kitchen had failures, and in the other Opium law was not kept to (re. medications).

Well, it is a miracle: Hato passenger tariffs went down, for once. But not so much: to AUA, BON and SXM about 10%; all other destinations 5%.

Let's hope so. Even though the donut-worshipers can't seem to take the hint, the writing is on the wall, and not in an obscure old-testament alphabet either. The wind generator boom is definitely over. Subsidies grind to a halt and without them, there's no financial future in investing in the monsters.
Meanwhile, Germany is bringing back mothballed coal plants to help keep the lights on. This while energy prices have been going up so far, a German household now pays more per kW than even we here do.

"The understanding of the concept of interest among the residents of Curacao is frighteningly low" is the conclusion of a new report from Groningen (Holland) University. Only 58% of the people have an idea of what interest means and the consequences: growing population debt.
And sorry, neither seem our BLeeders seem to have any idea. Or they don't care; why should they?

Do the Crime, Not the Time
We all know it, and now even the police and OM public ministry do: there's much too little capacity of personnel and investigation means to fight crime adequately.
Which makes us all wonder, once again.

Too Late
Opposition parliament parties are, rightly, raving mad about the fact that now, after PM Prick and friends have made a total mess of the financial effects caused by their impotent fooling around with the kingdom's Dutch Covid and Ennia loans, they ask parliament to have their backs. One result is the country's debt (for these loans) has miraculously grown from 69 to 79 million guilders, without any real guarantee that the Ennia penshonados will get their pensions.
PAR wants a clarification by the government. As if those bumbling bungling BLeeders would have any idea themselves.
And PIN also asks if the government plans to take legal steps against the Netherlands. I admit I don't understand that at all. What for? Why? Because NL wants to charge interest?

Perfectly Safe
Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire are the safest islands in the Caribbean. Say USA experts. Compared with Jamaica, St. Maarten (! yes) and Santo Domingo, that's not saying much.
Also mentioned in the report is our "splendid Dutch colonial architecture." As long as Mudbelly & Friends don't ruin it all.

41 Cents Up!
That's how much our water tariffs will be raised next month. Earlier this year, they already went up with 1.21 guilders/cubic meter. In total an over 10% price raise—in one year.
And Aqualectra hasn't even seen fit to publish their 2022 report.

They Signed
After all, and too late: just before the Chimes at Midnight. But they still did: the Covid loans are extended against a 5.1% interest. Over 1 billion €uros.
And our genius leaders, at the last moment, chose for an Ennia-loan instead of for the company's restart, after all. The interest on that one will be 3.4%.
Or maybe I misunderstood. The news as it reaches us is, let's say, a bit confusing.
And our BLeeders don't like it that St. Maarten only has to pay 3.4% interest. Blame yourselves; besides, it's us who'll have to pay. Right before the deadline, PM Prick came up with three supplementary conditions.
Holland insists on solid agreements with our government. Hah! Good luck with those guys. That would be the first time ever.

Leave It to Them
Curaçao and Aruba both missed the deadline for signing the new Covid loans (refinancing) agreement. St. Maarten signed all right.
If C&A don't sign today, the loans may beome "immediately callable." That'll teach 'em us!

Filth: It's Our Culture!
Of 41 "hospitality" establishments checked by the Economic Development Inspection team, 25 had to be shut down. They were too filthy; not only Asian (read: Chinese) but also local restaurants.
You may get the idea that this would concern only tourists; wrong, of course.
We do have Indonesian and a few Japanese restaurants, but my personal impression, for what it's worth, is the Japanese tend to be very clean.

Just Do It
No... let's have a market research first. Who will do that (for a price)? New talk about a ferry service between Bonaire and Curaçao. Must be fast so the trip lasts for less than an hour, as "most people will only get seasick after 45 minutes"; so they'll have 15 minutes to enjoy that. (Too bad if you're more susceptible than "most people".)
They're aiming for a Canary-island like Olson service for 800 passengers, 100 cars and tens of trucks with containers. Three times a day. Sounds overdone to me. Ticket price half that of an airplane ticket; which can only be called expensive.

Now That
Our Wise Bleeders chose for a "settlement" for the Ennia disaster rather than a "restart".
It will cost (us) more.
If it works at all.

13 Years... hmmm
Of our glorious independence. Time to throw a party! You won't see me there.

Advice for the Deaf
Cft financial supervision advises the government to cut down spending on goods and services. Writes Curaçao Chronicle: "it can be inferred that the Pisas Cabinet is paying little attention to the committee's recommendations."
Please excuse my snickering.

To Quote
"Boy, would you get sick if you saw the kitchen," is a line from the original MAD. Very applicable here: now, it's one restaurant and seven snacks which have been closed by the Inspection because of filthy kitchens. Soon, you can only count on a decent meal at home. At least, I hope so for y'all.

Wish Him Luck
Maverick journalist Yves Cooper wants a demonstration in the morning of 10-10-10 in front of the governor's palace (don't blame me, is what it's called) and invites all citizens with integrity to come and demand that people like Jaime Saleh will not be invited for the festivities in there.

They May Well Be
Penshonados who had a pension coming from Ennia are worried about it. They don't have much trust in the planned continuation by the government, with CBCS central bank money. A former banker is quoted as saying it's "incomprehensible".
Dutch Financieel Dagblad opines that those pensions may be reduced by 80%. Also, our government we will be punished by having to pay a higher interest for the Covid loan. (St. Maarten, which did not join our mulish BLeeders, will not have to.)

Good to Know
Almost an entire page in Amigoe about the "circular economy" (the idea that also promises us hydrogen-producing monster windmills all over the horizon), with one paragraph that makes us take heart: "Is application possible on our [SIC] ABC islands?"
The conclusion seems to be "No"

Even Worse
Silly Bully Vain defends himself against the remarks of PAR MP Croes, who expressed the view that the poor gambling industry could become even poorer because of Vain's new LOK law. To the contrary, says Vain: they'll pay even less than they used to.
Please note, I don't know if Vain is lying through his teeth. Or Croes, for that matter. Or, a distinct possibility, both.

He Won't Care
Minister Cijntje keeps to his selection of Meulens for head of Fundashon Marshe [Market foundation] which controls island markets. But SNBTO foundation to watch government entities (I spare you the full name—who thinks of these names?) has serious objections against the choice, as Meulens has no commercial experience whatsoever. Little does Cijntje care.
One of Meulens's recommendations is, he's been head of FKK carnival foundation.
I admit it's not clear to me if Meulens will be responsible for the two markets existing in Willemstad or for The Market in a broader national sense.

So Do We
Dutch VVD MP Kamminga wonders if the construction thought (?) out by Curaçao government and Central Bank to keep Ennia pensions going is "sufficiently robust."

Keep on Digging that Hole
Because less and less electric cars are sold, and for reasons that are not easy to understand (not only) the Dutch government still thinks EVs are a good thing, the plans to lower the government subsidies are scrapped in turn: the €2950 will not become 2550.
If that will help much?

More Time Needed
As always... Because the decision not to go for a loan to cover the Ennia pensions came so late, the government needs more time to look at the consequences. One thing that resulted, the interest for the Covid-loans will go up instead of the hoped-for refinancing against a lower interest.
Instead of 3.1% the interest may now go up to 5.1%. Still a bargain.
Which means a total interest on the Covid loan is 46.5 million/year; exceeding the gambling-mafia's payments by 4.6 million. Thanks, PM Prick and Silly Bully.

No Guarantee
The deal between the government and CBCS central bank does not guarantee that the penshonados will in fact get their money during the next 25 years. While the government talks about 30 million per year, nobody has figured out yet how much it really is.

Bye, Jaime
Hypocrite Jaime Saleh finally took the hint and has taken his leave as Minister of State.
No word about paying his Ennia (and more)-money back; but then, we didn't expect that.

Can't Be So
Amigoe writes that inflation in July went up to 6%, and in August up to 5.4%.

That's Getting Old
In spite of repeated promises, there still is no approved yearly account for 2021.

Stop the Foolishness
Switzerland has forbidden all electric cars to take non-essential trips if the country runs out of energy coming winter. There seems to be enough gas and diesel available so regular cars can keep on running.
In England, insurance companies are considering a 1000% higher premium for EVs as from next year. Reason, even after minor accidents the battery which makes up 25% of the car's value will have to be replaced because of fire risks.

They Lost
RdK refinery director Kwartel and two of his accomplices appealed their prison sentence for accepting millions of bribes when trying to get the refinery rebooted. 3 years for him, 30 for his fellows.
Which is not so much when you consider that it may well be thanks to their actions that we're still stuck with a useless refinery.

For some car owners, special measures have to be taken so they can keep on driving. Reason: their license plates made in China (?!) have arrived all right, but there's no paint to finish 'em. For unknown reasons. Translation: undisclosed reasons.

PAR MP Croes is worried that the online gaming industry will be frightened off by finance minister Silly Vain's new LOK law. He feels that the gambling mafia will get too much to pay for licenses.
We don't share these worries. Remember, Croes himself has been working in that industry for four years.

We'll See...
... eventually. The government thinks Ennia Zorg and Schade are healthu enterprises that will go on existing. Only Leven, responsible for the pensions, will be ended; in the sense that no new customers will be accepted. Ennia's Leven assets will be consumed, which makes pensions payable for 3 or 4 years. Alas, total of pensions payable will go on for 30 years.
It will take a month for Central Bank and all to finish definite calculations.

Oh, Good
Curaçao Chronicle is back on-line. We need all the responsible media we can get.
May just have forgotten to pay the server fee, who knows?

Piracy around us is growing again, as it does more or less intermittently. This time it's around Venezuela, Colombia, Panamá, Trinidad and Guyana. It looks like they're fishermen (not persons, is a maybe still reasonable guess) who've lost their income because of the economy crisis. Although, what can fishermen do with a captured containership? Yachts are high risks; figures.

Somebody Hates Us
The Tula commemoration was moved to another location: again, the weather was threatening. Instead, it took place in the trade union building. Maybe more fitting.
But I'm glad to tell you, now Tula has been formally rehabilitated by the Dutch government. (Who had nothing to do with his execution; that was in fact quite another country.) So that's been fixed? You better hope so.
Even the mighty king wrote a letter about it, while it's a historical fact that he or his ancestors really never had anything at all to do with slavery.
It was rather surprising to see a colored man play the role of the brute torturing Tula. Maybe even historically correct? I couldn't say—nor could anybody else. But why miss the occasion to blame Whity?

Please Do So
The government has, gracefully-or-not, declined the Dutch proposal to loan us the largest amount ever in history to cover the Ennia pension debacle. Good? Central Bank will have another look at the ways to cover the problem. The idea now seems to be that the Bank will take care of the loan as well as the Covid loan, instead, so it hasn't to be paid back to the Kingdom.
No matter, we'll have to pay for all that anyway.

Rich Catch
This time, it was a fishing boat with 130 kilos of cocaine on board that was caught by Kustwacht. Crew consisted of 2 Curaçaoans.
Smuggling coke sure beats fishing! As long as you're not caught.

Oh those Divers
Now a group of them is accused of having damaged a net in which a school of masbangu [mackerel] had been caught, so the fish could escape. Which is an enormous setback for the fishermen and their families, costing them months of income.
Cases like this have been reported since at least 2011. This time, a diving school is suspected, but there's no proof.
Minister Cijntje wants to try and avoid reoccurrences by placing signs at beaches, telling divers about our fishing culture. Good luck, impotent potentate.

Yesterday's great rehabilitation of Tula didn't seem to have the weather gods' approval. Half an hour after the program started, a storm broke loose complete with thunder, lightning and driving rain. Not to mention the wind. Participants had to make a hasty getaway.
So Tula never emerged from the waves, unlike Botticelli's Venus dressed in pants. And no, despite the contributing parties' disrespectful snickering when they were told about the plan, the rumor that he would be played by Prince Carnival is definitely untrue.
A repeat may be tried today.

Caught up with it
Boy, have those guys been fooling around. Can't leave 'em on their own for two weeks... Lotsawoik for me, and both of us pay up for it.
Easy Way Out
PM Bearded Weirdo Pisas ask the Kingdom to keep the Ennia-loan apart from the financial supervision arrangements. He'd like that, obviously, so he can go clumsily fooling around with what enfin is our money. The Central Bank is asked to give a guarantee that the government will keep to its obligations.
Alas, CBCS doesn't seem to judge so.

Of 5 snackbars-restaurants visited, 2 were allowed to remain open because everything, including the kitchen, was in order. Watch where you eat!

Depends on the school I guess. But one of those clamoring for slave revolt Tula's rehabilitation claims they were never taught about it in school. Well, we were. But then, we were taught by the much rebuked Catholic Fraters. Who also gave us stenciled booklets informing us about South America, instead of the towns in Dutch Drente province.
I was told that the plans for a spectacle commemorating Tula didn't fail to raise a smile when told to the groups participating in the event: near the monument of Rif, Tula will, Neptune-like, rise up from the sea, decorated with chains.

Do Tell
Central Bank director Doornbosch warns that there are heavy risks which "may" threaten the economy. Like the Covid loans; the Ennia loans; higher crude oil prices; Ukraine war. Some comments in KKC show how smart the writers are: they agree that CBCS should be canceled. That's just what our B Leeders would like!

Our B Leeders are not only corrupt, they're stupid and crazy as well. What else is new? The proved it once again by paying 8 million guilders for Campo Alegre, and don't even have the faintest idea of what to do with the property. In fact, we hear they were prepared to go up to 12 million.
This while all the time they want to borrow Kingdom money; without paying interest of course.

Pay More
Hato air travelers will have to pay $1.73 etra for the privilege of taking of their shoes, belts and all that; for safety reasons. But this is no tax, oh no! it's to pay for the costs for CCAA's responsibility. And the airlines don't pay: you do.
Right, them airlines would pass it on to you anyway. They're in the business to make money.

Fast Work, But...
There was a black-out in part of Aruba, because of a faulty transformer. Power was restored in 10 minutes; good.
Utility Elmar points out that clients can in such cases find info on Facebook. Not everybody likes that idea—or Fakebooc. Why can't they just upload items on a website of their own? Curaçao's Aqualectra doesn't either; of course not!

In 2013, Fundashon Kòrsow Transparante has been agitating for a connection to the UN convention against corruption. But for some reason, our Bleeders don't seem to desire this; not particularly. The Wetboek voor Strafvordering [Code for Criminal Procedure] dates from 1907 and hasn't been adapted since.
But they're working on it.

Curaçao Chronicle seems to have disappeared from the Internet. Maybe just temporarily? Anyway, the links on this site won't work any longer. For now.

"Possibly" huh?
The taxi drivers' union have lost their appeal and have to pay a 68,600 guilders fine. Low: could have been 1 million. The supervisor had got indications that, possibly, the taxi owners made price arrangements together. But this union refused to cooperate in the following investigation.
We had to take a taxi a couple of weeks ago (long boring story) and there still was no meter in view.

So Do It, Already
GMN ministry of health announces that, from now on, there will be strict supervision on illegal dumping of trash and measures will be taken.
Sure. Sigh. When did we hear this before? How often? We've all lost count long since.

Not Over Yet
The seizure of the fuel oil stored in Bullenbaai has been canceled. However, this is not the end of the affair; next time in court will be October 2. Tiresome, isn't it?

Sure Kids, Go on Stealing
C***-Post does not have to pay back taxes and duties after all, as the poor babies have such problems.
Which, I must guess, means that all import duties we paid via C***-Post have disappeared in there. Aren't you proud you helped them out?

Good Riddance?
What remains of giant bordello Campo Alegre, our national pride, will be auctioned off tomorrow. That's the third effort. Will it succeed this time?

Sic 'Em!
OM Public Ministry tells us that after all, criminal investigations in the Ennia case are going on. After all.

The Plot Thickens
But will Silly Vain drown in the overboiling hot water? Don't count on it, even if he's now accused of a conflict of interests by Dutch minister Weerwindt, because of Bully's new LOK gambling law and his involvement in a gambling promotion event. Weerwindt worries about insufficient controls, ineffective supervision and lack of transparency which mean structural failings which must be tackled.
Please do?

Give Me One Ton More
The Marine/Navy intercepted 985 keys of coke from two boats trying to smuggle it in.
Interestingly, we're told that the smugglers will only get prosecuted criminally if the arrest takes place within the territorial waters. Instead, in those cases the USA will take over.

And Why Not
M*F*K PM Prick Pisas bypasses parliament, and lets the MPs know in a letter that he doesn't have any information on Ennia. Which if true is a scandalous neglect of his responsibilities; and, if not true (most probably), a lie. We're used to that.
Anyway, what's the difference? As if Staten/parliament is of any help.

That Would Be Somepin'
C***-Post International promises they will improve their ways. Long after we were ready for it. They handed their manifest (or whatever) to Mudbelly Cooper, which says "it is imperative that we continue to focus on efficiency, innovation, and diversification to balance the loss of postal revenue and offer products and services that benefit the needs of customers and the local and international markets." Like, not delivering at home but making you pick-up your mail somewhere else? And maybe, bless the thought, from now on I'll receive packages sent from abroad without them getting stolen lost?
Don't count on it.

Could Be, Yes
The Isla refinery trade workers' union doubts that the place will ever reopen again. What makes them doubt that? We, and they, keep getting assurances from the government that it will be rebooted. So it must be true.

That's Rich
The kingdom wants 6-8% of interest on a Covid-loan, because of bad experiences in the past with payments back by the island governments. Now Aruba is crying out loud that Holland wants to make money on us!

Just What We Needed
... and suspected. It's workers of Aqualectra utility who are accessories to the large-scale theft of water and electricity, which has been plaguing the company for years.
This became clear to even the worst observers when in Ma Luisa it was discovered Aqualectra material had been used for illegal connections to the network. Both conduits and pipes.
But no worries, the thieves can strike a fine deal with Aqualectra.
This was the third time they found 'em on the same address. Who's living there? is a good question.

A Record
There's a record number of tourists on the island, but the small hotels remain empty.
That's something, at least—but not very much.

But How
Further impoverishment must be prevented, the Dutch government feels. Great. Agreed. You know, what I think, is the way to go is get rid of our government. What we really need is a second parliament, as there exists in Holland and in the USA. It's not perfect, but at least it has the potential to stop a lot of the rubbish we're treated to in a daily dose.
Keep on dreaming.

No Doubt
Antilliaans Dagblad writes that ex-PM IJs "has learned a lot from his period at Ennia's." New Tricks, even for an old fox.
IJs is so smart, he had no idea what was going on. And he adds, he wouldn't want to work "for a company of which the survival is uncertain." No mention of the fact that the company was rotten; after all, what would he care? He's a politician. As long as he gets paid.

The Did It!?
The Curaçao government has revoked Jaime Saleh's post as Minister of State (of the kingdom). At least, PM Prick Pisas has written Saleh he must relinquish the title.
Will Saleh do so? is another question. If the job is well-paid, chances are he won't.

Something in that
Re Ennia, we get to read "Structural problems require structural solutions." You think? Looks more and more like the situation couldn't have evolved without a society that's rotten to the corrupt core; including the government of course. And most of the voters, you got that straight.

More Ennia
Or maybe, less. 7 "ghost" commissioners collected 5.5 million from Ennia. One of them is Evan Tromp, by what can only be a coincidence Emsley (then CBCS central bank director) Tromp's son. Others names are Clarence Derby, Kelly Clifford, Aghili Cyrus, Elizabeth Leos, Chris Archie and Caspian Tavalli. I have no idea who they are; didn't even know Tromp had a son. Nobody tells me anything... Proves once again, those things run in families.

"Sustainable" Cutlery
On KLM's and quite probably other flights, and also in the Dutch snacks, instead of plastic cutlery, which is a strict no-no by now, you get things that look like wood; the same kind of wood they use as sticks for frozen lollipops.
Only, it isn't wood, even if the knives cut just as badly: it's a clever plastic imitation!

Out of Date
This is from after my arrival back home, but who cares? The MTO boss announces that next year's heat will be even more intense than what we are going through now. Which will be really something. How does he know? He doesn't tell. Also, too bad that last year he didn't predict this year's heat.
Others say the next glaciation has begun and temperatures will drop during the next decade. We heard that one before,as well; around 1980.

APC pension fund's investment coverage has gone down from 112 to 104%, which means several hundred millions have just disappeared. If I were a civil servant, to use the polite expression for a change, I'd get worried. Next, we may have another Ennia on our hands?

APC pension fund's investment coverage has gone down from 112 to 104%, which means several hundred millions have just disappeared. If I were a civil servant, to use the polite expression for a change, I'd get worried. Next, we may have another Ennia on our hands?

Still Stinks
The Rif Mangrovepark problems are not over. Will they ever be? Steward Carmabi notes that sewage is still dumped in there when the electricity fails. Which happens on an irregular but much too often base, as we all have had plenty of occasions to notice.
Come right down to it, this has been a disaster from the start. Let's hope one of these years it will become a real attraction .

Good Point
As Dutch parliamentaries don't trust Curaçao and Aruba to keep to their obligations to pay the Covid loans back (whatever gave them that weird idea?), they want to charge a 6 to 8% interest. Which you and me will have to cough up. Thank you, Bleeders.
Our deputy minister in Holland didn't have time t9o attend the parliament meet8ings; he had more impor5tant business in a music performance at Jan Thiel's Zanzibar,.Curaçao.

Take Your Vitamins
When SVB social insurance announced vitamins and minerals would not be paid for any longer, I for one thought that was a good thing. They are superfluous in a normal diet.
But as some people really need them,, because of physical conditions, SVB has decided to continue paying for them. At least, for dialysis patients and such. Which is no more than reasonable.

Tar and Feather Him
Hypocrite Jaime Saleh, with his mouthfuls of pronunciations on "integrity" may not get away with his grabbing money out of the Ennia debacle, after all. PNP MP Osepa wants him to leave his function as minister of State; a mostly honorary function.
Which of course still means he'll stick to that money like glue.

Curaçao expects to make a measly 40 million a year from the gambling mafia. As I pointed out before, that's a mere .00007% of their total $60 billion revenue.
Even the sumptuous bungalow "given as a present" (aren't there laws against that?) to PM Prick Pissass of 4.5 million is a mere 10% of that sum we, as a country, will get "richer".
If we get that much at all. And you're right, my percentage calculation may be off by a one or more zeros. Does it matter?

What Else
Dutch parliament doesn't like the necessity to come across with a yet another loan to save us from the Ennia-affair consequences. Tell you something, Dutchies: we don't either,.

Not Enough
Ennia's Ansary has to pay the government 250 million guilders. It may become more because of taxations still pending.
Anyway, a far cry from the billions the government was counting on. You and me better start saving to pay up, as the government doesn't for sure.

Who Knows
Antilliaans Dagblad wonders out loud if wthe people became sicker or just went to hospital sooner during the past 3 years: number of hospital patients went up by some 30% during that time. Which also means that the number of SVB social insurance clients went up from (2020) 41,602 to (2022) 44,963

Aw, That Hurts
People who refuse to participate in the Census may get a 5000 guilders fine. It's mainly "European Dutch" AKA makambas who refuse, as they don't trust the privacy as guaranteed by CBS statistics.
I happened to have a part-time job at CBS Netherlands at the time of the 1970s census there, where they had the same protests; and although the management swore by all that was holy that secrecy was guaranteed, among the personnel it was common knowledge that practically anybody there could get into the results.

Such Good Friends
Because of Curaçao's stubborn attitude re the desired, what do I say? desperately needed Kingdom loans to hoist themselves out of the pit where Ennia landed them, St. Maarten may have to pay a higher interest rate.

Back in the Saddle
For those who missed me: I've been called away for a short, if still much too long, visit to the Cold Country, in connection with an retrospective of Yayoi Kusama's work of the 1960s in Holland in the Schiedam Stedelijk Museum.
I'm glad to say at least the opening was a success. If you plan to go to Holland, try to visit Schiedam, where my photographs get much more attention than they may deserve. (Just because they're old?) But the show is jolly good.
And now, starting tomorrow, back to the items of the past few weeks. There's much more than you or I would care for. Leave it to our Great Leaders! Starting with the oldest down on the list, as always.
Now Ennia directors and shareholders are starting actions against the Netherlands state to get "their" money back. Abdallah Androus demands $130 million in compensation for actions by the CBCS central bank, while Ansary wants $990 million. How Holland can be held responsible for actions of our independent bank, is not clear to me. But Rutsel Martha is the Ennia crooks' legal rep.; which explains it?
All I can say is, if we have to pay a loan back, it may save Ennia penshonados but not most of us from going poor.
There's a document making the rounds blaming all and everybody but M*F*K for Ennia's failure. I would upload it if I completely trusted it; but I won't and don't.

As Long as You Pay
A terrain at Jan Sofat/Spaanse Water has been denuded in anticipation of a permit for a 6-floor building; which isn't there Yet?.It totals 8ha (20 acres). Denuding is free, said Mudbelly recently, and there you go.

It's a Thought for Sure
On the asocial media you can read items expressing the idea that the government is deliberately making a mess of their deals with the Kingdom, in the hope that the Dutch will get fed up and kick us out. I wouldn't know, but it's easy to understand why people would think that.
It couldn't be done without a (hurray!) new referendum, but what do our Bleaders know?

A Brawl? Not Yet
Justice minister Hato does not agree with OM public ministry. A criminal investigation should start against the managers of Ennia. Lack of personnel is no excuse.
But OM's press official Schoop says he never said that there won't be a criminal investigation. He sounds rather pissed off at Hato (and the media). What he meant to say was, lack of personnel makes investigations harder.
Whatever. As long as there's a follow-up.

Trobble Brewin'
MAN's parliament faction publishes a press release complaining about finance minister Bully Silly Vain's attacks in social media against civil servants and even colleague ministers. This is not the first time he's accused of that, plus "lies and manipulation".
Reminds me of Dutch author Jan de Hartog's bon mot: "Watch out for small men, because they hate you for every inch you're taller."

For now, the building in Punda may not be demolished. After ProMo started a court case, that's what the judge said. But it will go anyway; the same judge thought Mudbelly Cooper had provided sufficient evidence of the risk of collapse.
What does a judge know? you ask. Good question. Possibly more than we do.

Electric Trucks, Anyone?
Apart from the problems with weight and the resulting road damage, they are 3 times as expensive as a comparable diesel truck. Also, they seem to guzzle electricity while charging, so even in the USA many utilities can't deliver enough. Some truckers there use diesel generators to get around this problem; talk about pollution.
That an EV truck can only run 150-300 miles (240-480kms) on a charge may be less of a problem here.

The Idea!
Amigoe carries an article about the exorbitant profits banks make: interest rates go up all the time, but not for saving accounts. The solution in Europe, which is recommended to our finance minister (he'll love it!) is to make the banks pay extra taxes over those profits.
Which means that we will pay those taxes, am I right?

Another One
Lawyer Roelof Bijkerk won another case against gaming institutes, so beloved by Silly Vain and Prick Pisas. Gaming Services Provider and Vega World Solutions must pay €32,000 to a gambler who won when making use of their "services". You're excused for suspecting there are more coming.

"Highly Undesirable"
That's how CFT financial supervision describes the plans to save the Ennia pensions by a €600 million loan State secretary van Hufteren advises Dutch parliament to agree in a hurry, once more proving her incompetence. CFT judges the loan would be in violation of the state financial supervision act.
And CFT also thinks that the government's idea that Ennia will pay up in the future is no more than a dream. (The verdict of Ennia's Ansary's appeal in the case where he must to pay €500 million plus interest back to Curaçao is expected next week.)
And finally, if the Ennia disaster had happened in Holland the state would not have done a thing to save those 30,000 pensionaries.
A Dutch parliament debate on the loans is planned September 13th. Curaçao Chronicle warns we "would do well not to celebrate too soon." Celebrate?

More Good News
OM public ministry tells us that because of a lack of personnel it's impossible to start a criminal investigation of Ennia's Ansary. The police corps has a capacity of only 63% of what's desirable; which explains a lot?

Oh, Great... Just Great
Pension Fund APC makes it known that the plans to build a monstrosity on the Waterfort already have a positive effect.
All I can say is, not so much on the Unesco World Heritage site's appearance.

ARC comptroller's office has a lot of questions for finance minister Silly Vain. For starters, the last accorded country's budget is that of 2007. That's even before we grew independent; except financially of course. (This aside.) For which our Bully can hardly be blamed: it's our culture!
But it's mainly—there's plenty more—about Landsloterij whose 18.3 million debt were waived recently. Which is the more remarkable as the finance minister is a member himself of their Raad van Toezicht [supervisory board].
ARC wants the minister to explain in parliament. Good luck with that.

All in the Game
Seems personnel of Hill Ross Casino borrows money from customers "on a grand scale". The manager says it's forbidden and they'll be fired instantly. But the trade union doesn't like that; imagine.

"Profit", Huh?
For the first time in history, the FDKK carnival foundation has made a profit. 3800 guilders! However, that's after they got a country subsidy of 385,000. Now 2 universities (out of many) will research the set-up in order to arrive at a policy plan. Idea is to have the feast independent of subsidies.

Nice Going
The government, as we know, has to borrow 1.2 billion from the kingdom, to take care of the pensions insured with Ennia. Now the pressure on OM public ministry mounts to start criminal prosecutions of the guilty parties. (I'd certainly like to see that.) And now we only read, as an aside, that financing of public facilities will be impossible for the coming years." How many years, I don't know.
Which in fact was a condition for those Covid loans, remember?

No Comment [Needed]
A family affair, or in fact (at least) 2: Hugo Chávez's ex, Rodrigues, has been appointed to "first-class Consul-General ad interim at the Venezuelan Curaçao consulate"; sounds great, huh? And it is, too: one step below number 1, who happens to be the sister of Veneuzelan's high court president.

Planning (Plus) minister Martina accuses Silly Vain of not following the procedures for hiring government personnel. One interesting detail is, some (Customs) people were promoted 8 months before the requests had been received.
Confirms the Bully just does as he likes.

A New Approach
Mudbelly Cooper has several plans, also for road maintenance. For which the money will come out of the vehicle tax we pay.
That's something new, all right: using money as it was meant to be used.
Too bad he also talks about the development of the "Rif and Colon" area. Will that come out of the same source? We fear the worst. Goodbye road maintenance!

He, And Who Else?
Silly Vain has said on Fakebooc that Ennia's Ansary "has stolen money" and CGTC trade union thinks this is plenty reason to lodge complaints with OM public ministry. But wait:
"It's time for those responsible to listen to the voice of their conscience and pay the money back," CGTC says.
Don't make me laugh, it hurts. It's totally clear it's us who'll have to pay.

Don't Get It
CMC hospital has a shortage of medical specialists. They need 3.2 more of them.
I guess that could be more reasonable than it looks to me.

Oh Boy...
Contrary to statements by PM Prick Pisas and finance minister Silly Vain (in March 2022) that the favors in tax payment by friends should be stopped "immediately", they still get that preferent treatment.
Surprising? Not very much.
And Silly Vain has again warned Tax Head Trona that these practices must be stopped at once. Just like 2 years ago.

It's a Start
CRU Curaçao Refinery Utilities has offered CAO contracts to 262 workers, in connection with the planned start-up of asphalt production. RdK refinery director Newton comments the idea is to get the oil industry running again "in a responsible way."

Is How It Is
Fundashon pa Konsumidó compared prices of 93 products in 29 botika drugstores. Prices differed over a wide scala, with some products costing twice as much depending where you shop. Botika Piscadera turned out to have the largest assortment plus the lowest prices, followed by Botika Cerrito.

He Says He's Trying
Minister Cijntje tells us about his travel experiences, because there are "individuals who believe there is no justification for his trips." Whatever gives them that outlandish idea? Be that as it may, Cijntje sends a yearly report on all his trips to parliament, and "it would be beneficial for all Ministers to publish their travel reports and the progress of each trip's implementation." Hear, hear.

No Bets: We Lose
Cft financial supervision warns that the planned budget surpluses for the coming years may well turn into deficits. From 2024-2027; because of the Virus refinancing and the Ennia loans. And the 40 million Silly Vain expects to get from gambling licenses will not be realized either.
40 million. Is that all? And not even that.

So Do We
Dutch VVD party wants the CAS islands to get better governance and finances. Gee. VVD also wants to have the possibility for autonomy in the Statuut. Gee. And we thinking it was in there from the beginning. Otherwise, why all those referenda?

Pity the Mangroves?
Amigoe carries another Climate Panic article, straight from €C HQ Bruxelles, wherein we're told that the mangroves are in danger. They're gonna drown, or something, because of the sea-level rise which is described as 1 meter per century. (Which we should have noticed by now.)
But take heart, even Wikipedia makes it 1-2mm or, at worst, between 1913-2022 4.62 mm/year. Which is (at worst) not even half of 1m/century. NASA makes it max. 24cm over the past 140 years.

How Nice of Them
Aqualectra gives illegal clients two month's time to make it legal. Without any fines or costs.
In sharp contrast with us, the decent folks who have to pay up when we're a day or so late with our bill payments and have to be re-connected.
It's all in the spirit of Silly Vain's tax remission. Who's next?

For How Long?
"Indefinitely" is what we get to read. Two guards will be posted at the entrance of Playa Piskadó to stop tourists and tourist buses. Only fisher persons and beach workers will be admitted. This after many months of complaints by the people using the location professionally.
Tourists can still access the beach via stairs down the cliffs. And then up again, don't forget.

Weird Is the Woid
Aqualectra does not want to lower tariffs. Reason is, then consumption will go up which they can't afford to deliver. Which is in contradiction to the basic lessons in economy I received, admittedly long ago.
Aqualectra explains there is not much wind right now, so extra fuel-burning units would have to be used to deliver more juice. In the first place, there always is not much wind this time of the year; you think they'd know. More importantly, 5 of the 10 wind generators at Tera Corá have not been working at all since the mid-July black-out; but Aqualectra prefers not to mention that. To the contrary, they again say they want to install more of the monstrosities.
I don't know about those at Playa Canoa; and can only suspect this was caused by that black-out. Yes, that's a famous logical fallacy: Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Look it up.

Run, Girls!
After a crash between a minibus and another car it was observed how Latina-looking women got out of the bus and split the scene in a hurry (before the gendarmerie arrived). You think they were illegals, er, undocumented?

Made Me Smirk
UoC university has money problems. Not good; not smirking about that. What did make me smirk is to read how UoC made a profit during the Virus years, as the operational costs were lower.

But Not for Us
Curaçao is very safe for tourists, says Travellers [sic] Worldwide. Too bad we're not tourists! "I just live here."
I don't believe it anyway. "Curaçao has a very low crime number." Makes one wonder how much Travelers World was paid and by whom. They do advise tourists to drink lots of water and use sun cream.

What Can You Say?
Good Luck! is all. Foundation Green & Curaçao NOW wants to make us all environment conscious. Fine. But they've taken on quite a job. It's just not our culture.
Also, and maybe worse, their recommendations are hard to follow up. Sure, don't dump empty trash out of your car windows. That's only for starters. Then, take glass, aluminum and plastic to one of those collection points. Which are made hard to approach, or just too filthy to touch. I confess I have given up on those.

USA parking place
On a tourist parking place in the USA

We have to start separating trash in different categories. Only, we here get only one Kliko container and it looks like we won't get any more. And besides, those separate containers tend to grow to maniacally fetishistic numbers. Do something about that and then, maybe...

Sure, Yes
Political party KENM's Martines makes a case for criminal prosecution of the guys who relieved banks of enormous amounts and went scot-free. He mentions Girobank and Ennia.
And please don't forget those companies' boards, which enabled them.
Martines uses the dreaded words "class justice" and it looks like he's got a good point.

Finance minister Silly Vain asks SCVB social insurance to have the botika/drugstores make vitamins and supplements available again at no costs to the public. They are "essential."
Which is a very moot point indeed. People on a normal diet run very little risk of a vitamin or mineral deficiency. That's all hype by manufacturers of (often much too expensive) supplements.

What's This, Now?
First, Weird Beard PM Prick announces that all renters of FKP social housing can take over their houses for 1 guilder each; then Mudbelly Cooper denies that. Understandably, house occupants are peed off.
It's a strange move anyway, and it looks like the government would prefer to get rid of the houses rather than pay for maintenance. They'd rather spend that money on, er, other objects.

There, Yes; Here, Not So Much
Since online gambling has been legalized in Holland, the Dutch government has made 1 billion €s on it. We already know that while Silly Vain wants to turn us into the gambling capital of the world, we won't make any money on that. It'll all go to the gambling mafia.

Not Really Good
The Curaçao Jaarrekening yearly account of 2021 has not been approved. It does not give a good insight in to the financial state of the country. By now we're used to that; so what else is new?
Another item is that the 142 million surplus over 2022 has "vanished into thin air"—it's only 17 million because of "unforeseen accrued expenses." What do you know.
And finally, the prediction over 2023 is that there'll be a surplus of 3 million. Cft financial supervision says that should be turned into a 40-60 million surplus. Betcha it won't: the financial management must improve structurally. Forget it.

It's Not, Is It?
The government, again meaning Mudbelly Cooper, is finally going to inventorize what buildings it actually owns. "About 300, some 80 of 'em schools." It's all because of restructuring the property management, but don't worry: Mudbelly assures us that "the responsibility for the maintenance of the buildings is not neglected."
I'm certainly relieved to hear that, aren't you? Pressing themselves into my mind are the old police post on Kleine Berg/Seru Chikí, no more than a ruin, and the since 2013 unused and empty Bestuurkantoor which is dilapidating fast. To name but a few.

Guess Who Pays
Landmark Cinelandia cinema is back in the news. The government, in casu Mudbelly, wants a thorough investigation into the state of the building. You guessed right: the owner must pay for that.
But Mudbelly thinks the building must be demolished, anyway. Hardly anybody agrees. Fix it!

€600 Million More
The Netherlands is prepared to lend the CAS islands that amount so the pensions, endangered by the Ennia debacle, will be safe. The interest on the COVID-loans will be reduced from 8 to 3.1%. If an agreement will be reached and Dutch parliament agrees.
You must realize this means you and I are going to pay these pensions. Who else, anyway? Dutch taxpayers, you say.

Just when MAN MP Williams has proposed to include plastic drinking straws in the Forbidden Stuff we get to read that replacement paper and bamboo (yes, bamboo) straws almost all contain toxic chemicals, so-called PFAS, called "forever chemicals" because they linger "almost permanently" in the environment, from the soil to the water supply. They're associated with everything from low birth weight to risk of cancer.
"The most commonly found PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), has been banned globally since 2020."
Save a turtle: poison the world!

Batten the Hatches
As another natural terrain is being denuded near Westpunt to build expensive villas on, more and more protests go up. Good—if they help. DOW Cijntje tells us that the law is a hundred years old, and should be adapted. And we thinking we had a much more recent EOP island development plan. No, that has been changed 3 times already as well. (Whenever a piece of nature has to go to build on, it's changed.)
In 2016 a motion was adopted to design a new EOP, for which 1 million was reserved. But nothing happened since.
Which of course makes us nastily ask, what happened to that one million?

Go Figure
Car fuel has become more expensive, but water and electricity tariffs go down. "As the result of higher fuel prices to produce energy."

Step on It
In November, we'll get decent gasoline and diesel, "equivalent to the Euro 4 standard used in Europe." But you guessed it, it will be "slightly more expensive." 3 cents/liter. As we pay 13 cents/liter for gas more now than last month already, yes, that's "slightly".

Wising Up, Dooby Dooby
So Bully Silly Vain actually can hear you, if you yell loud enough. He now promised the next budget proposal, 2024, would be submitted in time.

Oh, Not So
We'd all figured that with the 30% raise of onderstand welfare benefits, AOW welfare pensions would go up as well. Fooled you! What do those useless old farts need money for, anyway?
In shrill contrast, in 2022 SVB social insurance bank paid its employees 125,900 guilders/year. On average, to be sure. Over ten times as much.

Made Me Nauseous
A bakery at Tera Corá has been closed by the inspectors. 350 kilos of products were confiscated and destroyed. Customers had raised the alarm by complaints about insects in their bread. Seeing the photos of baking pans and all makes your stomach do a salto.

2500 Keys!
That's how much coke was intercepted by the Coast Guard this week. Two fast boats were transporting them; one had to be shot at to disable the motors while the other one gave up after warning shots were fired.
They just keep trying, don't they.

Ouch. What Now?
The judge has accepted gas stations' case that the newly planned pump station near Malpais should not be tolerated. Its location permit has been canceled. MEO economic development must have a new location permit ready in 4 months. Will it? YOU BET!

Trouble Brewing?
PNP's Larmonie-Cecilia accuses Silly Vain of not enough transparency. Vain even claims his proposal to delay the budget submission has been discussed in parliament, but it never was.
PAR doesn't like the delay either. If it will have any results remains to be seen.

You'll Go Hungry
"Eat what the kunuku produces," advises Amigoe. Too bad that will never be enough for all of us.

Both Mudbelly Cooper and Silly Vain criticize the results of UDC's survey, even though Bully Silly came out #1. He says he's just a minister, not a political leader at all. Touché? Both say the survey was ordered by "another party" and want UoC to come across with its name.

Right Ho, Lichtveld
Nothing on these pages on the just-over Suriname-week, where golden futures were predicted for both Suriname and Curaçao. Suriname because of the oil found in sea; Curaçao because of our financial system; which would be a great help. Color me skeptical.
Now another of our national resources, George Lichtveld, sums it all up in Amigoe. He points to Venezuela and its oil reserves, and look where it got them. Then he points to Suriname's Bouterse, a crook and "mass-murderer" who decennia long managed to grab the power, to be now followed up by president Santokhi who's accused of nepotism. Lichtveld ends by holding back from calling Suriname a "state embedded crminal network", like Venezuela, but can't stop himself saying it's not far removed.
Then he warns potential investors in Suriname for the risks they run because of organized crime, the troubled rule of law, the lack of law enforcement and the prevailing corruption.
Which reminds me of other places.

Now He Wants Advice
Mirabile dictu, Silly Vain has asked Cft financial supervision for advice on the concept budget, the Ennia problems (mainly pensions, is my guess), the liquidity loans and the CMC-hospital-resolution. Maybe not that miraculous; looks like he sees no way to resolve the problems himself.
Except asking Holland for loans, which may be granted; but on what conditions (like, must they be paid back? and against what interest?) Which is the reason he delayed the budget concept. Oh.

Depends on Who You Ask
Silly Vain has been chosen as the most reliable politician by the UDC (University of the Dutch Caribbean) Knowledge Center Curaçao. Amazing, or not?. Also think of the gambling mafia. In a way, he can always be trusted to do the wrong thing, true.
PM Prick Pisas ended 5th with a confidence of 23%; still much too high in my admittedly biased opinion. But there's not much competition, you got that straight.
PAR and MAN were even lower on the list than M*F*K and PNP. 26% don'[t trust Silly Vain either. They must be the smart ones.

Not long ago, finance minister Silly Bully lowered the profit tax tariff from 22% to 15%. It's just too bad that he did this à la Obama with, essentially, a stroke of the pen instead of following the legal way of having the Landsverordening [law] changed. In fact, so opines Antilliaans Dagblad, if he'd just send out a press release announcing a tariff reduction to be accorded by parliament, that would have been much preferable.
Now, the governor should advise the minister to retract the measure. Otherwise, what banana-republic-like measure will betaken next?

Was Waiting for It
Dutch MP brings up El Pollo/drug lord Carvajal's release from arrest to discredit Frans Timmerman, who is aiming to become Holland's new PM after having eaten his fill for many years in the €U bureaucracy's meat pots.
You think it will result in any action against Timmerman? Neither do I.

That Will Help
SSK Central Curaçao Union wants to organize a conference on the future of the oil refinery. MAN political party is all for it. They deplore the lack of Prick Pisas's leadership and point at Maria Liberia Peters's "remarkable leadership" when Shell left the island.
To refresh MAN's memory, remarkable it was for sure. She and another notorious politician, George Hueck, then sold us out to Venezuela's PdVSA.

Wild West at Sea
Another boat has been stopped by Kustwacht/Coast Guard; it had 550 kilograms of coke aboard. Plus 5 crew members.
This happens almost every week. Would have stopped long since if not enough came through, am I right?

Only for Some
Curaçao is often called a tax paradise, while this ain't so. Say M*F*K and PNP parties. They certainly have a point, but...
If you live here, and pay your taxes (sure sounds like not everybody has to) you pay through your nose. Also, if you run a gambling house, you pay hardly anything at all: 0.04% if my memory serves me right.

Sure. But?
Robotics have come to the rescue of the tax person. Objections will be dealt with much faster; which is really needed because the number of objections has reached a record height. Silly Bully does not expect that to grow less.
Here's a hint: make the tax assessments reasonable and you'll get less objections.
What it will mean for persons or businesses just skipping their declarations, and payments, we're not told.

There's a Difference
Ordered a book in Holland and had it sent to a Dutch address. Mark:
Got 3 emails from Dutch mail: 1 advising me that they had received the item; 2 to ask me when it could be delivered; 3 to tell me it will be delivered today—between 16:18 and 17:18.
All within 1 week from placing the order.
Makes you jealous. Maybe join the crowd?
Hoh! Just now got email number 4 that the book has been delivered.

Sickening Thoup
One of the two rats suspected of receiving bribes was the DOW department head. Nice huh?
The two were made non-active but Mudbelly Cooper made them active again. You explain it for yourself; I don't want to get sued for libel. At any rate their rooms have been sealed pending further investigations.

"Further Arrests Are Not Excluded"
Is what OM public ministry comments on the arrest of two workers at DOW public works, a department falling under Mudbelly Cooper's ministry. Is what we were hoping for already. It's far past high time that stable were swept clean. We all had our suspicions for many years; but no doubt the contractors figured "Don't rock the boat." As always.
And no doubt they included the bribes in their budget, with their profit mark-up. For which we all paid.

Sorry, CTB!
The CTB logo, until now displayed on the Hato airport terminal façade, will be replaced by a new CAP logo; which in itself is a improvement on their old one.
CTB warns everybody that their logo is copyrighted, but you find it all over, even on modest truk'i pan snack cars.

CAP logo
Coke, Anybody?
Two security guards in the harbor appeared in court for an effort to smuggle 800 keys of coke to Holland. Three more are in the slammer for the same thing.
By now, it feels like a miracle they've been caught.

Hope It Helps
But guess not. PNP Osepa doesn't like Bully Silly's announcement that the presentation of the new budget will be delayed. He reminds us that the last time this happened was in 2013, when Shorty ruled our world and his finance minister Imalootin was forced to leave. (He later got 30 years in the clinker for being involved in Helmin Wiels's murder.)
The government should follow its own laws, he says. Hardly an original idea; except in some places. Like here, by now. Osepa also mentions that out of 160,000 people when the present government started, we now have 149,000 left: "The island must be made more attractive to inhabitants." (Never mind the tourists.)

So Have We
Fisherpersons at Playa Piskadó have had it with the tourists.
Their jobs are being made difficult because of the nuisance. Even the sales of fish have gone down as it's hardly possible to reach the beach, with parked cars obstructing the roadway.
Looks like the government is more interested in tourists who come swim with the turtles, they say. Hear, hear.

Well, I Never...
Landsrecherche, is, the cops, have started investigating 2 workers at DOW, Mudbelly Cooper's dept. They are suspected of having received money from four contractors so these would get jobs. To translate, bribes.
That I might live to see it! Next, maybe all spoiled rats at DOW will be investigated? It's a thought. But keep in mind, it's our kultura!

Oh, So
The Hòfinan Ser'i Otrobanda will move from Arubastraat to Ferdinandstraat. Soil and fruit trees will be transplanted. And free distribution of products will be largely stopped; produce will be sold in a shop.
Initiators think of starting production of smoothies and cakes. For sale as well, of course. Good for your health! Or maybe not really.
In (to me) related news, local horticulturists will get import licenses for veggie products. That's supposed to stimulate local production. Can you explain that? Good for you! I certainly can't.

So Much for Godett
CBCS central bank tells parliament that the design of the new XCG Caribbean guilder coins and notes must remain a secret, to avoid falsified notes as much and as long as possible.
So much for Godett's brilliant idea to have the people involved in the design.
And by the way you know, still a deadly silence on the new motto. Has the designer been paid for her efforts? is my question.

More Good News
Asphalt production at Isla refinery will commence beginning 2024. Director Newton says, "they're in the middle of the emission"—whatever that means. We can only hope 2024 won't find us "in the middle of the emission."

Still Better
With the new LOK gambling law, licenses will be cheaper to get; 8000 guilders/month. Peanuts! . so, rejoice. And, as we know already, present licensees and sub-licensees will go on as before.
License requests will be evaluated not here, but in Malta. It's unclear why, we read; but we have our suspicions.
The press was not welcome at the information session. That is what we can understand.

About Time, You Say
Aqualectra Utility announces work will be done on overdue maintenance. Production reliability and distribution will be improved. How long it will take they don't say.
They do have the chutzpah to claim that not all of the island was blacked-out last time shows that they're on their toes: it's "merely" a brown-out now; even if it left us in the dark.
Interestingly, since July 14 the smaller wind generators at Tera Korá, numbers 4-8, have not been turning at all. This is supposed to be "sustainable"?

Which Reminds Me
MAN MP Williams doesn't seem to have much on her hands, either. The plastic law, or better said, anti-plastic law, will be expanded to include plastic cups and drinking straws, besides plastic bags and foam containers. Hurray! now we'll all be saved.
The question occurring to many of us here is, and how long will this be maintained? Also, as I understand it, the law will only forbid importing the stuff.

Look Who's Talking!
"Dennis Klaus is a clown" says that model of intellect and integrity, Mudbelly Cooper. Because Klaus went to court to stop demolishing of a downtown building. "He's got nothing better to do and thwarts Curaçao's development" (plus development of a stack of money somewhere, we can't help suspect.)

Antilliaans Dagblad gives finance minister Silly Vain Bully a severe dressing down because of the court's verdict that taxes from before 2017 need not be paid any more. The court was looking at several million guilders, but in fact the verdict applies to many more. Also, the judge remarks in a highly unusual press release that in fact, these old taxes shoukld be paid, but the Silly Bully himself had written on his FakeBooc page that the tax-payers went scotfree; and that was that.
Yet another gangster-like act of this deplorable character; saving his friends from paying their dues, and leaving the rest of us to pick up the shards.

For a While
Legal actions will be taken against owners of dangerous dogs. Until the authorities fall asleep after having lost interest, again.
Those worthless laws were introduced when a five-year-old girl was ripped to shreds by two dogs, five years ago. There have been more cases recently.

Just Like We Thought
"Nothing much will change with the new LOK gambling law" we read, a propos yesterday's meeting. Right ho. Just a smoke screen enabling the mafia to continue business as usual. Curaçao will be repositioned as a reputable center for online gaming gambling. Talk about an oxymoron.
Or. in other words, the shameless acts will go on—with a vengeance: we now have an "online gaming exchange." It's all in cooperation with SiGMA, an outfit calling itself "the world's online gambling authority." Oops, gaming of course.

This Time It Worked
The demolition of a Punda building has been delayed because of ProMo's efforts to stop it. For once, they were not too late.
It remains to be seen what ProMo will do about the planned future rape of Willemstad's Waterfort.

Quite Cute
Because of the heat, schools have been closing and sent the pupils home. Only they didn't go there, they preferred to hangout in Willemstad center and start fights. Just for fun... Called by Curaçao nu "unwanted melee situations." You said it, bro. There will be more visible police downtown as a result.

Now That's Great! Or...?
The conference on online gaming to be held today is sold out. The interest is overwhelming.
Topics are the new gaming law and the system of licensees for online-gaming.
Not to be confused with earlier meetings by KKC's Nardy Cramm, this one is organized by the finance ministry (Silly Bully's).

They Well Might
Three high and independent state instances sound the alarm: ARC general accounting, RvA advisory council, and ombudsman. Parliament tries to circumvent their reports as much as possible, they say. Which undermines democracy and erodes the rule of law.
Don't worry; neither do our Big Bleeders.

It's a Riddle
Youth has less and less confidence in government, has been shown in a Dutch research poll. What could possibly cause that? It's an unfathomable mystery.
Not really maybe? Youngsters "have the idea that the government cares for refugees better than for 'our own' young people." Mark the quote marks around "our own"; a definite cue. Aren't they "our own" [Dutch] by any chance? And there you are. Or go.

W.O.W.! Or ?
There are 15 candidates for an Isla refinery take-over, and in less than two weeks from now the two last ones will be selected, after which a "preferred bidder" will be chosen. A new one on the by now long list. RdK director Newton is convinced that this will now succeed.
We, not so much. Not after 10 years of hitches.

What Do They Know?
Good question! The answer: first we got to hear that the hurricane season would be about normal, or even slightly less than. And now, the prediction is it will be extra heavy! because of high ocean temperatures.
Which less than a week ago was pronounced doubtful as well.
Still, always better keep an eye peeled.

Back to School!
For a change, there are enough teachers now. As long as they don't run off to Bonaire or other places where they get paid more. VPCO, Union for Protestant Christian Education, asks minister van Heydoorn to watch it. Another problem is the heat, with no airco; resulting in children being sent home.
It's no use remarking that way back there was no airco either but us kids kept on sweating anyway. On the other hand, on rainy days hardly any pupils turned up so we were all sent home. Times have changed, Bwana.
VPCO remarks that many school roofs are in sorry condition so solar panels can't be installed. Dream on: solar panels don't deliver enough energy to drive aircos. And it's much more expensive, as well.

Another Monument Gone?
Well, maybe not. A start was supposed today on demolishing a dilapidated building in Willemstad/Punda, but ProMo foundation (as usual, a bit late) is now protesting. The building is not even a monument, but in fact, is still solid. Only gutters and windows etc. are in a sorry state.
Point is, says ProMo, for all buildings in town a demolition permit is needed, and this goes for the government as well. Oh yeah? Who's Boss here?

A woman on her way to work was attacked by not one, not two, but three! pit-bulls coming out of an unlocked shed. She was almost torn to pieces. Their owner got bitten as well, I'm almost glad to tell you.
There's a law requiring all pit-bulls to be sterilized or castrated, so there shouldn't be any new ones around at all anymore. But there are. Once again, what's the good of laws when you don't maintain them?

So That's Why
As we here have had plenty occasions to notice, there's this Saharan dust that blows out over the Atlantic ocean, right up to the Arizona-Mexican shores. "This has prohibited the development of tropical storms over the region" writes meteorologist Ross Hays on FakeBooc. But he can't let it go at that, and follows up with "after the dust disperses there is a risk for strong hurricane [sic] to develop as we get later in the month!"
And if it doesn't, we get it later. Maybe next year, or the year after that. It will disperse sometime, to be sure; you can bet on that.

Isn't It Always?
UoC, University of Curaçao to spare you the longer name, is in serious trouble. You yawn, huh? Not very polite. The rector magnificus and the deans don't see eye-to-eye. But at least they're talking.

Who Cares
The government wants to delay the budget 2024 proposal until September. As if it will really mean something by then.
MAN's pinhead Martina accuses them that Silly Vain's just too late with collecting the needed info.

Aqualectra is reorganizing. Good! you think, about time.
Read on: the main objective is to prevent as much loss of jobs as possible. Ain't that great. They call the plan "Right Sizing"—right for the trade unions, that is.

Yes? Really?
Now, NOAA has predicted a heavier 2023 hurricane season than average. Because of high ocean temperatures. I hope they're wrong.
Until now, it has been remarkably calm.

Tough, Silly Bully
As if he cares. Court has ordered him to make good on his promise: all tax debts from before 2018 have been canceled. Too bad I paid up, sucker that I am. I read that after two years, the chance of collecting is reduced to, or by, 50%.

An Israel company has a smart meter that's really smart: it detects water leaks and reports them. As Aqualectra complains those are a major setback here, what are they waiting for?

Yeah, Sure, Figures; at Least, It Should
Australian ACMA supervisor has been told by finance minister Silly Bully that the number of foreign offenses influences the Curaçao license permits. Illegal licenses should be renewed when the new gambling law starts operating. Which is the first time I read that; I may have been amiss there.

Isn't that Exciting?
We had a new record number of tourists in July! Wow!

Green Tyranny
Dutch ING warns delivery firms that they'd better change over to (expensive) EV vans. Because in some tens of townships, fuel powered vehicles are not allowed anymore, so they can't serve their clients there. Despotism!
The total number of townships in Holland is now 342, so "some tens" means about 10% of them.

The present number in Holland of electric delivery vans is 1.4% of the total. Which is a very small part of the total number of EVs, about 8%. Small wonder: of all vehicles, average price of EVs is over €50,000 and of petrol-driven cars almost €34,000. And you don't buy a delivery van for a pussy magnet.
Diesel is even more expensive, €65,000.
Between you and me, I'd just tell clients to come pick up their stuff themselves, or go and live elsewhere. But I'm not in that business. Neither, premeditatedly, do I live in Holland.

Smart (for a Change()
President Maduro of Venezuela didn't participate in a Brazil meeting of 9 top politicians. He claimed it was for medical reasons, but suspicions are he feared being arrested because of an outstanding USA warant; for trafficking.

Oh, Those Chinese
Almost makes you a racist. It's a pattern: Chinese business owners get closed temporarily for serious violations, only to reopen their doors shortly after. What do they care, they have to keep on running after all or they'll go bankrupt. And "they often escape fines or penalties" which is easy to believe.
The old, old problem: even where we have laws, they're just not enforced.

How Cute!
A 12-year old kid was driving around in a Mitsubishi Lancer (not that that brand is of any importance) when he hit a lantern pole and a house wall, causing a barrio black-out and a water leak. He ran off but returned later to the spot, where his passenger (no age given) had to be cut out of the damaged vehicle.
"It's unclear how the kid got behind the steering wheel," we read. Looks very clear to me: he got the keys (now there's your somehow) and crawled in.

Pay Up
Court has ordered VPR to pay CRU refinery for the lease of 1 tank at Bullenbaai oil terminal. 8 million dollars in total; peanuts for money-hungry CRU but possibly insurmountable for even hungrier CPR.

Breeds Curiosity
An investigation is going on at Kranshi civil registry, into alleged irregular activities. But we're not told what these are. Do they illegally sell passports? Drivers' licenses? Voter registrations? Plenty of possibilities.

Hurray! A Committee!
A committee will look into the CMC hospital problems. Selection process has started. Goal is "to unearth the truth", which would amount to no less than a miracle. That will take half a year, with maybe two more months. Results to be presented by February 2024.
Gee, I wonder how much those committee members will be paid. And do tell, are Shorty and Arsjes members? Wouldn't surprise me a bit, this island.

Can't Be True
Teachers protest that, while those at havo schools may not work than 27 hours/week, those at VSBO schools must fulfill 32 hours. For the same salaries.

Not "Cheap"
According to Chong, the mega-windmill park will set us back 20 to 50 billion dollars. Rather much leeway there. And it looks like (but am I prejudiced?) that, in contrast with the refinery which at least served for a century, it's a total waste from the beginning.

Still Unsafe
That recreation park keeps giving us headaches. The glass-shards filled sand has not been replaced; no, that would be too much work. Instead, gravel-filled old car tires have been placed below the slide. At least, the tires are there but how long it will take to fill them with gravel is not known yet.
Other apparatus has been made inaccessible by tapes. Why, isn't clear either.

More Stink
Our health minister, the same Bully Silly Vain, reports that health inspector Sing Pong Lee still hasn't handed over results of the investigation into the reasons why United Sugar Trading should not be obliged to destroy outdated foodstuffs.

What Does He Know?
Ben Whiteman, leader of PS™ (is there anything left to lead? just asking) says that all hope has gone for reopening Isla refinery. No surprise. What is g is that he then goes on to blame every-but-himself for that. We do remember he tried to get Chinese GZE for the take-over, but GZE was kicked out by Bhillenaath's PAR government; GZE was just a cloud of hot air who couldn't possible afford the necessary investments.

Private enterprise didn't like the idea that the Soiled Rats got the afternoon off to welcome that baseball team back. They didn't feel like closing temselves, either. The more so because the actual celebration only started on 17:00hrs (5 PM).
We're promised it won't happen again. When buladós [flying fish] get legs.

And Then, Some
Upgrading the refinery for asphalt production will take an investment of $20-30 million. Only? No... that's merely part of the "training to start asphalt production."

Easy to Believe
"Upgrading the Tax Service (hah! some service!) is not an easy task" we read. You bet. And it will take years. There's a team of investigators "working" on it.
Take your time, we're used to it.
Here a quote from Curaçao Chronicle: "There is significant delay in imposing tax assessments (taxatieve aanslagen). This taxatieve aanslag refers to a calculation by the Tax Inspector of the amount a person owes. This amount is often set higher to incentivize individuals to file their returns nonetheless."
Nice, huh?

Sit Up and Pay Attention
This is for the owners of EVs, electric vehicles. A report from Seattle contains this interesting titbit:
Safe operating temperature is from 15 to 30°C; if temperature gets higher, the lithium battery may catch fire. Not to mention accelerated degradation: "it is ideal to park in shaded areas or garages whenever it's especially hot or sunny."
That's when you're not driving. As we all know, it gets hotter here almost every afternoon.

Sure. Why Not?
Because a local baseball team has won some US match, all spoiled brats will get the afternoon off to welcome them back on Hato airport. Doesn't matter; don't make no difference, mon.
Don't you wonder with me how many of the 4000 rats will actually be there?

Oh, that's Really Bad News
RdK refinery's OFAC license from the USA ends this year. Which is a good reason for RdK to refuse all payments by the Knobs group, which is somehow affiliated with CPR.
Too bad. RdK, understandably, by now is in dear need of hard cash.

More Good News
Over the world, HIV infections have gone down. But here, not. This is doubtable: PAR MP Pauletta thinks the cases should be counted. There's an idea. All STPs seem to occur in great frequency in Curaçao.

Up! Always Up!
Prices went up with 0.2% and inflation to 6.5% in June. Living costs were 2.6% higher than a year ago.

Smart Guy in Parliament
MFK MP Ramón Yung comments on the Aqualectra problems. These are not over since director Jonis was fired. Workers complain they have to make do with obsolete equipment which should have been replaced long since.
Yung finally remarks that all those power disruptions are bad for the economy. Smart, isn't he?

Made Me Think a Bit
Always figured the best thing about electric cars, so-called EVs, was that it finally made come true Citroen's old ideal: having a separate engine on all four wheels. Which, face it, you just can't get with internal combustion engines, ICEs. You just can't control them that finely.
But let's face it: the EVs are a flop for reasons I won't go into here. The Public just doesn't want them. Ford just announces this year's losses on EVs won't be 3, but 4.5 billion of dollars. Why stubbornly go on building the things?
Thing is, why not build a hybrid with 1 ICE feeding 4 electric motors instead? I'm sure there'll be some energy loss to be reckoned with; but the advantages seem to be large enough to go for a try-out. Anyway, seems to be no problem for Toyota Prius hybrids.
Just an idea, so I can't take out a patent anyway. Go ahead and steal it, and I hope you'll succeed.

What can we know, and therefore say? CPR claims that CRU refinery utilities neglected maintenance of the Bullenbaai tanks, resulting in sand in the stored fuel oil; which gives CPR a reason not to pay up.

Sic 'Em
OM public ministry has started a criminal investigation into the fraudulent documents presented for possible take-over deals of Isla refinery. It was CBCS central bank that made the original declaration, followed by RdK refinery's management.

Bad News for Bully
Australia urgently wants a talk with Curaçao about the new gambling regulations, promised by finance minister Silly/Bully Vain. There are about 90 online casinos operating from Curaçao in Australia, and they disregard Australian regulations.
Amigoe mentions that the online casinos are a source of income for the island, which is hard to explain. Maybe the paper means, for some people in Curaçao; which sounds entirely correct.

Did It Work?
Feels like, "No". IJkwezen [typical Dutch word, means gauging entity] has performed many more controls this year than last; say 1400 versus 1100. To get a grip on inflation and protect suppliers as well as consumers.
All I can say is, my supermarket bills are appreciably higher. Whose fault that is, is another matter.

Mine Is the Power
Once again, veggies have been confiscated at Botrys. This time it's 500 kilograms of green peppers. Owner Fayad claims he imports them when green and only sells them after they've ripened to red; which the Curaçao peppers won't do. But the inspector says, importing green peppers is forbidden because you can get those locally. Which is literally correct. But...
For a few weeks or maybe longer, all cucumbers you got, locally, were bitter, which is a matter of sowing the wrong seeds. If the flowers are pollinated by bees and the plants are meant to be grown in greenhouses where bees can't enter, you get bitter cucumbers. And the other way 'round. So, figure it out: we have no greenhouses. Such is the professional state of our horticulture.
But not to worry, Fayad can't be fined because of a hole in the law. Still, 500 kilos' worth of peppers, and more, ain't peanuts.

Good Luck
Because CPR still owes 8.5m dollars to CRU/RdK Isla, CRU now wants to auction off the oil CPR still has stored in Bullenbaai oil terminal.
Additional problem sems to be, the fuel oil is of Venezuelan PdVSA origin and thus sanctioned by the USA, and when that became known nobody in the world wanted to store their oil in Bullenbaai. Nice, huh?

That's a Lot
In European Holland live 158,000 Curaçaoans these days, or so we read, but on the island itself only 150,000. About, right. Which also includes Haïtians, Venezuelans, Colombians, European Dutch... you name it.

Banks, Banks...
A prepaid card company Melkar is being investigated by the OM public ministry. Seems there's funny business going on with money laundering there. But the OM policy is, no details are given.

SER social-economic council concludes that there are "gaps" in the proposed legislature to protect deposit holders' accounts in the banks.
One problem is the "operational independence" of the foundation that will control the fund banks will depose money in. A good reason to worry.

How He Talks
KEM party's MP Martines reacts to the criticism he hardly ever visits the parliament meetings, that he will not change his behavior; he doesn't care and it doesn't worry him.
And why should it? He gets his sumptuous salary (and later, pension) anyway.
Martines seems to reside, for all practical purposes, in Santo Domingo. That's the very guy who's always full of criticism on other MPs visiting meetings in other countries; like Parlatino.

The Easy Way
The explanation for the glass shards found in the newly opened recreation park is, sand was used dug up from the existing beach and the public had put in the shards themselves. So there, is CTB's comment.
Now extra guards have been placed on location to prevent people using the slide and all, until it has been fixed.
No word about how the parking problem will be solved. You're so right, it can't be.

Your Best Friend
I remember how they advertised with that slogan in Holland in a desperate effort to make the gendarmerie more popular: "The police is your best friend."
Now, an illegal diving school right in town has been raided. It was run by an ex-cop from Holland. The electricity supply was illegal and came from the owner's house, illegal itself. Old cars had been parked on public grounds, also illegally; they've been removed. A number of shacks had been built on the terrain. Yes, illegally as well. The diving school operated illegally and paid no taxes.

Asking for It
A splendid green terrain by Westpunt has been denuded, which is called "cleaned" in the usual parliance, for a planned new complex of vacation houses, hotels and whatever. It's supposed to become a second Coral Estate.
No building permits have been given yet, but Mudbelly Cooper explains that's no problem. "You don't need a permit to prepare a site for building. As long as you don't build on it."
And with Mudbelly for minister, it's pretty damn sure the permits will come through, anyway.

Nice work if you can get it
In California, two guys have been convicted of fraud in recycling plastic bottles and cans. They bought up used ones in Arizona, to recycle them in California; where they made $7.6 million in subsidies.

Not Guilty
Quackie Constancia, our former minister of health, must go to jail tomorrow for her role in the surgical masks affair. She and her partner were convicted, after appeal, to 20 months of prison and paying back 365,000 guilders (US$200,000). Like virtually all cons sighing in jail, Quackie maintains that she's innocent. She never hurt anybody, she says.

Curaçao has been seriously criticized by USA foreign affairs for failing to protect Venezuelan immigrants against injustice and inhuman treatment. Specifically mentioned are the local authorities who take no interest in these matters.
Hardly surprising, seeing that they don't take much more in ours.

What Else
MEO development ministry went to control 12 horeca businesses (cafés, restaurants). They were all in violation of their licenses. One has been closed, 2 temporarily (until the inspectors left?)

Nothing Much
That's Amigoe's answer to the seemingly rhetorical question: "What exactly has been achieved during the 50 years of Caricom's existence?"
As Curaçao has asked to become a member, Amigoe wonders what would be the use of that. We all know the answer: more business-class foreign trips for our Leaders.

In that Case, Forget It
Urgent government action is needed to help school kids. Subsidies are not sufficient and it's only thanks to private subsidies that they can be helped to uniforms and school bags.
Education minister van Heydoorn says he's aware of the problems and that the government "does everything" to help out. Good to know. Still better, to believe it.

Oh Yeah?
First, I was rather surprised to read an "Opinion" article in Antilliaans Dagblad that told us Bully Silly Vain had won the court case against CMC on all points. My impression was rather the reverse.
But then I noticed that the writer was none other than Bully Silly Vain. Oh. Got it.
Remains the question what moved Antilliaans Dagbladto accept that rag for publication.

Sure. As If
IMF has a number of recommendations to get the economy healthy. One item: The level and ability, as well as the composition of the civil service must be in accordance with the effective delivery of public services."
Go ahead and fix it. Pronto please. As well as other items.

Why Panic?
It's "possible" there are antibiotics-resistant bacteria in the Rif mangrove park. As the Sehos hospital used to spew out sewage there, that would be no surprise. Still, it's also possible there are not. It's being looked into.
The kayak tours have been canceled anyway. Latest: yes, there are "hospital bacteria" there, and also on the terrain outside, between the hospital and the park. But if they are antibiotics resistant remains to be seen.

A Mere Idea
Who can follow the latest additions, coming every week or so by now, to the alfabet soup mix names for people who somehow are different from ordinary boring heteros? Let's make a break, and call us all "A-Zs". Or do you want to include +, -, / and *? Go ahead, be my guest. And come to think of it, ! and ? belong in there too.
Especially ?, ~ and =.

Temporary Workers
Selikor garbage utility has gone on strike, which has now ended, because 3 temporary workers did not get permanent appointments after having worked there 3 or 4 years. Which is for "bad appreciations"; which again makes other personnel have questions about the quality of those appreciations.

¡Qué Viva Turismo!
The sea turtles who hang around Playa Piskadó attracted by fish offal dumped by fisher persons cause many tourists to hang around there as well. Now World Wildlife Fund is getting worried, because the locals try, judging from the results successfully, to make an extra buck there by attracting the turtles with fish so they will swim over tourists bodies to get it. Which WWF say is a no-no.
The turtles may be infected with bacteria the tourists carry on their hands, WWF say. Let me say, that's not impossible.

A Bit Late
Corendon has now started a recruitment campaign to get some 300 Curaçaoan employees. If they live in Holland now, they're offered living accomodations.
No news found about those permits for 142 temporary foreigners.

How Like |Him
Bully Silly, who with his club just lost the appeal in court against CMC hospital, now claims that he, in effect, won.
As long as he pays up.

In San Francisco, the mayor thinks that most taxes should be abolished to attract business. Sounds great; much better than getting rid of red tape—or at least promising you will. Instead, make the gambling mafia pay up and we can all relax and pay no more than is our reasonable share.
Dream on, mon.

Five vehicles were set to fire in one night, all belonging to a guy who's accused of a robbery in a Punda shop, June 27th.
Is this the people taking revenge or, by any chance, the shop's owner?

Always Up!
Inflation in May was 7%. I'm sure our government can do better that that. Admittedly, that they don't score higher is not for lack of trying.

So There, Silly
The court has spoken: finance minister Bully Silly was wrong in 2019 when he figured out the CMC hospital's budget. CMC's cost, sparing you details, were 50 tot 60 million higher in reality. Now the government, meaning SVB social insurance bank, will have to pay up in 3 months. No appeal is possible.
But Bully Silly complains that CMC has allowed the lawyers' costs to grow so much (he'll have to pay those too.) And whose fault is that?

Yes, We Noticed
Aqualectra had another blackout, number 9, from 12:30-18:00, depending on where you live. All windmills ground to a stop as well, as always. Today, 4 out of 10 were operating again. Wonder how long that will last.
Even worse maybe, no water for us here in the Wild West.

Black Market Workers
Casha and the government (what's the difference, really?) want to reduce the number of black market workers in the tourist sector. Mentioned are car rentals, diving schools, boat charters, and tour operators. Many of those enterprises are operating on the black market, to start with.
In the same vein, it's unclear whether Corendon has asked for a, let alone received, permits for those 142 to-be-imported workers.

By How Much?
SVB social insurance plans to raise the welfare pension age once again. By 2030. However, they don't tell to what age.

Fancy That
The just now opened beach facilities at Mari Pompun have been visited by Amigoe and given a fat "fail". There are rusty nails sticking out of the wooden play constructions, and the sand below the slide is full of glass shards. Not to mention the parking problems.
Comments CTB tourist office, whose responsibility all this is, that "people are too lazy to walk" a bit. Now that's taking the easy lazy way out! You open a facility like that, almost as good as in center town, and you have to take care of adequate parking space.

I Know a Few More
Curaçao Nu carries an item "Handy words and sentences in Papiamentu for your trip to Curaçao."
I guarantee some of the best are not in there, but I don't blame the editors.

DCCA Dutch Caribbean Corporation of Airports will try to make flying between the islands affordable and also "sustainable". A contradiction in terms, as they could know by now; we do. One of the ways they want to achieve this is by switching over to electric planes. Forget it. Don't waste your time.
Maybe they'd do better to lower the airport taxes. Maybe? What do I say!

Please, Not Again
Godett wants to give the people a chance to participate in the design of the new Caribbean guilder. Oh what a great idea, just what you'd expect from a peanut-sized brain like his.
Next, we'll have another scandal on our hands. Like the "National Emblem" if you care to remember. I don't. Nobody seems to do.

Who Cares
Not project developer Arnold Rood and Mudbelly Cooper, our esteemed minister. The yacht harbor at Zakitó will be built; no matter that it may damage coral reefs and that people living around there already complain about the high-rise buildings ruining their view, or the intense traffic swill drive through other neighborhoods where the roads can't handle it.
As long as the money keeps flowing from here to there, and everywhere. Not mentioning names.
All this while Curaçao Nu still carries that article about the damage to the coral reefs this will mean.

Who Wants to Burn their Fingers?
Since December 2021 the Netherlands are looking for a Willemstad representative of the kingdom for Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten.
May be difficult to find someone for that job these days.

Keep Fighting
Now CRU and RdK, both parts of Isla refinery in its totality, are fighting about several millions dollars' worth of oil stocked in tanks. Looks like CRU wanted to fob RdK off by paying them much less that they ought to, for obvious if obscure reasons. The judge told them, on appeal, to pay up.

That Will Help
GMN health ministry is starting a campaign to convince the people they shouldn't dump trash wherever it tickles their fancy, nor set it to fire.
We were told earlier that would take six months. Betcha it won't be long enough. Not nearly.

Is What We Figured
That woman Hollander working for VVRP ministry did apply, in 2016, for a function on the board of United Sugar Trading.
Only, the company does not have such a board. Raad van commissarissen in Dutch.

Stop Me if You Heard This Before
The yearly government account over 2020 has not been approved by ARC accounting.
Dog bites man.

The Usual Sloppy Mess
Bordello Campo Alegre has been closed for 3 years now, but Aqualectra utility forgot to close the water supply. Result is, a water meter that has no customer name to bill the use to, is still operating. May have been used by "unknowns" or, still better, by the security people guarding the premises. Surprising: are there any?
Only too typical for how Aqualectra treats its customers. Who cares, after all? If they lose money they will just raise the tariffs.

We'll See
When it's too late, you say? There's always that chance. Anyway, Corendon says permits have been asked, and given, for temporarily importing 142 foreign workers, of which 2/3rds are from Turkey—not 250. They are supposed to work during the opening weeks of new hotel The Rif. All interested Curaçaoans are welcome to apply for a job.

Not Here
Are you kidding? In Venice and next in Amsterdam, cruise ships are banned from the inner ports. The feeling is the city is "abused" by all those tourists. Not to mention the enormous pollution they cause. Barcelona wants to get rid of them, as well. And other places.

How Else?
SVB Social Security warns that without a reasonable structural economy growth, the present AOW welfare pension will, in effect, go bankrupt or be doomed. Sorry, but I can't foresee that growth; not the way things are going.
Then, I picked up without getting it confirmed, that this year another 10% of the population departed from the island. And finally, the announced 30% higher AOW only covers half of the inflation since 2013, until 2022 total 14.8%.
If AOW is maintained, without that growth, it would mean that present workers would have to pay more, and can only hope that when their turn comes to collect it's still around.

Toi Toi Toi, TUI!
85 kilos of cocaine were found on board a TUI plane, arriving in Holland, where else? from Curaçao.
We're not told where exactly the coke was found. Sounds a bit heavy to be packed in a suitcase. So? Whodunnit?

Like Clockwork
Sunday morning, another Go-Fast boat smuggling drugs was found at sea. By throwing fuel drums and drugs overboard the crew managed to escape. 50 packets with 1600 keys of cocaine were found in sea, and delivered to Curaçao's police (who know what to do with it).
Which reminds me, what they tell us about the amount of drugs arriving in Holland from Curaçao isn't always, er, reliable. Here, there's talk of 4,000 kilos, but here of only 1,400.

What Else, New
Raad van Toezicht [council of advice] "has voiced strong criticism" on the Pisas government. Their advice isn't listened to more often than not; our BLeeders do just what they like. One way is to avoid drafting laws and issuing ministerial regulations instead, which don't even have to pass parliament.

Aren't You Curious?
Next month, we're promised a decision will be taken on that Tula statue. The idea seems to be to have a Curazoleño make one.
Which reminds me, hozabout that emblem, coat-of-arms, whatever, that was designed by a YdK living in Holland, who was, rightly, accused of plagiarism? Silence like the grave. Maybe best so. I wouldn't mind never seeing it again.

Auntie Sushi denies that she was a minister when that other type, Hollander, was licensed to manage a (recently raided) company alongside of her function in VVRP, Mudbelly's department now. Mudbelly accuses her of that. But neither has the real minister at the time, Jesus-Leito, licensed her. She doesn't even remember having received a notification.

Back! Bad News
Frans Timmermans hopes to become the next Dutch PM. Yes, that same guy. If he will succeed is very doubtful; he has been EU climate Boss for ten years or so. You will remember that the new BBB party got rid of the former cabinet because of its EU inspired climate actions.

We have, or will shortly have, 3 ministers van staat; an honorary job to be sure. They are Maria Liberia Peters, Jaime Saleh, and Don Martina.
As for me, I'd be ashamed to be included in that company.

That's Mighty Interesting
Spain has decided to extradite El Pollo Hugo Carvajal to the USA. We all should remember how Carvajal, when Venezuelan consul in Aruba, was allowed by the Dutch and Arubian governments to escape to Venezuela. MAN, M*F*K and ex-PM Arsjes helped him to keep out of the USA's clutches as well.
Carvajal later had to flee to Madrid because he made the mistake of supporting Maduro's rival Guiadó.
Besides beings suspected of (under Chávez in 2006) having smuggled 5,600 keys of cocaine to Mexico with destination USA, our Hugo "is also suspected of potentially having incriminating evidence against the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro."
Maybe next we'll find out why Dutch foreign minister Timmermans, our "own" Arsjes and other, also Arubian, BLeaders were so anxious to get him safely out of Aruba? Don't count on it.
Note, I never said that those politicians were involved in drugs dealing! Perish the thought.
And frankly, I have been wondering about that Guiadó type as well.

"Most of Bandabao" had a short blackout last Tuesday (that would be June 11, ten days ago), and since then, only 8 of the 10 wind generators at Tera Corá have been working at all.
Naturally, we don't know what caused this (nobody tells us), but that's a serious failure. And it does seem to have to do with that blackout—they always get switched of immediately in case of failures; seems to have to do with distribution disruptions.

Maybe It Helps
MEO economic development wants to install a new settlement policy giving foreign initiators of new business activities an "overall business license". In practice this is supposed to treat them all the same. "It's obvious the settlement policy has missed it's goal." You think? Blamed is bureaucracy.
The new policy should result in a license within 5 days.

Good for Business
In the first three months of this year, 30,000 kilos of cocaine were confiscated in Holland. 1400 of those (almost 5%) came from Curaçao.
2 questions: how many slipped through? How did they arrive in Curaçao?

Smart, Silly
Finance minister Silly Vain has started renovating the Tax Office, where 4 years ago arson was committed. He says it's cheaper than building a new one.
We have known that all the time, thanks to engineer Hodgson.

Aha. So.
The idea is to have 6 floating windmills in 2026, delivering 72Mw. (Total of Curaçao consumption is 130 Mw/day.)
Now we read we are paying for the first research costs; not the Dutch tax payers.

MEO economic development plans a database to protect the local agriculture. One of the ways to do that is to give the producers an import exemption, which enables them to import certain fruits and veggies without paying import duty.
Maybe you get it; I admit I don't.

He's Right
PNP MP Marcelina wants a temporary parliamentary committee on the Landspakket where many matters should be arranged that will have a strong influence on governmental matters. But PM Prick thinks it not unnecessary. He feels it would mean that parliament will "take the seat of the government" which in his view naturally should be prevented at all costs. After all, who's the commander-in-chief here?
But Marcelina insists. Good. If it will help is another matter.

We're Used to that
A company United Sugar Trading that was raided recently, at which occasion 34,000 kilos of foodstuffs were confiscated and destructed, turns out to be managed by VVRP sector director Giselle Hollander. She has fulfilled that function since July 2020. No use blaming her minister Mudbelly for it; that was under the former PAR government (Bhillie's).
At any rate, it sure looks like she has no business managing a company as her work for the government would not allow it. Such is the law. But who cares? Or rather, cared?

Oh, those Turks
MP Yung has some good questions about those Turks who are coming to work for Corendon, while we here have plenty of unemployment. He asks social minister Larmonie-Cecilia if Corendon has, in fact, asks for permits, and how long ago this has been done. And how many permits for exactly what functions. And what can Corendon show to have done to find local workers instead?
Yung also asks what the minister has done to train locals instead.

It's Endemic
Like so many things. Sigh. Another traffic control resulted in 72 fines, for the usual: no drivers' licenses, insurance or valid car test; no tax paid and no license plates; phoning while driving, damaged wind screens and passengers not wearing safety belts. Nine vehicles were confiscated.

It's Coming to That
In Willemstad Punda a hotel room has been raided which a woman had rebuilt into a doctor's practice room. She had a diploma of a Falcon, Venezuela, university. Despite her claim that everything in the room was for her own use, a large number of used injection needles was found plus a banner-price list what illnesses she could treat.

Fake News
RdK/Isla refinery denies being still negotiating with 3 partners. Instead, looking for new ones. Good luck! you'll need it.

Try, Try Again
RdK/Isla says there still are negotiations going on with three potential partners. That's all there's left of the originally announced 53 interested parties. No word about CPR.

Lock 'Em All Up!
Last week, lockers of harbor personnel were checked by the cops. And now, a fifth person has been arrested, and two residences searched. 3 security guards and one dockmaster have been arrested already. Future arrests are "not excluded". Ya bet.
We've lost count, sorry.

Auction, Anyone?
The planned auction of Campo Alegre may, again, be stopped by seizure of the property by a third party. But justice minister Hato has already declared that the buyer will get a permit to start a new bordello on the premises. If there's a buyer, there's that.

Now We Know
That mapping of the sea bottom by Fugro will cost ANG3.6m (=€1.8m, give or take). What parts Holland and Curaçao will pay, we don't know.

Tula Sans-Culotte
In 1973 Dutch sculptress Toos Hagenaars made a statue of Tula, leader of the 1795 slave revolt. Now there are plans to move that thing to Curaçao. But maybe unexpectedly, protests are rising.
You see, Tula is shown in the nude, and the protestors complain that this makes him a savage brute walking around in the African bush with no pants on. Which doesn't fit their image of him as a civilized and cultured slave.
There's a contradiction here? Maybe slavery serves to turn naked uncouth brutes into sophisticated britch-wearing gentlemen.
Funnily enough, in the asocial media people protest, probably tongue-in-cheek, that Tula's statuesque prick isn't nearly large enough to befit a hero.

Maybe Yes, Maybe Not
Socorro of CPR, Antilliaans Dagblad concludes from a month-old email, still considers CPR the "preferred bidder" for the Isla refinery take-over. Notwithstanding the "accident" with their former investor; meaning the fraudulent documents.
But RdK/Isla says that they have started an accelerated headhunting project to look for another candidate.

What Part of How Much?
Curaçao Chronicle tells us about those giant windmill parks planned to produce hydrogen: "The long-term investment is partly financed by the Sustainable Energy Generation and Climate Transition Incentive fund from the Government of the Netherlands."
What part of how much, we're not told.

Leave It to Them
There hasn't been any maintenance for years at 8 (out of 34) beaches. Reason is the BLeaders in Forti can't agree. GMN ministry of health &c. wants MEO economic development to do it, but MEO's Centje would prefer to fob the job off to CTB tourist bureau.

So Smart
There's a proposal to make several categories of buses and trucks import duty free, when they are electrically driven. Which means that our roads will deteriorate even faster, because the heavy batteries those things use result in over twice the load.

It Started
The good ship Fugro will start mapping the sea bottom around us. This is a good thing, to be sure.
But why it happens now is not so good. It's to check for locations which can be used to anchor those giant hydrogen-producing floating windmills planned by our ministers and with blessings by a Dutch (outgoing) one. I have already indicated several times (here, here, here and here) why this sounds like yet another money wasting boondoggle project with which we'll be stuck.
Not a word about what this mapping will cost, of course.

Finance minister Silly Vain announced that in 2024 the spoiled brats will get their loontrede wage step paid out, on condition they'll have a "positive evaluation". But Abvo soiled rats' union doesn't accept that.
But it sounds worse than it may be; Abvo says the evaluation process should have started long ago and there's just no time to finish it before then.

Bully Silly Does It—Again
Our finance minister, who seems to bear a grudge against CMC (maybe he didn't get the chance to make money while it was being built? it's a thought) has published (in FakeBooc!) a report comparing the number of operations in Advent Hospital with that in OMC. As Antilliaans Dagblad reports, he doesn't even bother to mention where he got those figures from. Alas, those of CMC, available on a "Factsheet" of their own, show a much different image. Also, the prices per day/room mentioned by Silly Vain seem to be out of proportion. The number of operations, much higher in Advent according to Silly, can't be compared with the much more intensive kind done in CMC.
No need to go on, I feel. Except to bewilderedly ask yourself what could cause Silly to produce skewed info like that.

Oh, That's Why
It may surprise you that the government, disregarding contrary advise, has decided to introduce a Begrotingskamer [budget chamber], to check on their budgets and the execution thereof.
It becomes less surprising when you discover that this chamber is supposed to replace those troublesome members of Cft financial supervision.

You can't avoid getting the impression. According to South African newspaper Die Vrijburger several hundred members of municipal councils are "total" illiterates; can't read or write. Let alone count (unless it's going in their direction).

Nice Woman
A complaint has been filed by 16 people against PNP MP Djaoen-Genero, because during a soccer match she threatened to struck several members of a club dead with her car if she saw them on the road.
Such are our reps.

Start Saving
The planned (3rd time) auction of bordello Campo Alegre will have to fetch at least 8.6 million guilders. The auction only now (?) becomes possible because a guy Verhage, who bought the place with drugs money, has now conceled his seizure of the property.
Last time, the amount was 5 million, only. Inflation ?

She Stays
Dutch state secretaryvan Hufteren stays on for the duration, and she hope that the debt-loan negotiations will be finished with positive results. So , no doubt, do our BLeeders.

Just Like in Washington
In short, up there a baggie containing cocaine was found in a restricted area of the White House. But the FBI decided not to investigate further, and not to "develop" fingerprints found on it. Hey, did you ever handle a plastic baggie and not leave fingerprints? So people are wondering, as they well might. Protection, anyone?
And here, investigations have stopped on the disappearance of 544 cigarettes out of a confiscated customs stock. But the reason seems to be, anybody working there could freely walk in and out, so it's a hopeless task.
Is dissa system?

Good Question
Amigoe poses it: "How are the proceeds of economy growth spent?" Blow me down with a toothpick! As for the government, it's all spent on "consumptive purposes" and hardly on the investments they keep telling us about. That is, as far as the government knows at all how it's spent; they don't as their accounting, time and time again, is shown to be a total mess.

200 kilograms of vegetables have been confiscated. They were imported, but to protect our own agriculture that's illegal as long as there's a sufficient local supply.
But importer Fayad gives the inspection an earful. He claims the Curaçao products are inferior. Ouch. And also, that in large supermarkets those same products, somehow, can be bought. He also mentions that chicken, if post date but kept below 20°C are perfectly safe, but that the habit of transporting them in open trucks covered by no more than a tarp is asking for trouble. Let alone lack of all climate control. Also, the deplorable habit of using second-hand boxes is just asking for bacterial trouble.
Fayad definitely has good points. I have seen several times how people delivering frozen veggies to the supermarket had to knock 'em down repeatedly to shake the contents loose, as they stick together when refrozen after having thawed.
Bon appétit!

The End of the Affair?
Afraid not. CPR has now seized the oil in that Bullenbaai tank. Worth at present prices 30 million dollars.
Interestingly, Knob has now started paying outstanding rental debts, which seems to mean that the oil that belonged to now bankrupt Panam&auacute;'s United Petroleo Corporation is now "free". Who now actually owns it may be decided in court next September. But RdK Isla refinery wants to cancel the agreement with CPR on the tank lease. Since MCCBank canceled CPR's account "for reasons of compliance" the company seems to be empty handed.

Up for Sale
Campo Alegre, our national disgrace (reputedly the largest brothel in the world) may be up for sale again. Soon. The former tries were grandiose flops.
Our BLeeders seem to be desperate to get this illicit source of laundered money, drugs and weapons dealing; almost forgot prostitution; up and running again.

Open, Close... Still Stinks
The mangrove park has closed again because the same sewage problems are back.

With much fanfare, the Marie Pompun beach has been opened. We read enthusiastic reviews all over.
Only one paper wonders, "Say, howzabout parking space?" Because there's none to speak of. People living there are already complaining that, for them, there's none left.

Big Deal
The Caribbean Guilder, for which we have been waiting eagerly, will be postponed from half 2024 to February 2025. What would have been a shock is, had it come earlier instead of later.

Stench Gone
No, not in Fort Amsterdam where our BLeeders reside. In the mangrove park, which will re-open.
But there will not come a new pumping station; no, the raw sewage will in the future be pumped into Annabaai instead, for which most of the sewerage pipes are ready, already.
Carmabi, who manage the park, will love that as they keep warning about sewage polluting our sea and beaches.

Re the planned development of Klein Curaçao in the RAMSAR context ("only marks on paper"), the tour operators agree that the number of visitors must be limited, "but not at the expense of their business."
And there you go, already. They are prepared to listen to the consortium's suggestions. There have been several meetings with PM Prick Pisas, AKA sumptuous villa owner, and Mudbelly Cooper. So better bate your breath.

Now That
The number of providers in the tourist sector is growing faster than the number of tourists. Resulting in a mere 56% occupancy in June. Car rentals were only 40%, compared with 50% last year. For dive centra it was 32% versus 47.

That's How It Starts?
250 Turks will be coming to Curaçao to work in the Corendon hotels. There's a great shortage of personnel in the hotel-restaurant service sector. Supposedly, this is only for the 3 winter months. But rumors are many more will come over, for which the government has already given permission.
We can only hope they will leave again and not be Erdogan fanatics.
And I naïvely thinking we need tourism for employment opportunities. Ain't tourism great?

AOW welfare pension is going up with 30% this month. After all those years...
It's not really "welfare" anyway; it's you who pays dearly for all those who get it. And for the rats managing that, don't forget.

Banana Vigilance
The veterinary chief has been criticized heavily because he decided to have two puppies arriving from Santo Domingo euthanized. So he was suspended for three months.
But what I guess should be called "animal lover[s]" have now turned his car into a funereal pyle. As if that will call the puppies back to life. Now, the chief gets round-the-clock personal protection.

Now Waste It
Tax receipts in June reached a record high. A great success? Depends.
We do read the remark that OZB property taxes could be still more, because "in the past years not all registered properties" have been taxed. Tell us about it; while we have been overtaxed to the point of double assessments. The receivers' administration is a total mess.
The Tax Person is hard at work at improving its "service" (really, they use that word) and get its own administration and processes in order. Quote: "This is an enormous job and thus needs 'some' time." No kidding.

Still Stinks
The Rif mangrove park, supposed to be cleaned up and turned into an attraction, has been closed to the public and will remain closed for, yes, how long? Problem is, there's still sewage entering the water.
Not the first time. Trouble is caused by a detective pumping station that gave up before. Carmabi requests the government to replace it.

Just a Quote
Who needs more to start trembling at those unholy thoughts of giant hydrogen generating wind mills on the North coast?
"The process of manufacturing green hydrogen—known as electrolysis—converts water into hydrogen using renewable power, and the hydrogen it generates is nearly 14 times as expensive as natural gas to generate the same amount of power," Isaac Orr, a policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment told the DCNF.
While proponents of green hydrogen "envision massive facilities" using electrolysis, such facilities are not cost-effective, Jonathan Lesser, an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute studying energy, told the DCNF. In addition, hydrogen is difficult to transport, because it can damage the steel used in existing oil and gas pipelines and has the potential to leak, creating an explosion risk, said Lesser.
Lesser told DCNF that there are no large-scale power plants that use green hydrogen because it is prohibitively expensive, and because hydrogen's low density means it requires much more storage space than other fuels. In addition, electrolysis requires larges volumes of water.
Read it all.

The ultimate beneficial owners of CPR have executed a conservatory seizure of 22 million dollars worth of oil, stored in tank number 9099 of Bullenbaai oil terminal.
There's a lot of confusion and entanglement here, with lawyer Braam even accusing CPR's Doran of an atrako. If it proves one thing, to my not legally trained mind, it's that Doran and Knob, both (ex?)-players in the Isla take-over, are not acting in a what you'd call kosher way.
No surprise, you said it.
Not that that tank number matters; it's just curious that it's so high. Must follow another system of numbering than just counting.

They Tried that Elsewhere
Some years ago in South Africa: they gave out solar panels to people who couldn't afford electricity.
It was a flop; many of those who got the panels sold them.
Now Aruba is thinking of repeating the act.

Let's Waste It Before We Use It!
It's a well-known problem in agriculture that the supply of phosphorus is definitely limited, and is in danger of running out one of these... days? years? decades? centuries? Nobody really knows.
But our worries are over, for the time being. An enormous deposit of phosphate, just like we used to have on Klein Curaçao and in Tafelberg, has been found in Norway. Enough for a century.
And, of course, what will they do with it? Build solar panels. Forget food.

Some guy proposes to split Aqualectra up into a generation and a distribution part. These would then be able to compete, resulting in lower prices. Sounds rather naïve to me.
We read on and see how here's another idea to promote more solar and wind power. You bet your life that especially the distribution part will not be really glad with such a setup.
My private thought is, Aqualectra will never agree to such a loss of power. I don't mean what electricians call "juice", because the utility doesn't make the impression of overly worrying about that (heh heh); I refer to the political sense.

It's Like That, Is It
CTB tourist office is paying for 2 persons who will work for the tax collector. As I understand it, their work will mainly consist of going after apartment rentals who, so goes the story which doesn't sound improbable, often avoid paying their taxes.
They'll start with 74 "ratable" people and businesses, whose information found on the internet often doesn't help much to find the exploiters and make 'em pay up.
It would seem remarkable that a private instance makes people available to the government; until you realize that CTB is in fact paid by the government (us) as well.

Why Worry
The 63 Carnival cruise ships emit more toxic fumes than all (291 million) European combustion cars combined. In fact 43% more sulfur oxides. No matter; they're always welcome here.
But the EU wants to have all those polluters off the roads in 2035.

Don't Hold Your Breath
Finance minister Silly Vain announces he's started a project to lower profit and income taxes. Profit tax (skipping some details) will go down from 22% to 15% for profits up to 500,000 guilders.
About income tax not a word. It should be presented to parliament before this year ends.
Silly hopes to improve tax collection so well-meaning payers won't be punished for their good behavior any longer.

Less Growth
Finally, CBCS central bank got the message: the world wide economic growth of 3.4% in 2022 (which after the Covid shrink was just, partly, catching up) will be reduced to 2.8% this year.
For Curaçao, the 7.9% growth in 2022 will be 3.4% this year. It's merely a prediction, mind.

Rutte Gone, Next? Please
With the fall of the Dutch cabinet, state secretary van Hufteren will be replaced. She managed, or so we read, to lighten up the relationships between the islands and the Mighty Kingdom—by being too friendly towards our B.Leeders."It was never explained to her that Antillian politicians for decades have been used to always getting what they wanted without keeping their agreements or wondering how long they'd get away with it." To quote Antilliaans Dagblad

A Bit Late
Minister Centje urges consulting relevant parties before installing the "beach tax". If only our Commander-in-Chief had thought of that. But can he think? Not with his brain, is a commonly heard opinion.

Will It Work?
The medical specialists are prepared to start a dialogue with minister Silly Vain. About that salary cap, of course. If it's of any use talking with that Bully is another question.
Waiting for those chips to fall where they may, CMC announced the legal actions will not be pursued further. For now?

There We Go. There Goes Damen?
Now it's the workers at Damen/Dok/CDM shipyards who won't agree with the proposals to reorganize the company. 82,5% of them, to be precise.
Dare I say, "deadlock"?
It all has to do with firing "flexible" workers and attracting foreign personnel.

It All Helps
Now we get a suggestion to reduce the number of new clothing to 3 items per year. To prevent Global Warming, you know.
Well, here that's no problem. In fact, let's all go without completely. But on reflection, that might make things hot up.
You can't win in that game.

Lock Them Up!
Four former Isla RdK top guys have appealed the 2021 court case where they were all convicted to 24 months jail time. Now the attorney general has rejected their appeals.
They were guilty of passive official bribery; having tried to get 5 million dollars, at least, from Count/AOT which was involved in the tendering project to become a new strategic Isla partner.

A Good Reason
The story is that Terry Hernandez of Telecuraçao has been fired, two days before his contract expired, because Hernandez had fired Mudbelly Cooper's brother's partner; accusing her of "bad behavior".
Those things run in families.

Dirty Laundry
PM Prickie announces the start of infrastructure projects next year; the €U has made € 21 million available. But if there's any problem, he requests us all to come to the government; and not approach the €U; that would hurt the island's image.
As if it's any good now.
And if applying to the government will be of any help.
Here, several times remarks came in that we should not hang our dirty laundry out, so anybody could see (if not enjoy) it. We should keep it covered up. That's exactly our reason to publish in English. Not that it seems to help much.

Here's the Answer
Will Damen Shipyards/CDM/Dok stay or leave? They must make a profit in two years from now, or the Dutch mother company will stop the Curaçao activities.
But if we keep paying, they will stay; am I right?
And we will; count on it.

Pisas Denies
The Bearded Weirdo seems to be the only minister who knows about the proposal to collect tourist money for access to the sea. While he "indignantly" denies there are advanced plans, there is such a law in the make.
In a meeting with stakeholders, the question came up how those funds would be spent and shared. That's an easy one: hire more spoiled brats!

The Malpais landfill will be full 10 years from now. Last January we were told, 6. There's no replacing it; the island is full as well. (Not that the EOP development plan matters, that's naïve thinking.) So Selikor is looking for other ways to get rid of the trash. Which should lead to a national waste policy, followed by an action to make the people conscious; which is expected to take six months. Now that's naïve thinking. The €U will help Selikor with €1.5 million for all that.
But relax: we will not get separate Kliko trash bins, because that's too expensive. And, frankly, often a flop.

Would You?
Consider: knowing Aqualectra's poor reputation of black-outs, large and small, would you consider using their announced Internet Provider plans?
And another thing, do we really need two SOE's, Flow/Setel (largely, as far as I know) and Aqualectra to compete?

So Get to Work
The government warns for a shortage of staff as many spoiled brats are taking advantage of the Early Voluntary Exit (EVE) program which helps them retire early.
Another idea to solve the problem is to improve the efficiency of ministries. Good!
We now have almost 3000 civil servants, on (2020) 70,492 workers; or 4%.

The Antwerp company accused of mixing poisonous chemicals in their fuel has been acquitted. They bought their stuff from Asphalt Lake, who mixed it with Fuel No. 6. But the court judged that this was not a waste material, but raw stuff which could be made into a usable product.
If they did make it into a usable product I couldn't say. The case concerned only the product bought from Asphalt Lake Recovery, who thus still seem to export a poisonous waste product.

There are plans, seemingly well developed, to have every visitor over 13 pay $55 to make use of Curaçao beaches, sea and inland waters, valid for one year. Day trippers pay $10. Residents pay nothing. Except what the beach exploiters charge, right.
Local companies using same will have to pay $1500/year.
Big surprise: the tourist industry doesn't like it.

Put It Another Way
State secretary van Hufteren promises a lower interest rate on future loans Holland-Curaçao if the Ennia pensions will be arranged satisfactorily.
In other words, do so or you pay more.

The Only Way
On the just over Dia di Bandera flag day PM Pisas said a mouthful: "Everybody must carry their own responsibilities and fulfill their duties." True enough.
If only our B. Leaders would follow his advice.

What a Relief
MFK Braam, who was turned down for a minister's post, has appealed the decision. Fact is, Braam as an MD took sexual advantage of a 16 year old girl (which is called "statutory rape" in the USA) and was convicted; only, he didn't get a punishment as the judge thought the conviction was punishment enough.
So he may become minister after all, if he gets the chance. Blast that soft-hearted judge!

Yes, to Be Sure
Rekenkamer accounting has not a good word on the government's acts. Financial obligations 2020 in large measure were not according to the laws and controls. In total this concerns 385 million guilders.
Gee, wouldn't you like to have your part of that? Per average family almost 10,000 guilders?
"Financial management does not meet the minimum requirements of orderness and verifiability, as required in the law."
That was PAR's, mainly minister Gijs & Bertha's doing.

Silly Vain's Style
The expected (not by us) 2022 budget surplus pf 142 million guilders will probably turn out not to be over 25 million. "If that." you say. Another way to express it is, Silly's finance ministry made a 500% error. Amigoe comments, "it tends to deceit and deception." Something in that.

Come to Think of It
What's going on with that furshlugginer National Emblem? Looks like everybody is so embarrassed by the winning design that nobody dares to say a word. We've now been waiting for the final decision for months and months; last none-news was on June 3rd.

Please Tell
What's going on? On the very same day, we read that ADC diagnostics will resume services to CMC hospital after an agreement has been reached, only to have Silly Vain deny it.

Oh, It's Called a "Directive"
And we translating aanwijzing as "instruction". Anyway, CMC tells inspector Keli that it does not register resignations, but retirements; so the aanwijzing to report resignations of specialists cannot be followed up. Nobody will resign before they have found another job elsewhere. Got it?
And CMC will do what it can to pay them more than the LNT law approves. Got it?

It's a Drug
Confiscated cigarettes have been stolen from the Handelskade customs building. From a stock of 2054 cigarettes, 544 were missing. My guess would be, by a hopelessly addicted smoker. That's about a one month supply.
Don't worry, reports have been filed.
A far cry from the 600 keys of coke.

Sugar Has an Expiration Date?
United Sugar Trading Company will be fined because there were several expired products in stock there. Among which animal feed, fruit juice and sugar.

Maybe That's Why
Money minister Silly Vain is surprised that Norway canceled the tax treaty that should avoid people paying double taxes. Now, we only have one with the Netherlands—and Malta.
Malta, hmmm? Maybe Norway doesn't like that? Just a thought.

Wise Words
By SCOTUS member Clarence Thomas, on the recent judgment doing away with "affirmative action": "Such a view is irrational; it is an insult to individual achievement and cancerous to young minds seeking to push through barriers, rather than consign themselves to permanent victimhood."
He might just as well be talking about reparations. Things like that always remind me of St. Eustatius, where, as far as I know, yearly the memory of how a British admiral attacked the island as a come-back to its saluting the USA flag still is, celebrated? Not the right word.
What's the use...
I may need to remind you, Thomas is black, or African; however you want it to be called these days.

Spells the End?
The majority (86%) of workers at Dames/DOK/CDM shipyard do no want to accept the proposed CAO collective agreement. They were asked to make a contribution to the continuation of the company. "If our own workers are not prepared to do that, what do you expect from the other stakeholders?" asks the management.
Good question. What will the answer be?

How Like Them
The Court of Audit criticizes ministers and civil servants for not responding to their investigative reports.
Makes you ask yourself what they can do about it.

They Want to, But They Won't
The first "they" is CMC hospital's management, who want the government to retract its instructions. But (second) "they" won't.
Another run on the court by now seems unavoidable.

Oh, How Nice of Him
The Great Dutch King of the Mighty Kingdom has offered his apologies for the nation's slavery past. (Cheap: paying up is another matter.)
Now in Holland many people are royally peed off by His Majesty. The great majority of the Dutch had nothing to do with slavery. To the contrary, they themselves were mere serfs and vassals of the rich people in power who profited from the slave trade.
And now they are supposed to pay up? Out of their taxes.

Bullying Bully
Finance minister Silly Vain holds the former (Billenaath) government responsible for the law to restrict top incomes. For the medics, that is; somehow, Silly seems to feel it does not apply to SOE managers. But Billie and Gijs&Bertha signed the note that included CMC specialists in the measure.
The specialist, meanwhile, demand Silly's apologies for his recent FakeBooc posts, which they describe as "unnecessarily provocative", "privacy invading", "extremely suggestive" and "clearly of inflammotary character".
Will Silly apologize? Don't bet on it.

So Much for that
About the Evil Plan to start with one giant floating wind generator to produce hydrogen, right now one more popular pie-in-the-sky project in the oven, here's a quote that will not end it:
"With the technologies available today, clean hydrogen remains too expensive for many U.S. energy developers and industrial end-users to add to their pipelines, costing about five times as much to produce from renewables than fossil fuels."
Yes, technologies do change and new ones become available. And I forgot to note the source.

Jonis Suspended
Aqualectra director Jonis, who'd already taken his leave, has now been suspended by the board (read: government). Reasons are not given.
But hey, must have to do with those two black-outs; during both of which he was not on the island.
Bye, Jonis. Don't forget to take your money along.

600 Keys More
This is getting usual: firefighting at sea, where the engines of drug smuggling go-fasts are hit until they give up. Then, the drugs thrown overboard are collected. This time, 600 kilos, with a crew on board of 5 Venezuelans and one Colombian.

Just Dragging On
If the Inspection of Health doesn't retract two aanwijzingen [instructions], CMC hospital will, again, go to court. Among other things, the Inspection's instructions denied CMC the right to go to court.
How like our bullying government.
By attracting foreign workers, CMC's operating rooms are in action again, and the government's decision to refer patients to Advent hospital should be retracted.

Nina Ansary, daughter of Hushang, American owner of Ennia, has filed a complaint against CBCS central bank. Her claim is the acts of CBCS have cost Ennia a billion guilders, which made the company as good as bankrupt, leading to much more trouble, among which pensionaries who can say their income goodbye. Ansary says it's all CBCS's fault.
Appeal will serve in September.

Neither Did I
The border with Venezuela will reopen completely for the import of goods. It was expected prices would go down with the return of the floating market, but did you notice any effect?

As they well might, the Kingdom ministers' council asks Curaçao to (for crissakes) take Cft financial supervisor's recommendations seriously.
Our government has shown again and again they don't care a flying fart about Cft. Especially Silly Vain, who always know better. State secretary van Hufteren says, as quoted by Curaçao Chronicle that "she 'expects' the Pisas cabinet to eventually address the recommendations in the coming months." This woman is a one-person disaster area.

So Work Harder
The government, after several inspections, is working on a further plan to tackle the illegal activities around Brakkeput Mei Mei and Dam Pretu.
One would think that action can be taken right now, which the ministry's secretary-general admits, but it just doesn't happen.

You Think?
"Over-tourism must be avoided" says van Veghel. Alas, he just means on Klein Curaçao.
He talks a lot about preserving the unspoiled nature there. Never mentions that Klein Curaçao used to be a source of fertilizer before all the guano was "harvested", completely ruining the islet's character.
Sweet smell of money. First bird shit, now tourist crap.

Six MPs have departed for another Parlatino meeting in Panamá.They went on the sly, departing in secret. Maybe they do have some shame? Knowing them, let's assume realistically they merely don't want more trouble.
An announced parliament meeting on the subject has not been put on the calendar yet.

Not So Good? Depends
The number of "unusual transactions" in the Dutch Caribbean has gone up sharply during the last few years, from less than 900 in 2020 to 7456 in 2022.
This may have less to do with the actual number of transactions going up than with a strengthened "information position of law enforcement agencies."

We get jubilant reports on how the economy is growing, but what isn't mentioned is that it collapsed with 18.4% in 2020. And before then, it wasn't doing so great either.
A lot more growth needed before we're there.

But maybe not so fast. Four top level guys at TeleCuraçao have received their notice: fired. This after they did not respond in the granted 4 days to a 40-page report that took months to prepare, and for which the lawyers needed 2 weeks to review it.

Klein Curaçao
The European Union has made money available so the ministry of health can keep to the RAMSAR accords. One of the problems is Klein Curaçao. Birds are having colonies there, while the beach is of great importance for two species of sea turtle.
Problem here is, now 17% of all tourists visiting Curaçao also visit Klein Curaçao, which pre-Covid resulted in 68,000 visitors per year. But if CTB succeeds in the unholy plans to get 625,000 tourists/year, 20% of which would visit the mini-island, 150,000 would go there this year.
In which case, those birds and turtles can just forget it.
Ain't tourism great?

Central bank CBCS finds that, even with the economic growth, costs are increasing faster. Especially health care.
Curaçao and St. Maarten spend more on health care than other islands around us. Hey, let's keep it that way!

Not to Mention Your Tires
Electric vehicles, because of their heavier (battery) weight, cause twice as much road damage than fuel-powered cars. To be more exact, 2.24 more than gasoline and 1.9 times more than diesel. Larger EVs may produce up to 2.32 times more damage. Just what we needed here. Let's go out and buy one, to make us feel good about preventing the Coming Inferno.
Not to mention what will happen to your lighter car when one of those heavy birds crash into it. Remember Newton, F=ma; in this case: force equals mass x deceleration?

Easy to Follow
ADC diagnostic center has to reduce services to CMC hospital, because CMC doesn't pay ADC's bills. Well, that figures: what money could CMC possibly use to pay those bills? There's none.

Oh, that ACU
Only now, after all those years, we're told dat ACU since 2015 "camps with stubborn problems in governance and business operations." More and more stringent measures have been taken since, but this didn't result in improvements.
It's not correct that an intervention has taken place already, but it will happen this week after the disorderly meeting last week-end.

Losing Count
We read that another harbor guy is arrested on suspicion of "alleged" involvement in drugs smuggling. This is number 4.
That must be the 2nd number 4?

That Would Be Just Great!
And a welcome change. Minister Martina says the government is working on a new, effective apparatus, which will be able to serve the people with less personnel.
Well worth the wait. May be a long one, though.

Leave It to Them
The hospitality sector (read: tourism industry) wants compensation for Aqualectra's blackouts. Mentioned are possible future discounts.
Is what we'd all like. Fat chance; but I admit, just possibly they will be listened to.
Also, "Several hospitality establishments were in violation of regulations." Only three out of twelve (includes small supermarkets) were in compliance.

Economy Grows, Again
After 4% growth in 2021, 2022 showed 7.9%. But it looks like that's all tourism and "the sharp increase in energy prices." Only health and care, education, government and professional services (whatever) did not show any growth.
My question here is, if government had grown, would that mean an economic increase?
A side remark is made on the high inflation (without giving any figures), which as we all have seen tends to negate growth. Like, real estate showed a 1.8% increase, caused by higher rentals. A fat lot of good that is to the rest of us.

What Now, ACU?
Hold your nose and swallow. CBCS central bank has announced a "short intervention" at ACU credit union. But in fact, ACU's license has been suspended. That's until the supervising council has been installed, even though ACU members voted against that.
An expert states the problem is that ACU in effect wants to run a bank without keeping to the banking laws, which demand a supervisory structure.

What's the Use
Amigoe carries an article: "When will Curaçao get a reliable and affordable electricity supply?" Then, a number of points that must be realized to get there are summed up, all good, but... Makes you conclude, the answer is "Never".
Only when we get rid of this Aqualectra behemoth; which we won't—not in the foreseeable future.

10% out of 100"?
Again, two boats were stopped by the Kustwacht coast guard, and 2000 keys of drugs were confiscated; some, which the boat crews had thrown overboard, picked up from the sea.
In total 12 Venezuelans were arrested. There are more of these boats intercepted than fruit barkitos are admitted. And makes you ask yourself, how many got through? The rule of thumb internationally seems to be, 10% are stopped.

Clumsy, But in Style
Two weeks before the school vacations start, parents are confronted with a new rule: minors are not allowed any longer to travel with a parental permission note. As nobody seems to know what exactly will be valid, this has led to parents panicking.
The new measure is meant to prevent problems like kidnapping, which of course is a danger. But like this?
The ministry admits that it would have been more convenient to make all that information avaliable before introducing the measure, "but it didn't work out."

Not in Forti
Stink, or stench, meters will be installed at several locations where people are bugged by "nasty scents".
The locations are not listed, which leaves us to guess if one will be installed at government center Fort Amsterdam (AKA "Ali Baba's Cave).
Those people are not always bugged by stench; only at specific times. Like, when there's a meeting?

Holy Site Kaput
The Seru di Orashon [Praying Mountain] has to be sold by the owner, daughter of the founder, before she can start collecting the debts run up by the foundation with the same name and the Curaçao diocese. Looks like it's largely the daughter's own problem, anyway. But what do I know.
She will now have to sell the property, and what debts are then left over the bishopric will have to pay.
The Seru is located on a totally flat terrain.

Not Good at All
Siemens announced that 30% of its wind generators may be malfunctioning. Design issues also played a role." Shares lost 36% of their value in consequence.
Let's erect some more here! I'm sure we can get a good deal right now.
Siemens also lost 1/3rd of that market. Gone with the Wind!

Good News? Depends
Dutch VVD, PM Rutte's own party if I'm right, claims the promise of €200 million to the CAS islands is illegal. Because the money will be taken out of the National Growth Fund for the Netherlands.
And we, after a long and bloody struggle, finally achieved our independence, so we're not part of that great minute country.
It's anybody's guess what will be decided here.

They'd Like that
ACU credit union has advised the about 24,000 members to vote against the establishment of a raad van supervisie supervision council.
But CBCS central bank would like it and ACU risks the bank's intervention. Because CBCS wants to elevate ACU's corporate governance to "an acceptable level."
It's hard to follow what's ACU's problem. Or is it?

Now I'm a Believer
We are told that the news Curaçao will not receive EU money until former obligations have been fulfilled, is incorrect. At least, so writes PM spokesperson Albertina; then, it must be true.

So There
If the government continues its policy to limit the CMC hospital specialists' salaries they may decide to leave the place and (re)start their own private practices. (Which was made impossible for them only last year or so, as I remember it without having checked the date.) The question is if SVB social insurance will reimburse them, but may be forced to as then there are no CMC specialists any longer.
Some think the minister of health must get out. Here's an idea: kick both of them, PM Prickie and Silly Vain out! And then for the rest. Dream on...

One Great Swindle
That's what the international opinion is about the gambling mafia of Curaçao. The same story almost everywhere: the enablers do not care a fart about the laws in the countries where they (illegitimately) operate, and Curaçao laws and enforcements are as good as non-existent.
It's Holland that gets the blame. Hey, we're independent! Aren't you proud?
But minister Silly announces the new LOK law will be in force in September. It's supposed to prevent money laundering and fraud, and to offer protection of suckers players. The gambling mafia will be expected to keep to the minimal (hah!) international demands to prevent money laundering.
Curaçao should not be regarded any longer as "the red-haired stepchild" (Silly's words) in the gambling industry. He sure fooled me.
The transition to the new rules will be supple, he adds. Existing operators can continue their business and licenses will become easier to get.

One More Grandiose Project
Now a trash heap. It's at Piscadera, as good as abandoned with new roads and everything; so some people have started dumping their trash there.

About that recycling of plastic: it seems that 6% of the stuff ends up as microplastics in the waste water after processing. Great uh?
The best way to get rid of the waste is to burn it and use the heat to produce electricity. Burns like hell! Is what they do in Finland, following Sweden and Denmark.
Filtering the waste water doesn't really help. Sorry, recycling, as often is the case, isn't so great at all.

Uh Oh, There We Go
Minister Centje is back from a visit to Brasil, which he described as "very fruitful."That we can believe. The Brazilian CCR, now we hear it, owner of "our" Hato airport is involved in a large corruption scandal (behind a paywall, sorry). Makes you feel right at home. I couldn't get confirmed if they did, but China's CCC was heavily interested in buying CCR-shares. These are the guys owning notorious Huawei, of which company I have a router right before my nose. China also owns a large part of Brasil's electricity grid.
Since Bolsonaro, Brasil's former president was controversially beaten by now president Lula (an ex-con), Chinese investments in Brasil have heavily grown again.
Just what we need here. Please spare us.
Before I forget, China likes oil too. That at least we were saved from.

Dog Bites Man
We must consider ourselves lucky. That's still news here... It was widely reported recently.
On the other hand, that avoided, maybe, publishing a lot of much worse goings-on.

But... But...
Minister of social affairs Larmonie Cecilia figures Curaçao is, since 2009, the poorest country in the Kingdom. 41% of workers make less than 3000/month. Minimum wage equals about $1000, and AOW welfare pension $474. On Bonaire, that's $1236 and $1047.
This while the Gambling Mafia makes 60 billion a year here. Thanks, Prickie and Silly.

Poor Baby
Court has judged that Orco Bank rightfully closed ex-PM Shorty's bank account. That's a problem for Shorty, because after he was convicted to pay 1.8 million back to the country, he started an action to have the suckers who still believe in his integrity deposit money in that account.
That's when Orco closed it.

Not Bad, Good
It looks like Holland want stringent financial supervision as a condition for refinancing the liquidity loans.

Tough, Kids
The Soiled Rats were hoping for a day off, but no such luck. The Dia di Bandera flag day falls on June 2, and they wanted it moved to June 3 to celebrate, but there's no such provision in law.
Criminal oversight by the lawmakers, I call it.

False Banknotes
CBCS central bank announces false bills of 50 and 100 guilders have appeared in circulation. The 50 ones are of inferior quality and easily recognized, but those of 100 are pretty good, we're told.

In Fact, They're Mine!
There's 40 million worth of oil in the Bullenbaai terminal, but nobody seems to know who's the owner. Sloppy, but who cares about small change like that?
It's in court and the judge opined that confirming that neither RdK nor CRU properly informed Parliament about the truth of the structure between the companies involved at Bullenbaai. To which I may add, neither did the government.
Erchenel Doran now seems to have control over CPR, but SOCAP's Marquez, Socorro, and Taborda try to wrestle it away from him.

Oh, That's Great
CPR, supposedly still in the running for take-over of Isla refinery in spite of all those fraudulent documents, now has a debt of $13 million for rental of the Bullenbaai facilities. It's in court now, but I couldn't tell you if that will result in any money actually being paid.

Don't Count on It
Minister Centje promises that household tariffs for water and electricity will be lowered. They're working on it. Too bad it all sounds like more pie-in-the-sky. And long-term too, what else did you expect?
He mentions the giant floating wind generator for hydrogen production, now already "several" instead of one. The pressure under which hydrogen must be kept is a barrier that still has to be solved before it can be used on a large scale. Then, Centje starts on so-called SAF, sustainable airline fuel, made of among other things, discarded cooking oil and other waste fats. Which reminds me: weren't we just told that these products will be too expensive to be used locally, but thanks to €U subsidies are supposedly a goldmine for export?
Sorry, Centje, I doubt all this very much.

Take Heart
Unemployment in 2022 was 13.1%, says CBS statistics. In China, it's over 20% I read somewhere else, only yesterday. Besides, not counted are all those making a fat living on drugs dealing/smuggling.

That's Old Already
In case CMC hospital's medical specialists will, as they threaten, take their leave when their salaries are not adjusted up, minister Silly (he with the two hats: finance and health) plans to attract replacements from the region.
Genius! Just what ex-MP Maria Liberia-Pieters wanted, and Quackie Constancia. From Cuba, is my maybe unfair guess.

Less Taxes
In contrast with Silly's ongoing crowing, tax receipts this year will be lower than last year's.
But the prognosis remains positive.

And What's Really the Case?
I didn't mention it, but just a few days ago we were treated on what must have been a usual CTB/CHATA lies: tourism in May did very well. Now, we get the complaint that it went down (compared with last Covid-year) with 2.8% to (insufficient, below par) 64.2%, and room prices went up with 6.1%.
Pick what you want to believe. Or better yet, believe nothing that club will tell you.
Before I forget, nobody knows yet what the €U will decide on less flights to and from anywhere.

Please, Keep Us Out
Ten Caribbean nations participate in China's "Belt and Road" initiative: Grenada, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Cuba. Why Venezuela isn't listed I don't know; possibly because China doesn't need that sort of pressure there.
This while other nations in Africa and Asia are trying to get out from under China's crushing foot. And sometimes even succeeding.
Better ask Holland for money, as we're used to.

More Delays
At the request of PM Wearded Beirdo the, already postponed for 8 weeks, parliament debate on the fraudulent CPR-Isla papers, has been delayed again; this time for an unspecified period. In fact, PM Prick asked for suspension until after the recess, upon which his co-party member closed the meeting.
Which didn't stop PAR Girigorie to accuse the government of having known long before they admit that the CPR documents were fraudulent.
And CPR is back in business as well, since June 15, with the new company Baranka Petroleum Refinery. With the same old crooks, Socorro and Marquez Bustos, in the management.

Only Fruits and Veggies
The Venezuelan barkitos/barquettes are not allowed to sell anything but that. They try anyway.
Meant are Cocosete biscuits, Malta, keshi blanku (white cheese), tamarind juice and dulce de leche candy.

Fine. Good. Great. Excellent!
Ex-con Ramon Chong will not become Aqualectra's new director.
What's not so good, Chong himself says he's not interested. Presumably he has hotter irons in the fire.

Rather Less than Moore
Trouble for Silly Vain? A company E-Moore (or Emoore, who cares) has reacted to a press release by the minister, in which it was claimed Brazil accused Prolific Trade NV of abuses. That company, controlled by E-Moore, runs EBlaze, "one of the most reputable, experienced and expert providers of specialized management and compliance services to online gaming companies in Curaçao." That's not saying much, and it's only what Emoore claims: All allegations against are based on false YouTube accusations.
Nice state of affairs when even the gambling mafiosi start turning against Silly. There may be hope yet that dreaded LOK gambling law will not pass, after all.
Central bank CBCS will investigate the allegations.
Silly claimed alleged money laundering, customer fraud, and the funneling of funds to promoters of Eblaze.

The Pendulum Swings Back?
Not before we were ready for it. Shell and BP both opt for higher investments in oil and gas while "slowing" their advancement toward green alternatives. "We're responding to what society wants,” says BP's chief executive. First result is, Shell's dividend goes up to 15%; same for BP's shares' worth.
So much for all those predictions that fossil fuels will be phased out ** years from now.
Shell will grow its integrated gas business and stabilize oil output to 2030, after cutting production by about 20% from a peak in 2019, says Reuter. USA Exxon and Mobil never lowered their fossil-fuel business.

How Fast!
The Tax Persons are showing signs of waking from their lethargy. Since a few years, we can declare digitally, but starting in July, they will test sending correspondence and assessments by email as well! Fancy that. When that really will be done is everybody's guess.
Until now, all this went by snail-mail (shouldn't that be male snale?) which resulted in many letters not reaching the addressee in time; or never. "Which may result in, among other things, incorrect recovery actions," we read.
No kidding. Tell us about it.
Last weekend, we received a bunch of 5 or more assessments, held together by an elastic band, going back several years—which we must pay in 2 weeks.

Don't Count on It
Hopeful blabbering keeps going on about electric airplanes, in spite of the fact that a load of airplane fuel contains a seventy (70) times more energy per kilo than a fully charged battery. Maybe this will kill the idea once and for all?
The developers of the Rolls Royce P-volt, who were expecting to start flying in 2025, stopped working on it until a better battery becomes available. Which may well be, never.
Apart from the restricting weight, an important problem is that fast recharging, which you need to make a profit on an airplane instead of having it sitting on the tarmac, results in having to replace the batteries after a few hundred flights. Which comes expensive.

Oh. Fine. That Will Help
M*F*K PM Prickie is talking to the dive sector (what part?) about introducing a dive tax. A well-known measure elsewhere that could easily be adapted for Curaçao. (But if that will happen? Too simple... much too simple.)
The money would be spent on installing mooring buoys to prevent damage to the reefs, and mapping the coral reefs. And of course on hiring more civil servants to arrange all that.
Not a word about the sewage pollution problem. Not that we expected one.

Go Ahead. Full Speed.
No matter how and what, I'm for it. CBS statistics thinks it better to privatize. So does PNP minister Martina. The way it's now, much of CBS's info comes from the government registers, which just are not to be trusted.
There's good news too, depending on how you look at it: Martina says that ALL government instances have a 50% understaffing. Which sounds insane. But there's a running effort to produce more with less personnel.
Could be done.

Kick Them Out? It's an Independent Democracy!
Independent from the Slavery Champ; but not from the Gambling Mafia. Di nos e ta!—it's ours!
"The online gambling sector is one of the greatest criminogenic and undermining factors on the island," states a 2020 report by Dutch civil servants to then state secretary Knops. Is what's quoted in an article by KKC on, mainly, Russian gambling giant 1XBet.
In 2021, 1xBet, with 1000 sites in 200 countries, was declared bankrupt by a Dutch court after lawyer Bijkerk had taken action to collect over €1 million (much of it in Bitcoin) for victims. But 1xBet continues on the same Curaçao address as Acom Latin America NV.
There are many more, as we all know by now. 1xBit, Tornado.Cash, 1xCorp (also bankrupt now)... over 250 online casinos.
Holland is extremely worried about this and our local authorities, who obviously want to attract even more of this shady business. Surely, just as obviously, there's plenty of money there to be found for them; even exceeding their already ridiculously sumptuous salaries. The new LOK-law in the works by Silly Vain looks like it will make matters even worse.
I regret having to spend so many words on this, but it's needed. Kudos to Roel Bijkerk, Nardy Cramm, and Rubén Suriel; and others. Will their striving help? I'm very pessimistic.

Nos ta bezig kuné
"We're working on it." We hear that time and time again from our Leaders. The Big Bleeders. Now, €urope has declared we won't get any funds before old promises have been fulfilled. Back in 2018, PAR minister Jesus-Leito promised the discharge of chemical wastes near Shut would stop. It still goes on. Airplane toilets are just discarded into the sea as well. Not to mention what's now called Shut.
The infrastructure project of the subsidy-round 217-2020 has not even started yet. Why? Well, ask Pikerie (yes, her, still around and not a chance she's in the calaboose): she expects it to start end next year.

Don't make me think about it. But they keep doing it.
If Silly gets his law, the country will get 40 million guilders a year out of the 60 billion the gambling industry makes.
That's not even 1 pro-mille!
How much do you pay on taxes? It starts at 9.75%, income tax only. Not to mention higher-earning groups, and including import duties and purchase tax on virtually everything we consume.
But the gambling mafiosi get a practically free ticket.
Small wonder they can afford to give PM Prick Pissass a $2.5 million house as a present. They have plenty more money to spend, and we can all be convinced they do so.

Nos Mes Por!
"We can do it ourselves!" Not so well, though. Minister Centje promises foreign expertise will be attracted to help us out of the Aqualectra misery. I've seen it called a "failed company"—fits well in the country. The problems damage the country's image, says Centje. Not to mention the gambling industry, and almost everything else. Is that what he really cares about?

Early? No, Much too Late
Aqualectra promises to come with a plan, within two weeks from now, how to prevent future blackouts. This after we've had 1 every 2 past months. They have had several plans already, but these keep changing. "It's a dynamic process"; and we thinking it was stagnation.
These are the same people who keep pushing "Green Energy". Nitwits. We would be crazy to follow advice like that.
At least director Jonis has taken his leave; his follow-up is financial director Isenia. Economic development minister Centje (a pun on the diminutive of "cent", very appropriate: the coin keeps shrinking) says, what Aqualectra needs is a technical director.
You mean, they didn't have one?
General reaction was to agree with Jonis's decision. Ya betcha.

How Nice!
Aqualectra promises that everybody whose equipment has been damaged by the blackout can apply for a claim. (If they get it is quite another matter, knowing Aqualectra.) About lost working hours, not a word. Or did you expect any? Sucker!

People Are Angry
Took much too long, and if it will help now? The (have you lost count? soon, we'll run out of fingers to use) 8th blackout in the past two years, and the second one in a week. Editorials ask for measures against the guilty parties, which are the over-the-top paid directors of the utilities.
Will there be any? Don't count on it. Better buy an emergency generator.
Which reminds me, again we here not only had power, but also no water. Because the pressure-pump at Grote Berg had no power. Say, why not install an emergency generator there? You buy one, mr. honorable director, and you may make a nice deal with the manufacturer. Wink wink.

PAR opposition member Steven Croes functions as a bridge-builder between the trust sector and finance minister Silly Vain. Of course a bridge is needed for all the heavy trucks transporting money from one side to the other.
Shamelessly, Croes is actually bragging about the good work he does in that function. And he also remarks that the "Trust sector isn't completely satisfied yet." Ouch.

Leave It to Auntie!
Now that there are voices wanting the House of Orange to pay them money for what their ancestors underwent (and good luck with that—you'll need it) auntie Sushi didn't waste a moment in joining the fray.
She is quoted as being the "former MP of the Netherlands Antilles". She indeed was that for maybe a week or so, until to everybody's relief Jandi Paula took over. That was after the First Referendum way back in 1993. Many people regret she's still around.
I must admit I don't think auntie thinks she will collect herself. Except for crumbles falling off the table.

We Know; Or Do We?
The Orange family (not really of our mighty King) had a large-scale involvement in slavery. In fact, they made 500 million on it. Or half a billion; €uros, not guilders.
I do have my question marks. That money was all earned in the 16th-19th centuries by Stadhouders and such of the Zeven Provinciën; The State of the Netherlands didn't exist yet, and the present royal family does not even have family ties with Willem van Oranje.
Surely the later fake kings who took over have seen their way to grabbing much of that loot, and did; but were they guilty of being involved in the African slave trade? I doubt that very much.
Don't know if all those mazoola notes include inflation or not, sorry.

Didn't Expect That
But should have. Central Bank CBCS says that banks, insurance companies and credit unions are just as guilty of Red Tape obstacles as the government. Utilities and the Tax Receiver are also mentioned, but that doesn't come unexpectedly.

Am I Wrong?
To be honest, sometimes, yes. But when I find out, I correct. This is about CASHA, who rent out private facilities to tourists. What we found out is, you have to book first, then you're told the price.
Hard to believe, true. So hard, I wonder what we did wrong. IF we did. By now, I'm ready to believe anything that club does.

There Ain't No Such Thing
Of course the spoiled rats all got a morning off with the blackout. Then, it was extended to all day. But those with "vital" functions had to stay on the job. Name me one with a vital function. Please.

Don't Get It
There were over 11,000 cruise tourists in town yesterday. Reason for CTB and the Gang to celebrate (as if it brings in any money—just hassles for us). And one of them was driven by LNG Liquid Natural Gas which counts as "sustainable". Not if you talk to the loco Europeans, who want to get rid of all fossil fuels before 2040.

Sorry, Force Majeur
No power, again! You'll have to control your thirst for reading my scolding for, yeah, how long? There was an explosion! no less, in the former KAE utility at Mundo Nobo this morning and only the devil and his co-worker Jonis know how long this may take. To be sure, they don't have an inkling, either.
Thanks for tuning in. I am now working on my solar system, but will go off-line before my batteries give up and run out.

P-nuts to you, Silly Vain, and your LOK gambling promotion law. It's supposed to be in force by August, and the country will make all of a lousy 40 million guilders per year as a result.
Just a dose of chicken feed which the gambling mafia will have to yield of the billions and billions they make. If you ask KKN, 60 billion a year. Maybe even in Yankee dollars or Euros, I forget.

Floating Cloud Castle
Xploration Coastline Curaçao wants to build a barge that's capable of processing 1 million liters of seawater per day, turning it into fresh drinking water. We're treated to the usual exaggeration here: that's only 1000 cubic meters.
That would suffice to guarantee all inhabitants would get their minimum of 3 liters water/day. Us men, if I may use the term, would all have to buy electric shavers. (Only those who shave, right.) We all get mighty thirsty, not to mention our pets. And forget about flushing toilets.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest that each day, at least, women get a total of about 2.7 liters (L), or 11 cups, of fluid and men get about 3.7 L (16 cups).
It will use a chain of "sustainable technologies" which makes me shiver in the first place. Why the thing has to be installed on a barge isn't made clear; looks to me a simple pipe-line would be much cheaper.
Not a word about costs (as usual, the media forgot to ask), but we do get a, very doubtful, list of partners. Oh yes, and financing isn't round yet.
The initiators say that it will reinforce the food supply. With that amount of water?

They Well Might Worry
SMOC's Peter van Leeuwen wonders if the plans to start producing asphalt in the Isla refinery will conform to the pollution norms. Not the Asphalt Lake, we read, but the heaviest crude will be processed in Thermo Cracker 1 and part of 2.
And Isla's permit isn't even valid any longer.

Family Plot
An old Hitchcock title. Between the 4 guys arrested for dope-smuggling via the harbor, 2 names are shared: Raven and Krips. From what I read, Raven Sr. seems to be the top man.

Keep It Up! Don't Be Shy
Next year, Staten/parliament has allocated 600,000 guilders extra for members' foreign trips. But We Are Not Alone: in Dutch Tweede Kamer, a proposal to reduce the €120,000/year salary for members was voted down.

Bwa Kale
Means "erection" in Haïtian patois. Is what the people say these days in response to the gangs almost freely roaming their streets. If they can catch 'em, they beat 'em to death and recently burned 14 of them, helped by tires drenched with gasoline.
"Erection" closely fits what we used to say in the Glorious Dutch Army to show our contempt: "Dikke lul voor jou!" ["a fat dick for you"—or as the Marquis de Sade loved to write "I'll f*ck you in the @$$"; in French of course].
It's not quite that far here. Yet.

Poison Sellers
Naturally, you can expect no better from many trade organizations. They can make an extra profit, they'll go for it. In this case a Belgian dealer in ships' fuel, who made a habit of buying poison from the Asphalt Lake and mixing it with lighter fuels (which are doubtful in themselves), to sell to ships. They were first fined €30,000 (peanuts!) but may now get a fine of €3.7 million; plus 3 years in jail for the director.
What we here have to ask ourselves, aren't the exploiters of Asphalt Lake just as guilty?

We Were Waiting
... for it. The intensely jubilated (by some) growth of the tourism sector has collapsed, as one of my favorite authors expressed it, a badly set blanc-mange. Occupation rate plunged from 86% to 64%, which had its effect in all sectors like car rentals, accommodations, attractions and diving.
Blamed are the high ticket prices, which largely stopped tourists from Europe. This was partly made good by grown tourism from Brazil and Canada. But also guilty are the, experienced as dangerous, traffic situations (not only by tourists, but who cares about us?), and thefts at dive locations. Is that all? Not by a long way—read on.

Hear, Hear, or Read, Read
J.M.Kooijman has a very good letter in Amigoe pointing out deficiencies in electricity, the sewer system and roads; all sure to have a negative effect on tourism—and us. Re the power supply, he asks if Aqualectra shouldn't enlarge its generator capacity as consumption is growing all the time. In sync with the much-vaunted tourism growth as an "economic pillar".
How about more windmills? Forget it: they are the first thing to grind to a halt when the fossil-fuel generators fail, because the net just can't handle the unsure supply. A real problem wherever they are used.
The sewers are still spewing out untreated filth into the sea at many locations, making swimmers run risk of infection. Despite many requests and promises by our failed governments (if you didn't get it, plural). Also, the infamous shute/chute at Hato is still working away; since auntie Sushi's empty promises, even that false effort isn't taken anymore.
And finally, the roads. Tell us about it. Or rather, tell Mudbelly Cooper about it. As if he didn't know. As if he cared.

What else can you call the diving schools, who are approaching the government with an alarm that, 15 years from now, the diving industry on Curaçao will be as dead as the coral reefs if things go on like this.
We have heard many of those predictions before, especially regarding the so-called climate change and rising sea levels, without the threats ever realizing, true.
Be that how it may, no doubt the divers have a point, with raw sewage being discarded in the sea at several locations. However, one can only wonder at their naïvety. Do they really think the government will do anything about it? My, that's 15 years from now, long after those now in power will have escaped the déluge!

Here's Another Problem
SER social-economic council thinks it's a mistake not to ask non-profit organizations for a gambling permit. As it is planned now, they may hold 5 gambling events per year without any maximum on proceeds. This is contrary to minister Silly Vain's going on about "responsible game offers", a contradiction in terms anyway, and asks for corruption, fraud and money laundering. All of which looks more and more like exactly what Silly wants to achieve.
Not to mention addiction.

Protesting Airport "Tax"
Bonaire is protesting the Hato airport tax. It's not really a tax, as we all know; it's just what Hato can get away with charging for use of its facilities.
On departure from Bonaire to fly via Curaçao to other destinations, you pay $9 to the airport; but for a transfer on Hato you're f*cked for another $63. In some cases, total tax is a third of total ticket price.

One More Joins the Fray
Terramobile has starting selling shares (they need 12 million) to become yet another internet provider on Curaçao. There are at least nine others already, if not ten. On a population of 140,000 that seems overdoing it a bit. If only the tariffs went down. Don't count on it.

Next year June we'll have another worthless IPKO meeting.
I take that back, it may not be worthless for our representatives.

Won't Help Much, Will It
Finance minister Silly Vain announces, proudly I guess, that tax receipts in May were 30.6 million guilders higher than bargained for.
What we need.

Is That Why?
That explains why the recent IPKO meeting was a so-called nothing burger. PNP Osepa said that representatives traveled to Holland by business class and hardly appeared at the meetings, let alone contribute.
This was during a parliament meeting on the Parlatino trips, where Osepa challenged staten members to name one positive result. When other members named two, he didn't accept them, after which the meeting erupted in a vulgar brawl, upon which it was closed.
FYI, one logro named was a Parlatino "macrowet with regard to neuro-rights" whatever that entails, and another, a green investment fund which could be of advantage to Curaçao.

Don't Worry, We'll Pay
Staten accepted a motion that next year the new parliament car will be an EV. Even though they're much more expensive than a gasoline or diesels driven one. Why should they care? We'll pay and they have plenty of money.
Oh wait.

If So, Let's
It's a bit early in the game, but a "Lifetime contraception for female cats" is in view. Certainly beats paying people to collect the poor critters, who after all can't help being alive, and making them "fall asleep". Give 'em one shot lasting a lifetime instead.
As there is talk of using the technique on humans (not permanently), it looks like a similar shot could be developed for (not only feral) dogs as well.

Grab Your Chance
Repairs of the blackout's causes took longer than expected because vandals and/or thieves made use of the, for them safe, darkness to damage the distribution net.
It would have taken longer than expected anyway, you say? Stay positive!

Aw, He's Jealous
MAN's pinhead Martina asks questions in parliament on those credit cards. He might well; only, did he act so much different, even witout having one?
I don't know, just casting foul aspersions.

Not Unexpected at All
This year's originally announced budget surplus of 142 million guilders has shrunk to 25 million (and we're not even halfway yet). It's caused by an increase in government spending on goods and services.
Thanks, Silly Vain and the rest of the bumbling crew. Cft financial supervision comments "financial management is substandard."

Good. Do It
"Too big to save" - the reverse policy of "too big to fail" that has never failed to bring us all into trouble, has been applied by Holland in the ING-affair and by Iceland in a case, similar to the Ennia affair.
Why should we all have to pay for the malversations of the Ennia owners and corrupt board members, who all end up richer than they were before? Good question, huh? I bet you don't have an answer, either.
Tough on those pensionaries, sure. But another solution must be sought and found.
Remember ALM, DCA, InselAir, Refineria Isla, Curaçao Holding, Curaçao Drydock, ACU, Girobank, CMC remarks Amigoe. An endless list. Thanks, I remember...

Please Excuse My Laughing Fit
Staten/parliament, after all those trips the people are angry about, has not paid the Parlatino fees for a year.

What We Need
Or what Aqualectra needs! In other times and at other places, a revolt would long ago have broken out. With people carrying torches and flambeaus marching to the Monster's Den to demolish it and, cheering madly, killing the Horror to death with pitchforks and cudgels. Think baseball bats, too.
Afterwards, free beer on Brionplein to celebrate.
We all know where to find it, it's across the harbor from Alibaba's Cave.

The Worst Part
Forgot to mention it, imagine. When we down here have no power, we don't have water, either. (Some genius probably figured electrical pumps were cheaper than building water towers.) Really comes in handy during a heat-wave like we've been having and still have.
"Everybody has a right to electricity and water." Except we.

Oh Yes
Just now, I referred to ex-PM MLP's nationalizing private enterprise OGEM. And yesterday, I read that Kaapstad is considering to privatize the harbor. This would improve efficiency, it's thought. It would create job opportunties and make the economy grow.

One More Black-Out
An article in Curaçao-Nu tells us that internal and external reports conclude that Aqualectra's repeated black-outs were caused by mistakes of personnel. But we don't read what measures have been taken against them. If any.
There were 6 black-outs in 2022 and 2023, with the last one yesterday. At least, in South Africa you are warned beforehand that there will be a beurtkrag.
This one lasted from 13:30 till (in many neighborhoods) after 24:00.
Have been delving in my archives to find a photo of the harbor ferry with the magic-marker text written on it Kodela ta hode hopi or even worse. This has been getting more bad and badder since PNP mafiosa ex-PM Maria Liberia Peters thought it a good idea to nationalize private OGEM and turn it into Kodela, later Aqualectra.
There even was a Carnival hit Kodela a bai... (Kodela's gone]. That's how long this has been going on.

Van Vark writes in Algemeen Dagblad that both solutions proposed by our genius government leaders for the Ennia pension debacle will in fact worsen the problem. The government mixes up solvency with liquidity; the proposed measures will not improve solvency, while liquidity isn't the problem.
Rather try and raise some money to improve the AOW welfare pensions, van Vark says. Hear, hear.
And he also refers to a committee of "wise men" that seems to be working on the problem. Just like with InselAir? Please, not again!

Cft Agrees
So do many of us, including state secretary van Hufteren: the idea to scratch tax debts from before 2017 is rotten to the core and should not be executed.
Your move, Silly Vain.

Old Story
The people living in Bandabao wonder why they have not been able to request home renovations, while those in the other part of the island, Bandariba, to the east did get that chance.
Well, it's a tradition, folks.

Not New, Either
The Bestuurskantoor where pre-2010 our local deputies did as much of their work as they could stand, has since been sitting there abandoned and all. That's the usual government policy. So it has become a trash bin and a center for tjollers and drug addicts.
And so, yesterday a fire broke out there. Alas, the eyesore didn't burn down completely, we'd almost like to say. Have patience.

Plenty of Blah Blah
You need only the headline from Curaçao Chronicle: "Ipko: Plenty of consultation and discussion in The Hague, but no agreements"
Says it all. Except how much it cost us.

Mud in Our Eyes
A popular toast; just what we need? In court is a case about the reasons for all those delays in building the new hospital (HNO, now CMC) and the resulting claims. But the judge gave up: nobody comes with information that gives the needed insight in the mess.
This goes for both parties in the conflict.

Who Cares
Not the government. The official advice by SER Social-economic Council is that with the low level of the people's financial literacy, it's imperative that cash money keeps being used.
But whenever you have to pay for the government's "services", that must be digitally from a bank account. Because the government is afraid of atrakos? Not so much; also because the soiled rats steal of those payments to eke out a less meager salary.

Don't Ask Me
I don't know. Just that RdK Isla and Global Oil Management Group have signed an agreement for 5 years of asphalt production, meant for the USA market. 300 contractors are needed in the starting phase.
If this means we will, finally, get rid of the Asphalt Lake we're not told.

Forget It, It's the Government
Earlier this year (March 30) a deal was made that people under minimum incomes would get water and electricity free. While you may look askance at the possibilities opened by this for waste, fraud and theft, the fact is they haven't got any yet. To the contrary, people are still being cut off from the supply.

Who's Next?
A third arrest has been made in the harbor, for drug smuggling reasons. As far as I can make out, unlike the first 2 this was not a security guard, but a dockmaster.
Authorities have not ruled out more future arrests. You bet.

You No Fly, We Do Pay
KKN chamber of commerce "insists that guarantees must be provided" on airline seats, to atract airlines to Curaçao and minimize the risks of empty seats.
How that's supposed to work is not explained. The way I obtusely figure, the more airlines are to fly, the more risk of empty seats. But I'm not president of KKN.
We also hear that guarantees were offered in the past, but never utilized. Is not as I remember it.
Finally, it's proposed the island starts charter flights for tourists. One step on the slippery road to a National Flag Carrier!

In that Case?
The World Bank expects economic growth to slow from 3.1% in 2022 to 2.1% in 2023. But our Central Bank CBCS projects a growth of 3.2%.
Take your pick which one to believe; I have done so as well.
In fact, I fully believe neither, but don't tell anybody.

More Beurtkrag!
Aqualectra announces the system is so underpowered, it's just impossible to supply the electricity needed in these extremely hot days. Just like in South Africa, but that country was years ahead of us. I don't need to mention the reasons excuses they give us; let's merely describe them as bad planning and incompetence.
Check here if you're lucky: first group consists of Blauw, Blue Bay, Boca, Klein Sint Michiel, Sint Michiel Liber, Social Housing in Sint Michiel, Jandoret, parts of Grote Berg, Ilandweg, Weis, Rancho, and Schelpwijk.
But that's for starters. Next are Noord Rozendaal, Heintjekool, Providensiaweg, Haitiweg, Bahamasweg, Mayaguanaweg, The Bottomweg, Noorwegen, Kanga, Churchil Plaza, Dein, Zapateer, Bonam, Erosweg, Oost Jongbloed, Seru Molina, Scherpenheuvel, Kruit Huis, Klein Kwartier Industrial Area, Seru Lora, Santa Rosa, Seru Molina, Esperanza, parts of Cadushistraat, Weto, Klundert, Kwartje, Janboos, Sint Thomas, Kent U Zelf, and Oude Water.
And as if that's not enough, third group: Goede Hoop, Cabo Verde, Mahuma and Mahuma West, Santa Maria, Kura Piedra, Salsbachweg, Lousianaweg, Juan Hatoweg, Utilaweg, Brazilweg, Schonegevelstraat, Toni Koenchi, Labadra, Las Almas, Costa Firma, Barbouquet, Vrije Zone Kon. Plein, Emmastad, Tax Office, Sun Valley, Sunset Heights, parts of Schelpwijk, Brievengat in front of SDK, Groot Kwartier, Matancia, Corrie, Trai Seru, parts of Brievengat, Rancho, Plantersrust, Roodeweg, Recreation Park, Colon, Kranshi, Renata Medisch Center, Nijlweg, Gasparitu, MIL, Pater Blomweg, Habaai, Seru Domi, Seur Gerardweg, Mundo Nobo, and El Señorial.

Talk Is Cheap
PAR MP Jesus-Leito goes on about the deposit guarantee. There ain't no such thing: when a bank goes bankrupt, you lose your money. Recent examples are Girobank and Ennia.
Finance minister Silly Vain has promised we'll get a "Deposit Guarantee System". But when? The guy is much to busy with welcoming the gambling mafia and forgiving tax debts. Jesus-Leito asks for a date. That will help! Maybe.

Oi, That's Tough
Dutch state secretary van Hufteren says, remission of tex debts is not allowed. Such says the law.
Tough for finance minister Silly Vain's friends.
What can be done is to stop recovery for 5 years, after which the debt is canceled. But that's not a way out for Silly Vain: the Receiver has to decide that.

Welcome to the Club!
Not if you know what LGBTQQIAAP2S+ means, though. I won't hold it against you, it gets harder and harder. Seems more letters are added every week...
Anyway, it's "Shorthand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, pansexual, 2-spirited, asexual, and allies." So says the Urban Directory.
But mark, the "+" is not (yet) included in their definition. It was probably added only this week, to make absolutely sure nobody was excluded.

The Tax Person Has a Problem
Over 10,000 income tax declarations over 2022 have already been sent in, but the poor Tax Persons can't get a grip because many employers haven't sent in their verzamelloonstaten [collect wage statements] yet. Should have been by June 1st.
In consequence, restitution of overpaid taxes may be delayed. Don't worry, we're quite used to that.
But the Person is on his toes: reminders have been sent out and if the statements won't come in, the employers will be fined. When, we're not told.

What to Do?
Take pity on our leaders, they have no idea how to solve the money problem caused by the Ennia debacle. They have 4 options:
One is a compulsory deposit from the financial sector against interest payment. "We'll have to wait how the financial sector will react." Don't wait too long; we know they won't like it.
Two (and three) is for CBCS to consider: dividend benefits and use of part of the revaluation reserves. Good guess: No Way.
Four is financing by the capital market. Just say the magic word. (Hint: it's POOF!)

Cheaper Means, We Pay More
SVB is working on replacing drugs with cheaper generic versions, but don't think you will have to pay less because of that. To the contrary, prices will go up (it's a trend). Also, drugstores want to raise the 1 guilder fee per recipe item because it's not high enough.
Four years ago, the plan was to reduce costs with 70 million a year. But with one thing and another (as per usual) only 20 million has been realized.

Oh, Great
Gezinsvoogdij [family guardianship] is bankrupt. Since 1999, the foundation, a country affair, is totally dependent on the government. Who just doesn't fulfill its obligations, resulting in a debt of 583,000 guilders.
Just another one. Look at 'em fall like domino stones (very good simile, I'm proud of it).

Look and Thee Shall Find
It's in the bible, so it must be good advice. Curaçao government is "looking for" 650 million guilders to fix the pensions, gone and lost because of the Ennia debacle. The advising committee has two weeks left to come up with a solution.
Gee, I wonder how much those committee members get paid!
Here's my advice, free: "borrow" it from Holland.

Same Old, Same Old...
The question pops up again: Can our Big Bleaders actually read and write? "Hundreds of letters to ministers remain unanswered" reports KKC. Big Champ is M*F*K PM Prick Pisas, 38 letters; next M*F*K finance minister, Silly Vain, 34. But economic development minister Cijntje answered every one he got, some of which, maybe hundreds, could have been addressed to Prick.

Don't Become Incontinent
Oh, you thought so already? Well, it's becoming worse. SVB health bank will stop paying for your diapers; from now on you must, probably, pay 35 guilders per month yourself.
Tough if you're on welfare, or, even worse, AOW welfare pension.

Not Funny
There's a site Casino Guru where (about 5000) on-line gambling sites are given marks. The sites run by Usoftgaming, which are several, got bad marks: "one of the worst casino's [sic] to play at."
Usoftgaming didn't like it one bit and went to court, where Guru was sentenced to rectify the comments. On what the judgment was based we don't get to read.

Committee of Blind Persons
Minister van Heydoorn tells us, still waiting for the official report on the national emblem, that it says nowhere that the designer did something wrong.
SOAB tax accounting says the knowledge to judge if there has been plagiarism lacks. That should be left to someone with more knowledge and experience in these matters. Like, persons who can see, like we all can?
And the word "plagiarism" will be avoided from now on because it's loaded. You bet it is, for good reasons.

But what else is new? Central Bank CBCS says that government and private enterprise must take measures to reduce bureaucracy and so improve business climate.
Sure. I seem to have heard this before. Often. For a long time. You know, sometimes it looks like that neither of 'em wants to: they're in the same boat while we try to swim and not drown.

Several neighborhoods were stuck yesterday without electricity. Reason, says Aqualectra's Jonis (he of the exorbitant income), failure of a gas-powered generator. And we keep being told we're running almost totally on wind power!
Also, many aircos were in use because of the heat (no doubt true) and television sets are blamed. Jonis, don't you know the times have long gone when those monsters used tubes? It's almost all LEDs now which consume only half the wattage.

Damen: Still the Same
It's been 2.5 months since minister Cijntje promised parliament he'd inform us what he planned to do about the worrying situation at Damen Shipyards/CDM. But, stop me if you've heard this one before, nothing since.

IMF Advises
Out of the back of their necks, as the Dutch saying goes. They point to the great plans our government has for a long-term national economy development. Sure. Like attracting more gambling mafiosi.
And we must make more efforts to combat climate change. Which will only cost money we don't have, and will have no measurable influence.
A 3% growth is expected in coming years. Is not enough to combat inflation; and compared to what? The meager Covid-CCP years? And it will run behind the other Caribbean countries. So much for finance minister Silly Vain's continuous crowing.

You Get What You Plan for
If the CMC medical specialists do not get the salaries they want, exceeding 295,000 guilders year, they will resign. En masse.
Then, our Bleaders can try to get replacements. Meanwhile, we can kick the bucket. We're used to that, so why not?

Well, We Can
In the kingdom IPKO meeting Arubian parliament head Vrolijk said that his parliament doesn't understand why Holland imposes conditions for re-financing the loans.
There were several more good laughs, also from the other islands.

Fine. Now Do Something
"Curaçao recognizes the need for modernizing its civil service to improve efficiency and elevate the quality of public services provided to its citizens" we read in Curaçao Chronicle. Sounds fine, huh? Too bad we could quote it by heart.

Honest and Upright
An Amigoe reader remarks that PNP minister Larmonie, who now protests the credit card windfall, voted "for" when the idea was proposed.
Doesn't surprise you, does it? Thought so.

No Way, Baby
PNP coalition party refuses accepting the $25K credit cards introduced by M*F*K's Silly Vain. Minister Larmonie-Cecilia reportedly hit the table with her fist when dicussing the filthy trick. MAN coalition party's MP McWilliam calls it "a slap in the people's face."
Seems like a good reason to end the coalition. You know what? Forget that. Don't get any ideas.
PAR reminds us of the way ex-PM Arsjes in the past took advantage of his seemingly unlimited credit card. Yes, we do remember. While we're fondly reminiscing, Arsjes was also a member of the club insisting on slavery reparations.

Look Who's Talking
The government calls the salaries of medical specialists working in CMC hospital a "perverse remuneration". The specialists may not make more than 25,000/month (but that may become more in the future) because of the top income regulation. Which, as we know, doesn't seem to count for SOEs like Aqualectra and Post.
And anyway, the ministers themselves make more than what they feel the medics should be paid; while these do a good job. Which I can't say... let it go, you know.

More Bad Good News
In Holland, the solar inverters are more and more often sabotaged. I expect this will make 'em even more popular./
Just like in Germany, where most forms of heating will be phased out and replaced by heat pumps, and these are often being stolen now already.

Tourism Slavery
Employers in the tourism industry often do do not meet their obligations. The general trade union CGTC pleads for removing denigrating factors as several contracts and on -call contracts, alas without giving details. MEO economic development is in the starting phase of studying possibilities to make jobs like waiters, bar servers and cooks more attractive.
Makes you stop wondering why tourists complain about the lousy service in expensive places by people in lousy jobs. And reminds me of another hobby of mine: get rid of the tipping system and pay 'em decently.

Near Dam Pretu illegal trash dumping has gone on for years already. I's a real business, where trucks arrive, dump their trash, to have bulldozers cover it up with diabase. It all started with illegal diabase digging.
The rest of the area is used for, illegal as well, agricultural practices. Why all these guys aren't fined, and fined again (as the fines in themselves are ridiculously low) is anybody's guess.
Now an underground fire has broken out there and there's no way it can be extinguished, says the Fire Brigade.

Original Way to Save Money
All ministers will get a credit card for $25,000 to pay for their foreign trips. This will save the country 1.2 million guilders/year. At least, that's what finance minister Silly Vain claims.

That Will Help
It's up to the coalition parties to discuss and solve the problems related to the Ennia bankruptcy debacle.
So we can be sure a solution will not be reached soon. I mean, a really good solution .
There are proposed two scenarios to deal with Ennia, both characterized as "devastating". And if you wondered, both result in the people, you and me, paying up.

One of the reasons for all those wind generators keeling over is, so we're told, the techniques are developing so fast, it's impossible for the manufactures to keep track. Oh.
Just imagine this coming from the people at Boeing or Airbus. Would you fly, or would any company buy their products?
But for free wind energy, it doesn't seem to matter.

So, Can We Relax?
Afraid not. That "biggest wind turbine" of the world we were megalomaniacally supposed to get, of 150 meters high, will not the biggest at all. There are some around of 850ft high with blades of 300ft long. That's 260 and 90 meters, to be more civilized.
On the other hand, it's not much of a relief. These things keep toppling over faster and faster.

As We Thought
Nothing has happened yet to start restoring the ruins left by bulldozer activities at Landhuis Hato, ordered by Hato airport management. The archaeological expert supposed to advise on restoring the mess hasn't even been appointed yet.
The (for the island almost unique) fresh-water source has been covered with 3 to 5 meters of rubble, but the building protecting it must have been built pretty solidly: the water is still flowing. At least the contractor has replaced the damaged PVC-pipe at once, says archaelogist van der Hoeven.
So much for Mudbelly Cooper's promises. What else is new?

Stay Positive!
Our beloved government announces it will start working to improve services to the citizens. "Sustainably" says minister Martina.
Don't hold your breath.

High-Level Laundering
We're told what we suspected: the laundering risks in Curaçao are of an average high level. Special risk sectors are banks, money transfer offices, the E-zone and (big suprise!) the gambling sector. Then we also have the drugs criminality and tax avoidance.
Gambling and drugs, plus tax avoidance, are of course closely interwoven. So that explains why the government wants to expand the E-zone to serve the local market?

What Is It?
The islands' promised reforms will lead to "broad prosperity" economists said at lunch meeting in Holland, but later on we read what's meant: a broad welfare approach.
That's not the same, you know.

News for van Hufteren
It will fail anyway. This in response to her statements that she doesn't want a too close supervision of the CAS-islands' reforms because that will fail. She has confidence in the islands' promises to execute those reforms faithfully.
Good to know somebody has confidence!
Dutch VVD party does not share her trust, either. "The oversight appears to be weak, the enforceability remains unclear, and I would describe the approach to resolving disputes as outright naïve. Unfortunately, our past experiences with this matter have taught us that trust is good, but control is better," said VVD rep Kamminga.

Less Tax—If You Win
Staten/Parliament has now discussed the new tax treaty with Malta, as proposed by finance minister Silly Vain. The idea is avoiding double tax payments. PAR asks why for Curaçao the only form of tax mentioned is income tax, while for Malta wage, profit and dividend taxes are included. Why the difference, PAR asks.
PAR also asks if the treaty has anything to do with Silly Vain's Evil Plans to promote the gambling industry. What could make them think that?
But all in all, even Silly Vain's own M*F*K party thinks it's all a waste of effort, because Holland has to ratify the treaty; which in the past has taken so long that it became meaningless.

Are They Smarter?
Interestingly, those who are in the group with the highest incomes think the former government (Bhillenaath's) was doing much better than the present one. (That's 13%.) 44% say it don't make no difference, mon, and 42% think Prickie Pisas is doing better.
It always fascinates me to note how people with much money tend to think that proves they're smart; while it often is a matter of plain luck. Not always, true.

Doesn't Matter
Now that one-time use plastic bags, and foam food containers, have already as good as disappeared or been replaced by recycable/degradable stuff, the law to forbid them is finally ready to go to parliament.

Hey, Look at Finland!
The electricity price there dropped below zero after their new nuclear plant got up and running (14 years behind schedule). This also because there's so much rain that hydro-electric plans are overproducing.
The nuclear plant was forced to cut down its production when price was at $0.03/kW. We here are now paying almost 14 times as much.

Ouch, Mistake
A group from Colombia organized a Show di Beyesa here, but first the Health Dept came by and stopped several of their quack activities; then later on, the Tax Person paid them a visit and discovered there were no cash registers, work permits... you name it.
It's the third time that group came by here.

"Not Half"
Less than half of the people is considering migrating to Holland; "only" 40% is. That must be the smarter part. "By far most of those asked" never considered it.

"Some" Dutch parliament members have their doubts whether the necessary reforms in the CAS islands will really get a follow-up.
So do we.

News for Us
Bonaire's (soon ex) gezaghebber [Google translates it as "lobster"—can't be right... or is it?] wants to go back to farming. "Bonaire's biological cycle must be restored" he says. And "until the 70s, Bonaire was Curaçao's pantry." But the farmers all went to work in tourism. Oh. I guess that paid better, true.
That's why we had a floating market!

Not that It Matters
PM Pisas refuses to promise Staten/parliament that in the future, the onderlinge regelingen [mutual arrangements] will not be signed before parliament has been informed. Doesn't matter, he doesn't keep his promises anyway.

Second Time Around
Once again, KLM was forced to land in Cayenne instead of Zanderij, Paramaribo, because the traffic control was understaffed. Second time in one moth.
Maybe helps you understand why Surinam Air Lines dreams of making Curaçao the hub for flights to Amsterdam.

Huh? Back-of-the Neck Talk
New, slightly higher, tariffs for water and electricity have been announced. They are all listed here. But it gets better! Aqualectra bothers to give us an Explanation: "The increase of the electricity tariffs is the result of a decrease in the average fuel expenses for the production of electricity." If you can make that out, you're as smart as the Aqualectra brains. I can't.

Down here, a lot of noise has been made about recycling plastic. It's essentially turned into costume jewelry junk, so cute! but also into bricks for "temporary" building. I couldn't figure out what that means exactly.
But now we can read that this recycling is not problem-free. In fact, it may be worse than "disposal" (whatever that means). Thing is, water used during recycling contains a lot of microplastic ending up wherever, and filter installations take care of just slightly over half of that.
Couldn't possibly tell you even if those filters are in use here.
Frankly, don't know what harm those microplastics do. For all I know, not do much.

Who Does?
73% of those asked do not believe Isla refinery will ever be at work again.
I take it, at least hope so, that our Big Bleeders are among the 27%.

Ouch, that Hurts
Dutch state secretary van Hufteren announced that refinancing of the kingdom's loans to the islands, planned on October 10, would involve a higher interest payment. It's now 0%.
How about that, Silly Vain?

No Confidence
All over the Mighty Kingdom: the Dutch don't trust their leaders either. 21.1% trusted the politicians and 25% Tweede Kamer of parliament. Which is chock-full of politicians, of course, what else?
Granted, here it's still worse: 2.3% trust the political parties, 3.8% the government and 4.1% parliament. That was in 2015.
See? We're much smarter here than those Dutchies.

There is no legal framework regulating the quality of our car fuels, so Curoil can sell us what they want. We can't possibly go anywhere else, right?
Bad to know.

That Villa
Presented to our integer PM by the casino queen is said to be worth not 2 but 2.5 million dollars. An appreciable difference.
What we need to ask is, how much did Prickie pay back, and how?

Today in Staten/parliament, the first NRA National Risk Assessment. Money laundering threats are "medium high", and the same goes for money laundering vulnerability.
Next to drugs-dealing the most important threats are tax evasion and tax fraud. Hear that, Silly Vain? Your department. But he seems to go out of way to increase those problems.
Leaving little doubt M*F*K is a continuation of Shorty's mafioso policies.

We're Not Told
How much is that solar park going to cost? And even more pressing, how much those buses?
We read that in Michigan, the electric school buses are a flop. Not only that, but instead of the estimated $50,000 each they ended up costing $200,000. They als have have "a lot of downtime and performance issues" and aren't "fully on the road." In 2020 Philadelphia took 25 of its buses, price tag $24 million, from the roads for structural problems.
So you see, our questions do need some answers. If transparency is real. Haha.
But those plans are green!

Almost Over
After the Vomit Comet debacle, mourned by hardly anyone, now it's Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit that's gone bankrupt. At least they had 6 flights, always delayed and freplete with other problems.
I for one am now waiting for Musk's plans to hit the hard bottom. Space is not a what these days is so popular, "natural", environment.

The buyer of part of Oostpunt, so tells us Amigoe is pension fund Vidanova.

Now Don't Get Uppy
Corendon is already contemplating buying their own 787 when the present contract with World2Fly, lease of an Airbus 350-900, expires.
While realizing Corendon already has a fleet of 737s, those thoughts still are a bit, er, premature. The Airbus flights will not start before November, after all.

What a Relief!
Minister Heydoorn declares that there's no reason not to accept the offered Dutch apologies for the history of slavery. This was in parliament, where he got several questions what measures could be taken so the youngsters would not forget about the slavery past.
It just might be preferable not to hammer on that long-past history so much. Just a bit less. But I lack a minister's wisdom.

We'll See How That Works Out
The Maal family has sold about one quarter of their enormous, over 4400 hectare (10,872 acres) Oostpunt terrain . To whom, they won't say, but eventually we'll hear it of course.
Willy Maal emphasizes he's not a project developer (good); but let's wait for what the "investment group" plans.

It's Always Something
The tourist industry is like farmers, always complaining. Now, when they foresee a growth in number of tourists, they say there's not enough personnel available to serve that multitude. There's a "massive staff shortage".
But wait, here's their solution: we need a population of 250,000 to be independent of Holland. By a coincidence, just like the politicians want! Too bad that, the more talk of independence, the more people seem to leave for there. So Chata's Slier wants to import workers.
And then, Chata, where do we put these people? By what roads can they reach their work? Already as good as a disaster, and no solution in sight.

What to Think?
Antilliaans Dagblad carries a headline Australia complains, but Australia is seeking cooperation with the future Curaçao Gaming Authority. (Good Luck, Aussies!) There are many transgressions of Australian law by Curaçao online gambling casinos and Australia wants to stop that.
One thing they want to try is having internet service providers blocking a list of those casinos.

Another Good One
They do keep coming up with funny jokes... if only. "Virtual Energy", this time.
What it means is, when there's too little power available (an all too likely condition when you're dependent on Green sources), you cannot charge your EV or use other high-consumption applications. Like aircos—you name 'em. The energy that becomes available then is called "virtual"; which means, it doesn't exist at all.

Price War
Another revolt against the €U's Climate Reset. Corendon announced their prices for a return flight AMS-CUR: €598. Single 299.
KLM charges a minimum of €732 v.v. (nice work if you can get it) TUI doesn't tell yet what their prices will become.
How Corendon can state that KLM charges them "over €1000/seat" is not so clear to me.

Prepare for More Trouble
PM Pisas, if necessary, is prepared to instruct CBCS to use Central Bank's reserves. Admittedly, first: it's only Mudbelly who says so, so it may be a lie. On the other hand, knowing Prickie, he may be foolish enough to try that. But don't worry too much: the independent Central Bank cannot be instructed by the government; and a good thing too. As our Big Leaders don't even understand the Trias Politica, you wouldn't expect them to get these subtleties.
Lay in some popcorn for when the fireworks start.
Go over to Curaçao Chronicle by clicking here to see a very good portrait of Mudbelly. It needs no comment at all. Alas, no photo credit is given.

Finance Faucet Full Open
MP (?) Monte says Holland is prepared to do that, on condition that Curaçao itself will come with a multi -year economic recovery plan. Till now, only Education did come up with one.
And a debt remission is out of the question "adds the expert." So we read. Is Monte "the expert"? However, that was clear from the start, however much our BLeaders may wish different.
And there even is no agreement on extending the loans. "Concerns have grown in The Hague regarding the attitudes of the CAS governments"—ya bet.

That's One
A woman has been convicted to dismantling part of her house after neighbors has started procedures to force her to do so. The building was over 1 meter higher than permitted. Removing that will cost her 100,000 to 150,000 guilders, plus she has to pay her opponents' lawyers cost.
So it does work; sometimes.

He's Telling 'Em
Maybe still better, suing her. Melvin Cijntje, civil servant but obviously not a spoiled brat, has gone to Landsrecherche with complaints against PAR ex-minister Jesus-Leito. One complaint is about the destruction of the Kenepa beach ramp, for the building of which Cijntje was blamed; there's obviously more going on here than we have been told at the time.
The other complaint is about the bridge at Rif in the mangrove-park, which has cost ANG590,000, while 2 sewer pipes costing 6000 would have served the same purpose.

Same Here?
No, much worse. In Aruba, 20% of the business world is illegal, for a 2019 economic value of 6.1 billion florins.
But that's nothing; we're doing much better. Or worse.

He'd Like That
Mudbelly Cooper wants the CBCS central bank to get rid of the gold reserves, which should then be used for "large-scale government investments in, for example, the infrastructure." On which works he's generally suspected to make a tidy extra income. Slander and libel, of course.
I am happy to report that CBCS director Doornbosch doesn't care a bit for Mudbelly's ideas. Now, Mudbelly wants to replace makamba Doornbosch with a Yu di Kòrsow. Sure. Is what they did in South Africa (replace those words with "witman" and "black") and look at the results: from RAND 2.71 to 19.52 for a Yankee Dollar.
We also haven't forgotten how Mudbelly in the past used the road maintenance funds for putting up Christmas decorations.
Neither have we forgotten, how could we? that the former CBCS director was a Yu di Kòrsow.

Now Names
That woman "Paris Smith", real name Jessica Davis, CEO of online gambling organization Pinnacle, is the mistress of M*F*K PM Prickie, writes KKN, which adds that by now the Bearded Weirdo has become filthily rich. (She seems to have presented him with a multi-million dollar villa. Peanuts.)
But also, PAR ex-PM Bhillenaath has been lying to Dutch parliament about the legal basis for the gambling industry, thus protecting the laundering mafia. The article is in Dutch, but well worth a view. Nardy Cramm lists 11 articles of law which Davis has violated.
In readers' comments, Bhillie makes a effort to launder himself, but is mercilessly chastised by Cramm, complete with quotes proving otherwise.

0.53% of Curaçaoans have HIV. But hold it: that's only an estimate. PAR Pauletta, who calls it "alarming", wants it to be a subject in the next IPKO kingdom conference.

Bad News for Silly?
Let's hope so. But first, one more interesting fact, heard from Rubén Suriel on the fourth seminar on the gambling industry: total revenue of the local gambling institutes is 1% of the world's GDP.
As we know, there's hardly, if any, supervision of the sector and it looks like finance minister Silly Vain wants to keep it that way, in spite of his promised LOK reforms. As a result, next year CFTAF Caribbean Financial Action Task Force is expected to put Curaçao on the grey list or even the black list, which will have ruinous effects on the economy.

It's a Crisis Now!
So says John Kerry, famous private-jet flyer to climate conferences all over the world. Not Climate Change anymore: a Climate Crisis!
For us, by now it certainly starts to look like one. I have to ask, "Where's the beef?" "Eat your nice mashed roaches and shut up."

That's a Lot
Last year, 105 persons (which includes males in this case, I guess) were arrested for having a firearm. Or maybe 107, I read both numbers. 13 were minors. 23 arrests for sex offenses and 94 for violent abuse.

Really? Imagine That!
When money gets scarce, households tend to switch to cheaper brands. In case you doubted it, it's official now: it has been reported by marketing researcher Circana on behalf of trade magazine Distrifood.
So, for that BS money can still be found.

Color Me Curious
Nowhere we get to see how much that solar park and those 6 electric buses are actually going to cost, and who will pay for it; and how.
Doesn't only make me curious; suspicious as hell as well.
The buses will start driving before end 2024. If that means the solar park will then be ready?

Not So Easy
There's a plan to repair deteriorated houses in poor neighborhoods. Costs are estimated 80,000 guilders per home (total 3296). But first a juridical and social investigation of every home is needed (like, who owns the terrain it's built on?) And Holland, of course supposed to come up with the money, subtly remembers the initiators that residential policy is a matter of the local government.
Autonomy—when it suits us!

Dutch state secretary van Hufteren wants Curaçao and St. Maarten to include the Ennia bankruptcy problems in the deliberations on the Dutch liquidity support. Right she is: 30,000 people are dependent for their pensions on what happens with Ennia, which is a potential reason for more future budget problems.

Bad Luck!
M*F*K celebrates 13 years of existence. Ominous number. And yes, we've had plenty of bad luck since then.
It was an "austere" memorial. Good.

Don't Be Silly
Finance minister Silly Vain wants Holland not to interfere in our precious autonomy. What the bully means is, he should go ahead with his plans to attract more gambling mafia to Curaçao, without any hindrance from the kingdom. Of which we're still a part, remember Silly? Oh yes, only when you need to extend loans. That's when PM Bearded Weirdo "committed to addressing issues within the online gambling sector."

That Makes More Sense
Carmabi has made visiting Dutch minister Jetten aware of some real problems: there's no waste water treatment for chemical waste water, a sewerage problem and overfishing damaging the coral eco system. Maybe Jetten, who has been promising subsidies for pie-in-the-sky projects, will do something about these real problems? Maybe.

Meanwhile, in €urope...
It's not only the Dutch BBB that's had enough. France is gathering forces against the ridiculous plans to replace nuclear energy with windmills, solar and what else is much more expensive and unreliable. In Germany , where the citizens are promised electricity rationing (!) in exchange for super-high tariffs, the enormous industry foresees its death, and with it the economy's—and doesn't like it.
Inevitably, in the long run, there's no choice but people coming to their senses.

30 tons of cocaine were intercepted by the coast guard and partners last year, a record: three times a much as in 2021. "Better information" caused it. Traitors!
Question remains, forgive my nastiness: so how come those containers for Europe keep getting filled in the harbor?

By now you know I have my doubts: RdK refinery, ABC bus company, and Dutch VDL (smells like DAF) will start an "innovative" project: A solar park delivering power for 6 electric buses.
Subsidized by Green Holland of course (as long as it's still green). Another TNO "Living Lab" project. (We are the living lab.) And console yourself, there's in fact very little chance, statistically, that those buses will catch fire while you're in there.
And if it does happen, you can always follow the old advice: "In case of fire, RUN LIKE HELL!" (and hope the automatic doors work).
And don't be a spoilsport wondering how much that solar park costs, and how long before we've made it back.

Just So
The fourth seminar on gaming was as interesting as the preceding ones. Rubén Suriel pointed to the danger that local banks might be black- or grey-listed by CFATF Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, resulting in problems with international transactions. Just what we need. It will also mean repercussions for the tourism sector. All this while the casinos offer hardly any jobs for the locals.
There may be in total 800 million to 1.2 trillion gambling transactions per year, but in fact, nobody really knows how many; CBS statistics doesn't register them.
Speaker van der Voort, former main lawyer-general and chief public prosecutor in Holland, told that, just like the soft drugs industry, the gambling scene because of its assigned "low priority" has become untouchable. He also touched on crime and money laundering.
The audience loudly agreed that organized crime has since long won in Curaçao.

A female casino boss, Paris Smith, has decided to quit Pinnacle, after 17 years there. Rumors are that things got too hot for her with Silly Vain's reform plans; also because she had "an intense friendship with a well-known Curaçao politician."
Sorry, can't tell you who that is.
But she's not really gone: instead, she climbed up a step and will from now on handle strategic projects. For Pinnacle.

Bad All Over
The number of traffic crimes has almost doubled last year. But upon reading the Amigoe article, those are not "crimes" but rather offenses; which means that other crimes have almost doubled.
Before 2020 and the Virus, the trend was sharply down.

Oh, Keep Going
We can't stop you anyway, with all your fancy trips to Parlatino in Panamá. This time it's 5 of them, but 2 trips are paid by Parlatino.
The visitors say it's all very useful. No doubt. To them.

Less Money Needed?
The CAS islands need less money from Holland than expected. It's true! at least for last year. Also because the exchange rate was favorable.
Still, Dutch Rekenkamer [Court of Audit] severely criticized several Dutch ministries because financial management had deteriorated, and yearly accounts were not delivered in time. Just like here!

And We Here Going Red Green
In Finland, a new nuclear reactor has been installed which decreased the electricity prices in the whole country with 45%.
But we are like blind lemmings still following the outdated deals presented, to Go Green with very doubtable projects. And ugly, too. With a lot of damage.
While in Green Germany, where nuclear was phased out since the Fukushima "disaster" there's now talk of rationing electricity.

The first steps for a sanitation of bottom and groundwater pollution on Isla refinery terrain, it's called. The plan is called Horizonte Nobo. On the aerial photo accompanying the article, we see the Asphalt Lake is still there in all its glory.
35% of the terrain available will be used for "green industries". Like this, and this?
Please don't misread me. I'd certainly love to see those things fixed.

Silver Reef Resort has got a preference agreement to develop a marina in Piscadera Bay.
That's around the corner from Zakitó.

Another harbor guard has been arrested, suspected of smuggling large quantities of cocaine in a container. "It is not excluded that more arrests will follow in the coming weeks" we read in Curaçao Chronicle. Really?

Aw, Shut Up
Silly Vain came with a second proposal for the medical specialists, but they won't even listen after they refused a meeting. Instead, they will go to court on May 31.

There We Go. Again
With the megalomania. "Curaçao must become the showcase of the region." Also sprach Dutch minister of Climate and Energy Jetten at a VBC entrepreneurs' club meeting. In his view, fossil fuels will be out in a couple of decades, so it's no use renovating the Isla refinery.(Those in the know don't agree.) There's plenty of wind and sun, is his spiel. Not entirely true: most of the year, wind force is below the required minimum of 20m/sec and the skies are unclouded only 65% of the time. But what does Jetten know?
Not much: he maintains the earth keeps warming up (it hasn't for over 8 years, the second "Pause") and goes on blabbing about rising sea-levels (debunked) and worsening weather calamities (there aren't). So we will fly electric planes... no need to go on. We've heard it all before.
And VBC speaker Circkens declared "VBC stands completely behind the proposed wind mill park." Sorry to have bored you. They get on my nerves.
Their first pilot turbine is planned to reach a 150 meters height: highest in the world! Ya bet, Christoffel is only 372 meters high. Oh, that will be a lovely sight!

Is What You Get
Ex-minister Leeflang complains that the extreme poverty of parts of the people is nothing but slavery. Mothers and even children are forced to have relations with one or more male partners to remain alive. She's right.
One of the main reasons, which she does not mention, is that many keep empowering all the corrupt politicians who steal the island blind. Supporting those guys is viewed as a protest against "(neo)-colonialism" as they do what Holland does not want.

They Would—Not
Curaçao government, which means finance minister Silly Vain, has not responded to Dutch state secretary van Hufteren's questions on Silly's plans with the pre-2017 taxes. Dutch VVD party finds it unacceptable that Dutch tax-payers, as a result, would have to cough up billions to pay for that. They have a point, right?

Export Week
Ministry of economic development will organize an Export Week, to promote "innovation and internationalization through export." This will be the 6th one; the former ones don't seem to have had that much effect.
Seven sectors on which the National Export Strategy focuses include Technological/IT Services, Education Services, Maritime and Port Services, Blue Economy, Creative Industry, Financial Services. Plus, a strategy is being developed for the medical tourism and wellness sector.
"Creative Industry"? I'll keep my thoughts for me, this time.

The waiting list at CMC hospital may reach a total of 3000 patients by the end of this year. That's about 2% of the total population. Not so good.
Meanwhile, the conflict between government and CMC management, including doctors, shows no sign of getting near a solution.

Please Don't Blame Me!
But I can't help observing some things. Antilliaans Dagblad runs an article on how the sea bottom near Mari Pompún has been cleaned up by a crew of volunteers. Very little rubbish was found. Good; but at other places it gets worse and worse.
What I can't help observing? Of the 13 volunteers in the photo, 1 (one) is non-white. Really hurts, you know.

So What!
If you read Curaçao Nu, today, you'll find an item on how Mudbelly Cooper, our beloved minister, has licensed Royal Holding Company to start work on a yacht harbor in Zakitó. This involves dredging and building a movable bridge.
On the same page, you'll find an article which has been there since January 21, in which archaelogist van der Hoeven warns about the detrimental effects these activities will have on coral reefs.
Gee, Mudbelly must really hate van der Hoeven by now. And vice versa? It's a thought.

We Heard That Before...
The migrants should become a pulse for economic development. Good idea; if it works.
I can't help thinking back to the time when (first) Turkish migrants were welcomed to European countries, because without them, their population would not be able to "sustain" the socialist Ponzi-scheme of AOW welfare pensions. The idea there was to have the working people pay for the oldies, instead of collecting their money in a fund to pay their own pensions. A classic swindling scheme.
Alas, too many of those immigrants preferred to go on welfare themselves; now.

Oh, That Sounds Good!
The plans to start producing biofuel at Bullenbaai are further explained by Steamboat Fuels. Sounds crazy to me: the end product, biodiesel, is too expensive to be used on Curaçao, so will be exported. Oh wait: to Europe, where countries may be found that are (still) crazy enough to subsidize the stuff.
Also, production will result in a surplus of hydrogen "for which a market will have to be found." Which reminds me.

As Predicted
The drivers who are forced, by Boss Mudbelly Cooper, to make only a right turn on a renovated crossing, often turn left anyway.
So what now, Mudbelly? Install a camera? Put a cop on duty?
Or give in? We know the answer to that: NEVER!

Good Point?
CMC specialists refuse to have a meeting with finance minister Silly Vain. They say it's useless, as the man hasn't replied to a single one of their communications.
Silly Vain now also is minister of health.

That word certainly can be applied to health care here and in Aruba. For 2014 Curaçao costs were 13,4% of GDP, and in 2015 Aruba 9%. Caribbean average is 6.8% and for high-income countries it's 7.8%. The 13.4% figure is exactly what the government makes us pay for healthcare from our income.
Which once more confirms the old taxpayers' superstition "If you give it to them, they'll spend it."
Also in 2013, the social welfare AOW pension has been frozen.

Curaçao belong in the high-obesity group of nations, coupled to diabetes.
So we can agree reforms are needed. Which will be a reducing the package of services.

"Slightly Bigger", Huh?
Dutch minister of climate Jetten (hey, shouldn't that guy stay home after the last elections won by BBB instead of coming over to bother us?) is positive on the coming MoU signing on Curaçao hydrogen production.
This is the first time, though, that we hear Dutch TNO figures such production certainly is "feasible and affordable", immediately followed by the caveat "it's a slightly bigger challenge to export hydrogen with a profit." You bet your ass.
So now the Evil Plans to put umpteen windmills off-shore are one step closer. My impression is, those who ought to be on the look-out against such developments are pooh-pooh-ing it, thinking "it will never get that far." I can only hope those will not become Famous Last Words.

And Now, for Real
Caribbean tourism is doing great! says CHATA, just after we were told they are worried. We are then treated on how well other islands are doing (not anywhere near what they got before the Virus), but not about Curaçao. And it ends by pointing out how expensive air travel has and will become.

Milk Cow Slaughtered
Corendon, which will soon have 1200 hotel beds which must be occupied, now has a deal with KLM to buy 50 seats per flight more, while they now buy "about" 1/3rd of KLM's capacity. Which is about 135 seats of a B777's over 400 capacity.
But KLM asks over €1000/seat for those extra seats, which made Corendon go figure and find out they would make more by getting their own Airbus A350.
The idea is to start flying November 2023.
According to Skyscanner, you can today reserve a flight AMS-CUR v.v. for $934-993, or €854-908.

They Must Be Easily Euphoriazed
PIN party comments on the "euphoria" caused by two (count 'em: 2) Venezuelan boats arriving with fruits and veggies for sale here. Now costs will go down and life will become cheaper!
But PIN does not agree. How about our own farmers? PIN asks. Is it fair that they have to compete against products grown with cheap labor, subsidized fertilizers and "vitamins", and transported with, again, heavily subsidized gasoline and diesel.
PIN says the government should provide our farmers with cheap water, expand the agricultural fund, and make land available "as intended". Hey, why not give them a guaranteed income (by making them Spoiled Rats) as well? Will solve about all problems.
Except some.
"Vitamins"? you ask. Yes, that's a local (and dumb) word for fertilizers, so why mention it twice? I can't understand either. But that goes for more that PIN says.

Keep on Building!
Next year, we'll have 600 more hotel rooms. Who will occupy them is another question. "These developments aim to enhance the hospitality sector and meet the growing demand for accommodations on the island" says Curaçao Chronicle.
Growing demand?

That's the number of unanswered objections sent to the Tax Person. Finance minister Silly Vain wants to discard all those concerning an amount of less than 1000 guilders, which means they're rid of 35,000 of 'em which will be approved. Objections from before 2017 will not be dealt with, unless the objector insists on it. Which they will do when they want money back, Silly Vain, right for once, adds.
But the collecting of payroll tax will be more active.

What Else to Expect?
The medical specialists working in CMC hospital have gone on strike, because they don't like the maximum salaries finance minister Silly Vain wants them to get. He thinks the specialists' activities are groundless.
Meanwhile, the specialists have gone to court. So-called LNT [Law Standarding Top Incomes] should not apply to CMC; just like is the case on sister islands.

Which One to Believe?
We read that tourism to Curaçao is growing... and growing... And on the very same day, we get complaints from the hotels, private apartment owners and car hires that business has never been so low. Which is expected to go on for the coming months.
One of the reasons mentioned is high flight prices from Europe.

What We Feared
Finance minister Silly Vain's new gambling law may worsen the situation: the Curaçao Gaming Board (not so kosher itself as I understand it) may well arrange the licenses in the future, but nothing will change if one licensee can give out thousands of sub-licenses. Opines curator/lawyer de Winter, who expects collecting game winnings may become even more difficult.
In the same third seminar, journalist Koens tells how he "tries" to follow the money streams of online casinos with Open Source Intelligence, collecting information from published or otherwise publicly available sources.
And then what?

Good Work!
That was fast. JetAir has had a new CEO for 3 weeks, and is already in trouble. At least one of the two Fokker F70s is unserviceable and has been replaced by a Fly All Ways lease.
JetAir has been incommunicado for 2 days. No information can be had.

Blues for Blue Nap
The Tax Person could not be reached, most systems were WENT! Seems to be caused by the failure of Blue NAP Americas' software, a 4 tiers data center "designed to comply with its clients' highest requirements." Blue NAP denies all responsibility.
The good news is (maybe...), Blue NAP will "continue to offer its reliable [sic] services to all its local and international clients," publishes Curaçao Chronicle. Reads like a press release.

Who More?
A security guard working in Curaçao harbor has been arrested for putting large amounts of cocaine in containers with destination Europe.
Somehow, I feel sure there must be more of those types around. Also, how did that cocaine get in?

No Cutting for a While
CMC hospital cannot handle all necessary operations (meant is, cutting persons up) because nine personnel members are not available. So only 4 of the operations rooms can be used (of how many, we're not told).

More Minister Manuel Entertainment
Our Dutch plenipot now has struggle and strife with a car repair shop. Om 2021, he wrecked the car after he'd had it for 2 months, and claimed there was brakes trouble. Not so. He still wanted a full refund from the dealer, which he didn't get as the court "completely dismissed his story of faulty brakes as utterly unbelievable."
Manuel was instructed to take his car back but hasn't done so as yet. He also refuses to pay storage fees.
This is our honorable representative. But he fits in nicely, that's true.

Rather a Lot
There are "about" 1622 undocumented schoolkids in Curaçao; the total of pupils is 30,000 so that's almost 6%.

Too Late for Campo
Visited a resort yesterday, for the restaurant if you want to know. The place was full of signs saying "Use our ATTRACTIONS at your own risk."

Don't Laugh
It's not polite. An article in KKC gives Sadekya Trustees owner Lucas the opportunity (in Dutch) to defend their position in the gambling industry. I only need to quote his remark that "online casinos have strict anti-laundering policies and procedures [...] Every suspicious activity is reviewed and reported." To which my reaction is "Whom to?"
None of the responders in KKC seem to go for it in any way.
In an accompanying article, KKC itself makes short thrift of Lucas's arguments by quoting lawyer van der Heuvel, jurist Lichtveld and Rubén Suriel.

CPR Did Pay
CPR denies there hasn't been paid any rent for the Bullenbaai oil terminal facilities, ad $1.12 million/month.
The management omits to tell us how much rent has been paid.

Corendon hotels want to start their own flight service AMS-CUR. They think KLM and TUI are too expensive, and KLM offers not enough seats in the first place. Maybe they'll start this year.

Attracting Investors
Justice minister Hato wants to simplify the rules to attract investors. Now, depending on their country of origin, they may stay here for 30 or 90 days. Butr he wants to make it possible for them to stay for 3 years, provided they invest 500,000 guilders; and 7 years for 750,000. One million makes it permanent.
Even then, a prospective investor must apply for such a permit with the ministry of justice, which will process it in less than 2 weeks.

Piles of Lies
PNP MP Osepa in a Radio Hoyer program has said a few things that, let me say, merit attention. One, CPR candidate for refinery take-over, never paid rent for use of the Bullenbaai oil terminal facilities, in spite of repeated statements by PM Prick that they paid $1.2 million/month for that.
But they didn't because MCBank blocked CPR's account for "compliance reaons" (translate: they didn't have the money?)
That 19th June Staten meeting may turn out to be of faxinating interest.

Just Saying
That converting-fats-into-fuel project is characterized as "green". Maybe you understand why, but I think it just exchanges burning fossil fuels for burning so-called biofuels, which can only result in just as much CO2 etc. output.
I'm even pretty sure that collecting and transporting all that "feedstock" to Curaçao can only be more energy intensive, per delivered unit of energy, than pumping and shipping crude oil. May be wrong, but don't think so.

Only More Questions
In a desperate quest for information, I took the trouble to visit the website of Steamboat Fuels, which company is supposed to invest a billion dollars in a Bullenbaai refinery. It was a short visit, as the site contains only one page. Below what we find there:
Steamboat is focused on enhancing society's goal of a significant reduction of CO2 emissions in two ways:
Renewable Feedstock Pretreatment
Pretreatment of renewable feedstocks for use in renewable diesel processing facilities. Renewable feedstocks include animal fats (tallow, yellow grease etc.) and vegetable oils (soybean, distillers' corn oil, used cooking oil, etc.).
Renewable Diesel Production
Converting treated renewable feedstock into renewable diesel, renewable naphtha, and renewable LP gas.
There's also a link to contact them, if you wish. I passed.
So the question remains: where is that "feedstock" expected to come from? Not from here, that's for sure and guaranteed.

Count Them
You need all your fingers. One in ten cars has been involved in an accident last year. In fact, more: 11%. Total 25 deaths.
60% of drivers were male, and, as everywhere, most were between 26-35 years old. Worst, 9% of drivers absconded after an accident.

Let's Throw a Party!
And stick to what we're good at. Next Monday, two (2) barquette fruit boats will arrive from Venezuela. The government plans "a grand reception." Now prices wil go down!
Or maybe not so much.

In Style
PAR MP Pauletta, about the Big Deal about decrepit private homes being repaired, wonders why this has to be applied for at 3 different foundations instead of at SOAW social affairs ministry. She accuses minister Larmonie with ugly words like nepotism. One of those foundations is a family affair, where every member carries the name of Larmonie's PNP party co-member Gerard.
Hey, it's only 1.5 million guilders.

But When?
Finally, after all those past years, the government is working on a law where fines can be given to the owner of a vehicle's license plate. So those cameras may get to be of some use, after all. Until now, only the actual driver can be fined, which is hard to prove.
"All those cameras": speeding, red lights... you name it.

15 Minute Ghetto
There's even, hopefully loose, talk of "15 minute villages" we will all be forced to live in, where everything is within a 15 minute reach. By bicycle at the best, I guess.
Tough if you have a friend or favorite bookstore, whatever, farther away.

16 Cents Means 12.8 Million Guilders
Which means, according to finance minister Silly Vain so it must be true: if the car fuel price is not raised by 16 cents/liter, the government must economize with 12.8 million guilders. "Structurally" which we would all cheer; a welcome change!
But economic development minister Cijntje says that, now, 6% sales tax on fuel is charged twice, which he opines is illegal.
Best be realistically prepared for a price raise of 29 cents/liter.
"Structurally" surprisingly means, at least according to Silly Vain, less welfare, less water and electricity subsidies (who gets those?), (still) less subsidies for several foundations, less overtime for police (about time), "etcetera". But not less salary costs.

Only 49.2 Million
Betètesda nursing homes wants the government to pay that amount, which was lost because their budget is not sufficient. Small wonder: the contract dates from 2012. Betètesda now is in an emergency situation and has gone to court, which has postponed the case to June 12.

Good News?
CTB tourist office is negotiating with 3 American airlines on flights to Curaçao. No doubt CTB, meaning we, will guarantee payment for empty seats, as usual. The airlines are Delta and low-cost Spirit and Southwest; of which both Spirit and Southwest have been in the news recently with severe troubles.
Southwest is supposed to start flying in December 2023

Not very. CBS statistics publishes figures on population and work, from which we conclude that "work participation" was highest in the past 5 years: 45%. Unemployment went down to 13.1%. I'm too obtuse to see how these two figures reconcile: 100-45=55% I learned long ago.

No Joke!
I misread a headline "Reparations for Slavery" as "Preparations for Slavery"—really. It's no joke, mon. Watch all that stuff like in Davos where the Upper Few want to take away the hoi polloi's fossil fuel cars, aircos, cheap flights, steaks, you name it! while reserving all that for themselves.
I can't say I'm paranoid, but all that makes me think a bit.

Wait for It
When it happens to a tourist, look how fast the Emma pontoon bridge tourist attraction will be fixed. Now it was a merely local, older, woman who fell down, after she'd tripped over a loose panel. She couldn't walk any longer.

How Much?
It's called a sluiproute, sneak route, even if I don't know why. You can fly from Amsterdam to Curaçao and Aruba via New York by JetBlue, who have a daily flight AMS-JFK , and from there to AUA, daily, or CUR, 5 flights/week.
You could do that all the time, of course; there are plenty of flights AMS-JFK. In cat, I've flown that route several times in the past. So what's new?

But Not for Us
In Holland anti-dengue vaccinations have started. We're told this new vaccin works. Tourists who travel to dangerous destinations can get it.
For us living here, tough. Maybe later.
Cost €250. You need 2 shots.

Call the Cops!
Oh, we did already? Former CPR direction member Socorro denies he has anything to do with those fraudulent documents. But it seems there's proof that they were fabricated on his computer; which RdK denies.
We're still waiting for the special parliament meeting requested by PAR to discuss all this. Will be a long wait. Not before June 19...
The confidence of Curaçao's people in the continuation of refinery operations must be retained, PAR says. What confidence?

Second Seminar: Surprise!
At the second seminar on the gambling situation, lawyer van den Heuvel, jurist Lichtveld and payment expert Suriel advised that the government should appoint more external experts. Van den Heuvel thinks that the many cases of non-payment are (also?) caused because the winners use a false bank-account to avoid being caught for laundering. "But statistically it goes well." Cramm of KKC disagrees; mafia and narcos are often part of the gambling sector. Even children may sometimes participate.
Methinks that Lichtveld and Suriel have a good point: it's if not incestuous, at any rate inbreeding to have the government go on with the obscure gambling deals. Then again, external experts may come expensive; but could be well worth it in this case.

Oh, Go Home
KEM political party wants to hold a referendum on the announced new Caribbean guilder. No less.
One spokesman for KEM is Martines, who is less on the island than elsewhere. He did manage to be present and eat and drink his fill on the governor's Koningsdag reception, though.

Worry... Worry
For the, in my eyes totally unrealistic €U, so Dutch as well, climate policies, an over 6000kms flight ticket will be charged with €150 extra. As CUR-AMS is a distance of 7,834.09kms (such precision! unless you have to make a detour around some disturbance), that would be €300? Or maybe they count it as one flight? Or maybe not, because second and third flights/year are charged even heavier.
However that works out, it remains to be seen how much influence this will have on tourism.

Fly Fast
The USA will finally stop demanding international passengers have Covid vaccination certificates.

May 8 Is the Date
That's when the first barquettes will start out from Coro, Venezuela to Curaçao and Aruba. That's three weeks after the border opened, due to bureaucratic hassles. How many will come I couldn't say.

The Aeruba finance minister has explained how corruption, maybe even more exuberant over there than here, makes life more expensive. She says how the Leaders don't care, as long as they make money. Plenty of it.

What Archaeologist?
CAH is still working on getting an expert local archaeologist to look at the damages caused by rücksichtlos bulldozing the monumental graveyard at Landhuis Hato. But the archaeologist is abroad and can't be named because the contract has not been signed yet.

Oh, It's Incorrect, Is It?
Rdk refinery makes it known that the report circulating is incorrect: "RdK nor its director misinformed Parliament at any time during meetings with Parliament." But maybe the PM and ministers were misinformed? No word about that.

That biofuel project: Investment will be USD 1 billion. The biofuel comes from "renewable feedstock", which doesn't tell us anything more than what we didn't know already.

Give Us Another Tune
We know this one by heart and are tired of hearing it all the time: the government does not agree with Cft financial supervision. I won't bore you with their reasonings, as they will not follow them up anyway.

Oh, Just Teachers
They have good reasons to protest: while MPs and ministers get their +25% salary back, the teachers are fobbed off with a measly 6% of the 12.5% taken from their salaries. It goes for all spoiled brats. But hey, how long have they been in the game? Of course they're lower on the list. But still high above us voting cattle tax payers.

So That's It
Steamboat Fuel's plans are now known. Partly. They want to build a factory at Bullenbaai (old COT oil terminal location) where they'll pre-process renewable fuels and finally turn those into renewable fuels. (Don't blame me, that's what they say.) The refinery will have a 13,000 barrel/day capacity, 18% of Isla refinery's (I'm doing this from memory and may be wrong). Building will go on for 2 years with 1000 jobs, and the refinery will offer 500 jobs, with a yearly turnover of USD 1.5 billion.
Missing is what "renewable fuels" are meant and where they'll come from. More pie-in-the-sky? Let us hope not. Steamboat Fuel has all permits for the pre-processing and is working on getting the refinery permits.


What's that Smell?
Only now I see that the agreement to avoid paying double taxes will be between the Netherlands, Curaçao and... Malta. Malta? Isn't that the other gambling center of the world, finance minister Silly Vain's good buddies?

Vegetarians Will Like That
Meat judges, slaughterers and veterinarians of the Dutch Caribbean islands have followed a course to ensure more humane butchering practices, just like in Europe. The animals are now touched as little as possible, and humanely killed by two currency pulses, of which they don't feel the second one.
Because all that results in better meat quality.

Good Point
Dutch state secretary van Hufteren does not agree with finance minister Silly Vain's announcement that taxes from before 2017 will not be collected. Dutch tax-payers cannot be expected to pay for taxes not collected in Curaçao, she says.

We Need More Money
Is, in short, what justice minister Hato writes to Holland: so the re-socialising programs can be executed.
But in fact, it sounds like Hato would be glad if only the Dutch would give us new or used implements for use by prisoners.

Mountains of Gold
A well-running ship's register can fill the hole caused by the reduced trust sector, we can read. Maybe. But not nearly as much.

Who Does?
KKN chamber of commerce doubts that the execution of the Landspakket, part of the Mutual Arrangement replacing the Coho deal, will be implemented effectively and timely. Mentioned is that the private sector is not involved. "Resilience" is supposed to be an object, but it's not defined anywhere. In short, blah-blah.
Not that KKN offers much more insight.

Not Exactly
The headline in Curçao Chronicle says "The Hague writes off € 76 million [CAS debt]". But upon reading, it turns out that Holland does no such thing: instead, they expect that amount to be paid this year.

Somebody in the know reports that CAH Hato airport finds some of the damaged graves are beyond repair.
So they don't have to repair them, right? Can't be done.

Watch Your Pussy
This goes for gents, as well. Dierenbescherming [animal protection] will pay money to people delivering stray cats. Don't know how much, but that's not a good idea. After all, who will decide if a cat's a stray? A cat-collar is easily removed and goodbye, dear pet. They will be made to "go to sleep". Permanently.
Foundation Kitten Rescue Curaçao recommends the TRNC procedure instead: trap-neuter-return-care.

Happy Koningsdag!
It's easy to be happy when the press and politicians shut up for a day. Enjoy!

You Bet Your Life
Government and OM public ministry don't do anything with the many complaints coming in on on-line gambling. Was one of the things becoming clear in the first seminar on gaming, held in Curaçao University, led by politician/jurist Lichtveld. First speaker was lawyer Bijkerk, who these days is approached once a week by a victim of the gambling institutes. None of his 15 complaints with OM has been dealt with.
Second speaker was Nardy Cramm of KKC, who said the gambling industry undermines democracy, case law and freedom of the press. The biggest online casino has a turnover of 60 billion per year, on which 150,000 guilders of tax should be paid—which is not even done. She says there are 15,000 to 20,000 sub-licensees, which is a lot more than the 1100 the licensers claim.
I wrote I hoped I was wrong on these seminars, and thankfully, I was. Totally.

Forgot to Ask
And still don't know. How much does such a recycled plastic brick actually cost? Nobody there seems to have asked, either. I went to visit the Green Phenix site, and still don't know.

Just Like Always
On April 4, an archeological club discovered that bulldozer activities at Landhuis Hato had damaged old manzalinja trees, antique graves and other monuments. Mr. Minister Mudbelly Cooper was angry because he hadn't had his cut and summoned CAP airport partners to repair the damage within three weeks. One week after that, CAP announced their experts would have a look and advise on what could be done.
That's the last we heard.
Today, Mudbelly's ultimatum is four weeks old.

I'm Boss Here
The Kaminda Kusters road is, finally, after all those years of complaints, resurfaced. With the result that you can't make a (popular) left-turn at the end any more: you're forced to turn right. To get at two mega-hardware stores, you'll have to make a detour.
Mudbelly Cooper is peed off at the comments on a-social media. "This is the reality and you have to follow the rules" he says.

No? But They Did
Finance minister Silly Vain says it never was the lawmakers' intention to provide gambling sub-licenses. But they were provided anyway. 1100 of them; but nobody except the licensers knows if that is the correct number.
Mr. Minister also wants a reply from TWO temporary work organization on his proposal for the new LOK gaming law; within two weeks—after he's kept it a secret fearing leaks.
And Dutch VVD party protests Silly's plan to stop collecting old unpaid taxes.

And Then?
A demo wall built with plastic bricks has been shown by Green Phenix. They're made from plastic and are "durable" we read. Therefore, they're said to be great for temporary constructions.
There's a contradiction here. What do we do with those durable bricks after they lose their usability, which will take how long? To the landfill, where else? only a phase later.

Go Ahead, Who Cares
Building has started of the new Pyrmont hotel in Pietermaai. We read that, among many other things, two new breakwaters will be built.
Hey, didn't we read something about that from the diving schools recently?

Will That Help?
CPR Curaçao Petroleum Refinery, after the debacle with fraudulent papers, announce they've cleaned up their act. This one day after PAR opposition has concluded PM Pisas has been lying to parliament about not being aware of the fraud. Main figure Socorro, from Venezuela, has been kicked out. Doran, from Curaçao, remains as top man.
No reaction yet from Isla/RdK or Prickie.

No Kidding?
The Dutch social benefits system should be abolished, says inspector General for taxes, benefits, and customs Snels. One of the countries that's (almost) always held up as a shining example of socialist benefits.
But (trust a Groen Links/Green Left guy for that) he doesn't seem to mean that; what he really means is, the benefits bring people into trouble because they often neglect to timely report changes in living circumstances to the bureaucrazy, so they have to pay back overpayments later.

Less Building Permits
Less building permits have been given from 2010-2021, and worse, almost half of those were for expensive (over 350,000 guilders) apartments.
For those who make less than 3000/month, there's very little chance on becoming home owners. Nice, huh?
The "most typical" earning is 30.636/year. However, the same site lists an "average" of 99,628, with average for men 107,227 and for women 106,461.
Can't possibly be correct in this form.

We read that our car fuel is especially made for the island. Too bad we're not told where. But what we do hear is that a German agency has figured out that better quality fuel will be 0,002 cents/liter more expensive. Also, car maintenance will be cheaper with better quality.
Kennedy Vrutaal, head of Heavy Equipment claims that the fuel used in the USA will give you almost 5 times as much mileage than what we buy here. I doubt this very much; it's sheer loopiness. Vrutaal also claims that we pay a lot for air, because the fluids "evaporate so fast". He should try a cap on his fuel tank.
It will take at least two years before we can get better fuel.

That's Not So Many
The Worried Citizens have delivered their letter to parliament. There were 8 of them, with 300 signatures.

Not Good
In 2023, crime went up with 94%, police tells us.
Starting 2022, they started cataloging and publishing High Impact Crimes: atrakos, domestic violence, car theft, home and business burglaries.
A handy map tells us which areas to avoid: Rif, Noord Zapateer, Santa Rosa, Koraal Specht and, amazingly, Caracasbaai, where hardly anybody lives.

Critical Questions
In parliament about the new Caribbean guilder. Members asked why this would be necessary, which has been published already. What a waste of time that club is.

Get Sick, No Strike
CMC hospital personnel was expected to go on strike this morning, but after all didn't. Director Martina denies that there is any conflict with personnel, and salaries have always been paid out, in contrast with a voice message that they wouldn't get ny end of this month. Martina also mentioned he has not had any reaction on his letters to Silly Vain.
But CBV union responds with a number of allegations against CMC management,of which I can't have an inkling if they're true or not. And Silly Vain still wants a meeting with CMC and CBV, to which CMC management replied already: OK, but first with you only, and not in the hospital.

I Didn't Notice
Yesterday was Earth Day. Now they tell me! For the 53rd time already? Don't make no difference, mon. Notatall:
None of the eco-doomsday predictions have come true. Check it out and have a good laugh.

The diving professionals have written an urgent letter to parliament, pointing to the decline of the coral reefs. Which they say is the result of , among others, "building everything one wants" in the coastal waters. I've pointed this out before: many ways which serve to attract tourists inevitably lead to a decline of one of the prime attractions.
The divers mention a number of points that need attention, among which the discharge of sewage and illegal building along the coast. They indicate a number of necessary measures, all boiling down, essentially, to better laws and maintaining them.
Which we've not seen happen before. An old song which we know by heart.
Which reminds me: has Scuba Lodge restored the old situation, as they should have, "within two weeks"? That was in August last year.

Yes, We Know. Sigh.
With 88% of Curaçao households having an internet connection, the island is in the second place; after Barbados. But we pay $60,89 for 100Mb, while the average price around us is $48.
Makes us understand why Aqualectra wants a piece of the pie with Aquatel (the most ridiculous name they could find).

The wood of Emmabridge is rotting again. That renewal job doesn't seem to have been done very well, as many people who know about those things indicated at the time.
Tourists have been complaining about that, as well. Things go on like this, the next repairs will have to be made in about 2031.
Wood was renewed in 2015 after the rotten, heh heh, 2006 job.

Nor Do We
The tourist biz bosses complain that there have been more tourists. Yes, that's right. Because less may come in the future because of high ticket prices, and they don't like the heaps of trash on the roads, either. And Willemstad's sewer system seems to be full up, resulting in stench. Which they detest as well. Hard to please...
Come on Cooper, shake that belly!

That's Telling Him
CMC-hospital management reminds finance minister Silly Vain in a not-so-gentle way that he is not the director of the hospital. Silly announced in the a-social media that he will have a meeting with the hospital workers' union and others in CMC, but the management comments that the building is only for patients' examination and treatment, and for patients' privacy reasons the press certainly will not be admitted.
And the management would like a closed meeting with Silly Vain, just like he's had with CVB union.

Good for Them!
For us, not so much. The ministers' salaries will be back at the pre-Covid level on July 1st. That's "almost" 13,000 guilders/month plus "about" 2,700 representation costs plus 6% vacation pay, altogether "about" 16,480/month (over $9000). And don't forget their child allowance, thirty vacation days with full pay, a phone, and a service car with a driver.
The MPs get a bit less, "only" 11,000 plus 25% equals 13,750; and, naturally! child allowance, thirty vacation days with full pay, a phone, and a service car with a driver.
Yes, we take good care of our Great Leaders. If only they did the same for us.

Oh Yeah, Now that You Mention It
Nine bureaus have been invited by Health ministry to study the possibilities of developing Klein Curaçao as a tourist attraction.
You say it's a RAMSAR area, sorehead? Not to worry, the "eco-system will be monitored constantly."

We Protest!
A group of Worried Citizens protests against the way the Mutual Agreement has been reached. If we were really equal, we would have been meeting with Dutch PM Rotter, not state-secretary Hufteren, they say. And what remains of the Coho-deal?
Good question, that. We don't know; and does our Beirded Weardo PM understand it? Very doubtful.
The protesting letter plus signatures will be delivered Monday morning 10 o'clock, and we're all invited to be there.

All With One Plane
Or do they have two, by now? SLM Surinam Airlines wants to make Hato a hub for their flights from CUR to Miami, Santo Domingo, and Port-au-Prince. And then upwards and onwards to JAP (Zanderij-Suriname)-CUR-AMS.
Our best of luck to SLM!

Spoken by Pedro Atacho in 2008: "It will be sometime before we're all oil sheiks." That was even before KPG, Kompania di Petroleo i Gas, was started (under PM Arsjes). Since 2020 KPG has been removed from the Business Register, "as there was no money to pay the yearly fee."
But now we're all ready and prepared, with Aruba, to dump more money into the sea, looking for gas and/or oil.

At Least He Is
Minister of economic development Cijntje is optimistic about the economy; not only during the past few years (huh?) but also in the future.
Exports will be stimulated, just like agriculture. 10,000 jobs have been added! And bureaucracy must be reduced. (True enough, but didn't we once or twice hear this before?) Population has shrunk, but there are more people at work. Maybe also because those who have a job tend to stick around?
At least Cijntje admits that unemployment over 10% "always is alarming". Definite CBS statistics figures expected in May.

Sorry, We Can't Cut You Up Right Now
In CMC hospital, several operations have to be delayed because 'a small part' of operation room personnel is not satisfied with planned reforms. Which are necessary because a 2020 review of Joint Commission International showed that CMC "largely" did not meet requirements.
This time it's another union, CBV, that's making a pest of itself.

There We Go
Finance minister Silly Vain does not agree with Dutch TWO temporary work orgnisation, and TWO does not agree with Silly Vain on the necessary reforms of Curaçao's government. Of course not! We always know better, and as proof we can point to the sorry state of affairs.
And TWO complains that Curaçao doesn't keep to earlier arrangements, as the later "Mutual Agreement" is holy.

What Refinery?
The inferior car fuel also contains too much sulfur, leading to a build-up of deposits in the engine. But no worries: the refinery will be upgraded, so in the future the sulfur will be removed. Will take two years.
And we here thinking that all car fuel was imported these days.

Old Hat
The 457 million guilders PM Prick Pisas is bragging about, that they were cleverly loosened from the Dutch during the last Mutual Agreement negotiations, in fact were promised long ago in a deal with the former government, led by PAR Bhillenaath, with the understanding that they would become available over a 6-year period.
Sounds correct; just remember this was released by auntie Sushi's PIN party.

As If They'd Care
After the scandalous fun trip of PMs to Panamá, some of them are ready to go there again. What do they care that the country is drowning in debt?

Doesn't Matter
Curaçao car gasoline and diesel fuel are not good enough, says a review by a German institute. There's silicone, water and chlorine in there. The fuels are better fit for cars older than 2000. Not only are the fuel stations to blame; the market is too small for an efficient fuel purchase.
We would be better off with a central purchase system for all islands, is the advice. Hey! Ain't autonomy great?

Get Him
Parliament has filed a criminal complaint against MP of Trabou pa Kòrsou (TPK) Rennox Calmes. He allegedly falsified documentation on collaborators.
We now await with bated breath similar actions against our PM and RdK.

In May?
The first Venezuelan boats may arrive in May. Two (count 'em: 2! owners "already" have applied for an (expensive) permit, says our minister of Economic Development.

So Are We
Dutch MPs are alarmed about Curaçao gambling world's ties to Russia. Now for, do something about it?

Even Better
Forgot to mention it, but Heerenveen who has just become CEO of JetAir, in the past has been involved with ALM - DCA - and InselAir. He certainly knows how to pick 'em.
Heerenveen announces JetAir now plans to resume flights to Venezuela.
Goodbye JetAir!

It Worked?
Trust office EMS Management Services ended the relationship with Russian BetCity after Ukrain's sanctions recently announced by Zelensky.

Like That?
Antilliaans Dagblad opines that the money for necessary reforms (oh boy, are they necessary) will not come from the Kingdom (read: Holland) but will have to be coughed up by our government.
Which will not like it.

Just Like That? Oh No
OM public ministry wants a talk with finance minister Silly Vain about his announced decision not to collect taxes from before 2017. "The legal basis is lacking."

Here's a Plan
It's designed for the USA, but we could use it as well. Or maybe better. It's supposed to dismantle the Deep State, which is one thing where we're far ahead of the US. Plan is as follows, all for civil servants:
1. Streamline the firing process
2. Curb union power (remember we had one, or rather, Errol Bakoba did? "Vota pa bo mes!" It just sank of its own weight.
3. Market-based pay and improving efficiency. How we all wish.
4. Schedule F; translated: the government, not the civil servants, has the power to change laws.

And He's the Living Proof
Former FOL, now ex-politician [Baby] Godett says it's clear Curaçao education is a failure. True. How else could he have made to to the government several times?
Amazingly, his remark was triggered by a quiz in which the question was "name 3 Curaçao heroes." It was for the election of a Carnival Queen, who couldn't mention a single one, even when she was prompted with "Papa Godett, Tula."
Papa Godett is a hero now?

More Globalism
After the many protests against the mission to the Parlatino meeting in Panamá, those delegates plan to hold a Staten meeting to explain what has been discussed there and what the consequences will be. The idea is to send suggestions back to Parlatino, who will formulate a "mother law" which will in turn influence our laws.
Just when we'd become independent.

Bad Luck
Finance minister Silly Vain has announced a lot of things that must improve the Tax Persons' "Service". Most important seems, more taxes will be collected because the ways to evade tax will be reduced.

PAR opposition party wants a parliament meeting on the declarations by Prick Piss oops! sorry, Pisas and RdK refinery on the negotiations, and documents handed in by CPR, on restart of Isla refinery. The documents were proven to be fraudulent, but Prickie and RdK knowingly supplied Staten with incorrect information. It was by CPR that the documents were falsified, not by external sources as (falsely) stated by Prickie/RdK.
To make the fog less thick: RdK is a different entity than Isla refinery. Just like Curaçao is autonomous but not independent. Or something. Got it now?

A present for our Great Leaders

That Could Get Interesting
Ukrain has announced sanctions for several companies because they have ties with Russia. Among those is about ten-years-old 1XBet. Hey, that smacks like our old friend Elias. Spain as well is being nasty: the past 2 years Spain fined Curaçao gambling sites for €87 million. (They can afford it.)
But finance minister Silly Vain, working on new laws, doesn't care a fart as long as Curaçao the government gets more money. Wherefrom? Pecunia non olet!

Do Tell Us about It
Sparing you a lot of words, Amsterdam economists Mak and van Buiren give a lot of pertinent advice on how to lessen the chances for complete economy ruin by aging of the population and shrink of same. It's all things the government should do, so forget about it anyway. Please pardon me if my cynicism is showing.
We need more investing in education, they conclude. Sure. Holland should give us money for teaching kids English, have I got that right?

Oh? That Makes a Difference.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revised its forecasts regarding sea-level rise: After assuming 100 centimeters by 2100 in 1990, only 38 centimeters remained from 2007 onwards. But even this could be exaggerated: as a long-term study by the Australian oceanographer Simon Holgate showed, the sea level rose by only ten centimeters between 1904 and 1953 and then by only 7.25 centimeters between 1954 and 2003.
Here, every once and again we still read in the media that sea level will go up by 6 meters before 2300; or other less pessimistic forecasts.
From German Preussische Algemeine

Empty Words
Venezuelan airlines Avior and Albatros announce they will start flying to Curaçao in the future. They only don't say when.

Is What I Thought
Cft financial supervision has no good words for finance minister "we've plenty of money... plenty" Silly Vain's budget, which "does not provide a reliable, realistic, and up-to-date picture and is not in compliance with the Financial Supervision Kingdom Act" to quote Curaçao Chronicle. Cft gives Silly Vain until 28 April to fix it. That's less than two weeks from now, to spare you figuring. (I betcha he won't.) Cft's recommendations made by the Cft on February 6 must then also be implemented. Silly Vain thought it easier to disregard them, while "trying to delay the legally mandated compensation of previous deficits as long as possible." Silly Vain also "seems to be banking on the possibility that the Netherlands will refinance Curaçao's loans." Whuddayamean, "seems"? He's counting on it. Says so all the time.

If Anybody Can
An explanation of the Onderlinge Regeling replacing Coho is "urgently desired", writes Amigoe. You said it, bud. Question is, who can explain it?
One result, we read in the same article, is that all those "urgent reforms" which were supposed to be an important reason for the new deal, have been delayed by 3 years. Which here for us means, until after the next elections. An graph from CBS statistics shows that government investements have been going down while costs have continued going up.
And VBC entrepeneurs' club is disappointed that the new deal isn't focused more on economic development. VBC questions if the deal has any advantage for the island.

No Surprise, Still Surprise
The number of fixed phones (land lines) has gone down from 83,000 in 2009 to 53,000 in 2021. No doubt caused by cell-phones taken over.
But, those have gone down in number as well: from 204,000 in 2010 to 168,000 in 2021. It's just cheaper to make calls and send messages via internet. In fact, mostly completely free.

Winners Need Not Worry
No, this time it's not about the gambling industry, but about the winners of the Carnival contests. They still haven't received their award money, but the foundation's chairman is on vacation and assures them they will get it. Eventually. "Over a period of time." That's good to know.

In the Same Dry Vein
Received a letter from KKN Chamber of Commerce inviting me for a business dinner where a new innovative and sustainable megaproject will be presented by Steamboat Fuels CEO MacLallen. As far as I can make out from their web site, this would be producing diesel &c. fuels from discarded fats and other stuff. Of which we have precious little, especially since the 1000 cows project has (thankfully) disappeared.
The price per meal is 175 guilders ($100). Used to be so, making propaganda cost you money—but the world is on its head all over, right.
I passed.
A friend tells me that web site lists the company as having one employee. CEO MacLallen?

They Never Learn?
Well, maybe there is gas to be found between Aruba and Curaçao; I wouldn't know. Can only say, geologists who I guess do know, strongly doubt, if not outright deny it.
But will that stop politicians? No way! After the debacle of (for a price) searching for gas North of Aruba, of which I now get confirmed for the first time none was found, never give up! Aruba now wants to start a new search, as indicated; together with Curaçao paying part of the costs. Sure. Why not? Might as well dump that money into the sea and save a lot of trouble.

Goodbye to JetAir?
Withy the departure of JetAir's CEO Robert Maas, Edward Heerenveen has been introduced to personnel as his successor. Heerenveen is best known as being one of the heads of InselAir, with its amazing success story; remember?
Our best of luck to JetAir! They may need it.

No April Fools' Joke
Two men, from Germany and the USA, who were caught (on April 1) selling drugs on Mambo beach, have been told they may not set foot there again for a year. Not by law, but by the management.
Knowing Mambo beach and its visitors, this comes as a big surprise to me. But the management has decided to stop all those "problems related to drugs use." May well cost them customers, but I don't care.

Wescar Goes West
Wescar contractors, who did a lot of work for Isla refinery, has announced its demise; even tough it's not completely official yet. No doubt many went before and others will follow.
Wescar "enjoyed" a certain notoriety because troubles with the CAO collective labor agreement started the May '69 riots.

Can't Say, Sorry
Because nobody tells me. Aqualectra has got a license to start a Telecommunications company with the (to me ridiculous) name AquaTel, Conditions are water and electricity may not become more expensive if AquaTel loses money. Well, that's what creative accounting is for.
About the price? No doubt, even if we're not told, they will not be cheaper than FLOW/UTS/Setel and Digicel; and those others I forget. Better? Faster? Not a word.

One (1)
Laser will start flying from Venezuela to Curaçao on May 5, now that the borders are open. Cheapest ticket price is $260 [plus!], but don't worry: the business class seats are as good as sold out already.

Poor Parents
The requirements of fundamental education are too high for parents which causes a lot of stress. They spend 2 hours per day on helping their children with their homework. In about half the cases, there's a third person around to assist them.
"... the involvement that school demands no longer seems healthy in the sense that it causes stress, exhaustion and reduced well-being for parent and child," quotes Curaçao Chronicle from the report.
FO (=FE) gets a 5 on its report.
I never liked homework myself. Housework, not that much either. Maybe send the parents on repetition courses? Keeps 'em off the streets.

Good News—Bears Interpretation
CBS statistics says that between 2020-2022 unemployment has gone down from over 42% to less than 30%. Right in the Virus period, too?
Would have been caused by more people entering the labor market in that period. Curious! CBS promises more details later.

Who Knows? I don't
Polemics are going on between Caryl Monte, president of the national reform committee, and that paragon of reliability auntie Sushi. Auntie claims we'll get less money from Holland; Monte says we'll get nothing, but nothing, less.

Sounds Reasonable
I really wouldn't know, but the idea is to decouple the Public Schools from the ministry of education. Would make them more independent. Sure. But if that's a good thing? Maybe. No doubt it's true that it would bring the other schools in a more advantageous position, with no preferred treatment for the public schools.

Won't Help Much
But I'm a pessimist: PAR wants an emergency meeting on the future of Isla refinery.
By now, who is not pessimistic about that?

It Goes On. And On.
Yet another Parlatino meeting in Panamá; 6 delegates of PAR, M*F*K and PNP go over there. Amigoe figures another 50,000 guilders gone fffut. I figure, it may well be more.

Forget It
CAP Hato airport expects a lot of Venezuelans will come in by air now that the border is open. But don't count on it: for starters, a visitor must pay $80 for a visa. For children below 11 it's $40, all payable by credit card; which means almost unaffordable, and probably black-market, US dollars. And they must show they have $150/day on their persons when coming on.
If they've a job, they must show an employers' declaration showing how long they've worked there, what their salary is and if they have permission to leave the country. Plus, they have to show travel insurance for all the time they plan to stay on the islands.
Chata says that's much too heavy, and for once they're right. So, don't expect any commercial flights.

Thanks for Explaining!
Now I really get it. PM Prickie said. "Coho is dead" and added, details about the new mutual agreement have not been told on purpose because, then, no attention would have been given to its importance to the people, and everything would have been done to oppose this gain.
I can't help it; the guy is not merely stupid, he actually sounds insane. Is that really his interpretation of "more transparency"?

Take Your Time
CAH airport holding has started reviewing the damage to Landhuis Hato and surrounds.
So much for Mudbelly Cooper's demand that the damages must be repaired within 3 weeks. That's already one week old.

Peanuts, Not
Since 2015, there has been worked too much overtime by the police. "Structurally." Which means over half a billion guilders has been paid out, over and above the budgeted overtime amount.

Would Be Great!
Let's see if it will actually happen: there's a proposal to get rid of car tax and have us pay via the fuel price. Which would mean those who drive more in larger cars have to pay more than those who drive less, in smaller cars. Which is only reasonable. And even illegal drivers would have to pay!
Drawback is, just like in Holland, that electric vehicles wouldn't pay any tax. This while they are much heavier than comparable fuel-guzzlers. Which means the rich guys get off cheap. Business as usual, in short.

Means the Same Thing
Finance minister Silly Vain says that not only the tax payers must pay up, the entire financial sector has to help in "solving the financial problems in the Ennia affair." This after Central Bank's Doornbosch's decision, against all external and internal advice, to let Grimm go.
As if the financial sector wouldn't try and get it back from those same tax payers.

Nowhere Safe
Even on the beach, the cops may come by and fine you for having no papers. That's what they did, even confiscating 4 cars.

Gamble While You Can
That's the first one. That same Landspakket mutual agreement asks for research into gambling addictions of minors "and other vulnerable people." Which, I would say, includes all gamblers.
The report should have been ready before end of May, but there will be delays and it won't be before end of August.
That's the first one. We confidently wait for the ones to follow.

There are lots of things Amigoewonders about in that mutual agreement, but one of them is that since 2013 AOW payments have not been changed. Yes, I noticed. According to Amigoe this disregards the law. Meanwhile, the Dutch BES islands have doubled those payments.
Even while the mutual agreement asks for more transparency, the people didn't know a thing about it before it had been signed.

Just Say the Word
Education minister van Heydoorn says, the sum of 123 million guilders is needed for education improvement. Until 2027, when he may be gone.
Opposition PAR member Croes, his predecessor, asks how come he had this ready before the results of the so-called nulmeting [zero measurement] were in. Croes also says that the amount is far from enough and that help from Holland will be needed, which is possible via the recent mutual agreement..

But who's dumb here? CBCS Central Bank president Doornbosch has let go Elisabeth Grimm, the great expert in the Ennia affair, without a replacement. Grimm was sent out by DNB Nederlandse Bank. This may mean Ennia, and even the country, is in danger of forfeiting over one billion guilders. With a lot of pensioners possibly losing their income as one result.

Just Saying
Needs mentioning, finance minister Silly Vain's announcement about tax means the country has thrown away 6 milliard guilders. Whom to? Good question! I don't dare to try answering it. After all, we have plenty of money, plenty. Is what he keeps saying.

Not Online—Inline Only
For as long as I remember, but probably even longer, people have been complaining about the fact that their car taxes can't be paid online, but you have to stand in line for what may be hours. Much to my surprise, finance minister Silly Vain has requested the Receiver to make this possible, but no: sending stickers and receipts would mean work personnel which the tax people just don't want have.
How many hours the people waste standing in line doesn't matter.

"Finding of Truth"
We will get six Comtado Carib seminars where "light will shed on the current applied policy and enforcement on it and what is the result of it." Oh really? It all sounds terribly naïve; and I hope I'm wrong.
Would be about the ties between mafia and government. You need 6 seminars for that? Come to think of it, yes, and possibly even more.

Van Hufteren
A well-deserved name for the successor of Knops. First, she as good as gave away 200 million €uros to the unreliable promises-promises governments of the CAS islands, and later on the same day in a letter to Dutch parliament seemed to wise up and expressed her doubts.
But the Coho-deal which was made by Knops because the islands never ever keep their trysts has gone. Feeling better now, Huffie?

"Good for the Economy"
Several tourist apartments at Lagun have been discovered to tap water and electricity illegally. Which we have had to pay for, who else? Long live tourism!

Mulish, Like Most
Dutch PM Rutte reacts to a motion of no confidence by saying he couldn't care less, he'll just go on. Not exactly that, (he says it's a "relevant signal"), but is what he really means. He doesn't want to speculate, but there's no need to. It means he can't get any law accorded in parliament, so he might as well, better, go home.
What it means to us here is another matter.

As If
CAH deplores archaeologists haven't contacted them before publication of the damage done by works around Landhuis Hato. Yeah. We deplore it that they just went ahead with working that way, and if the archaeologists hadn't happened to run across it, that would have been The End of the Affair. CAH will repair the damage. When, we 're not told.

Sounds Logical
There is a lot of discussion on and promotion of agriculture going on the last few years, but those who work in that sector complain. Like farmers are wont to do, you say? Well, they have good reasons. Result is, they are forced to sell below cost price, which of course is called a "loss".
One reason is, many farmers are from Venezuela and Haïti and are content with lower living standards. Which is the core of the problem: agriculture just doesn't pay enough for our income ranges.

Say, Now That You Mention It
The government hasn't, as yet, taken a position in regarding addiction as an illness, yes or no. Because if it is one, then they'll have to pay up for support. See the problem?
And by the way, doesn't gambling often turn into an addiction as well? Oh, who cares—that's only foreigners, on-line? Wish it were true.

Less People, Less Taxes
The exodus from Curaçao to, hopefully better, locales, is not good for the economy. Doesn't need much figuring out, that one. And for the government it's even worse, maybe, as there'll be less tax-money available to spend. In the recent past, several politicians even have argued that, god help us, we need twice as many inhabitants. Where they want to put 'em is another matter.
There's a solution, sure: clean up your act and less people will leave. Maybe some will even want to come in!

Planes Si, Boats No
Venezuelan airlines Laser, Avior and Albatros can't wait to resume flights to Curaçao. Planned are 8 flights/week.
Our locals, not so much.
The barquettes won't come either. They have to follow stringent rules and, maybe even worse, pay $400 to come over. I'm not surprised, looking at the boats and crews, that they just can't afford that; plus 21 guilders for two weeks at the floating market quay.

What Else, New
Nobody seems to be satisfied with the new mutual arrangement, replacing Coho. Even our PM, who after all signed it, doesn't seem to want to keep to it. So why sign it?
Others complain that the people should have been told more about it. That's transparency hitting hard, once again.

We Must Protest!
A group of troubled citizens has started a protest against the new "mutual arrangement" with Holland. The people should be able to make their voices count in all deals with the Kingdom. Staten/parliament should guard our interests and take care that nothing will obstruct our future as a free independent country.
They might have thought that over before that democratic body was elected. Anyway, it's just a signature action.

What We Need
State secretary van Huffelen announces tht until 2027 120 million €s will be invested in Curaçao, Aruba and St, Maarten for reforms in the public sector.
Hurrah! That means we have more money to throw away. It's not even a loan we will may have to pay back!

Can't See That Happen
Even Mudbelly Cooper is peed off about what's been done by CAH to Landhuis Hato. He summons Curaçao Airport Holding to stop work immediately, appoint an expert to submit a restoration proposal, and repair the damages within 3 weeks.
Looks impossible to me. And my guess is, archaeologists will agree with that.

What Else Did She Expect?
The new deal replacing the Coho accords has hardly been signed, when state secretary van Huffelen already concludes that Curaçao is not conforming to it. She points, among other things, to the coming gambling sector law, about which more and more details are kept secret. That's transparency!
Alas, is what we predicted.

Good Luck!
The Tax Person has inaugurated a new call-center, with pie and a pastor.
Maybe he will get a miracle to happen: that the phone is actually picked up when you dial 461 5000.
Update: the first day, 268 calls have been made—and picked up.

As Long as They Pay
The Pen Resort wants a coastal barrier, whatever that means. People may protest but I'm pretty sure they'll get one.

Not only the quality must be improved, laws are old-fashioned and structure and organization must be reorganized. It's only me, but it looks like me that several decades ago, our people were much better educated than they are now. But then, I got the old system forced upon me so I must be dumber than people now. Q.E.D. as we used to say.

Oh, It's Like That
It's not true that the Tax Person will stop trying to collect before-2017 debts. It's just that they will concentrate on collecting later ones.
So we are told. How could we get it so wrong?

Good One!
You have to admit, those Greenies are creative. Now an Aussie has come up with the term "ecocide" for those who "don't subscribe to the climate cult's nihilistic net-zero agenda." Rinse, spit out, repeat.
The SouthAfrican Maroelamedia carries a warning against letting yourself get subjected to groenspoeling or greenwashing, because many large companies like Nestlé BP and Coca-Cola have been caught using the words "biodegradable" and "environmentally friendly" without offering any proof of that.
And in Switzerland, politician Python (yes, that's her real name) wants to make "Climate Denying" a crime. I plead guilty.

Who Cares
Archaeologist van der Hoeven does, and his colleagues. (And we.) CAP/Hato airport thought it a good idea to dump building waste on a protected site, covering the old water fount and a number of old cylindrical graves. All declared monuments.
After the Whinery left, no maintenance has been done on historical water basins, fount and landhuis. CAP is only interested in commercial enterprises. Long live Progress!

Two More Weeks
At least, before the first barquettes will arrive from Venezuela. Seems it's much simpler to arrange permits for air traffic; surprising, huh?
Didn't hear a word about what will happen to the tourist junk sellers who were supposed to take their place in Willemstad harbor. One of Pinhead Martina's great plans.
And no airline has applied for a permit to fly to Caracas, either. So no need to get excited at all.

When? Then!
Finance minister Silly Vain says that payback of loans will start in 2024 (when he hopefully has left his post). The money needed will come from (you'll never guess): higher tax income.

Many More Millions
Fifty, to be more precise. That's what needed to complete digitalizing education and the ministry.
Ask Holland!

Pay, or Else
Government has announced from now you must have a sticker on your windshield, proving you've paid your car tax. Which is supposed to pay for road maintenance. Only, it obviously isn't used for that purpose. Government has been asking us for years to have patience.
"All that road repairing must be done in a structural manner," we're told. So now you understand: the government wouldn't know what that means. Neither do I.

It's too sad to be funny. There's a taboo on mentioning AIDS/HIV, which hinders properly fighting it. People are ashamed to go and get medicine, which would prevent them infecting others.
That taboo doesn't seem to help avoid infecting others. In contrast with other Caribbean islands, number of Aruba and Curaçao infections is not going down.

Too Bad
The Court of Justice is a bit taken aback by the recent report on the crime fighting fund, as they haven't been asked for any input. They didn't even receive a copy of the report accusing them of slow implementation.

Investments—What In?
The goverment would rather spend the money on public investments, as IMF suggests, than on paying back loans, so Cft financial supervision has been told.
Naturally. In public investments, there's money to be made. In paying back loans, the money's gone.

It's in the Books
Only readings differ. The Game Control Board still has to collect 197,000 guilders from several casinos, but hey, that's a net claim of 146.42 million of which 144.1 is "uncollectible".
That's because of an MoU between the government and the gambling sector, dating from 2011, which resulted in various vague complications.
That year rings a bell. Ex-M*F*K PM Shorty was Boss then. No more needs be said.

Doing Well, But...
Inter-Assure insurance company is doing well enough, but deplores that repeated promises by former governments have not never been fulfilled. Like stimulate economy growth, constrain financial risks and repair structural cracks in government housekeeping.

Number of Firearms Absurdly High
Even all the cops have one! so chief Ellis has asked fur the help of USA's ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives—Bien étonnées de se trouver ensemble?) to help fight that problem. Long after we were ready for it. In fact, last year the number of murders went down: only 8 in 2022, lowest in 20 years.
But in the USA it was 6.8, so they sure could be of help.
Number of atrakos went down by half, and in half of those a firearm was used.
In Venezuela there were over 40 murders per 100,000, which is less than we had in former years.
And of the 17 recommendations of a 2018 crime-fund review, only 3 have had follow-up, and 4 partly.

Now Tell Us about Traffic
18,000 fines last year, which is 1,000 more than 2021. 14,000 (78%) for not having the required papers; 700 for driving through red (only observed during traffic controls, in reality there are many more); 3,000 for not wearing safety belts. No number for phoning-texting but I observe at least one case each time I hit the road.
Deaths in traffic have grown, but nobody bothers to tell us how many there were.

That's Rich
Gasoline will go up next month, how nice. By over 5%! to 2.290/liter. So will water, "because of lower electricity costs for water production." If you can make that out, you're smarter than I am. At least as smart as those high-paid Aqualectra guys.
That electricity is cheaper because less wind energy will be used, but instead more cheaper production installations.
And we're told wind energy is free!

Plus Ça Change...
... plus ç'est la même chose. The Coho deal regulating the Dutch loans to the CAS islands will be, or has been, replaced by an Onderlinge Regeling [mutual arrangement]. We're not told what that one entails.
No doubt the Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten governments will now or in the future find faults with it. Or didn't they sign the Coho deal?

That's the police to protect tourists from crime. Economic development minister Cijntje complains about the "astronomical costs" to which Politur replies, let the tourists pay for it by charging a surtax. Good idea! Why should we pay for their protection?
Yes, yes, I know we're used to paying much for them.

Won't Help Much, Will It?
The Dutch Partij voor de Dieren [Party for Animals] wants to make slavery a crime—retroactively. At first and second sights, this sounds like bloody nonsense; sorry. There were no laws then making it a crime, no matter how we look at it now (and many other things, too many to mention, don't forget). And whom to punish for breaking that non-existing law? Innocents, that's who?
Maybe the PvvD looks at slaves as animals? Tsssk.

Enormous Success
From Venezuela, not a single request has come in for barquettes to enter Curaçao harbor next Monday, when the border is supposed to open up again.
Snmall wonder, when we hear that they now have to file an official request with Venezuela and Curaçao authorities; once that has been acceded, they can ask for permission to come in.
I would be much surprised if those captains are ready and willing to go through all that trouble and hassle. Says customs official Caciano "It's not like it used to be." You can say that again.
Air traffic is not ready to restart flying, either.

Strike Over
Personnel of Damen-CDM/Dok went on strike yesterday, but it was over soon. They were not satisfied with the overtime arrangements. Now, they will get their money next Friday.

Year of Emancipation
Will start July 1, announces education minister van Heydoorn. MPs were taken by surprise; like me, who thought emancipation took place 160 years ago already. They asked, hey, what exactly do you mean (good question) and what do you plan to do?
Answers are pretty vague, but that's only me. July 1 and 2 will be days of celebration!
Like a friend of mine once remarked, "Partying, that's what they're good at."

Not really. Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten may pay their Covid loans back later. But they'd rather have them remitted.
So would I with my mortgage but those bastids at the bank won't listen.

Come On, Silly!
Cft financial supervision makes it known that finance minister Silly Vain (he with the big mouth) is late with his implementation report on 22-QIV. Which is contra state law. They also want to see additional information on two other of those reports.

Mala Suerte
Bad luck again for Cyberluck. They must pay a winner $255,00 in prize money, and 12,509 guilders in process costs as well.
Sub-licensee 1XCorp was to blame, but since 1XCorp went bankrupt, Cyberluck is responsible. That'll teach 'em? No, they're expected to appeal. Good luck, Cyber!

Yes, It Will
And it will again; and again. The answer is to Amigoe's question: will the inflation occur again? The paper points out that in 1974 inflation was even higher than now: 19.5%. And remarkably, at that time, too, it was very high all over the world.
So I'm very confident in my prognosis.
"By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens."—John Maynard Keynes

Did you notice it was Earth Hour was last Saturday? I didn't, nor did other many people. The first one was in 2007, when we were asked to turn off lights and electric devices between 20:30 and 21:30, turning the whole world into North Korea. On this island, never a popular idea, but now we're not even spurred on to do so any more.

I Like That
There's a proposal to make everything tax and duty free for all tourists; not only cruise tourists. And not only in the Big Bad City, but all over the island. Fine with me.
Especially as there are several problems. How do persons prove they're tourists? That is the seller's problem, and if the Tax Person judges sellers are wrong, they have to pay what the tourist didn't.
And it would only be OB sales tax.

Just Bright
M*F*K MP Carolina submits to sell the 29,000 keys of 2022 confiscated drugs to Holland, where there's a ready market. Would bring in 1.6 billion guilders (to distribute among his party members?) Other MPs were "bewildered" but when you consider Carolina started out as a FOL member, it doesn't surprise me that much.
Neither does it other people; one will send you a 133 page document on the lack of integrity in the government if you ask her at Fakebooc's "verhaal hof van justitie curacao".

Yeah, Now that You Mention It
A letter-writer to Amigoe mentions that first, finance minister Silly Vain took care that the old amounts due by Big Fish non-tax payers were written off. Without making public who these guys were, and he mentions (not by name) one of the present ministers. I shouldn't wonder. And now, Silly Vain will ask the Little Fish for interest over outstanding tax debts.
Does this mean, asks the letter-writer, that we may now charge interest on late payments by the government of its bills?
You and I and, good guess, he as well know the answer: "No."

That's One Reason
... why the government thinks they have plenty of money? Since 2020 no payments have been made on the debt to Holland for CMC hospital.
In October Dutch loans COVID to Curaçao and St. Maarten must be refinanced. If by then any money is left in the world at all, with more and more banks crashing.

More on the Evil Plans
It's already years ago since, at the request of several people, wrote a review (in Dutch) on the "Donut Economy" plans, which proposed to cover the island and surrounding sea with wind generators. I do not exaggerate in this characterization.
No reaction from that "bunch of losers", as it has been described to me, has been forthcoming. Small wonder. But the politicians, always with an eye out for a free lunch, still love it.
While in the USA, more and more protests are being raised against off-shore wind generation, and while it looks like that it's technically and financially a dead end, here the plans are proceeding. The dream is that these monsters will produce hydrogen, to be used as a "green" fuel. There are very large problems with that, and besides, it is now cheaper to produce hydrogen with Natural Gas than via electrolysis. Not to mention that pure hydrogen sources have been discovered at several locations.
It's also a source of wonder that, besides tourist organizations, Carmabi isn't protesting yet. These giant windmills have to be anchored in the sea bottom and, maybe worse, connected to the shore with cables, for which trenches must be dug. Which is also sure to have a ruinous effect on the sea floor.

Oh So Green
Once again, people of San Willibrordo are angry because of a new project, that threatens to destroy the, now still natural, landscape harboring flamingos and more. The project developer, Janssen de Jong (big surprise), denies that. "There's no reason to worry." 70% of the terrain will not be built up, and "in certain areas" vegetation will be unaffected.
350 accomodations are planned. The choice has been for an "ecological thought", whatever that's supposed to mean. Several experts have made studies bases on "economic, cultural and social aspects"—nature, not so much.
Name of the project is Dormio Eco Resort.

Digital Coin
More and more voices go up proposing this, and more and more countries are considering introducing it. In fact, there's not so much difference between the present "paper" coins and the digital fata morgana.
Especially ironic is that when digital money was first proposed, it was seen as a way to get (partly) out from under governments' interference.

Watch It!
Portuguese Man-of-War jellyfish have been observed at Piscadera bay. So Curaçao Nu advises vacationers to watch out for them.
For us living here, who cares?

We Pay, Who Else?
For auntie Sushi's mistakes. She refused to accept the application of a financial director at CMC, while her appointment had already been granted. She then got 300,000 guilders, as she had left her previous job. Two years ago, she received 218,000 guilders already.
Because she was European Dutch, was auntie's reason.
Update: according to Amigoe the damage is over 650,000 guilders plus 300,000 two years ago. And she already worked in Curaçao, at Isla.
Apart from that, CMC also has to pay for process costs, including appeals; also the applicant's. Update: Now Amigoe says t's 200,000, after all. So we have less to pay up.

We're Fat!
CBCS central bank has adjusted the growth prognosis with 0.5%, now it's 3.2%.
Still much less than inflation has been: 7.4%; about which it says it'll become less, as oil prices go down.

Thus Speaks SER
"It is advisable to continue the modernization process of the (online) game sector with the greatest possible care, transparency and a strong procedural embedding," SER comments. You don't even have to read between the lines to think they're worried about these aspects.
So are, not only, we.

Rejoice, Fly the Flags!
Another, new, wind generator park will be built at Koraal Tabak. Then, electricity production will be 50% wind driven. Curaçao is then among the top in the world!
Better news maybe: the diesel generators will be replaced by LNG fuel burners.

Yesterday I got an email from Aqualectra, to warn me that today is the last day to pay my bill. They must be short of cash; small wonder with those salaries.
Then, for the third time in 2 weeks, our water supply fell away. It came back by lunch, only to disappear again: 2nd time in 1 day, 4th time in 2 weeks. Alas, I don't even think that's a record.
Taking a line through the South-African word-of-2022, beurtkrag [power-in-turn] I propose the term beurtwater. Not that we may not soon experience beurtkrag as well, the way things are going.

Chutzpah Cubed
The Tax Person will start charging 6.75% interest on unpaid debts. If we'll be paid the same over money to be reimbursed, I don't know.
That percentage has been fixed by central bank CBCS. Too bad that on a savings account you get only a fraction of that: 1.2%. Is this legal? I'm afraid so.

Medical and Wellness Tourism
Because it's seen as a new and important export potential for Curaçao, the ministry of economic development has included the sector in the National Export Strategy Plan.
This from a government that can't even arrange satisfactory deals for the population's own caretakers
In the very same issue of Amigoe there's an article about two USA tourists complaining about the treatment received in CMC hospital. Truth be told, I have been there several times myself and was treated differently from what they describe: dirty needles, no gloves.

Watch Those Guys
17 trust offices urgently want finance minister Silly Vain to extend the licenses for master gambling license holders before the end of April. They have the needed knowledge and experience to constructively contribute to the lawmaking process. Thus, existing companies, direct and indirect jobs can be preserved and new ones can be attracted.
Should the licenses expire this year, this will cause great damage to the entire sector.
Of which those trust offices are part. Get it?

Getting Closer...
The at first, and second, sight insane plans to have floating wind generators North of the Curaçao coast are getting more and more attention. Before you know it, they will at least partly be realized. Port of Rotterdam is all for it.
In 1925/26 a pilot is proposed to start for the generation of 72Mw, which already is a multiple of Aqualectra's total capacity now. To be followed with 300Mw in 1930 and completed to 3-5 Gigawatt by 1935. (Rather a big difference, that, 3 or 5.)
I have from time to time listed plenty of arguments why this is a clouds-in-the-sky project, doomed to become a floating collection of rusting metal spoiling our coast. Who cares?
There's plenty of money to be made while building the damn things. Or maybe not.

We Can Guess Why
Tens of thousands of employees in Rotterdam harbor will be screened by AIVD intelligence for connections with the drugs world. Those who have drug-linked offenses on their records will be denied access to the port area.
The Rotterdam port is infamous for being a drug import center for Europe. 80 persons have already been arrested in January/February.

This time, Bas Filipini has actually applied for a permit to build multiple breakwaters along the Pietermaai coast. He has been building them before now, but that got him into trouble.
7 more days to protest. Go ahead, be my guest.

Not He
M*F*K finance minister didn't appear in a meeting by both coalition partners, which was supposed to be about him. Others are fed up with his bullying behavior. A new smaller meeting will be held. Wonder if he'll be there.

Designer Andresetti Monart of the new Curaçao logo denies that she got the elements from Shutterstock; she drew them herself, she says. Judge for yourself:

kolibri SS kolibri
Just look at the twinkle in the bird's eye, and count the number of wing indents. True, the angle has been changed.
boat SS boat
The boat has been mirrored and mast and cabin been taken off. Oh yeah, two stars were added.

Results of the investigation will be published in April. It will then have take SOAB tax accountant bureau 6 months to have reached their conclusion.
But we all knew already, the Tax Persons are not the fastest on earth.

Can't Be True
To hear the spoiled brats complain, they all have been hard hit by the 12.5% salaryu cut during the Virus pandemic.
But private jobbers often had an income shrink of 20%. Besides, the spoiled brats didn't get less money per hour in hand: only their working hours were cut.
So will they please shut up? Don't count on it.

Wise Guys
People are leaving the island in droves for, hopefully, better places. Last year population shrank with 1.4%. It's never been that low since 10-10-10. Maybe there's a link to be found?
Not counted are the illegals; that's being planned.

At Least, He's Satisfied
M*F*K education minister Heydoorn thinks the government has been doing great the past two years. Maybe you differ. One of his arguments is, this year the country hasn't had to borrow from Holland. Yet.
I must admit, that's pretty unique.

That's the Cops for You
A police officer who'd left his job in St. Maarten to come to Curaçao has been shot in his car.
Because of what was found, it's suspected to be a drug deal revenge action. I wouldn't know if that's correct.

Refinery Isla is looking for a new partner to restart negotiations, as all the other ones fell through. Keep on looking!
Here's your chance, Martha? Hrrrmph.
And PM Pisas still hasn't fulfilled his "transparency" promise, and keeps the documents in question out of sight.

Plenty More
... where they came from. 3 people have been arrested, suspected of large-scale cocaine dealing, and another one in Holland. Also, except money, cars and speedboats, an excavator was confiscated.
An excavator?!

Back in 2019, long before the Virus hit, there were plans to freeze the spoiled rats' salaries.
But then they got a salary cut of 12.5% instead. This has now ended, but we hear no talk of a freeze anymore, either: only about re-indexes and all.

Dream On
Economic development minister Cijntje wants to introduce a makuto básiko card, which will enable the less fortunate to get a discount on essential items. They also plan a PPA Price Publication App where different supermarkets' prices are compared. Which I guess will mainly work for people who can afford a car.
Third plan is to start an agricultural project where people with ambitions in that direction can get low-interest loans. Supplied by Holland, I guess; who else? That will result in higher quality products, and cheaper too. Anything you say, but permit me to have my doubts.
But even the minister acknowledges that the growing cost of fertilizers may be a problem.

Sorry, Kids
SER social-economic council says the plans of our government to have the banks collect OB sales tax are illegal. Government will have to pay for the banks' service. And of course they figured they'd get it for free.
It's not really good news though. If the law isn't changed, it means even more Tax Persons will be hired, who are guaranteed to be less efficient than the banks.

Can't Be Stopped
A building where the wall around it was illegally built up to an illegal height, with other rebuilding taking place, was visited by Mudbelly's ministry and the owner told to stop.
He went on regardless.

Hope That Helps
Court has confiscated a man's car, after he had been caught several times for driving without insurance.
Why did it have to take several times? Now, the first time you only get a substantive fine; which can only be much lower than a human life is worth.
Except maybe to those uninsured rivers.

So Don't Accept Them
The National Committee will not accept Holland's apologies for slavery, offered on December 19, 2022. They don't like it that the Wiedergutmachung reparations have been limited to 200 million €uros; it's not enough! Also, they want the slavery actions in the past legally nominated as crimes against humanity. That will turn the slaves into persons, which I'm sure will make them very happy.

They Won!
Dutch party BBB Boer Burger Beweging [farmer citizen movement] has won 18 seats in parliament elections. A fell blow to the authoritarian VVD PM Rutte, who with military power tried to subdue the famers' protests against his €U-following measures to stop nitrogen pollution and, in the process, end the largest agricultural export business in the world.
BBB don't really like the country's immigration policy, either. To put mildly.

Sure! They're Used to It
The Netherlanders will probably have to bail out the 40,000 pensioners who have been duped by the Ennia insurance company debacle. Ennia now has a cash deficit of over 1 billion guilders.
Ain't colonialism great?

Dirty Oil
Many people find that all oil's dirty, but it certainly applies to the Venezuelan crude, the reason we're the not really proud owners of the asphalt lake. No matter! Our genius PM Prickie wants the Kingdom to start negotiations so we can get the stuff to process. Where? In the Isla refinery, which Prickie still maintains will be up and running one of these decades.
The Bearded Weirdo also thinks oil will be of import for at least thirty more years. I can only agree with him there; certainly looks like it more and more.

997 Million Euros
That's how much was spent last year in Holland on television spots to advertise on-line gambling. The gambling institutes can afford it.
Paying the winners, not so much.
That's twice as much as the damage done here by Ansary plucking Ennia's feathers.
And the kingdom's Raad van State [Council of State] has no comment on the gambling contract with Malta, which means a go-ahead to Silly Vain's Evil Plans. At least, they still have to be discussed in Dutch and Curaçao parliaments

Bright, Let's
For a year now, Israel has had an app stimulating people to pick up trash and pay them for it in CleanCoin points that they can redeem for products or discounts. CleanCoin has partners to develop the app in Canada, New York and the United Kingdom and European users are translating it for local use.
What are we waiting for? Looks good.

Heavy, Mon
Central Bank CBCS's economy director Jardim said that, if the damage caused by Ansary in the Ennia affair is not compensated for, the bank will have no choice but to lower dividends and built-up pensions. And it will not be slight, either.
The damage of 1 billion guilders is as large as that caused by the Covid pandemic, amounting to 16% of Curaçao and St. Maarten's combined GDP.

Bad Luck for Cyberluck
Appeals court has spoken: Cyberluck is responsible for their sub-license holders, who refused to pay two winners.

A Miracle!
This year we'll have a less intensive hurricane season, is predicted. In contrast with the past three years, the sooth-sayers add; because of last year's El Niño.
Well, here's the record on 2020, 2021 and 2022. Do yourself a favor, check it out. And let us hope they're right this time.

Diving Schools
Again, the legitimate diving schools are clamoring about the illegit ones. Legit means, they pay taxes. They may claim the illegit ones, not registered with KKN chamber of commerce, don't have good instructors, but I wouldn't know what the demands would be. Diplomas, anyone? I don't think so.
They also point at the possibility that a USA-tourist gets an accident, resulting in enormous damage claims. Firstly, those claims may be enormous in the USA, but it doesn't work like that here. Secondly, so that illegit school will go bankrupt, who cares?
They also say the government has finally started listening to their warnings, because those illegit schools don't pay taxes. Aha! now you're talkin'.

Be Prepared
The story going round is that economic develop minister Cijntje is covering himself for a possible leave by Damen Shipyards from DOK/CDM. He has instructed CDM-Holding to keep an eye out (that will help) and prepare a plan and look at other options, in case that happens.
Can't help it, reminds me more and more of the impotent fumbling with Isla refinery take-over.

Cheap Talk
Party MAN doesn't think it's enough for the government to lower profit tax from 22 to 15%. That will only bring in less money for the government. What really should happen is reduce taxes for the entire community!
While I agree, MAN doesn't explain how this will not bring in less money.

It's a Start
Those illegal activities in Jan Sofat have, remarkably and even surprisingly, now been stopped; but will the owner have to repair the damage to the original condition? Which is impossible, for starters.

Don't Die Yet
CMC hospital is promised an advance of 20 million guilders, so it doesn't have to close down.

Power Fight
Minister Cijntje wants CTB tourism bureau to take care of 8 public beaches, for which CTB must supply a budget, of course. Which will be paid out of our taxes, of course. Permanently. Of course.
But M*F*K MP Brownbill calls this "annexation" (inlijving) and wants ministry of health to continue beach care.
Please note that it's not Cijntje, but PM Prickie who's responsible for that part of the ministry. Talking about annexation.
And it's Cijntje who's responsible for CMC affairs, which doesn't stop Prickie from interfering (next item).

The government, "led" (after a fashion) by that Bearded Weirdo, is contemplating to retract the care permit of CMC hospital. That will help us all—to die a quicker death. Looks more like a revenge exercise by M*F*K PM Prickie than anything else; especially after the scandalous mishandling by his predecessors, not only ministers of health. Which he seems to continue. What else do you expect from that full-time bungler? In that respect, he's a real Pro.
PAR party is against and for once I fully agree with a bunch of politicians. What good that will do is another matter.

Our Future?
Things go on like that, it looks like it. Amigoe compares situation in Suriname with that here. Suriname really became independent in 1975, almost 50 years ago. With a golden handshake by Holland that quickly disappeared... yeah, where? We have our suspicions. Since then, riots and inflation have gone on in step. Average income is now $5000, only 500 more than in Haïti.
We go on as we do now here, looks like an example we'll follow fast enough. I well remember how at the time of our first referendum, most people were aware of that danger, but the clamoring hotheads don't seem to be aware of it anymore.

Last Chance
Yesterday afternoon there was a parliament meeting on the future of Damen Shipyards/DOK. Haven't seen results (if any) yet.

Vulgar Brawl
Ministers Cijntje (PNP, economic development) and Silly Vain (M*F*K, finance) got into such a quarrel in parliament that parliament head America-Francisca reprimanded them, asking them to fight in private. The meeting was then suspended.
It's all about car fuel prices.
A further indication that there's no unity and no real leadership in the coalition.

After All, We've Plenty of Money!
Is that why finance minister Silly Vain wants parliament to lower profit tax? (-7%)
There have been experts who say it's good for the economy and thus will bring in more tax. But I doubt whether Silly is so smart.

But How?
The police want to reduce the overtime budget from 18 million to 12m, but the public safety may not be endangered. That's good to know. Not that it could get much worse as it is.

Wait a Bit Longer
The customs people are on strike, because of the "bad condition of their buildings."
That's why we've Plenty of Money! as finance minister Silly Vain tries to conmvince us of.
Too bad if you've an urgent shipment coming in.

No Carnaval Corona
Is what we read. Good. About the rest, no news.
True, a bit early to start counting STDs, deafness and pregnancies. If ever.

No Money
Where did it all go? I thought we had plenty, at least that's what Silly Vain keeps telling us. The allday-weekend medical post, called HAP —hey, why not 24/7?— cannot be opened before January 2024. Silly Vain comes with the silly excuse that his health-ministry predecessor did not reserve money for it on the budget. Even if she had promised to do so.

Even the Gamers Don't Like It
They accuse M*F*K finance minister Silly Vain of "lack of transparency in the preparations for the new gaming law. They were kept strictly secret and no stakeholder was informed." I shouldn't wonder.
Silly is running a one-man show, which certainly is in character. The gamers talk about "market positioning, conflicts of interest and distortion of competition" and his new law does look like that.
But look who's talking.
"It will kill the gaming sector" they say. Good. And if they're right, so much for Silly's plans to make the sector a source of income for Curaçao, as well.

We read that SVB has gone bankrupt: the second largest bank failure in American history.
But relax, it's not our Sociale VerzekeringsBank, but the Silicon Valley Bank. Our esteemed SVB is not bankrupt.

It's Our Culture!
But the judge didn't agree with the argument of someone that it's normal on St. Maarten, "where everybody knows everybody, grant each other things, depends on each other and where corruption is rampant" for a contractor to take on extra jobs during work time. This is called cultuurverweer [culture defense].
It may be normal there, which alas just confirms what we always thought, but it sure isn't legal.

Don't They Have One?
Pisas states that the government is prepared to give CMC hospital advances (on what?) on condition that CMC appoints a government authorized account manager. Who'd be supposed to have a monthly view at hospital finances and requests for extra government funds.

Right on Cue
We were waiting for it: now climate change or whatever is blamed for racism. In LA, they say, more honkies drive cars than POCs, but most roadways are through POC neighborhoods, where people suffer the (bad, naturally) consequences.
That at least is something we won't get bugged by here.
FYI, POC means People of Color. And FYI means "for your information".

Ferry, Again
New plans for a BON-CUR ferry join the others of the past. This time it will be a Dutch-designed 33m long catamaran which can handle 4m waves, carry 125 pax, and with a speed of 22 knots make the trip in less than 3 hours.
If Caribbean Fast Ferry is assured it can exploit the route for 15 years, they announce service will start 2 years from now. And ticket price? Funny, they don't tell.

Whatcha Mean?
Ex-health minister Pietersz-Janga has announced, back from a conference in Panamá, that she wants to protect 30% of the waters around Curaçao. Against what? Why not all of them? Maybe she explained, but we don't get it.

You Know, So Do I
Dutch political party SGP says state secretary van Huffelen should keep herself out of the CAS discussion about homo marriages. The islands are independent and it's up to them to make laws on this (and other things).
SGP (always conservative, yes) has a point, no matter how I think about the question. Dutch interference in local matters has always been a sore point. They're meddlers.

"Lístwar suh rupputtuh"
Is how I've been told ex-Suriname Boss Pengel pronounced l'histoire se répète. No matter how you pronounce that, it does, time and time again. A television journalist was refused entrance to a press meeting by minister Silly Vain. The same thing happened in 2004, whenAmigoe journalist Marjo Nederlof was not admitted to a press conference by PM Mirna Louise Godett. Judge Bob de Wit criticized this as unlawful.
Alas, both de Wit and Nederlof are not with us any more. I wish we could say the same... let it go.

Easy Way Out?
Now PM Prickie is blaming CMC hospital's RvB board of directors for the trouble the hospital is in. Prickie is also angry because CMC sends letters to parliament, which means to the media, about the problems instead of to the ministers. No wonder: CMC must reckon that at least leads to a reaction.
Not a word about how those debts grew to that level. For most part it can easily be blamed on former governments, especially of Prick's M*F*K party. Remember Shorty and Arsjes? And then some? I wish we didn't.

And Who to Blame for That?
Shipyard Damen/DOK is in trouble. Again, or rather, still. After a €5.5 million loss last year the Dutch mother company threatens that enough is enough. The more so since that loss doesn't include the 20 million they decided to wrote off.
Except the well-known reasons like refinery shut-down, international sanctions against Venezuela and the Virus pandemic, it's most interesting to read about the two extra docks that came in and are not functional, so the yard has to work with only the old two remaining docks.
And why can't they be used, after they were towed to Curaçao with much accompanying fanfare? To quote Curaçao Chronicle: "one of the two floating docks was damaged by an incorrectly unpacked dock, which meant that they could only run at half power. The other dock also constantly suffered from defects and eventually sank during work."
While, pardon me to hell, I can't really make out all of what they're trying to say, one thing is obvious: this is incompetent bungling by Damen.

Money Back?
Hah! Forget it. But PNP (coalition) party member Cijntje accuses finance minister Silly Vain of having robbed the people of 34 million guilders by keeping car fuel prices too high.
Cijntje also contradicts Silly Vain's claims that the Tax Person is working so fine now. He cites people who have had letters from the Tax Person telling them to pay within two weeks. Only, they receive them a month after date of writing.
I can tell you from personal experience this is all too true.

Oh That's Good
Part of ex-minister of health Pietersz-Janga's function will be taken over by finance minister Silly Vain,.which guy is sure busy as a bee already. The other part, Nature and Environment, will be taken over by PM Prickie. The right man in the right place? Hardly: Prickie is one of the great promoters to keep Isla refinery up and running.

Down with the Dictators
The Fire Brigade is sick and tired about the dictatorial management of the group. It all started under former head Regina and continued under the management team headed by Rodriguez.
The firefighters say it doesn't matter who's at the top, as long as the regime remains dictatorial. They don't care if they get a new commander; it's the policy that has to change.

You Gotta Admire It
The efforts that keep going on. Now it's "Climate Gender Justice." Two birds with one stone: you comprehend of course that it's the big ugly hairy savage men who are responsible for Global Warming or whatever you want to call it; and it's the sweet wimmin persons who suffer under it. And children too, as a second thought.
So you get sex gender discrimination, children discrimination and climate change in one fell swoop. Too bad racism isn't included—yet.
But someone will find a way.

Out and Gone
Took a while, but health minister Pietersz-Janga finally took the hints, and her leave. She says that her staying on would lead to a "nuclear split" in her party (which remark makes us suspect there's more trouble a-brewing). We now wait for somebody, maybe even worse, to replace her.
She wasn't present at a meeting between GP doctors and ministers Prick and Silly Vain, but that didn't lead anywhere all the same. So there's still no satisfactory all-night and weekend care.

Is She Out?
Looks like it, although not officially settled. Yet. At a ministerraad ministerial council meeting this morning, health minister (for now) Pietersz-Janga chose not to appear. Ministerraad is now considering to fire her, which is one possible solution.
She's just back from a "working visit" (at our cost of course) to Panamá for a conference "Our Ocean, Our Connection", where she spoke with several people.

Forget It?
Last time we heard about it, the Greenies of Bonaire were still bragging about their planned algae plants, supposed to be able to deliver green energy.
Bad news, guys. Looks like a dead end. After Shell, BP, and Chevron have already given up on biofuels, now Exxon-Mobil has followed their example and after 14 years of commitment and $350 million worth of research stopped going for algae as a substitute for crude oil.

Mudbelly's VVRP Ministry has finally taken action against the owner of a Jan Sofat terrain, who has been illegally enlarging it by filling up Spaanse Water.
What action VVRP has taken for now remains a Ministerial Mystery.
Amigoe writes the owner ought to be forced to remove the added ground; which wouldn't mean at all the "original" situation has been restored. Fines for this sort of thing are ridiculously low and a small fraction of the cost for the owner to do it anyway.

We Can Dream, As Well
USA presidential candidate Ramaswamy has announced he will fire "at least" half of the federal workers when he's elected; better say, if he's elected. That chance is a remote one. But if he is, the USA Constitution doesn't allow civil service protections, or public sector unions, so he could go ahead.
Which is quite different from here. Remember Errol Bakoba with his political party for spoiled brats? Vota pa bo mes! [vote for yourself] was their slogan.

Will She or Won't She?
It's the third day after health minister Pietersz-Janga is supposed to offer her resignation to the governor. Which means goodbye to a nice fat salary and possibly, juicy pension (I don't really know about that, but have my suspicions).
It hurts to say it, but we haven't had any good ministers for that post since the 1980-s cabinet Martina. Which had several others. Hey, remember auntie Sushi? And the one before this one. All definitely unforgettably NG.
Only the council of ministers of parliament can dismiss a minister; not the party she belongs to. There's the rub.

Good Idea
Court has asked Aqualectra and HiMA foundation to talk it over together. It's about the problem of supplying clean water to poor families.
Always ready to run to the judge first we are. It's our culture.

Yes, Please
"Political activist Elvis de Andrade" filed a complaint against education minister van Heydoorn. Firstly, van Heydoorn allegedly violated the screening law (no details known to me). Of maybe more interest if less importance is the design competition for the national emblem. It's, rightly, not called a coat of arms any more. But an investigation of plagiarism is underway. Takes a bit long, I'd say. The activist wants the public prosecution to investigate irregularities at an, unnamed, foundation with alleged good ties to Van Heydoorn.
De Andrade was also the first to approach the public prosecution about the forging of documents connected with Isla refinery take-over. We have to watch this guy.

That, Too
Police have confiscated stolen building materials and equipment from a terrain in Ronde Klip. There was nobody around to arrest.
Do we need to say the building was illegal? It just goes on and on.

Aw Come On!
Aruba and Curaçao have appealed the High Court's decision that the islands must accept homosexual marriages. Now the supreme court must judge if the lower courts have taken over from the government by refusing to accept a law. Which happens more and more, see the USA and Israel, but in fact is a no-no in view of the trias politica.
As I see it, the court must apply the law, not judge on its legitimacy.

Oh Yes...
Now I remember. Venezuela closed the borders a few years ago because Maduro wasn't recognized as president any longer by the mighty Kingdom. Now they want to have them reopened, and the ABC-islands are all for it. However that ends up, the Kingdom still doesn't recognize Maduro as president.
And our politicians hope reopening will result in lower prices for vegetables, fruits and building materials. All I can comment is, "maybe".

Hurrah! New Guilders!
The idea is to replace the now-in-use Antillean guilder by a new Caribbean guilder half 2024. Main reason seems to be, what we use now is getting depleted, so new coins and banknotes will have to be printed; which would cost as much as introducing a new coin.

So What
3 important guys have taken their leave, or have been kicked out, of Isla refinery. This may or may not influence further negotiations—which are non-existent anyway, as far as we can see. As far as they allow us to see.

Yes, That Could Be So
Amigoe asks itself, and us, that as the work at Jan Sofat just continues or even intensifies, could it maybe possible there's corruption at VVRP, as that ministry, led (after a fashion) by Mudbelly Cooper, is somehow maybe possibly corrupt?
We shouldn't wonder. Rather, we would wonder if there's no corruption there.

What's there to Enjoy?
M*F*K finance minister Silly Vain thinks it's about time the Curaçao people can enjoy the fact that we have "the oldest gambling jurisdiction in the world." Which I doubt. His statement is immediately followed by telling us the law was accepted in 1993. Let's see... right, after the first referendum?
But don't expect, if Silly's wish comes true, that our taxes will go down. That would be silly! No, just like in the past when the off-shore business was doing great, it will only result in an even more cumbersome and fat government apparatus.
I tell you so.

All the Same
Just like AOW welfare pension, the help for invalids and handicapped (I'm sure these words are as politically incorrect as hell, but that's what I read) are not getting higher and are not even price-indexed. The SVB social insurance budgets don't go up; understandably, because SVB is dependent of government subsidies.
And there you go.

Is That News?
The government doesn't honor its obligations, is a headline in Antilliaans Daglad. In a kokolishi, meant are the deals made to sanitize CMC entities. With the result that from March 9, the hosptal will stop "effective care", if money for uninsured cases and Covid-help is not received by then.

Even Worse
Many of us have tried to call the Tax Person, with few of us succeeding in having somebody actually pick up the phone.
But CMC hospital is even worse. We've been trying for days to get an appointment changed. Impossible. And to mention others in passing, just try and call FLOW. I dare you. At least, Aqualectra storingsdienst malfunction dept. does; and thankfully, the Fire Dept.

Do As You Like
When there's a transgression of the government's consultancy policy, there presently are no sanctions, reports ARK general accounting.
That explains it!

We All Saw This Coming
At the Ipko interparliamentary kingdom deliberations now going on, inevitably one suggestion (from St. Maarten) was to forgive the outstanding debts to Holland by way of slavery reparations. But a representative from Holland points to all the money the islands received freely in the past already. M*F*K Thodé says he's not so much interested in material help, but rather humanitarian. I call BS.
Next year the Ipko show will be held in June, in the Hague.

It Is a Problem
With 50,000 Curaçao people living under the poverty line, for many of those the high water tariffs are a real problem. Now several Curaçao and Dutch organizations are in Dutch court against the government, to try and enforce measures where "elderly people and children" have access to clean water and sanitation.
Don't get me wrong, I think they should have that as well. But I can see several problems with it.
Hey, I'm elderly myself, let's face it! Do I get free water as well? Sanitation I have already.

SER social-economic council has commented on the new OB sales tax deal, we read in Curaçao Chronicle. Too bad we don't get to read what their comments are.

Dolphins Down the Drain
After dolphin Moda died in the Saudi-Arabia Fakieh Aquarium just a few months after having been flown there with 4 other dolphins from Curaçao, now it looks like another one, Serena, has disappeared from the Fakieh Aquarium. But it seems to be impossible to get confirmation, yes or no.
Which starts you thinking.

One More to Celebrate
Since 10-10-10 the health ministry is not qualified for the domain 'Nature' to work on maintenance, surveillance and investigation. Minister Pietersz-Janga hopes this will be realized shortly. She wonders why none of her predecessors started moving on this.
But we don't wonder that much.

They All Should Resign!
The opposition wants health minister Pietersz-Janga to resign, because of her intervention in the BZV affair. But what would it help? They're all worthless. As we see on a daily basis.
Well, maybe almost all. And I include the opposition, too.

You Just Can't Stop Them
On a terrain which has in the past repeatedly drawn attention because of illegal building activities, the owners are at it again! This is at Jan Sofat; you have to be clear because there are several more.
Owner has declared to Amigoe newspaper that he has all necessary permits. Sure.

Now They Tell Me
"Inflation negatively influences saving deposits" is the headline. No kidding. With an interest of 1.2% and an inflation of 7.4%, count your profits losses, what would you expect? Central bank tells us that this makes your savings lose value. Gee.
I admit, in the same years 2017-2022 inflation was "only" 3.1%. Still, same difference.

Make Up Your Minds
After Venezuela 2 weeks ago decided to keep the air traffic borders closed until April 30, now they changed their minds and are insisting on reopening them April 3rd. Because the airlines want to.
But it may not be so simple. I understand the Kingdom has the final word in this.

Now That's Sumpin'
That letter M*F*K health minister Pietersz-Janga sent to BZV, which caused so much stink to blow around? She tried to stop -proceedings against finding out how all those millions had been made to disappear.
It still has NOT been retracted. Makes you think a bit; if you didn't already.

That's a Relief
Finance minister Silly Vain announces there are still 5 master-license holders in the Curaçao gambling industry. Formerly, he announced there were 4 left, because one of them had not renewed its license in time. But they're back in the game. Somehow. Question mark.

What Else Is New?
Research of Radboud University, Nijmegen/Holland, and UoC University-with-the-longest-name-in-the world indicates that teaching pupils in their mother language leads to better results.
How? you ask. Well, like this: "Children who start learning to read in Papiamento [...] achieve higher levels of letter knowledge and technical reading in Papiamento, while children who start learning to read in Dutch achieve higher results in that language."
So does that indicate what they claim it does?

Just Imagine! If You Can
The Tax "Service" is improving its level of consumer service. Their website will actually become easier to navigate. That's not really saying much.

More Stench
And it really stinks. It concerns BZV, bureau health insurance. After accountant Henry Jourdain earlier has been convicted of paying "an enormous amount" and went bankrupt in the process, now Abdala and Yarzagaray have been convicted of paying 4 million guilders back. It happened, to nobody's real surprise, during the aborted reign of M*F*K PM Shorty and is described as "grandiose money flinging"
What makes this even worse is that present health minister Pietersz-Janga tried to stop the court proceedings.
And don't forget that later BZV became part of SVB social insurance. We're all still paying dearly for those malversations.

Of Course They Don't
M*F*K PM Prick Pisas denies that GIK, represented by Russel Martha, has anywhere near the funds needed for an Isla refinery reboot.
Most interesting here is that Prickie mentions an amount needed of 150 million guilders, while the real cost of upgrading is estimated to run in the billions. With less money invested, there's little or no chance to get the pollution under control.

A Real Pity
Curaçao Consumentenbelangen [Consumer Interests], started in 2021 by Mieke van Os because the existing Consumer Association does little or nothing with complaints, will be forced to stop its activities. Van Os runs the foundation practically singlehandedly and receives no subsidies; while Consumer Association does.

For a Change
Cft financial supervision finds the 2023 budget too conservative. Income is 100 million guilders too low, and expenditure tens of millions higher than will be the case. But no worries, it will turn out different anyway.
Also, but this is in the other direction, the cabinet assumes the 900 million Covid-loan will be refinanced by the kingdom, but negotiations on that haven't even begun.

Caught 'Em
In a container with batteries from Curaçao, Rotterdam customs found 697 keys of coke hidden in 23 sport bags. Burning question remains, how did they get here in the first place?

So, What Did They Do?
Aqualectra utility has told us by letter, and now by the papers, that because of the rainfall in past months the meter-readers couldn't do their work. Which caused the bills to be based on guesstimates. A solution Aqualectra offers is to make it possible to upload your own readings in the future. This great plan is sure at least partly to backfire in our community where even now so much electricity is stolen already.
Hey, I thought that was what "smart meters" were for, to "enable two-way communication between the meter and the supplier; so I must be wrong. Or Aqualectra is; I shouldn't wonder.

That's how an "official" diving school characterizes many diving schools who are not licensed. Hold it: none of them is licensed, they don't need to be—anybody can open a diving school and many have done so. And some of those pay no taxes and thus are cheaper; another thing Chata doesn't like; just like the private offerings of staying places.
Using these semi-legit schools can be dangerous, is explained, followed by this gem: "Diving safely with the best diving instructors in the world is even dangerous and things can always go wrong."

Experts Disagree
MEO ministry of economic development estimates that the tax-free e-zone makes almost 10% of GNP; but CBCS central bank figures it's only 7%.
Being a pessimist in these matters (experience has taught me lessons) I'd prefer to believe CBCS. But even those are characterized by anonymous economists as "pure BS".
Especially when the e-zone will be allowed to serve the local market, as is planned.

They Got Off Cheap
During the collection of plastic bottles and aluminum cans, they received 1685 bottles and 11 kilos of cans. As they pay 3 cents per bottle and 1 guilder per kilo of aluminum, total amount paid out was 61.55 guilders.
Organizers said "it was a small success." Right ho.

That Will Help!
Several churches will hold a meeting together at "Post 7" of the refinery to pray for its future.
It's because the NGOs non governmental organizations have got much less donations since the refinery closed down, and they must feel the pinch.

My eye was caught by an ad of a company looking for personnel. It said "We are one of the largest alternative energy suppliers in Curaçao."
The name is "Lure-Energy". Do you wish to be lured?
No, they don't "supply energy" at all, you got it.

Economy development minister Cijntje announced in one of the "social" media that fuel and water prices wouldn't go up next month. But they're going up anyway, which made people angry. But Cijntje says he was misunderstood.
Then he should have been clearer.

Tough, Ansary
Central Bank CBCS keeps on trying to get total reimbursement in the Ennia affair and recompense Ennia's policyholders. This in spite of recent allegations by Andreous, who wants $130 million from Ennia.
And Andreous is represented by Martha. Yes, that same guy who accuses Curaçao government of political machinations in the Isla refinery take-over. And you know what? Funnily, he may be right. But look who's talking.
What's really poignant, it was Martha who got that coalition government together.

I gather that GIK, as promoted by Martha, in fact was RdK Isla's favorite for the refinery's reboot, and that Martha is right to accuse Prickie and Mudbelly of political machinations to eliminate GIK in favor of CRP.
MAN wants an emergency parliament meeting on all this excrement, and I for one am curious to learn what will turn up there.
Hey, just occurred to me: did Prickie and Mudbelly get bribed? And/or Martha as well? We'll never know. But an interesting thought.

More Flights?
From April KLM will start flying ten times/week AMS-CUR. Daily with Boeing 777-300 planes, and the rest with Airbus 330-200, after May replaced with Boeing 777-200 and 300. But in 2022 low-season there were 11 flights/week, so announcing "more flights" isn't quite right.

Building Suspense
Before October, an agreement must be reached between the CAS islands and the Kingdom on refinancing the COHO loans, total 1 billion €s. State secretary van Huffelen has been told to go ahead and negotiate. The CAS islands are hoping for, at least partial, cancellation.

Always Up!
In December, price level went up by 0.6% and inflation over the year thus arrived at 7.4%. It's a record! Let's throw a party.
Record for this century, at least. Maybe we'll have occasion for more feasts later?

Green Port
Not ruby red. Porto Kòrsou, as mentioned before, feels like Green Town trying to get back in the game. They say they have a new plan, but it doesn't look so different from their old one. Except the 1950-ish science fiction decor has been exchanged for a still older, in fact medieval look. They still want to develop the terrain in a "sustainable way" with "urban living, yacht harbors and sustainable industries like bio-chemistry, bio-energy, hydrogen productions, fish processing places, innovative agriculture and parks maintenance."
All by-the-times shouts. For one thing, where they want to get the fish for processing is anybody's guess.
About their claims to be able to clean the terrain uop, I point to Love Canal in Buffalo New York—where that didn't work out so well, either. Below an artist's impression of the new proposal, where conveniently the Annabaai coasts are shown as entirely green. An outright lie: look at the Google Earth shot on the right.

Porto Korsou and reality
Porto Kòrsou and reality


Look Who's Talking
And you can say that again: now Mudbelly Cooper accuses Martha of playing political games by accusing Cooper and PM Prickie of playing political games with the intended Isla refinery take-over.
They're both perfectly right, of course.

No Hurry
Curaçao wants to reopen the border with Venezuela on April 3, Aruba on May 1 and now Bonaire joins the fun, also April 3. But if they all will succeed is very doubtful. Procedures have changed since Venezuela closed the borders 4 years ago, and it's the Kingdom which has to arrange all that. Which leaves especially Bonaire's plans floating in thin air.

You Don't Say
Amigoe runs an article under the head "How structural is tourism growth?" and after reading it, I can only think, "Not so much." For example, last year stay-overs spent $1516 here versus 2194 in Aruba. In fact, Curaçao is one of the lowest earners in the region.
This doesn't fit in with CTB/Chata's highly optimistic announcements. But we've all stopped believing them long since.

What Else
Lawyer Martha says that it's political influence by Prick Pisas and Mudbelly Cooper that made CPR a preferred bidder for Isla refinery's take-over. Sure, Martha.
But remember, Martha must be peed off because he wants GIK Grupo Internashonal Kòrsou to get Isla in their claws; but has been rejected 3 times already.
And another group, Porto Kòrsou, follow-up of the Green Town dreamers, offered the government assistance in getting rid of the refinery and replacing it with a cloud castle. They say there's "even" a plan to get rid of the pollution. Good luck with that.

Not really. M*F*K and PNP have decided to glue the coalition's shards back. A pity? Yes, in a way. On the other hand, another government would hardly be any better—if at all.

SVB social insurance has decided to maintain the salary cut for at least this year. Despite the protests of one worker. I dare say.

Just Great!
Carnival, in all media joyfully described as "a colorful spectacle" in reality of course had its drawbacks. Apart from the expected wave of teenage and other pregnancies and more HIV and other STP cases, already serious enough, the Public Prosecuter has now instructed the police to investigate the Anti-Social Media, where people were incited to resist the police's actions, and even threats.
Wholesome clean fun for the masses.

There You Have It
In Aruba, there's a housing shortage because so many foreigners buy a house to rent out for vacations that residents can't get enough homes themselves anymore.
This strikes a familiar note. Here on Curaçao, for the same reason prices go up so much that many people just can't afford to buy. Or rent.
And also, we have to pay much higher property taxes because the Tax Persons evaluate our properties much higher than we feel they're worth.
Ain't tourism great?

Curaçao can make "much more money" on Carnival, says a former member of the committee. No doubts whatsoever. It might be easy, too, because all it does now is cost us money.
For example, it's mentioned all costume decorations can be made of recycled plastic trash instead of being imported. Saving money does not really mean making money, tho.

CBCS central bank has turned over documents to the judge, which show that Erik Garicia, notorious director of bankrupted Girobank, got 4.5 million as honorarium for his activities in the bankruptcy of 4 Venezuelan banks. But then, CBCS declared that Garcia had made disappear 20 million more. Dollars. CBCS uses the word "ontvreemd" which means "stolen".

Blame the Bank
Or you'll have to blame yourself. So M*F*K finance minister Silly Vain blames CBCS central bank for Curaçao's financial problems.

Get rid of them. Where did I read "You're an old fart when you think only savages and sailors have tattoos"? So I'm an old fart. I dislike, even detest those self-mutilations. Now there's a Curaçao Skin Camouflage business that will help people who wised up get, at least partly, rid of scars and tattoos. Same thing.

OM public ministry has appealed in the case against 5 cops who are accused of stealing 600 keys of drugs out of the police station. The judge found there was a lack of evidence, but OM is convinced they're guilty as hell.
So are many of us, but that doesn't count.

They Agreed!
It's no joke, better believe it. For once, all MPs agreed: on ending the 25% salary cut they got because of the Virus pandemic.

No Only He would like That
There's a dirt road from Bullenbaai to the West, often used when the Weg naar Westpunt has traffic problems. But with all the rain it was in bad condition, with holes and all. It has now been leveled and holes filled. Mudbelly announces in the future it may be surfaced with asphalt—costs 17.6 million guilders.

Go Ahead, Sure
Dutch State Secretary van Huffelen opines that Curaçao and St. Maarten laws are not woke enough; homosexual partners must be recognized; if not in marriage, then at least in a registered partnership.
Problem may be, many want to marry with all the props.

CPR Dreams On
Their negotiating team just continues the efforts to reopen Isla refinery, which is getting to look more and more like a Dead End. They announce all sorts of Great Plans for the future. But who will believe in those any more?

I Volunteer, Too
An employee of VKC Volunteers' Corps Curaça has embezzled half a million before he was caught. He had a gambling addiction. In his case, obviously not "sustainable"—as finance minister Silly Vain wants to achieve.

Fine Fines
Dutch gaming authority KSA has fined Curaçao's Equinox Dynamic €900,000 for illegally enabling Dutch citizens to gamble online. Czech Domiseda was fined as well.

What Else to Expect
The announced end of the 12.5% spoiled brats salary cut means SVB social insurance must cough up 18 million guilders extra this year.
Not to mention the rest of government.

M*F*K and PNP have held a meeting until deep in the night to get all members' noses in the same direction. You may not disagree with the Mob!

Yeah, Sure, of Course!
A comment in KKC points out that it was Auntie Sushi who arranged the law making us the Gambling Capital of the world. That law, just as we all suspect the new LOK, were as good as written by the lawyers of the gambling industry.

Dalnan ku palu: Give It to Them
Or less freely translated: beat them with sticks. Most interesting article in our beloved KKC, where Cram explains that not only the gambling sub-licenses are illegal, but even the Master Licenses are contrary to the constitution. Which consequently would enable all countries where gambling is offered by Curaçao-based online sites, to sue the Trust Bosses for deliberately offering illegal on-line gambling. Which is all enabled by our ministry of finance and the Tax Persons, who are all set to continue bolstering the "industry".
We also have to thank corrupt sanctimonious hypocrite crook ex-governor Jaime Saleh for enabling and facilitating this unparalleled corruption.

Political Rumble
Social affairs minister Larmonie-Cecilia sent an angry letter to finance minister Silly Vain, who didn't agree with her moving personnel from SVB social insurance bank to Landsontvanger tax receiver (so Silly's dept. will have to pay them from now on).
Health minister Pietersz-Janga got a slap in the face by Silly Vain as well. No need to tell you what about; let them quarrel among themselves. It's one thing they're good at.

If Any
RdK Isla refinery has told CPR that negotiations on take-over of refinery and Bullenbaai oil terminal will be stopped. But CPR's lease of Bullenbaai will continue as agreed. I'm too obtuse to make out what that means.
But no worries: RdK will inform the community about next steps. When, they don't say.
Meanwhile, the political parties have announced a media silence. That will help. That's Transparency!

Why Would Anybody Want Those?
Police recovered some of the crush barriers which were stolen from along the carnival's Gran Marcha route. Not all of them have been found yet.

Fancy That
Curaçao will have to go on paying off its debts to the Kingdom "for centuries". After 10-10-10, the debt was 1,568 million guilders, but since then it grew to 2,400 million; while between 2016-2020 payback was 8.2 million/year. Resulting in 290 years before that's all paid.
But wait: because of the Virus crisis, the Kingdom lent still more, so the total debt is now over 3 billion €uros—say, 6 billion guilders. No wonder our Great Bleeders are clamoring for slavery reparations.

One Thousand Keys
A boat containing that much weight in drugs was stopped by the Coast Guard on its way to Aruba and maybe Santo Domingo. It came from Venezuela, where else?
There also was equipment on board to get around detection systems; but that may not have worked as-advertised. Judging from the results.

They Too
If the MD's salaries are to be controlled (and limited, don't forget) by LNT income standardization there's a danger of them leaving the country. Re. that LNT, that's about the salaries paid out to top SOE personnel.

Too Bad for Advent
The appeals court has decided that the Advent Hospital's 18 million guilders' claim on SVB social insurance is not valid. To put it as shortly as I can, the judge found that this is a matter regulated by the country and that he is not allowed to influence it. That's the trias politica in action.
Beg pardon, it was only 4 million guilders. For now.

So Help Me!
Is what M*F*K PM Prickie is reported to have cried out in yesterday's parliament meeting on Isla refinery take-over. "That's what we're here for." (Not everybody would agree that's the parliament's function.) And he also said he had the impression some MPs were glad things went so badly. He may have got that straight; for once. He doesn't like what the media write, either.

Ho Boy
There's a new website, curacaogaming.info, set up by ministry of finance, where, to quote Curaçao Chronicle, "interested parties can find information about Curaçao's gambling policy, the supervision of the gambling providers, and the policy for responsible gaming."
That's transparency, you say? Depends...

It Never Was That Close
But now, reopening of Isla refinery is farther away than ever. That's very far indeed. The last complaint re. fraud by Central Bank CBCS sort of finished the whole deal. MDPT Multidisciplinary Team still sees possibilities; where one supposes MDPT will spend even more of our money.

Our Ministers Overseas
Every month there is a Kingdom meeting of the RMR council of ministers, where ours take part in. Their Dutch colleagues don't like their behavior; one complaint is "They drive around in bigger cars than we have." Oho! that must really hurt... Worse, they work only one day a week and read their texts for the first time when they take them out of the envelope.
This is not about ministers who take an expensive trip to Holland, but about our plenipots residing there. After Shorty's rep. Osepa we were treated to Fräudlein Wiels, and now Clown Carlos. But I can't help quoting a passage from KKC: "As long as the Netherlands claims the last word in the Kingdom in everything, the RMR, in the absence of a sound dispute settlement, is a puppet show, just as political commentator De Winther typified."

Love Boat
Goody folks! A cruise ship arrived full of gays. (I wouldn't even think of joining a cruise guaranteed to be full of heteros myself.) Some Arubian, where the same ship moored first, took exception to the way these people acted in public. He got come-backs referring to Carnival and such. As for me, I'm old-fashioned enough to think sex shouldn't be a public show.
Then again, I confess: I wouldn't think of joining any cruise. Potenboot [Dutch slang] or not.

Good, It's (Almost) Gone
In December Curaçao counted 118 COVID/Communist Party Virus cases; in January there were only 42. Hospital patients went down fromn 17 to 5. Infections were even lower in the last two weeks of January.

Clamming Up
RdK Isla cannot comment on the complaints lodged with the OM public ministry." That's transparency, Folks! It's our Culture!

Take That, Chong!
And all the rest of you Green Dreamers. So y'all want Net Zero by 2035? Forget it... Simon P. Michaux of the Geological Survey of Finland has compiled an analysis of the required physical material resources and their extraction timeframe to create renewable energy generation systems.
What it boils down to, there are not more than between 3.52-19.23% global reserves of metals needed to phase out fossil fuels; and at present production rates, it would take between 5.9-29,113 years to produce them. So put that in your funnel and smoke it. Pleasant Green Hallucinating Dreams.
The alternative is, we all go back and live in an Age of Darkness; which the big Davos bosses seem to wish upon us—not themselves.

We Got Gas
Not just Hot Air this time. The ship carrying gas has arrived; now we all can cook again. The ship was delayed (drunken sailors?) but this morning, eager clients formed long lines at the distributing stations.
That's only 4 days after we were promised.

It finally took TUI 3 days to get their 200 pax on their way from CUR to AMS. During that time, TUI accommodated them "as much as possible" in hotel rooms.

Venezuela has agreed to Curaçao's proposal to reopen the borders.
By Twitter. Well, Curaçao's proposals were on FakeBooc, as I remember, so that's the state of our high-level relations.

Sure, Silly; Anything You Say
M*F*K finance minister Silly Vain wants to reopen negotiations with the Kingdom on our national debt, which is now 4.2 billion guilders. Which includes the 911 million of 'liquidity support", say 1/4 of the total debt.
What Silly wants is not so much an arrangement to pay the debts, as Holland condoning part (what part? how much?) of it, as Curaçao is introducing the planned reforms. This will give Curaçao an extra stimulus (which is surely needed) to go ahead with them. As Silly points out, these government promises have been given by tens of years with no business resulting.
In reality, the debts to the Kingdom are to the state of the Netherlands.
One thing Silly intends to do is apply for projects (means, more debts!) to improve the island's infrastructure. Better roads? Noooo... Green Energy. God help us all.
Aruba's situation is even worse: 5.7 billion florins, which is 55,000 per head. Man, woman and child, to be clear. Meager comfort to us.

We Here Always Know Better
Amigoe wonders if our esteemed (well, that term may go too far) government has fully realized the consequences of announced tax cuts. If government costs are not cut simultaneously, this will result in higher debts. But the way the government figures, lower taxes will result in higher compliance = more tax payments; which is highly doubtable. Same for wanted budget surpluses, of course.
Amigoe asks itself, as it well might, if so-called "tickle [sic] -down economics" will have the desired result of improving lower incomes' finances..
And then, will those who duly paid their taxes will be rewarded when the non-payers get remissions?

They Would, Wouldn't They?
M*F*K PM Prick has approached the Venezuelan government to reopen the border from April 23rd. Venezuela is delighted, wot you teenk, mon? But Aruba and the Kingdom have their reservations. It's highly questionable if Prickie, or Curaçao, is capable of reopening that border. It's a Kingdom affair, and not "ours" (to use that word for our government) to decide.

Making Us Rich
Kunuku Man will start paying us for empty plastic bottles and aluminum cans. First opportunity February 25, 11:00-13:00 at Restaurant Bali on Grote Berg/Seru Grandi. A plastic bottle will get you 3 cents; aluminum cans go for 1 guilder a kilo.
As an average can weight 14 grams, that's over 70 cans. Maximum 10 guilders or 710 cans.
If you figure out cost of driving over there, you may discover there's not much profit in it.

Game Over?
Is how finance minister Silly Vain characterizes the future for Curaçao's gambling master license holders. Depends on your viewpoint. There presently are 600 sub-licensees with (estimated) 8000 websites.
We're told this by Mario Galea, formerly a Big Deal in Malta and now an important role player in the announced new LOK law. Promising, huh? Tariffs for licensees will be "a bit lower than Malta's."
To mention them by name: Antillephone - Cyberluck Curaçao - CIL Curaçao Interactive - Gaming Services Provider - The Elite Turf Club. They will be free to apply for a new license.
Betcha they'll get one, too.

Ya Think?
Giselle McWilliam now comes out with the text that it's high time we had a female PM. Disregarding the fact that we've had two already, which doesn't exactly make us hope for repeat performances: Maria Liberia-Pieters and Auntie Sushi Römer. Granted, she may fit in nicely.

Hmmm. Pfft.
During the coming carnival gran marcha the police will hand out expensive fines to offenders. For starters, everybody over 12 years of age must carry a sedula ID. (Ausweis! Oder mitkommen!); fine 150 guilders. Also a lot of rules about cars, motorcycles and weapons. I could not find anything about too high sound volumes of participating bands. But after all, that's our culture.

Is all we have to say on the idea to have the minister of Traffic Plus (VVRP) to present and execute a several-years plan with a yearly budget of 50 million (not nearly enough) for road repair and maintenance. That minister is Mudbelly Cooper.
He surely won't mind; there's money in them thar hills of asphalt; but is the money elsewhere there? Hey, don't ask me, please.

Nothing New
Economic development minister Cijntje is working to make Curaçao an island "where everything's possible."
And we here thinking it was like that already—as long as we can remember.
His proposed film studio will be located in the inner city, he tells us. Sounds logical—NOT.

Not Yet
Wait some more... That new logo national emblem is still under investigation after the designer was accused of plagiarism. Several documents had not been received by the commission looking into it, who were also delayed by the preparations for the royal visit. No results before end of March.

Or, in Dutch? a contradictio in terminis. Minister Silly Vain declares that with the new gambling laws, Curaçao will be in the vanguard of "responsible and sustainable gambling." Words fail me.

What's Cooking?
Nothing much. There's still no gas available.

Paraphrasing the German "Toi toi toi"—Good Luck. A TUI aircraft was stuck on Hato with engine trouble. Hours after boarding, passengers were deboarded to allow the plane to cool down. Horrible! Then, there were not enough crew members to supply them with a drink, and 18 pax who were supposed to get a room at Hotel Holland were told there were only 8 rooms available. Others who had no package arrangement had to fend for themselves.
TUI assures us they are working on a solution. Sure. No expected departure date and time was given.

Another Bottomless Pit
But this one, the Academy Hotel, after 15 years will be closed. On February 1st, we read today. There will be a new training center, but CTB tourist board is seeking a solution. That will surely cost more money.

Curaçao has a "good starting position to realize multiannual budget surpluses." Says Cft financial supervision. Maybe so, but with our gang of bandits, it will not happen. It's our culture!

Well, You Know...
Giselle McWilliam, who just became head of MAN political party, has this to say about herself: "I am honest and fortright" [Ik ben eerlijk en integer.]
Don't know about you, but I never trust such claims someone makes about hir-or hemself. But then, she's in politics so what do you expect?

If You Can Get It
One more success for SBOGK (foundation for advocacy duped gamblers): Grand Reef Casino and Antillephone must pay a New Zealand woman €150,000 she won in 2018. Grand Reef Casino doesn't exist anymore, so Antillephone who sub-licensed them has to pay up. That'll teach 'em, you say? I'm not so sure. They all seem to be pretty unteachable; even if they got plenty of money to pay out.
Then, two Dutchmen are in court for illegal gambling activities, via so-called Cash Centers where you can open an anonymous account and deposit money in it. This again was possible by illegit constructions via Curaçao and Malta, finance minister Silly Vain's favorite foreign resort island.

Join the Club, Hato
Justicide minister Hato doesn't agree with Amnesty International's latest report, where again Curaçao is accused of unsatisfactorily dealing with the Venezuelan refugee problem. Hato categorically denies no progress is being made.
Between you and me, it's not the first time by a long way that Amnesty's allegations miss the mark. By a long way.

Join the Fun
Isla refinery has joined the throng of complainants against fraud connected with the planned overtake, with two complaints filed of their own. They clam up about against whom and what exactly about.
Meanwhile, CPR has retracted one request CBCS central bank filed a complaint about.

Cook on Gas!
Temporarily, there will be no cooking gas available. Distribution problems. You're hungry, just go to a snack, okay?
This lasts until Wednesday. We're not told if this has to do with the announced plans of the US government to ban home gas use.

Fake News!
On a trip through the Wild West of Banda Bao, our Mighty King, his spouse and their princess-daughter Amalia were ambushed by a group of protesters, who demanded a cash ransom in the form of slavery reparations.
The accompanying cops who were supposed to protect them had got stuck in a number of potholes for which our island has justly acquired a reputation.
After the atrako, the royal family was released because the king declared he didn't have such small change on him.

Good for Lichtveld
In a KKC article, George Lichtveld desperately wonders why Holland and the CAS islands are so interested in reopening the borders with Venezuela; which closed them itself 4 years ago. Why do we wish to continue relations with a Mafia-like regime, just about the worst in Latin America—which is saying something?
As one comment says, of course our government criminals want to do busines with the Venezuela government criminals!
One of the items Lichtveld refers to is the shameful attitude of the Dutch government, accrediting drugs criminal Figueroa as Venezuelan consul for Aruba after reaching an accord with cartel-leader, Hezbollah facilitator and vice-president Tareck El Aissami.
Nothing surprising about criminals wanting to do business with other criminals, after all.

They Have No Idea
Is my guess. Maybe somebody will explain this to the minister? Economy development wants to attract movie productions to the island. Good luck with that! you say? In fact, the last few years there have been a lot—relatively speaking.
But now, there's a plan to build a film studio. Even when you agree these come in a lot of sizes, does the minister realize how much such a beast costs? Not to mention the running costs.

For an old fart like me, yes; for the future, no. Since 10-10-10, education gets less and less money: most of it is going to health.
But still, education gets 20% of the budget, and health only 18%. Justice and finance get 13%; the rest less. Note, that's the average over the last eleven years.
This is mainly because so much money went into the new CMC hospital.

Teach 'Em When Young
As from next school year, in one school's kindergarten classes a start will be made with English as instruction language. "Even the minister of education is getting it that more languages are an added value," says the catholic school manager.

It Stinks? Too Bad
A guy who had filed a complaint against the piss stench next to a mini-market was thrown out of court and also out of appeals court. The judges went over to take a sniff and yes, he was right; but if he could smell it in his house was another matter.
You have to know that many mini-markets also run snacks, where beer is drunk and... you get it. But the mini-market's owner denies that's the case here.
Of course the newspaper used the word "urine" instead of our vernacular. Leave it to us.
And never mind the stench when you're on the street. Hey, this is Curaçao!

Won't Help Much
SGTK union considers suing all those responsible for the refinery. (That's a lot of court cases.) Ex board member Harms says he represents more than 200 workers in contracting companies, who need an answer to the question what's going on.
Many haven't received wages for 13 months, despite getting promises, promises all the time.

Not Enough
During the Mighty King's visit to Curaçao, Museo Tula director Jeanne Henriquez asks him to add to Dutch PM Rutte's apologies for the slavery past. They're not enough, she feels.
Of course they're not enough! Not enough money is coming forth, and that's the worst part.

There We Go
Only marks on paper... The EOP island Development Plan is again shoved aside into the trash bin. 125% to 35% of the grounds reserved for preservation area, park area and open country may be used for residential building and tourism. Another change is building high-rise of 4-5 stories must be made easier.
If many tourists will like this, is another question. But I can only agree, most of them couldn't care less. Just look at Miami and Aruba.

No Worries
There will be held a Press Freedom Index research fopr Curçao this year. To prejudge the results, I don't think the media are really restricted in giving their news and opinions here. At least, not officially by the official government.
What for example the gambling mafia tries to achieve is a different matter; I specifically refer to Knipselkrant Curaçao; and the government's transparency isn't really great, either. Worse may be many media outlets seem to be too, scared? or just indifferent to dig deep.
We've had our troubles, sure; but I don't consider the Circus to be part of the Media.

He Wants Money
So do we all, sure. Barton, who was fired from the Gaming Control Board, is suing for .45 million guilders in backward salaries. But the board says a supervising member does not receive a salary. (I guess they're supposed to collect dough in other ways.) And anyway, Barton only spent 154.13 hours on the job
The judge advised Barton and the Board to arrange a settlement, as it would take years to figure it all out.
Works out at a salary of over 3050 guilders/hour.

We've Plenty of Money!
That explains why the national debt is growing by the year (among many other things). Now, Staten/parliament has approved the Parlatino agenda for the year's first six months; with meetings planned in Panamá and other countries.
Have fun, dear dignitaries. As that guy in Tintin/Kuifje's Flight 714 says, "Sure, we'll pay for it."

Osepa Worries
A PNP MP, he is. He asks the minister of health what the government policy is on pricing and consumption of red and processed meat. He says lots of research has shown that eating meat gives you cancer.
Probably picked it up on the Internet.
Used to be a cholesterol scare, remember?

A Real Pro
A Dutchman has been arrested for the 6th time for trying to smuggle coke from Curaçao; this time on Brussels airport. Only the devil knows how often he succeeded, true.
He had swallowed 108 bolitas, a total of 1.75kg. He got 50 months in the Belgian slammer.

Very Important!
The Mighty King will, after all, not be painting that infamous Chichi statue; too many remonstrations.

There's no legal base for finance minister Silly Vain's proposal to condone tax debts from before 2017. It has just been executed without being made official.
Mess Makers, all of them.

More Soap
In Switzerland this week a crucial (how I love that word) arbitration affair between Isla refinery and Venezuelan PdVSA will be treated behind closed doors. You bet.
Isla claims 1 billion dollars from PdVSA because of overdue maintenance and environment damage. On the other hand, PdVSA has a claim against Isla RdK because of the BOO plant, which delivered so little power for a period that the refinery's output was lowered substantially.

How Jolly to Be a King
Our king (he still is), Willem-Alexander is one of the richest people in the world. But Dutch PM Rutte just declared he will not listen to calls from parliament to make 'em pay taxes.

That as Well
Again, there's a shortage of teachers. It's the same story every year, say the school boards. May be a good thing, then, that pupils don't turn up? Just kidding.
But that is what Algemene Rekenkamer [court of audit] accuses education M*F*K minister van Heydoorn of: not having done anything to assure compliance with compulsory education. Just like his predecessor; it's been like that for 6 years already.

Not that It Matters
Negotiations with Venezuela on reopening the borders with Aruba and Curaçao fizzled out. No deal was made on the return of the barquettes, and flights were closed down completely by Venezuela. Don't make no difference, mon, as the islands had stopped it already.

We'll See
Flying will get more expensive. At least for hoi polloi passengers, AKA the vulgar unwashed. The rich guys can fly their private planes to Davos to tell the rest of us that we should fly less to combat Global Warming (or whatever is the Correct Term today).
So tickets NL-CUR are expected to become €125-200 more exensive. Which probably means, less tourists.

He Said It
Cft financial supervision's president Gradus is taking his leave. His final advice can be snappily expressed as: "enough talking, now do."

How Nice
Baudet (rhymes with Godett, bad luck) was finally able to address a Curaçao audience, in Restaurant Rustiq. Everybody got free drinks, paid by FvD. We're not told how many people were there.
Oh wait, Amigoe tells us there were 200 people. From the photo, a mostly White Bunch.

No Such Luck, Godett
Ms. van der Dijs will be set free in March, as originally planned. Your nonsensical request was to no avail, Godett. But I concede you got your name in the media again.

Never Give Up
Dutch FvD party leader Baudet planned a meeting in Papagayo beach club to give us his "Vision of the Caribbean Netherlands", but Papagayo canceled it. They don't want to be mixed in politics, they say (and who could blame them?) and the event was not booked under FvD's name.
But the Forum for Democracy announced they will hold a meeting elsewhere. Good, we're always eager to know what wisdom a makamba has to tell us.

Tell Us About It
During the past 10 years, Curaçao's gross domestic product has gone down by 23%. So says CBCS central bank; as if we needed telling. It's not only the oil industry, the Venezuela crisis and the Virus, but also the "extremely low investments by the government" which are appreciably lower than its consumption. On average, 1.6% versus 12.5% of GDP.
And also, budgets have not been balanced: more money was spent than came in.

In Denial
1xBet denies it's bankrupt, contradicting earlier news. It's a "mixture of fantasy" with what? you ask: with "no basis in reality or fact." Who knows? I'll wait until the dust has settled.
1xBet also denies it's lost their license in Russia, because they never had one in the first place.

Getting Serious
It was serious already. OM public ministry has confirmed CBCS central bank filed a complaint about forged documents related to the Isla refinery take-over by CPR. And as far as can be made out, this is about yet another case than that filed by parliament members: it probably is CPR itself that is accused this time.

Timely, Not
Om February 13 (a Monday, not as you might think Friday) M*F*K PM the Beirded Weardo will explain in parliament about the latest developments around the Isla refinery take-over. It was originally planned on the 16th, but they are afraid it would then drown in the carnival spectacle.
Well, I would have watched it, and so would a lot of others.
By then, the situation may well have changed completely, anyway.

One More Clam
By now, it seems to have been confirmed that CBCS central bank filed a complaint against eirher CPR or Isla, we just don't know, because of a fraudulent document. But Isla refinery's Newton doesn't comment either.
OM public ministry denies having seen CBCS's complaint yet. It's supposed to do with a foreign currency permit, necessary for a hundreds of millions dollars transaction, needed for financing CPR's take-over.

Drumming up Business
The OM public ministry is now driving around the diverse barios with a minibus, where residents can go ask for information. Or pay fines. Or look for help in conflicts.

What's the Use
The ministry of health's inspection "Environment and Nature" is still not qualified to conduct enforcement and supervisory activities, as well as detection in nature affairs. This stems from 10-10-10 independence day, when lots of laws were not adapted since.
Looks promising when Isla refinery is reboooted; even though chances for that look slim now.

The profit tax is lowered from 22% to 15% for the first 500,000 guilders of profit. Hey, that includes me! The same tariff goes for the complete profit for the Economic Zone businesses, who from now on may also sell to the local market. So what's the use of an Economic Zone?

Now there are protests, long after I was ready for it, against a sculpture Chichi: an obese women with legs spread and enormous breasts. It's supposed to show "the responsible older sister in the family" but in fact, to me it's a vulgar woman of the streets. Tastes differ.
The protests started by a gallery owner after plans were announced that the royal family would paint the statue during their visit.

Godett, who now calls himself ex-politician, thinks that Dutch king Alexander ought to pardon ex-PM Shorty's ex-moll, Cicely van der Dijs. Because she's a mother (hey, plenty of mothers in jail) and leads a company with 220 employees.
As she after all got 6 months and was jailed last August, she's only got 2 months to go anyway.
Godett is moved to imitate Salvador's president, who released 3000 prisoners from jail. All prisoners who are serving terms for "relatively small" crimes should be released, says Godett.
Salvador's president Nayid Bukele is not exactly an example we really want to follow.

That Looks Serious
Central bank CBCS seemingly now has filed a complaint wit OM public ministry against fraudulent documents in their possession, concerning the planned Isla refinery take-over by CPR. But CBCS shuts up like a clam. OM admits complaints have been filed by Elvis de Andrade and TpK Calmes, but denies having received one by CBCS as yet.

Dark View
The tinted car windows, of which I thought they're legal, are still used by the cops to fine drivers; from what I read. There are plenty of those driving around, anyway. But now a judge has complained that criminals use them to hide behind. In one case, on CCTV footage the police couldn't recognize who were inside the car.
It always was M*F*K who wanted the dark windows legalized. They got what they wanted.

Clown Show
M*F*K accuses PAR Girigorie of having leaked info on the dealings with CPR on the Isla refinery take-over, and also refer to old affairs as the 600 stolen keys of drugs from a police station. But Girigorie says it's only a smoke screen; M*F*K just wants to distract attention from everything they did wrong in the negotiations.
Both have good points, I'd say.

Sandalous Policy
Sandals resort, after having been in the news several times for not-so-great affairs, has now forbidden hotel guests to hire cars from local rental outfits. Only one (unnamed) rental company is good enough for Sandals. Hotel guests are allowed to hire from other companies (who could stop them?) but their cars are not allowed on Sandals' premises.

Oh, It's Like That, Is It?
PNP MP Gerard has put a number of questions to his own party member-minister Larmonie-Cecilia about Damen/DOK. It seems the shipyard illegally hires foreign personnel, while Yu'i Korsou personnel is passed by. Really fine, as Curaçao has invested millions in Damen/DOK to keep the shipyard going. Gerard mentions 30 Columbians, but the real number is unknown.

Amigoe has an article pointing at economy figures by MEO economic development and CBCS central bank. Growth in 202 was 3.8% (MEO) and 5.9% (CBCS); in 2023 it will be 1.2% versus 2.7%. Inflation 2022 7.3$-6%; 2023 2.9-4.5%. So howcum?
Amigoe suggests it might be a good idea to get CBS statistics ideas in the matter. If you want my view, that will only lead to more confusion.
What we do know, both guesstimates are hardly enough.

They Well Might Worry
Dutch Tweede Kamer parliament is worried that the CAS-islands (Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten—as if you didn't know) will not keep to the deal that replaced Coho, for help in the Virus crisis, remember? But staatssecretaris van Huffelen is optimistic; in spite of all the deals made in the recent and not-so-recent past which our Bleaders did not keep.
Van Huffelen sys it's of prime importance Holland will get an insight in the budgets, investments and returns of reforms. As if our governments have those insights themselves.

Solly, Chong
Here's the headline: Gas-Fired Power Is Now Cheaper Than Offshore Wind Again. And what I forgot to mention before, many wind generator factories find themselves in serious trouble.
Yes, I know that in fact many Asians can't pronounce the "l", but have no problem with the "r". Godzilla is titled Godzirra in Japanese.

Just Wait
Landfill Malpais will be full 6 years from now. What then? All past ideas have been turned down by whoever were in charge then; like a trash-burning oven. Which would deliver energy as well; no, no.
By then, our present Big Leaders will have left with their pockets full before the landfill. Après nous le déluge of filth. Health minister Pietersz-Janga announces 2023 is the Year of Cleaning. To quote Curaçao Cronicle: "This is remarkable, given that she also gave this title to 2022."

But Not for Us
Finance minister Silly Vain wants to reduce the profit tax in the Economic Zone from 22 to 15%. Reason, many companies leave for greener pastures in the region, who only charge 0% to 10%. So why insist on 15%?
And how about the rest of us, who have exactly the same problem?

The Dutch tax authority is accused of withholding documents in court cases (so they'll get more money than really owed by the tax payer—too make it quite clear). Amazing; or isn't it? Just doing their duty! To the State Party, as Orwell would say.
Says Finance State Secretary Marnix van Rijn, "these are isolated incidents and not a structural problem." But prof Van de Streek comments, "It is a matter of mentality. This lack of openness and transparency is in the DNA of the Belastingdienst." Hear, hear.

It happened!
Rather, it will happen: starting in June Brazil's Azul Airline will start weekly flights from Belo Horizonte to Curaçao on Saturdays, back on Sundays.
Quite a difference from our leaders' amateuristic money-grabbing efforts in the past (I mean you, Mudbelly) which resulted in both GOL and VARIG to forget about making Curaçao one of their hubs.

Thanks, Maurice
Korpodeko, fund to finance upstart of small businesses, now tries to get the money owned them by the Whinery back from CAP Hato airport. For good reasons.

Holland will not go farther than having a slave awareness fund; forget about reparations.

It Appears, That...
Most people think I'm a ligvellige honkie makamba, even Nordic; then again, I've been regarded as being Indonesian, Chinese, Amerindian, Jewish, Arab, Gypsy... I'm sure I forget some. Appearances are deceiving: I do in fact miss one of those two genes you need to digest milk; like other? half-Africans. Also, my lungs are smaller than those of the average Caucasian; as well in common with Africans.
Now, where do I get in line to apply for slavery compensation? I'd sure like to get a piece of that.

Now, it's not an issue to integrate the hotel/restaurant personnel in ABVO spoiled brats civil servants union. Yet, it's a good guess. With CTB and all other pressures, tourism is looking more and more like a government business. So make SOEs of all those hotels! Then those debts remain where they remain anyway, in (or rather, out of) the government's coffers.

To Be Sure
Dutch Tweede Kamer parliament has problems with the resolutions they receive from Curaçao's Staten: they're in Papiamento and not even in *.txt or *.doc form, but as image files. So translating is very hard.
The Dutch ask our guys to give them a break so they can understand what's going on. What's the use of sending them info they can't figure out? they ask.

Oh, Wait
Next to their vacation bonus, this year the spoiled brats also get the 3 free days which were taken away from them in 2020. But ABVO union isn't content yet, as if they'd ever be. The salary indexing over 2018 and 2019 (means, more money; if you didn't get it already) must still be settled as well.

Yes, What Else?
The slavery debate in Dutch parliament is toch over geld [all the same about money] is a headline in Antilliaans Dagblad.
What a surprise.
And minister Bruins Slot proposes to make July 1 a holiday, so we can celebrate, possibly pas le mot juste, the slavery past. That will help.

New Norms
Health minister Pietersz-Janga is still at work on the new hinderverordening [nuisance regulation] because it's essential that the norms will be adapted, so the reopened Isla refinery must keep to them.
We can only hope, as mere voting cattle, that those norms will become more stringent. But history is not on our side. At least, the idea is the refinery will use LNG for fuel three years from now.

The spoiled brats will get their vacation money in June. A good year for them. But for us?

Aruba government is checking if this is feasible, after the UN announced more or less the same thing.
Many years ago, there was a ferry service between Venezuela and the islands. In its last years, one of the ship's two engines was permanently out-of-order but it sailed on regardless. God knows what more was wrong with it. It finally was taken out of service.

Just Imagine
An Arubian swimming event, the Betico Croes Open Water Championships, has been canceled because of the sea pollution. It's caused by sewage discharged in Bubali Plas, from where it arrives in the sea. That sewage originates in the hotels, big surprise. So the tourists swim in their own shit, serves them right.
Even Hong Kong, where the yearly event of swimming across the harbor was canceled for years, cleaned up so much that it has been re-established.

Offshore wind
Please note how careful this is presented:
Should not be "how" but "what"
and one time "wind" is ample
And "Curaçao might be start the development..."

Good for Tourism!
Ramon Chong of MEO economic development announces that floating windmills are being seriously considered. Twenty years from now, Curaçao should be an important exporter of "renewable energy", as said on the Dutch TNO website; in 2021. Outlooks have very much changed since then, but what does Chong know?
The plan is to sign a MoU memorandum of understanding between Holland and Curaçao in 2023, leading to 3-5 Megawatts' worth of wind generators in 2035. This is all fall-out of the evil Doughnut Economy plans, presented by Dutch Living Lab in 2021.
And imagine how much tourists will appreciate the spoiled view to the east from the natural parks along the North Coast!

All I Can Say
... is "Good Luck!" Damen Shipyards, partly owned by Curaçao government as DOK/CDM, has been told by mother organisation in Holland that the yard must "learn to stand on its own legs"; which means for 2023 a break-even must be realized. Last year's loss was over $5.5 million.
What this in turn means is that CDM Holding must invest in technical upgrading. That's Curaçao's government, to make it clear.

Now We Know for Sure
If you are asked to pay more for an article when checking out than it was priced at, the supermarket has to sell it against the price on it or as listed in the shop. Such is the law.
So there, superthiefs!

I Don't Wonder
FKP director Arthur Con knows nothing about planning the foundation's building location on Waaigat for a new theatre. Well, it was a mere suggestion, anyway. We can only guess.
Con says that sort of thing has happened before, and he refers to all those times the new CMC hospotal location has changed. Tell us about it, or rather, we don't really need nor want reminding.

It's a Thought
Why wants CPR to see all those MPs who have problems with CPR's planned take-over of Isla refinery?
Could they have the Evil Plan to bribe them, by chance?
But no, surely our honest upstanding politicians (an oxymoron, yeah) won't accept bribes.

Pardon My Nagging
Driving down to Bandabao this morning I had the misfortune to get stuck behind one of those $#@&% tourist buses. That's when I found out that they're not only driving at a snail's pace over the Julianabridge,obstructing traffic and even endangering it because you can't see them over the hump in the middle; no, they also as good as stop on top of Kleine Berg, where (at least from bus windows) you can see the sea on both sides of the islandૼwhich of course must be pointed out to the tourist sheep.
So everybody behind those buses has to wait a bit.
Ain't tourism great?

You and Me Both
We though I was crazy for the bit labeled "Fake News" on the Dutch proposal to forbid lightning, as it caused too much nitrogen to rain down? Well, somebody can always turn out still crazier: a US politician has proposed a law to stop rain falling down in California, where this year too much of a good thing turned into a bad thing.
I take pity and will mention no names.

Now Please Shut Up
The 12.5% salary cut for spoiled brats has been retracted, starting June 2022. Not what will they start whining about next?

Davos Dudes
It's getting hard, but the WEF came up with a new one: this year, we have a "polycrisis": multiple crises at the same time. It's unprecented—except we've had all of them for years. At least, according to WEF. USA John Kerry warned that "saving the planet" will take "money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money." He must mean "very much money."
Which you and I have to cough up, right, you got it at once.

Weird Is the Woid
What IS this? First CPR didn't turn up for last week's parliament meeting, and now it seems they are approaching MPs with the question if they would like to have a talk with CPR. Several parliament fractions have received this request; in fact one MP in every fraction. The ones most critical have been approached.
More stink and smoke.

Why Not? Who Cares?
Well, some people do. But not the project developers who are busy in Zakitó. They are already building 8 residential towers there, but now a marina is planned complete with new entrance canal. Domeinbeheer domain management already has received an application for permits, but it isn't even clear where that marina is planned.
The plans are expected to result in a heavy mudstream to the west, threatening coral reefs and (maybe not so bad) the beaches of hotels there.

Pay More, Drive Less
The tax mitigation on car fuel prices must end. Silly Vain says the budget must be met or we'll get a dreaded "aanwijzing" [aanwijzing] by Holland. Never that!
They'd much rather bankrupt us all.

Isla refinery take-over candidate CPR is now accused of having "fabricated that the US intelligence service is involved in the investigation into the leak of takeover documents." Meanwhile, after causing a big stink in parliament, CPR has retracted its own story.

Improvement Needed
M*F*K Finance minister Silly Vain, still working on the new gaming law, still hopes, in spite of the troubles with the Gaming Board, to improve the international gaming reputation of Curaçao. We agree; only he probably means something else than we do.

'Bye 1xBet
The Hoge Raad [high court] has rejected the appeal by 1xCorp against its bankruptcy. 1xCorps is the owner of Russian 1xBet.
1xBet owes 2.3 million guilders in Curaçao taxes plus amounts owed to players. There exists little doubt that 1xBet with all its online casinos can pay all that.

Now That
Refinery overtaker candidate CPR has started an investigation to the documents leaked to parliament, which were supposedly protected by a Non Disclosure Agreement NDA. CPR says that these have obviously been leaked to obstruct the process.
Extra-parliamentary part UiP has also lodged a Landsrecherche [criminal investigation department] complaint against PM Prickie for mismanagement in the Isla-CPR negotiations. More smoke than the refinery ever produced.

Clumsy Fools
What else can you say? Now, after 2 unsuccessful audits of bordello Campo Alegre, the government discovers that an 3rd one is impossible: a third party has seized the property because of debts the place owned. The government now has to go to court to retract the seizure, by proving that it was "unjustified or rash."
Meanwhile, we pay guards (for nothing) with our taxes.

Wish I was, Too
Holland has confidence in the reforms promised by the island governments of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, even though the Coho deal has been scratched. Alas, that doesn't apply to most of us. The Curaçao government has shown time and time again that they are delaying and thwarting all those proposed measures.

Whinery Wins
The Whinery, who had an agreement with Hato airport to exploit Landhuis Hato for a vineyard and winery, have won their case against the airport.
Their contract had been arranged with then Hato manager FOL leader Maurice Adriaensz.

We're Exporting!
Too bad it's crime. Two Curaçaoans have been convicted to death in Morocco. They were out to murder some Dutch Moroccan there, but got the son of a judge instead, who had just changed seats with their intended victim.

price South Africa

Consumer Interests Curaçao protests against the disgusting habit of several supermarkets to make you pay more at check-out than the price indicated on the product. This is in fact illegal, but they even have a sign posted that the price resulting on scanning the bar code is what you have to pay.
I have written about this before: a sharp contrast with what you find at check-out in South Africa.

Break Out the Beer
Pop that corn. MP opposition member Rennox Calmes has filed a complaint with the attorney general because of the fraudulent documents presented by CPR. He wants an investigation.
We're curious too. And what happens next?

All Guilty
If you ask me. Personnel of the Gaming Board is uneasy about minister Silly Vain's statements on fraud and corruption and what-else-more in the Board. ABVO trade union says "the government has to take care working conditions are healthy and safe."
If he's right, so is Silly Vain: get rid of the whole mess. Pardon me, I'm wrong: that's not Silly Vain's idea at all.

For Real?
United Nations announce plans for ferry services in the Caribbean. One is between Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago. Another one where Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are part of.
Wait and see. These plans are oooold.

Great, Now Spend It
Curaça will get $30 million from the USA, confiscated (Robbie dos Diablos affair). Will be gone and wasted like breath on a cold window glass.

So Do We Wonder
In that parliament meeting on the Isla refinery non take-over, the opposition parties wondered why no complaint for fraud was filed against main candidate CPR.
PM Prickie says in parliament non-disclosure documents are in circulation, for which CPR can sue the government. But PAR Girigorie came back that Prickie didn't need to worry about that. Is only what Girigorie says, of course.
Prickie still feels that the refinery will surely reopen. Good to know, if you believe him.

Sounds Too True
3 cops who have been relieved of duty (with salary?) maintain that everything they did wrong in connection with weapon licenses was mandated by their chiefs. But the public ministry says they have taking bribes. Besides, they're accused of other things as well.
Still, by now I'm paranoid enough to think they may have a point.

Amigoe did it re the surveillance cameras. A total of 580 was planned; 474 have been bought; of which 262 have never been installed. Let alone there were no checks on what cameras would really be needed. Still, the original budget has already been exceeded by 1.8 million guilders with hardly any concrete results. There are no funds to finish the project.
Add the 20 million for Bearing Point and we've been fucked out of 40 million. Which excludes CMC hospital building, consultancy costs, subsidies, salary administration and (to quote) "et cetera"; all in all hundreds of millions. As if we didn't know. And parliament has done nothing to stop this; and probably will continue in that fashion.

New Soap
The Gaming Control Board will probably be investigated for "corruption, abuse of power and fraud," pointing at supervisory board member Jamir Barton. But Barton blames the other board members, who allegedly have conspired against him, and accuses GCB of payment default. He also says that Soab government accounting upon investigating GCB should have gone to the supervisory board, as finance minister Silly Vain has no role in receiving notifications of corruption, abuse of power and fraud in government foundations.
For all I know, he may be right there.
We will all watch future developments with considerable interest.
But come right down to it, what else does Silly Vain expect but corruption, abuse of power and fraud anywhere in the gambling world? The guy can't possibly be as stupid as he acts.

That's Not Bloody Much
MEO economic development figures a real economic growth of 1.2% this year. Very meager, especially after all those negative years. Since 10-10-10, if not before. And inflation will be reduced to 2.9%, MEO says.
In 4 to 6 months the Pisas government will present a recovery plan. I can't wait.

Old Trick
The botikas [drugstores] sent an ultimatum to minister of health Pietersz-Janga, about the limits to selling over-the-counter medications. They sent their first letter to the minister on October 2022, but didn't get a reply. Nor on their follow-up request. For our government, that's quite normal.
The botikas now want a meeting on January 20 or will go to court.

Ex-PM Maria Liberia-Peters has received an honorary doctorate from UoC University of Curaçao. As a tribute to her exceptional leadership.
What a farce.

The 4-country conference in St. Maarten did have a result: the COHO deal is off the table and will be replaced by separate deals between the islands an Holland.
More delays.

That's Bad
"Foreign remittances are an important source of external financing" we read in Amigoe. That's mainly money transferred from rich countries to relatives in poorer countries. In 2022 that means, $629 billion flowing in. In total, over 3 times official development aid.
But in Haïti, Jamaica, República Dominicana and Central American countries it's worse than on the Dutch islands.

Soon, we'll be able to order memorial coins celebrating our 5th year on the World Heritage List. Now that we're not kicked off it yet.
On one side, there's a portrait of our Mighty King, and it's a relief to see that his beard isn't covered with a hair-net, like the coiffure of our former queens used to look on coins.
On the other side, we get an aerial view of Punda, which the designer cleverly cropped so both the Wharf and Waterfort are out of the picture.

But... But...
How else to pay all those extravagant salaries? VBC entrepreneurs' club wants lower taxes for business. Hey, why stop there? We'd all like that! But the taxes are too high, which is a reason why the economy doesn't grow.
It's one reason, granted.
Finance minister Silly Vain has already announced that taxes will soon go down "substantially".

Good for Business
MOT Meldpunt ongebruikelijke transacties is now FUI, Financial Intelligence Unit, with as I understand basically the same function. Unusual transactions have been growing like mad, from about 20,000 in 2015 to 52,000 in 2018. In 2019 there were "only" 41,000, but twice as many as in the preceding year were "suspect".
FUI is now working on the years from 2020.

Why Bother
There'll be held a 4-country conference, in St. Maarten. Little success is expected. It's all more fighting on the COHO deal, and about the democratic deficit.
4 countries, of which the minute Netherlands is by far the largest. The other 3 are mere fly-specks on the globe.

Wonder How Much He |Makes
We have a new C***-Post director, successor of Sluis. Who had, better say enjoyed, an exorbitant salary. It's said, thanks to Auntie Sushi.
Actually, he's CEO Bureau Telecommunication and Post.

Woke Up, Did They
All of a sudden, the tourist clubs have realized they are in trouble. Only last week they were exulting in the record number of December tourists. Now reality seems to have set in: tickets have become much more expensive, number of flights went down with a quarter, and competition with other holiday destinations has restarted. Also, the number of local tourist rooms has grown substantially.
Even with that record number in December, occupation was only 71%, 9% lower than in November and December 2021. So what were they jubilating about?

Double the Crime and Double the Fun
There were 56 high-impact crimes in the first week of this year, against "normally" 30 to 40. 8 atrakos versus 2, and also many car and house burglaries.

That's Different
Seems next month the worst part of Helmin Wiels Boulevard will be repaired after all, not only that roundabout.

Back to School
The run for kids' school places has started already. 200 new pupils at once registered on line. There still is a strong preference for Dutch language schools, notwithstanding all propaganda. 8 schools offer mainly Papiamento, 13 mainly Dutch, 5 totally Dutch, and 1 Dutch-English.

Barquettes Back?
When, or if, the border with Venezuela is reopened, the idea is to first restart maritime traffic and the floating market. Where now is sold tourist junk.
Next question, where will those barquettes moor? The last place where they were banned to is now occupied by the Wharf monstrosity building. Back to Handels oops Sha Caprileskade?

How Nice for Them
RdK Isla refinery is still "full of confidence" that the refinery will reboot. There's an American company ready to invest 1 billion dollars, even if the money isn't there yet.
You can't blame us for having very little confidence by now.
Update: Especially since CPR didn't bother to show up during the parliament meeting yesterday morning.

Like Farmers
Those tourism, exploiters are always complaining. Now it's because package trips, as offered by Corendon, are cheaper than just flights. A KLM-ticket AMS-MIA is much cheaper than one AMS-CUR. AA pulls the same trick on flights MIA-CUR. (Sandals is blamed for that.)
That's an old story. In Europe, it was much cheaper to book a "camping trip" to fly to your destination than a regular ticket. Not that any camping ever saw you.
In Bonaire, one party wants the government to subsidize tickets to fly between the islands and BON-AMS. I can't help feeling that's not at all a thing we'd all want to help pay for.

Hey! Really?
Work on the Helmin Wiels roundabout, part of the Boulevard, has finally started. Will take a month.
Still, a far cry from repairing the entire boulevard; which was supposed to be finished in December.

Doesn't Matter
Much less cocaine from Curaçao was intercepted in Rotterdam last year, compared: from 70,000 keys to 47,000. It went only slightly up in Vlissingen, from 2100 to 4000 kilograms. Which is still double. But the total of coke sold in Holland was worth €3.5 billion anyway.
Against 400 "extractors", young men who pick up the dope, in 2022, only 251 were caught last year. Maybe they're getting smarter.

Do Tell
According to ex-prof van Oostindie, the House of Orange was thoroughly involved in slavery. But how really active they were is unknown; nor is it known how much they made on it.
Is that last a criterium?
Just don't confuse the House of Orange with Willem van Oranje, the "Father of the Fatherland." Old Willem de Zwijger isn't even mentioned in the Oranges' family tree: they're all imposters who took over when they saw their chance.

Central bank CBCS has been fined by court because their 2015-2017 bills to insurance companies for "supervision costs" were intransparent. Or rather, not transparent enough.

What to Say?
In 2017 SOAW social affairs ministry raised the minimum wages with 10%; now, it has gone up from 9.62 to 10.70, 11.2%
Alas, that 2017 raise has turned out to do nothing for the employment opportunities and the economy. In actual fact, unemployment has grown since. And as we all know, the economy has shrunk.

Oh No, Not in Public
The opposition parties wanted a parliament meeting on the Isla future, because of the fraudulent documents. No such luck. Just imagine we'll get transparency! In a vital matter, too.

Hah! Let's Have It
Finance minister Silly Vain says there's a law "ready" and waiting to lower profit, salary and income taxes. Substantially, too. Which should end the fact that Curaçao has one of the kingdom's most unattractive tax climates.
But when? First three instances have to look at it, then parliament; and finally the budget must work out. Hah! That we'd all like to see. For once. The council of ministers will get its first look over two months. "Ready"? Waiting, yes.
It's hoped more people and businesses will pay their taxes once they're lower. Fake News (but just as believable): Emmabrug is for sale.

The announced deliberations on reopening the border with Venezuela have been delayed. Maybe until end this month?

Just Let's!
World crude oil consumption is growing by one million barrels per day. That's over 3 times Isla's daily capacity—every day. That growth will extend to 2045 and beyond. Meanwhile, oil refineries still keep closing down. If we had a decent government and management, there should be no problem finding money to reboot Isla refinery.
But we don't.
As for me, to repeat: I'd much prefer a well-run and clean refinery over and above what CTB and Chata call the future of our country: tourism.

Trouble Brewing
A few weeks ago, we got the news that there were three weekly flights London-Venezuela, filled with Iranese. And we presume, with the freight room full of luggage containing US dollar bills, gold, jewels and more goodies.
It gets better: there are now 3 or 4 flights daily Teheran-Caracas. Seems these persons freely get Venezuelan passports, with which they have access to North America and Europe. And to us here, as well.
To quote Khomeini: "We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry, 'There is no god but Allah' resounds over the whole world, there will be struggle."
Ya betcha.

Other Ideas
Chata also wants a less restrictive policy for imported labor (translation: so they can exploit them better); lower import duties; lower harbor costs; and lower electricity tariffs. For Chata, I presume. All to compensate for the higher minimum wages.

M*F*K has requested a parliament meeting on the future of Isla refinery, to which they invited RdK refinery deputies as well. But PM Prickie is requested by his own party please not to take part.

Of Course Not
The number of fractiemedewerkers [party employee] in parliament will be raised. But M*F*K Brownhill says, this should not be viewed as a way of helping political friends to a job.
It wouldn't have occurred to us. But now that you mention it...

Right On!
The GCB gaming control board has only one direction member left, Jamir Barton. He was supposed to have been fired in October 2022, but what really happened was three of his colleagues took their leave instead. Barton's acts are characterized as "very atrocious, culpable, non-integer, in violation of the articles of association, the Supervisory Board and good governance."
Minister Silly Vain says he's asked a lawyer how to get rid of Barton. Fine, huh? The same guy who's bragging about the new gaming law and his relations with Malta.

Just a Small Step
From bordello to dung heap. Campo Alegre hasn't been closed off so it's a fine opportunity to dump your trash there. And many do so, we're told.
After last year's two auctions finding no takers, our esteemed government still hopes to reopen this den of whoring, drugs and guns dealing and money laundering. Hey, money is money.

Pop that Corn
PAR and M*F*K are having a feud. Present finance minister Silly Vain accuses his predecessor Girigorie of having spent money on the Coast Guard while we were in the midst of a Covid Virus crisis. (Right after those 600 keys of coke disappeared from a [police station.) But Girigorie points out that this was part of a Kingdom accord which Prickie Pisas and Silly Vain both signed.
Which accord Silly Vain now wants to renegotiate. Is a downright hobby of his, renegotiating.
And by the way you know, that amount for the Kustwacht is not in the 2023 budget.

While he's at it, Girigorie claims CPR does not have enough money to continue operating the refinery. And he accuses Silly Vain of bullying people online and mistreating his bodyguards.
Update: the extra sum of money was accepted after all.

Let Us Have Our Sugar and Plastic! Please?
In Times of Israel we read that in his first move as Israel minister, Smotrich orders taxes on plasticware, sugary drinks nixed. He figures it's too expensive for those with lower incomes.
Here, we just keep going on with what's the popular "accepted wisdom".

Good News, But Not for Panic Builders
The Huntsville satellite lower-atmosphere temperature record of monthly changes in global mean temperature shows that in the past thirty years global temperature has increased by 0.4 degrees. [0.4F=0.22C]
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calculated in 1990 that after that year the world would warm at 0.3 degrees per decade; or in 30 years 0.9F=0.5C. So, they were wrong. But stubbornly, they won't admit it.

How Like Them
CHATA is warning that the higher minimum wages may have a negative influence on the tourist sector. After all, it's clear that those who can afford a flight over here plus hotel and car rentals, whatever, do not want to pay too much for servicing personnel. Let those slaves serfs eat cake!

Public Tender
For a cost and efficiency study of the Curaçao Medical Center and Antillean Adventist Hospital. About time. In fact, much too late.

Progress; Maybe
Official consultations between Holland and Curaçao will take place in January about the progress of the[gaming bill. The new law should be ready by 2023-QII.
There will also be help on the new law from Malta. Help!

Famous Last Words?
M*F*K PM Prickie says RdK Isla refinery will continue working with CPR on the take-over, giving them the "benefit of the doubt."

We're Used to That
The new tax accord between Holland and Curaçao will be postponed for a year. "It took somewhat longer than originally planned," says minister Silly Vain. Big surprise, not.

Let's Hope So
Governor Wout held a New Year's speech in which she said that 2023 will be "a very special year." Let's hope so, is what we all could use.
Of course, it may turn out be even worse than what we got accustomed to. Seems hard, but with our Big Bleeders, it can be done.

That's Why
A Bonaire coffee-shop has been closed. Why? Because the owner wanted to sell weed and hash in there, just like it's permitted in Holland. He should have checked more carefully first. Bonaire may be part of Holland, but still has different laws.

Two persons working at Ministry of Justice have been sent home to spend their salaries there, because they made a deal accorded by ex-minister Girigorie, resulting in Kustwacht [coast guard] buying 27 millions worth of material.
Interesting... We'd all like to know more, but we're not being told.

Minimum Up
After all, the minimum wage will go up with 11.2% or just over 1 guilder: from 9.62 to 10.70 guilders/hour. That's good for 60% of the workers who don't make more than that. What it will do to the rest of the economy is anybody's guess, but surely there are more important factors.

A New Record
CTB tourist office, always the optimists, expects a record number of visitors from the USA and Canada this year.

What Do We Know
CPR top guy Luis Gusti seems to have gone from the company. But he still does seem to be involved in the process of renovating Isla refinery. Maybe, possibly, not totally impossibly, this will become clearer later. If ever.

It's a Miracle
Finally, some bodies and minds wised up and decided to renovate the partially burned tax office instead of building a new one. Which would have cost 60 million guilders. Or, more likely, 90 million.
The idea is to make the old building "totally usable" again. First thing, a project manager will be hired.
We all wonder how long this renovation will take. Still, better than just discarding a mostly OK building.

And the Other One?
Mudbelly Cooper announces the road from San Willibrordo to Daaibooi Beach will be renovated. Work will start end February, he says.
But work on the Helmin Wiels Boulevard, supposed to be ready last December, hasn't even started yet. So we have our doubts.

Oh, Really?
PM Prickie says that Isla refiner's take-over by CPR now is only waiting for the go-ahead by CBCS central bank and MCB Maduro-Curiel's bank. Who both refrain from giving any comment.
Pisas says there's another partner who's prepared to invest the many millions necessary for upgrading. But he doesn't mention any name.

Who Doubts Impartiality?
Mudbelly Cooper does: he questions the impartiality of Sybesma as member of the Advisory Council. Sybesma had the temerity of fighting Mudbelly's decision to remove obstacles for the development of Oostpunt; which Mudbelly shrugs off as "worrying about lizards."
But Sybesma in fact says that a zoning plan (EOP islnd development plan) can't be changed just like that. And juridische Zaken agreed—three times.

Sure Thought
CBCS central bank quotes, among others, IMF: the growing income differences are an obstacle in achieving more economic growth. To the contrary: they result in long-term economy shrinkage.
Which makes the recent measures by what passes for our government rather pathetic. Even for them, in the long term. But right, who ever accused politicians of thinking farther than their present term in power?

Advent Hospital will be audited just like CMC New Hospital, for cost price and efficiency research.

How Hard Can It Be?
Officially, by January 31st we'll all have to pay our car tax. For this, we have to go to the Tax collector's or C***-Post's offices, stand in line for Satan knows how long. That's because we have to show proofs of our insurance, car test result, and proof of payment over last year.
Not that all this helps. Plenty of cars without any insurance, or tests... Of course, how they get their new license stickers can only be by slipping the Person behind the window a little extra cash. This could all be avoided by getting that whole system computerized, and by enabling us all to pay by bank. Presto!
And you know something funny? Those who still want their sticker without any adequate proof can still pay cash—and pay that little bit extra that makes all the difference.

Just remembered
About 30 years go I witnessed a discussion between two guys, whose names I won't mention, with an active role in granting cultural subsidies. They had received a request for a play that went on about how bad slavery had been. Mark their comment: "Ai no, e kos ta kansa hende." [oh no, people are tired of that stuff].
My, how times have changed since then.

Cooked or Frozen
What do you prefer? There's not much to choose from, you say? That's right, in more than one sense. Still prestigious (although they've made some pretty foolish mistakes in the past years) British medical magazineThe Lancet published, in the first 20 uerars of this century there have been 9 times as many people dying of cold than of warmth. Total over the world 4,607,000, most in Asia and Africa. Africa? Where it's so darn hot? Right, 1.2 million.
"Cold weather is far more deadly than excessive heat."

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