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Sint Maarten says ‘no’ to Dutch demands over repairing hurricane damage

Staff Writer |
The former Dutch colony of Sint Maarten, devastated by a Caribbean hurricane last month, is refusing to accept two conditions which the Dutch government wants to impose on rebuilding its ravaged infrastructure, Trouw said on Monday.

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The paper says prime minister William Marlin’s government does not agree with Dutch insistence on setting up a special Dutch-run body to oversee the flow of funds and ensure corruption is kept out, DutchNews reported.

Although Marlin has said he is "not unwilling" to set up some form of supervisory body, he says the Dutch "integrity chamber" cannot be established before the Dutch ultimatum, and instead wants to use the island’s own organisation in which the Netherlands would have a role, but not the final say.

The Netherlands is creating a multi-million euro fund to finance the reconstruction of the island which will provide loans under very strict conditions to ensure maximum monitoring.

Sources in The Hague and on Sint Maarten told Trouw last month that the fund may be as high as €260m but that the final amount will be decided in the coming weeks.

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