CURACAO

Standard and Poor's affirm Curacao's A-/A-2 rating

March 25, 2016

Ratings Service Standard & Poor's (S&P) has affirmed its 'A-/A-2' long- and short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on the government of Curacao. The outlook remains stable. S&P also affirmed its 'A-' transfer and convertibility assessment.

 

According to S&P, the ratings on Curacao reflect its stable political system within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as its strong balance sheet and net general government asset position. They also reflect monetary and exchange rate rigidities, and large but stable current account deficits (CAD). 

Curacao has a prosperous and diversified economy and high levels of education and health care compared with regional peers, but it has low GDP growth prospects. Real per capita GDP growth has been 2.2%, on average, in the past five years. The rating also reflects shortcomings in data, especially on the net international investment position. 

Former PM Schotte and wife appeal conviction

March 16, 2016

Former prime minister of Curacao, Gerrit Schotte, and his partner Cicely van der Dijs have appealed against the convictions and sentences handed down against them for forgery, corruption and money laundering.

The judge sentenced Schotte to three years in jail. He was also deprived of the right to stand for elected office for five years. The court indicated that Schotte by his actions seriously damaged the trust of citizens in an honest government.

Van der Dijs was sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which nine is suspended.
 

According to an expert, this decision is a gamble, because the court of appeals can also increase the sentence.

 

After the court’s decision, Schotte said that voters will still be able to vote for him as the leader of his party in the elections later this year, because the prohibition against him running for elected office is also suspended.

Former PM sentenced to three years in prison

March 14, 2016

Gerrit Schotte, former prime minister of Curacao, has been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison. The judge also ruled that Schotte cannot stand for election to public office for five years. The penalty corresponded to that sought by the Public Prosecutor (OM).

 

Schotte’s life partner, Cicely van der Dijs (owner of the gas stations VanDis) was also found guilty. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which nine is conditional. This means that she will only stay in prison for nine months.

Schotte was accused of several other offences including money laundering and forgery. The judge said that he abused his position as prime minister.

According to the OM, Schotte received funds from the Italian mafia linked St Maarten casino boss, Francesco Corallo, to establish his political party. As prime minister, Schotte, as alleged by the OM and found proven by the judge, abused his power in favour of Corallo.

Schotte was prime minister of Curacao from 2010 until 2012. He was the first prime minister of the new country Curacao, after the Netherlands Antilles was abolished. He also founded the political party MFK, which is now the largest opposition party in parliament.

As expected, Schotte announced through his defence lawyer Eldon Sulvaran that he will appeal the judge’s decision.

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