Soualiga News II

Soualiga News II (2777)

Official property values soar to record high, Rotterdam books biggest rise

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Official property values in the Netherlands – which are used to calculate local taxes for homeowners – have risen for the fourth year in a row, national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

The average WOZ property value in the Netherlands on January 1 was €248,000, the CBS said, a rise of nearly 8% on the previous year and the highest ever level. WOZ values lag behind actual property prices because they are based on the sales price of comparable housing in the same neighbourhood.

The sharpest rise is in Rotterdam, where values rose 16% to €192,000. In Amsterdam the average value rose 11% to €378,000. The official WOZ value has risen 64% in the capital in four years.

The town with the highest average WOZ valuation is Bloemendaal (€695,000) while the lowest is in Delfzijl in Groningen, at just €127,000. Local authorities use the WOZ value to calculate how much homeowners should contribute towards services.

The increase does not mean that local taxes will rise by the same amount, because some local authorities temper the increase by cutting property and water tax rates.



Young man arrested for robbery of two Chinese supermarkets

PHILIPSBURG - In the ongoing investigation into the two-armed robberies that took place on Wednesday September 11th, 2019, the patrol from Philipsburg together with the Special Unit (S.U.R.) apprehended one of the suspects that supposedly was involved in this incident, police said on Friday.

The minor suspect with initials Y.R was arrested on Thursday September 12th, 2019 about 17.40 in the area of Dutch Quarter. After being detained the suspect was brought over to the police station in Philipsburg and handed over to the S.U.R department for further investigation. (Sint Maarten Police Force)


Ministry VROMI Traffic Alert: A.T. Illidge Road to be Closed on Saturday

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI), announces that part of the A.T. Illidge road, Dutch Quarter will be closed on Saturday, September 14.

The aforementioned will take place from 7.00AM to 12.00PM on Saturday.

The closure is in connection with the maintenance of the sewage pump pit in the proximity of Nazareth road.

Motorists are advised to be vigilant and observant of the traffic diversion directional signs.

Ministry VROMI apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause.


SER Curaçao's efforts to reactivate regional network are bearing fruit

SINT MAARTEN/CURACAO - With the adoption of the ‘Declaration of Antigua, Guatemala’ and the launch of the website of the regional network of socio-economic advisory councils (Consejos Económicos y Sociales de América Latina y el Caribe ( at an official regional meeting, which was held on the 4th and 5th of September 2019 in the city of Antigua in Guatemala, an important milestone was reached in the further realization of agreements made earlier on the reactivation of the CESALC network that had been standing still for years. Thanks in part to the efforts of the Social and Economic Council (SER) of Curaçao, the network was revived.

Last week's regional CESALC meeting was the follow-up to bilateral technical consultations that took place on April, the 5th, this year between representatives of the SER of Guatemala ("Consejo Economico y Social (CES) de Guatemala") and those of the SER of Curaçao. The CES of Guatemala is the official coordinator of the CESALC network while the SER holds the board membership of the international association of social economic councils and similar institutions (AICESIS) on behalf of the Latin America and Caribbean region.

In addition to the SER, delegations from the socio-economic advisory bodies of Honduras, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Spain were also present at the regional meeting. The main themes that were discussed were the new governance structure and working methods of the CESALC network, the future of work and the chances of decent work and the alignment of national / regional policy with the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

During the meeting it was further agreed to appoint a new CESALC coordinator for the period 2019-2021. The new coordinator to be appointed will send a work plan to the SERs that are connected to the regional network in the coming two months.

In the "Declaration of Antigua, Guatemala", the countries further committed themselves to consolidate the CESALC network as a tool for dialogue, knowledge sharing and exchange of experience within the region, taking into account the following principles:

- that the SERs from the region are developing into strategic platforms of dialogue, participation and consultation between relevant economic actors with the aim of making an effective contribution to sustainable development and implementation of socio-economic policies;

- that the SERs from the region endeavor to initiate dialogue processes at the national level and also to pay attention to regional and international agendas; - promoting regional cooperation;

- that the CESALC network will focus in particular on issues of interest to the region such as the fight against hunger and poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean, the stimulation of economic growth, progress, social inclusion, sustainable development and on programs and projects aimed at safeguarding the economic rights of workers and non-workers, in particular vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly, migrants, the disabled and indigenous people;

- that the CESALC network will present its recommendations to the authorities of the region in order to contribute to the political and administrative debate on relevant socio-economic issues.

More information can be found on the CESALC website ( and the SER website (





Armed robbery at two Chinese Supermarkets

PHILIPSBURG - The Special Unit Robbery (SUR) is investigating two (2) armed robberies that took place on (2) Chinese supermarkets on Wednesday September 11th, 2019, police announced in Thursday.

The first robbery took place on Cannegieter street at approximately 11.30 am. The two suspects who were dressed in dark colored clothing, entered the establishment, and under threat of a knife robbed the cashier of the cash.

After committing their act, the suspects ran away in an unknown direction. Later in the day, about 12.30 pm, the police patrol was sent to A.Th. Illidge road for a robbery that took place at a Chinese supermarket.  

According to the information gather at the scene, two suspects who were both dressed in dark clothing and relatively young, robbed the cashier at the establishment.  

One of the robbers had a mask over his face and was armed with a knife.  After robbing the cashier, both suspects ran in the direction of Madame estate. The SUR is busy with the investigation into these robberies. (Sint Maarten Police Force)  


Investigation into ill-treatment on L.B.Scott road leads to fine

PHILIPSBURG - The detective department concluded their investigation into the incident that took place on the September 4th, 2019 on the L.B Scott road, police said on Wednesday in a statement.

During this incident a young man on a scooter was slapped by another individual after a short discussion. The police who was at the scene restrained the suspect with the initials M.R and brought him to the police station in Philipsburg for questioning.

Later that same day the victim appeared at the police station and made an official complaint of ill-treatment. After being heard by the personnel of the detective department the suspect was given a fine by the prosecutor office and released. (Sint Maarten Police Force)



SINT MAARTEN/TRINIDAD - Caribbean Airlines announces the start of twice weekly non-stop service between Kingston, Jamaica and Havana, Cuba from November 06, 2019. This new flight will operate on Wednesdays and Fridays, using a Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, with a seating capacity of 150, adding 300 seats per week to both markets.


In commenting on the new route, Garvin Medera, Caribbean Airlines Chief Executive Officer stated: “Caribbean Airlines is committed to strengthening connectivity in the region and we are expanding our northern hub in Jamaica.

“We are thrilled to start this non-stop service between Kingston and Havana, Cuba from November 06, 2019. This new flight will operate twice per week on Wednesday and Friday, using our Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, with a seating capacity of 150. We are working closely with our valued stakeholders to ensure that this route is a success”.

This latest launch follows the start of twice weekly non-stop service between Kingston and Barbados, which began in April and the introduction of service between Kingston and Grand Cayman which commences on October 29.

Caribbean Airlines is making regional travel easier and more convenient and customers can look forward to special fares between Kingston and Havana from as low as USD 139 oneway (before taxes). Cuba is the Caribbean's largest island and it is rich in history and culture.

The island is almost 800 miles from end to end, with a population around 11.48 million and some of the Caribbean’s most dazzling beaches. Cuba’s depth and diversity make it one of the most fascinating countries in the region.

Flights for travel to Havana, Cuba on Caribbean Airlines are available for sale at Caribbean Airlines ticket offices and via and the Caribbean Airlines Mobile App, which is available for free download via the Apple Store and Google Play.


Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Partners with Nature Foundation, STINAPA Bonaire and World Wildlife Fund for Youth Environmental Exchange

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Nature Foundation St Maarten is looking for students in the age 12 and 13 years old with affinity for nature conservation and marine life for a very exciting event called: Junior Ranger Exchange!

The DCNA (Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance) board would like to invite youths of each island of the Dutch Caribbean to represent their marine parks during their event. Nature Foundations is looking for 4 students from St Maarten to participate in the Ranger Exchange which will take place in Bonaire in the weekend of October 25-27, 2019.

We are looking for student with the below profile for the Junior Ranger Exchange:
- The student needs to be 12 or 13 years old (during the event)
- The student needs to be comfortable in communicating in English
- The student needs to be able and allowed to swim/snorkel (at least 50m with mask/snorkel/fins without any assistance), parents need to sign a permission/waiver.
- The school and parents need to allow the student to miss the school on Friday the 25th and Monday the 28th of October, the student needs to be allowed to stay in Bonaire from Friday till Monday (authorized to fly). An adult leader will join the student groups during the entire trip.

Interested students can apply by sending a short email of interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Friday the 13th of September, interested students will be invited to participate in an environmental quiz and 4 students will be selected to join the event in Bonaire.

The four participating students will have an active learning experience, sharing and learning with and from each other, like an activity filled conference. They will return home as nature conservation ambassadors to share and apply this knowledge and experience with your school, the other youths and the community at large. The overall theme of the Junior Ranger Exchange will be Coastal and Marine Conservation. Different topics that will be incorporated are (plastic) pollution, coral reefs, shorebirds and the vast biodiversity of our islands.

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