VVD asks about delay of Statia/Saba ferry service

Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Aukje de Vries of the liberal democratic party VVD is seeking clarity on the delay of the new ferry service between St. Maarten, St. Eustatius and Saba.

The Member of Parliament (MP) sent questions to no fewer than two ministers and state secretaries asking about the cause of the delay of the Makana ferry service, which was initially planned for November 1, but may not start until December 1, 2021.

The ferry “Makana”

De Vries asked members of the Dutch caretaker govern­ment for an update on the ferry service, and wanted to know the exact reason the Makana could not start on November 1.

“What is true about the reports that the Customs Depart­ment and the Netherlands Royal Marechaussee were not prepared? How can it be that not all organisations and min­istries were ready on November 1?” De Vries asked.

“To what extent is it correct that there are insufficient per­sonnel to check goods and persons outside regular work­ing hours? How can it be that ministries apparently did not work together sufficiently to start the ferry service on No­vember 1?”

De Vries asked the ministers and state secretaries whether they agreed with her that the new ferry service should offer an affordable alternative to the expensive airline tickets for inter-island transportation.

The MP urged members of government to come up with a speedy solution for the ferry service delay. “Which issues still need to be solved for a fast start of the ferry service? When can the ferry service start?”

The new ferry service, for which the operator Blues and Blues Ltd. of Anguilla was selected after a public tender, is being subsidised by the Dutch government for two years for an amount of two million euros.

The Daily Herald.

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