(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – Foreign Affairs minister Winston Lackin is not concerned about whether the Netherlands wants to suspend the remaining 20 million Euros of development aid or not, he says to the paper from Cartagena, Columbia in reaction to the Dutch government’s decision to suspend the aid as punishment for the adoption of the amended Amnesty Act. “The Dutch can keep those 20 million Euros. We don’t really need it, and it could be better used in the Netherlands itself to help their poor who form lines at soup kitchens. Suriname’s economic development does not depend on those 20 million Euros”, Lackin tells de Ware Tijd. He adds that it is not so much about the money, but about the Dutch attitude he calls “colonial”.
Lackin claims that for some time now, Suriname has managed to achieve an annual economic growth of some 4.5% on its own, while in the coming years, the country will plan its development using its own resources and assistance from other friendly and willing nations. He points out that from the moment Desi Bouterse was elected President in July 2010, The Hague has made clear it will never accept him as such, and this means it has problems with the way Suriname elects its leaders “and thus with Suriname’s people”. On the other hand, the government has no problem with the Dutch people. There are good relations with the Dutch business community, while a tourist card has been introduced for people from that country as the government is convinced the Dutch have technology available that can be used for Suriname’s development.