August 04, 2006


Summary Outlook for 2006-07

The government of the prime minister, Nelson Oduber, of the Movimento Electoral di Pueblo (MEP), which was elected for a second four-year term in September, will work on policies to increase revenue from the all-important tourist sector.

The country’s underlying economic fundamentals remain a concern. Among the central causes of concern are a structurally-weak fiscal position, which is aggravated by bureaucratic costs in the public sector. Although the fiscal deficit narrowed in the first half of 2005, there has been a significant expansion of public debt over the past five years. The Centrale Bank van Aruba (the Central Bank) estimated solid real GDP growth of around 5% in the first half of 2005 on the back of a buoyant tourism sector.

Tourism will remain the main driver of growth over the forecast period, although there are some concerns that a furor surrounding the mid-2005 disappearance of a US citizen (NO NAME?) could depress tourist arrivals from that country.

The political scene

In September the MEP was re-elected with a reduced majority. Cabinet nominations since have secured this majority. Calls in the US for a boycott of Aruba as a tourist destination have angered the Aruban authorities.

The domestic economy

Tourism drove growth in the first half of the year, but arrivals numbers fell year-on-year in the third quarter. Annual inflation increased to 3.8% in September, reflecting high oil prices.

National government

Governor-general: Fredis Refunjol

Prime minister & minister of general affairs: Nelson Oduber

In his acceptance speech, the prime minister, Nelson Oduber, attributed his victory to the progress made by his administration in its first term, particularly in repaying a US$477.5m debt that it inherited. He pledged to continue to focus on the growth potential of the tourist industry, and to target a balanced budget by 2009.

Deputy prime minister & social affairs & infrastructure; education: Marisol Tromp

Key ministers Employment, culture & sport: Ramon Lee

Finance & economic affairs: Nilo Swaen

Justice: Rudy Croes

National health & environment; administrative affairs: Candelario “Booshi” Wever

Tourism & transport: Eddy Briesen

Central Bank president: Robert Henriquez

The government of the prime minister, Nelson Oduber of the Movimento Electoral di Pueblo (MEP), which was elected for a second four-year term in September, has indicated that it will work on policies to increase revenue from the all-important tourist sector, with a particular focus on attracting more tourists outside the peak seasons.

The government will look to promote events such as conferences, concerts and festivals. The government will also consider privatizing the Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) in a push for increased efficiency. The Centrale Bank van Aruba (the central bank) estimated solid real GDP growth of around 5% in the first half of 2005 on the back of a buoyant tourism sector.

Tourism will remain the main driver of growth over the forecast period, although there are some concerns that a furor surrounding the mid-2005 disappearance of a US citizen (NO NAME AGAIN?) could depress tourist arrivals from that country, Aruba's most important tourist market.

The political scene

Calls for a boycott of Aruban tourism anger the authorities The disappearance in Aruba on May 30th 2005 of an American teenager, Natalee Holloway (September 2005, The political scene), continues to cast a shadow over Aruba’s justice system and tourism industry.

The case has received enormous publicity in both Aruba and the US since her disappearance from a school-organized holiday to the island. The Aruba authorities identified three people they suspected of being connected to her disappearance, but the lack of evidence in the case—no body has been found—forced them to release the three.

Ms Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, has appeared numerous times on a popular US talk show, Dr Phil, accusing the Aruban authorities of releasing murderers and rapists, despite a lack of evidence that either crime occurred. Her attitude (HER ATTITUDE?!! THAT HER DAUGHTER WAS/IS MISSING AND THEY WERE COVERING IT UP?!) angered the Aruban authorities, who have reportedly been denied the right to reply on Dr Phil.

When the show's host, Phil McGraw, and then Robert Riley, the governor of Ms Holloway's home state, Alabama, called for a US-wide boycott of Aruba as a tourist destination, the Aruban government asked for help from the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs to place pressure on the US government. The US State Department indicated that it did not agree with Mr Riley's position, but did not ask the governor to retract his statement.

The domestic economy

Tourism drives growth The Centrale Bank van Aruba (the Central Bank) has reported that the economy strengthened in the second quarter of 2005, with the Partial Economic Activity Index (a useful proxy for GDP) increasing by 5.3% year on year in the second quarter, the latest for which data are available. Tourist arrivals and nights stayed each increased by 3% year on year in the second quarter.

The industry performed less well in the third quarter, in spite of a rise in the number of flights registered by the Aruban Airport Authority, with arrivals down by 12.7% year on year. This has been blamed on the most severe hurricane season on record as well as on higher prices owing to the continued high price of oil. In addition, the collapse of Dutch Caribbean Airlines (DCA) in October 2004 led to a sharp fall in airlift from the Netherlands Antilles; BonairExpress has taken on a few of DCA’s routes, but airlift remains down between the two territories.

The negative publicity surrounding the disappearance of a US teenager, Natalee Holloway, at the end of May is another possible cause for this third-quarter fall. According to market research in the US, the largest tourist market for Aruba, by early November Aruba had fallen from runner-up in a table of perceived safe Caribbean holiday destinations to number seven.

The same research suggested that 46% of those that are not interested in spending their vacation on Aruba indicate that this is either directly or indirectly related to the Holloway case.

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Anonymous said...

These people were not kept from responding on Dr. Phil. Do they have a short term memory problem. Remember Steve Cohen was sent to the Dr. Phil show last time.. and here's what he said.

Steve Cohen, special advisor to Aruba, came on the show hoping for a chance to talk to Beth about where the investigation stands today. Dr. Phil turns to Steve. "So, you're a paid consultant?" he asks.

"That's correct," Steve replies.

"And, who pays you?" Dr. Phil probes.

"I'm actually paid by the tourism industry, which is the Aruban Tourism Authority, and also a group called AHACA, which is an association of hotel owners on the island."

Dr. Phil acknowledges Beth's frustration with Steve and asks Steve what he would like to say to her.

"I regret the rollercoaster of December," says Steve. "I think it was a mistake. I don't think our expectations were that it was going to yield that much, but I really do regret it. The last thing we want to do is be part of any of the emotional trauma that you've experienced up to this point."

Dr. Phil asks Beth if she has something to say in response.

"Well, just what I was saying at the beginning," she says. "As you can see, we're put through enough as it is. And I think that was the problem early on in Aruba. We've had each official who has given us that false hope, and a family doesn't need that. They need facts. They don't need false hope, because we can deal with the truth."

"I know you can," says Steve. "You've dealt with so much already. There's no question that in the early days there were decisions that were made that if we had to make them again, I'm sure we'd make different decisions. But as we go forward now, this case is beginning to come together. There were reports in the last week or so that we were going to give it up. We're not going to give it up. There are so many other things that still have to be explored."

"Did you say to them these boys were going to be brought in within 10 days and re-interrogated?" Dr. Phil asks.

"Yes, I did," he replies. "But I also knew that the prosecutor had a choice to make." He says the choice was whether or not to reveal new evidence right away, if waiting meant a better chance of getting a conviction later.

Steve explains, "Forensic materials continue to be collected. I think we've got our hands on some forensic material now that may actually open up the doors to the final results of this case."

Dr. Phil asks him, "From your opinion, based on what you know, do you believe that these boys are guilty of wrongdoing here?" Steve says that he does. "Do the prosecutors believe they are guilty of wrongdoing?" Steve says that they do. "Do you believe that [the boys] have available, intimate knowledge of what happened to her that night?" Again, Steve confirms that he does.

Dr. Phil says, "You say that you are a consultant paid by the tourism industry that's also working in conjunction with the government, and in the same breath you say that you are the ones that had to let these boys out of jail?"

"I was the guy who had to let them out," says Steve. "I opened the jail door for all three of them. It was nobody else. It was me. And my feeling was that we had lost. And then we didn't lose because we all sat together and said, 'We can figure this out.'"

"It seems to me that the only point of view that needs to be considered, the point of unity and unification in this whole deal, is to find out what happened to this woman's daughter. And if everybody stops covering their ass, if everybody stops running their own agendas, then maybe we can get to that point. I mean, that's all you want, right? You just want answers," says Dr. Phil, turning to Beth.

John answers for her. "We're not going to sit here and say, 'Mr. Cohen's a nice guy. He told us some nice things. Aruba's a nice country.' No! Their daughter's missing. We don't have answers. The answers are down there. They have the resources, they have the men, they have the answers, they've got the suspects, it's all down there for them to solve this, and they're not doing it. We need that done."

grass-PFN said...

Her name is Natalee Holloway, she is a missing Angel,find her now!

Mr. Justice said...

I resent the fact a previous poster suggested Arubans have a memory problem. They don't have a memory problem, but they do have a truth problem. They cannot tell it!

Anonymous said...

There is no truth in the Arubans. Lies or lices are all hiding their heads and private hair. Anita can't take it anymore, she wants to divorce Paulus and gets a lion's share of Paulus's reward money. There will be a new beach security tax for every exit American tourist. If you refuse to pay the tax by cash or credit card, you will be arrested, thrown in jail and made disappeared on the beach just like Joran says. It's quite shocking that the new Dutch Police Commisioner will enforce the new beach tax law. Aruba is a lawless society, No Laws, No Bodies.

Anonymous said...

The Economist agreed that ArubanBoycott is just and a fair punishment for Aruba to come clean on coverups of Joran's gross crime of the murder of Natalee. The NYC judge made a very grave error in letdown of the Civil Case against Joran to put him under oath for his truth about the whereabout of Natalee. He is the last one person with Natalee to the end of all his horrific lies nurtured by the Aruban authorities by complete destruction of all the physical crime evidences in Hague. The Dutch is also a serious co-conspirator parent country. They pamper Aruba for the benefits of illicit business profits flourishing on the Aruban tourist hotel booms. Something had corrupt the judge's mind that we don't really know about. The Hague Conventions clearly tells the judge that NYC has the jurisdiction over Joran and Paulus becasue they accepted the payments to the ABC interview on the American soil. We know there isn't any Forum Non Convenience hardships on Joran at all. He cut school classes in Holland and flew to Australia and Aruba and back and forth countless times to lure blonde girls all over the beaches. He is a bad student and a bad boy, and he gloats in his bad publicity and image. And he thinks he is devil hero above the law and beat the American Liberty system. We can just write off the NYC judge, she is really a disgrace to the American people. Never mind. Lives goes on, we just go ahead to focus on boycotting Aruba in every imaginable and creative ways. We will never apply any violences against Arubans. We are civilzed people, never like the barbarians Dutch. The American people just leverage their economic and political powers to isolate and choke the livehood of the Arubans til the day they will turn over and arrest Joran for the jail and trial. By doing so is the only way to save them from starvation and vanishment from face of this planet.

Anonymous said...

The online poker video game industries are blaming Joran the Liar Poker Pimp for all their legal troubles. IRS and Congress cracked down the Costa Rica offshore operations. They arrested the owners of one online poker gaming betting companay, accused them of pocketing millions of gaming tax money. In the casinos, if the winners and owners pay the gambling tax, there is no problem with the IRS. The offshore gaming scandals have been tracked to Aruba's Excelsior Casinos illict operations under the cooperation of the other arrested tax evasion online owners. Joran was found to owe the IRS approximately 5 million dollars in poker tax. His NYC Civil Case may be overturned by the Justice Department in order to put him under arrest warrants. Joran's lies about the disappearnce of Natalee caught the attention of the IRS inspectors. The mafia operatives certainly want Joran's head on the platter.

Anonymous said...

After the NYC judge made a serious error in her judgement in dismissing the civil case against the wishes of all the goodwill Americans. The Republicans are in the danger of losing the control of the Congress next year, which is a good thing, we need to remove some really bad judges in some political and financial measures to help this country out of the humuliations of being pissed by the Dutches. Everyone agrees that boycotting Aruba is the right thing to do. Their government corruptions and coverup of Natalee's murder case are hurting our great country's ability to end the wars in Mideast. Our American reputations are hampered by the errors made by the NYC judge and lies and slanders hatched by Joran. Aruba is the root cause of all our current problems in American. The US government is corrupted by the Dutch Aruba government on the issues of illict drugs stashing by the Dutch navy personnel in the Caribbean, and the destruction of forensic evidences by the ALE on the missing Natalee. The economic death sentence to Aruba is the proper punishment, and the NYC judge inspired the American people to do so. If Oduber wants to blame the evil Americans, please give the NYC judge a call, and she can tell you she is fine with her conscinece. She doesn't give a shit to anything but herself. Just like Greta, she admires Joran. Well, boycotting Aruba is in momentum, we grassroots poor and unemployed American workers are voting against the House Republicans and Arubans and Dutchies, and drive them out to the Carribean Sea, let them eat the sand cums.

Anonymous said...

The epidemic of insomia is hitting Aruba. People there worrying more white Dutch will come over from Holland to occupy the island. Worry that the white Dutch will take away their autonomy and turn the clock back to the dark days of sex slave colony. The black natives afraid that their young daughters will be round up by the ALE and sold to the Europeans as sex maids. The Holland perverts enjoy black sex these days, a black Aruban chick is worth more than twice of a white Holland girl. The Dutch were the early evil black sex traders in Africa in the last few centuries. The local Arubans have so much nightmares and plan to train some giant Aruban sea rats to attack Joran and have him eaten by the wolf rat packs, so they can have some peace.

Anonymous said...

Congress is getting very furious about the gaming tax evasions by the online black cobra poker touranaments held in the Aruban hotel and casino chains. The criminal offshore operaters ripped off the US Government with trillions of gaming tax since the dawn of the Aruba timeshares tourists scams. The scheme is very easy to understand and can operate in plain view and becomes invisible to the US tax collectors. When a underage gambler like Joran who will be given a timeshare unit in the Holiday Inn by an anonymous Aruban donor, he can have an instant credit of over a million Florine dollars. A timeshare unit is nothing more than a rundown hotel suite with rusty sink and broken mirrors and worn-out carpet. However, all the hotels priced these dirty timeshares above a million dollars each, for the purpose of laundering the gaming and drug money. When Joran lost the bettings over the poker table, he can sell his timeshare to pay his debt. And when he wins a windfall on the cards, he will accept the debtors' timeshares as a payment. All these timeshare units transactions are processed as overnight mortage money, well blended into the legitimate Aruban building construction funds and finance webs. Then the Florines were converted to USD to moved out of Aruba to Holland for further processing and hiding. The Congress is now instructing the IRS inspectors to search the names of the individuals filing a gaming lost deduction in their 1040 tax returns within last 15 years. This offshore scandal is going to sink Aruba to the bottom of the Titanic, not before long, mightbe some corrupt NYC judges were involved, who knows, maybe it explains why the ruling of the Civil Case is irratic. Who knows, corruptions in the judicial system is that all is about. We will see something is really bad to be uncovered. The Joran Liar Poker is the biggest corruption coverup internationally, forks, you ain't seen nothing yet!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm the Joran Liar Poker scam is very profound, it will certainly be abused by the Mideast Al Quata terrorists disgusied as Dutch pimps. To supply the poker money via Aruba to the suicide bombers terrorists to murder our soldiers in Iraq. The Bush Government ought to take a look into these homeland security issues and acusations. How in world Aruba could be possibly linked to the illegal money supply netwrok? This Congress discovery is very hard for the Bush Administration to swallow, because it involves our dear Iraq war ally Netherlands. Boycott Aruba to death! You traitors!

Anonymous said...

There are two things the Dutch can botch badly, the sex and tax. They tax the prostitutes and promote animal sex in Holland and Aruba.

The International Poker Association halted their Aruba tours completely due to the objection of IRS on their illegal accounting practices. The IPA is currently under the IRS internal audits and monitoring. The Aruba hotel rooms are deserted, more than 70% are unoccupied at this moment. Every gamblers are fleeing the island. Aruba's economy is shrinking fast, and Oduber has to dissolve his government 4000 workers in order to save his neck. The Dutch army personnels and soldiers will take over the vacant government post without pay. The Dutch army receives their rations directly from the Queen's warehouse, there is nothing the Oduber government can do about it. Oduber, after all, is just a figure head. Boycott Aruba, Boycott Dutch, Boycott the Queen!

Anonymous said...

The Dutch wooden shoes held a lot of secrets and contrabonds. They were used to smuggle diamonds from South Africa into Holland, Cocaine from Aruba into Canada and stolen kidneys from Argentina into Florida. The Dutch are experienced steathy smugglers, they operate under the LE radar, just like Joran at C&C, at half an hour before closing and departure. The judge also operated on her wooden high heels, hastily made her opinon at the 11th hour so nobody can notice their wrong doings and criminal intents. Boycott Aruba is keeping Aruba fugitives on the Peoples' radar, making sure perpetrators have no place to hide but digging their own graves and bury themselves on their own will. Aruba is facing a huge exdus at this time. The Colombians are asking Oduber, "Let my people go". The Colombians are serving as landfill slaves for decades under the Dutch colonial rule. The Dutch Ramsy will burn the wooden shoes to destroy the Colombians' birthrights. The slaves will never be granted a Dutch passport.

Anonymous said...

"The same research suggested that 46% of those that are not interested in spending their vacation on Aruba indicate that this is either directly or indirectly related to the Holloway case. "

Come, come now ...That percentage is simply unacceptable, particularly since this truly is a matter of life and death for young people every where. There simply needs to be some serious learning on the part of the the other 64%, since once they learn what was done to Natalee and her parents, the notion of 'hospitality to tourists' will go down the drain along with the economic growth anticipated through such tourists.
Who in their right mind would want to take their family to an island that sets murderers and rapists free, after charges of kidnapping, rape, heavy batter and murder have been tossed around - only then to see murderers prancing on the beaches and back at the social clubs only to drug their next victims?