Oranjestad, St. Eustatius- The Island Council of St. Eustatius is not enthused about a possible change from the US dollar to the Euro.
That became clear, earlier this week, after Councilman Koos Sneek tabled a draft motion calling -among others- for a possible change to the Euro as currency on the island.
“This should be better analyzed, before we adopt a motion calling for such a change”, said Council lady and PLP Party Leader Rechelline Leerdam. Leerdam referred to the earlier experience when the Antillean Guilder was changed for the US dollar.
Prices and salaries
“What you saw happening was that the price in Guilders was changed for the exact amount but in US dollars, making things much more expensive”, according to Leerdam. Leerdam also noted that at the time only the salaries of employees were calculated based on the official conversion rate of 1.79 per US dollar.
Leerdam warned that the same could happen, if a move was now made from the US dollar to the Euro. The sentiment expressed by Leerdam was shared by most other Council members.
A choice for the US dollar was made in preparation to 10/10/10 when Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba were integrated as part of The Netherlands. While the Euro is the currency in The Netherlands, the US dollar was deemed a better choice for the islands, as both tourism and imports are dominated by the US dollars.
Working with the Euro at the time was deemed risky because of potentially big fluctuations in the exchange rate between US dollar and the Euro.