Sint Maarten to Join the European Union
Thursday April 12th, 2012
Upon receiving permission from our protectorate, Rhine Ruhr, the Estates of Sint Maarten immediately put to vote Maarten's membership to the European Union. The motion was passed 13-2. European Membership had support of both the National Alliance and the United People's Party. The only representatives to vote against membership hail from the Democratic Party. Chairlady Gracita Arrindell spoke with us about the vote "As ironic as this may sound, joining the supranational organization of nations is actually a step toward sovereignty for Sint Maarten".
A representative to the European Council has not been decided on as of yet. There are several candidates, one proposed by each active party, that need to be reviewed by the Estates of Sint Maarten. Upon appointment by the Estates, the Councilman must then be approved by the Rhinian Government.
Being a protectorate of Rhine Ruhr allows us self-governance, but we shall remain closely linked to Rhine Ruhr as they provide us military and political protection. In exchange for said protection, we give Rhinian citizens and government exclusive freedoms when it comes to our economy and government. Rhine Ruhr provides us influence and in return we share our resources with them.
Blue Marble Cruises is Live!
Saturday June 2nd, 2012
The ambitious new Cruise Line brought forth by Maartian Inge Heymans is now in the process of building its first cruise ship. The ship has yet to be named, nor has its construction been officially confirmed yet. We had the chance to have a quick word with Mr. Heymans who had this to say:
"Blue Marble Cruises will revolutionize the way Europeans travel and spend their holidays. We will provide first class services to our guests and give them the most rewarding experience whilst exploring the high seas."
The project may have been green lighted, but the young company is still far away from its maiden voyage. The most optimistic estimates place the maiden voyage happening in early August although this is subject and likely to change. One of the many challenges facing the Cruise line is the apparent lack of interest amongst investors in coastal locations. This may result in tough negotiations amongst governments and the company on issues such as porting and tourism.
Job Fair to be Held in Philipsburg
Monday June 4th, 2012
The cruise line Blue Marble Cruises will be holding a jobs fair in Philipsberg tomorrow. This will be the company's first stop on a world wide tour looking for employees to work on their ship(s). The expo will begin on the fifth and end will conclude on the sixth. The doors will open at 9 a.m. AST (Atlantic Standard Time) and close at 6 p.m. AST on both days. Blue Marble Cruises as a Maartian company will look to hire at least two hundred employees to start off their tour.
In Sint Maarten the jobs that are being advertised are:
- Hospitality - Room services (cleaning/deliveries/ext)
- Custodial Staff
- Waiting Staff
- Food Preparation (Chefs, cooks, buffet watch, deliveries)
- Entertainment (band to preform live daily, ambient music)
It is rumored that the Cruise Line will be searching for a captain of Creole nationality. If you are unable to find work during this expo, there will be further expos in the future. Once the company is able to visit Sint Maarten hundreds of jobs are looked to be created in the local tourism industry alone. The next job fair by Blue Marble Cruises will be held in Belfast, United Kingdom.
Job Fair Complete
Thursday June 7th, 2012
As the doors are shutting in the Philipsburg Conference Building 250 people will leave employed by the ambitious company Blue Marble Cruises. Most of those employed will be under the Hospitality sector of the company, which means they will be cleaning and serving for the Company. A few chefs were hired as well claiming some of the island's favorite local cooks. The band Slice o' Spice has been recruited by the cruise line to perform daily shows on the outer decks. Igne Heymans sounded optimistic as he left the fair:
"We have succeeded our expectations here in Philipsburg. It really pleases me that we were able to employ so many from my home nation of Sint Maarten. Not only, because the island's economy is in a struggle, but Europe too gets to meet our people for the first time. These representatives of our beautiful nation will be remembered by European citizens for their solid work ethic and first class service. We will be headed to the UK next week and I only see the momentum continuing to increase."
Not only has the hiring process begun, but the company too has been releasing a deck plan to the public each day since the ship's construction began. The cruise line too will start a heavy advertising campaign in Europe. Blue Marble Cruises will work heavily with the newly established EUBC to get their content distributed during upcoming events. With any luck they will get advertising during the next Eurovoice in Rhine Ruhr as well as the nation's newspapers. In the coming weeks this news source expects Blue Marble Cruises to begin releasing ports of call as well as the various excursions these ports will offer.
Estates Elections Approaching
Saturday June 23rd, 2012
The yearly Estates election will be here before we even know it. Tuesday, August 7th, will be the day that we head to the polls to elect the second Estates of Sint Maarten. Currently the Coalition between the United Peoples Party (UP) and the Democratic Party (DP) hold a majority of the 15 seat Estates. The National Alliance (NA) looks to halt the momentum of the island's newest party, the UP. If the NA gains one seat this election, it would lead to the dismantlement of the UP/DP Coalition, and the end of Gracita Arrindell (DP) reign as Chairlady as well as a change in Prime Minister for the island.
Currently the Estates of Sint Maarten are divided as follows:
National Alliance Party - 7 seats
United Peoples Party - 6 seats
Democratic Party - 2 seats
Once the greatest political party of the island, the Democratic Party has fallen behind in recent years. The party still retains high influence as it houses both the current Prime Minister and Chairlady of the Estates of Sint Maarten. This high representation of an unpopular party does not sit well with a majority of Maartian citizens. The centrists UP too has been decreasing in popularity for not delivering on campaign promises. The party is so diverse that through a series of compromises within the party as well as ones with DP, no final bill resembles its original form. The NA have maintained a steady base over the years and will look to make a push this year for a majority.
Public Opinion Poll:
National Alliance: 45%
United Peoples Party: 40%
Democratic Party: 10%
European Councillor Selected
Wednesday July 4th, 2012
The Estates of Sint Maarten have come together and have chosen Sophie Aukes to represent the island in the European Council. Aukes of the UP was appointed via eight of the fifteen seats in the Estates. The United Peoples Party and the Democratic Party coalition outvoted the National Alliance by once again just a single vote. Aukes nomination will be presented to our protector, Rhine Ruhr, for eventual approval. Politicians are confident that Rhine Ruhr will accept the approval, thus granting Sint Maarten representation within the European Council. The UP is a party underneath the EFP banner which likewise the executive branch of Rhine belongs.
The NA argues that the Rhinian government should deny Aukes' nomination, because with the election nearing it may not be in the will of the people that Aukes be elected. The NA believes that this election is just another abuse by the coalition to enforce their will upon the island before they lose seats in the coming election. There is also another reason why Rhine Ruhr may reject the nomination. Rhine may not want Sint Maarten to be represented in the European Council. Sint Maarten after all is a protectorate of Rhine Ruhr and the state may want to retain control over the island.
Public Opinion Poll:
National Alliance: 49%
United Peoples Party: 36%
Democratic Party: 8%
Councillor Appointment Rejected by Dusseldorf
Friday July 6th, 2012
President Jeffery of Rhine Ruhr in a controversial move, has denied the appointment of Sophie Aukes to represent Sint Maarten in the European Council. This decision made just a few short days after Aukes was chosen via a 8-7 vote in the Estates. When asked about his decision The President responded:
"Its apparent that the political climate is shifting in Sint Maarten. With elections rapidly approaching on the Island, I find it best that we wait to appoint a potential Councilor until after the next Estates of Sint Maarten is elected. Once we have a government freshly chosen by the people, we can begin this process once again."
The NA views this decision as a victory for the party, as they believe they will be the ones in power after the election. They look forward to being able to send a Councillor to Europolis under the S&D banner. The leader of the National Alliance had this to say "We will soon bring the voice of the majority to both Sint Maarten and to Europolis. Both these locations suffer from the tyranny of the minority. Its no longer politics as usual, the government will once again become the peoples'!"
Whilst the NA is celebrating, others speculate that Rhine Ruhr may just not want the Island to be represented. Well we mean, not represented by Rhine Ruhr. Lets face it we are a protectorate of Rhine Ruhr, its technically their duty to look out for us and speak on our behalf. Is it really our role to speak out against Rhine Ruhr?
UP Gaining Ground
Sunday July 30th, 2012
With just over a week to go before the Estates Election the United Peoples Party has started the final push for undecided voters coming into the vote. This center left party is currently in a coalition with the right leaning Democratic Party. This coalition is likely to dissolve regardless of the election outcome. Currently the election is shaping up to have either a NA or UP majority in the Estates. This push came as a surprise to the NA as they were comfortably ahead of each other party and nearing a majority of populace votes. Once a one horse race, the Estates election is gearing up to be quite the close competition.
Public Opinion Poll:
National Alliance: 46%
United Peoples Party:45%
Democratic Party: 7%
National Alliance Takes Estates
Turesday, August 07, 2012
The Estates of Sint Maarten have a new party in power. The National Alliance has acquired 8 seats following the results of today's election. Now holding the majority of the 15 seated Estates, the NA looks to alter the national policy for a more socially minded Sint Maarten. The United Peoples Party managed to grab six seats and the Democrats lost a seat putting them at one. Rhinian officials have looked over the results of the election and verified that they are legitimate. In the coming days we will see the election of a new Chair of the Estates and a new Prime Minister by the new Estates. This election may have European consequences for now the possibility of a Maartian Council representative has opened. The NA party is registered with the European S&D so the young party looks to be growing ever stronger.
National Alliance: 55% - 8 Seats
United Peoples Party: 40% - 6 Seats
Democratic Party: 5% - 1 Seat
The New Government
Thursday, September 6th, 2012
After a slight recess, the Estates of Sint Maarten met to elect both a new Chair of the Estates, and a new Prime Minister. Brynne Kevins was selected to be the Chairwoman of the Estates via a 12-3 vote. Kevins, a representative hailing from the city of Philipsburg, has been a leading voice of the National Alliance campaigning heavily for the party on social issues. Naturally Kevins' appointment met opposition from the Democratic Party, however it surprisingly split the votes of the UP.
The next Prime Minister of the island will be Selina Garrett. Garrett is a career politician, who has held public office since graduating from the Rhinain School of Law in 1989. Garrett started as a city councilor only to become a mayor within a few years. After several terms as mayor, Selina Garrett graduated to the Estates. Now a Prime Minister, Selina Garrett is now the first of the island to have served in every level of public office..
National Alliance to Begin Vetting European Councillor Picks
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Now having been fully settled into the Estates of Sint Maarten, the National Alliance is now looking at potential candidates for nomination to the European Council. Once a representative is chosen by the party leadership, they will be presented to the Estates for approval. Since the NA holds a nice majority, it is abundantly likely that the candidate will be approved by the Estates. The real challenge in the process is seeking approval from Rhine Ruhr. A previous attempt of Sint Maarten seeking representation in the European Council was blocked by the President Jeffery of Rhine Ruhr. President Jeffery legitimized his previous decision noting the changing political atmosphere of the island. If another appointment is denied by the President, it could lead to a strain on relation between the protectorate and Rhine Ruhr.
Local Star Granted Barony in Os Corelia
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Bob Lyons, the winner of Europe's Got Talent VIII has just been given a new title: Baron. Bob Lyons is the first and only non-native to be given the title of Baron by the island nation Os Corelia in recognition of his talents and promotion of island culture throughout the European Union. Lyons was not the only musician given the title that night as every Corelian winner of Eurovoice joined him in the honors. "It is quite astonishing" exclaimed the steel drum enthusiast. "To be regarded as highly as some of the most talented and recognized artists of this era is truly humbling" continued Lyons.
After being granted the title Baron Lyons of Tolchek Island, Bob played a short set list before giving a short speech.
"It is a true honor to be here today with all of you. Back when I was on Europe's Got Talent, I thought I was merely representing myself and my home nation of Sint Maarten in its inaugural entry into the competition. Since those days, I've come to the realization that I am actually a cultural ambassador representing islanders everywhere in this region. Over the past few years, we've witnessed an increasing islander presence in the European Union with nations like Os Corelia and Pax Aurea leading the charge and islands such as Sint Maarten following suit. It is important that we artistic peoples continue to showcase our values and cultures to the world. Our shared peaceful and inviting message has touched the lives of millions and will continue to do so for years to come. I am proud to call myself an Os Corelian!"
Of course Bob Lyons is still a citizen of Sint Maarten and he does not ever intend on changing his identity. Other honors the musician had received include and official day on the Sint Maarten Calender, the Key to the Island, and the Islander of the Year (2012). Lyons plans on spending much of 2013 on tour in both Os Corelia and Rhine Ruhr, but firstly he has been asked to help find Sint Maarten's next entry for Europe's Got Talent.
Social Conservatism on the Rise
Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Despite last year's victory for the National Alliance, many demographers are noticing the growing trend of social conservatism on the island. The changes can be seen even in the Estates of Sint Maarten which recently banned homosexual marriage, outlawed genetic research, and reinstated the uniform code for all of the island's schools. Demographer Robbe Van Der See attributes the recent changes with a sudden "push back" on European values that the island people fear will kill their unique culture "European powers lately have been petitioning in the Council for policies that would enforce foreign values at the expense of other cultures and Sint Maarten is doing its best to resist such change".
It is not that the National Alliance has abandoned its platform. Since the NA took the majority within the Estates, spending on welfare and education has increased. The island even has begun constructing its first public transportation system in an effort to reduce carbon emissions and dependencies on foreign fuel. Social issues seem to have taken a backseat to environmental and nation-building efforts. Recent actions by the Estates have left a few National Alliance supporters disappointed, but most of Sint Maarten has shown support for the return to social conservatism.
Tropical Wave Spotted in Atlantic
Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013
Today meteorologists at the Caribbean Weather Center spotted a developing storm just west of the Aurean Isles. This wave is traveling west with winds around 15 knots. Although not uncommon during the tropical season, experts worry that this wave may develop into a more organized storm while approaching the Caribbean. Warmer than average oceans coupled with the lack of fronts to the west make for a scenario where a possibly devastating storm strikes the Caribbean. We will continue to follow this storm and bring you any updates on the tropical wave's development.
Tropical Depression Heads West
Friday, July 5th, 2013
The storm is beginning to increase in intensity as it approaches warmer and warmer waters. The Caribbean Weather Center predicts that the storm will develop into a tropical storm by the end of the day. It is unusual for the ocean waters to be this warm so early into the season and its contributing to the rapid development of this storm. It is still too early to predict the path of the tropical depression, but satellites reveal that a core is beginning to form. Even though the future of this tropical cyclone is uncertain, we urge our readers to begin preparing for the Hurricane season on general. Stock up on food supplies and batteries. Those who have generators should look to store spare fuel. Those located in flood zones and unreinforced buildings should locate their evacuation shelter and begin practicing evacuation plans with your family. We will continue to keep our readers updated on the development of this depression.
Tropical Storm Athena
Saturday, July 6th, 2013
The first tropical storm of the season has been officially named. Athena who we have been tracking is nearing Caribbean waters and looks to increase yet again in intensity. Now with a visible center of circulation, this cyclone now presents some danger to local communities. The Caribbean Weather service is currently analyzing some of the storm's data and will soon be projecting the likely path of the storm. Most experts agree that Athena will become a hurricane withing the next eighteen hour period. Even though the future of Tropical Storm Athena is uncertain, we urge our readers to begin preparing for the Hurricane season in general. Stock up on food supplies and batteries. Those who have generators should look to store spare fuel. Those located in flood zones and unreinforced buildings should locate their evacuation shelter and begin practicing evacuation plans with your family. We will continue to keep our readers updated on the development of this named storm.
Sunday, July 7th, 2013
Early this morning it was confirmed by the Caribbean Weather Center that Athena is now indeed a hurricane. Current wind speeds of Hurricane Athena are around 77mph which classifies Athena as a category one hurricane. Heading west-northwest at 22mph, Athena looks to enter the Caribbean within the next twenty-four hours. Evacuation orders have already been given in the Aurean Islands of Colonial Nova and Celestia. Sint Maarten has just started a reverse-911 calling strategy to notify citizens of the coming storm and evacuation procedures. Current projected storm paths are:
Several paths suggest that Athena will move directly over several European territories in the are and most projections have the islands being within the storm's range. A front coming from the west is expected to push Athena northwest starting next Tuesday. Athena should be only a memory by Thursday. It is possible that Athena could become a category two hurricane just before the storm begins to disband.
Projections have been made concerning Athena's effect on local coastlines. The map below represents the threats to local islands by storm surge. The red represents severe storm surge where winds of hurricane speed force water up the coast and in some cases into the mainland. The yellow represents moderate storm surge with tropical winds under 75mph. It is expected that much of these natural beaches will erode during the storm. We urge all of our readers to stay away from the coast during the storm as these areas will flood and if anything is left unsecured, it will be dragged out into the sea.
If you have not prepared for this storm yet, do so now. These storms are deadly and are not to be taken lightly.
Athena is Upon Us
Monday, July 8th, 2013
The power is fluctuating currently at our offices in Prince's Quarter, Sint Marrten. Thankfully one of the interns brought a fully charged laptop so we could continue posting articles amid the chaos outside. Hopefully we can get this message out before our power goes out rendering our router useless. The Caribbean Weather Service is reporting that the eye of Hurricane Athena will pass just northeast of Colonial Nova. This unfortunately is not good news for our islands. We will be getting hit by the most dangerous part of the storm, the hurricane eyewall. The eyewall is the part of the storm immediately surrounding the eye where the strongest winds and heaviest rains are located.
We beg our readers to stay indoors as the winds can turn any inanimate object into a deadly projectile. The storm surge has made its way up the beach and is currently flooding the coastal streets of Philipsburg. Flash flooding is a serious danger and walking the streets should be avoided at all costs. For those of you who have not relocated to a shelter, you will have to stick out the rest of the storm in your current location. Stay away from windows as they can shatter and cause life threatening injury once picked up by the winds. Stay in a insular room that does not have any windows in it. This will keep you safest in the case of storm spawned tornadoes. Remember, the only things that can't be replaced are human souls. Do not do anything to risk either your own or others' safety.
The New Face of Athena
Monday, July 15th, 2013
Meet Louisa Abels. Louisa lived in the northern parts of Columbier, Sint Maarten until a landslide during Hurricane Athena took everything she once had. She and her family were riding out the storm in their two bedroom home at the time of the mudslide. The mudslide completely flattened the home in a matter of seconds, leaving Lousia and her family trapped underneath the earth. She managed to dig her way out of her home, but she would be the only member of her family to do so. A group of volunteers from Davishire would be the first to arrive onto the scene days after the storm. Her life destroyed, Lousia Abels was found still grieving her loss wearing nothing but a bed sheet.
After brief medical treatment and European TLC, Louisa joined her rescuers and helped pull others out of the rubble where her neighborhood once stood. Sixteen others would be pulled out alive. When asked about her ordeal Louisa said "This must be the Lord's plan. Who am I to question it?" Indeed this must be his plan. With stories similar to Louisa Abels' springing up all across the island, we are given hope about our future and we now know that Sint Maarten will recover from this disaster. At this time the death toll is now forty-two.
Antilles Creole would like to thank all of European Union for this outpouring of humanitarianism. In this great time of tragedy and horror, our faith in both the region and in each other is unshaken. Thank you: Rhine Ruhr, Pax Aurea, Davishire, North Europa, Nouvelle Picardie, Marrakechia, Inquista, Gun-toting Animals, Kryuland, Os Corelia, Bakrova, and the United Kingdom.
European Council Approves ERF Deployment to Caribbean
Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
Council Speaker Acwellan Devoy gleefully announced that the ERF deployment to the Caribbean was approved by the European Council in a historic vote. With sixteen votes for the deployment with zero against or abstaining, this resolution has now become the most supported proposal in the European Council's history. Along with Sint Maarten, the Aurean Isles of Colonial Nova and Provincia Celesta will be receiving aid from the European Relief Force. The half-year project will cost one-hundred and sixty million euros and will provide the islands with much needed supplies while each nation begins to rebuild Prime Minister Selina Garret addressed the Council following the proposal's passing:
"I would like to thank all of European Union for the aid that has already been given to us and the aid that will now come from the Council. Many are still struggling in Sint Maarten, but the time for mourning is beginning to pass. The time to begin rebuilding has now arrived. For the next six months, crews will begin working around the clock building a new and improved Sint Maarten that will ensure a brighter and safer future for our posterity. The sheer magnitude of kindness that Europe has displayed is unprecedented and it will never be forgotten by my people. "
Indeed, we will never forget. Sint Maarten still has a long road to recovery, but we will pull through.