So many people in the country are dissatisfied. They had hope that things would be better after the election on 25 May 2020. But it is only despair, anger, disappointment and sadness. The division in the country can be seen more now than before. People now emigrate to other countries when an opportunity presents itself. This causes shortage of staff, especially in the health sector. This has even cost the lives of innocent babies.
On July 16, 2020, a new government came into being which knew that the financial and economic situation was in a bad state. The country’s credit rating was to junk status on July 8 – even before this government took over. The degradation was related to Suriname’s high debt and shortage of foreign currency, with no prospects for more production. Suriname could not pay Oppenheimer’s bondholders and asked for a postponement. The predictions were anything but hopeful. The situation was so bad that the local banks no longer wanted to lend money to the government to pay salaries.
It was already noticeable before the election that Suriname was in a bad state and without skilled and selfless leaders it would be impossible to put things in order. The new government had thought the job could be done as the diaspora had enough capital, more than IMF, to give palliative injections to the critically ill country. Attempts were made to raise fresh capital, but it was fiasco upon fiasco. The many investors who would stand in line turned out to be pranksters.
In any case, a tight adjustment program had to be carried out. In the end, the government had no choice but to turn to the IMF. That process has not been smooth one because of the strict conditions that the government must adhere to. If you don’t, sanctions will follow. At each quarterly evaluation, the goals must be met, otherwise no money will come in. The VAT has been postponed, so no money has come in June. It was thought that US$125 million would come in from the IMF in September, but that too will be postponed again, because the conditions must first be met.
It is important that things are put in order, otherwise the country will not be able to break out of the stranglehold of the default status. You don’t need any predators in the pipeline to navigate the land safely through the turbulent sulas. How will there not be anger when rulers enrich and accommodate themselves, family, friends, party members, sponsors, while vultures are on the lookout for the emaciated people? What can be expected of people who lose their children, who can hardly afford dry bread to fill the hungry stomachs? How can you ask for love and trust when scandal after scandal piles up and the wrong behavior goes uncorrected? As long as ‘predators don’t become pets’, the government cannot count on understanding the one-sided, unbearable sacrifices demanded of the people. The patience of the provoked people has reached its limits.