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Aruba finance minister rejects Dutch involvement

July 19, 2014

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) — Aruba’s finance minister says the Dutch Caribbean island will not bow to pressure from the Netherlands to impose austerity measures to revive the local economy.

Juan David Yrausquin told The Associated Press on Saturday that officials already have cut costs and downsized the government.

His announcement comes after Prime Minister Mike Eman and other officials staged a weeklong hunger strike to protest what they say is meddling by the Dutch in local financial affairs.

Dutch officials have asked Aruba’s governor to hold off on approving the 2014 budget pending an evaluation of it. Aruba is facing a major deficit and its national debt represents 75 percent of its GDP.

Hundreds of opposition supporters marched to Aruba’s Parliament on Friday and demanded to talk to officials about the island’s economic woes.

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