|Pourier, an Antillean in heart and soul, has passed away|
|Monday, 25 March 2013 10:23|
WILLEMSTAD — Miguel Pourier, founder of Fundashon PAR and the political party PAR and the premier of the Netherlands Antilles three times, passed away last weekend at the age of 74. Pourier had been seriously ill for some time. He was commemorated this morning as a great man and a fighter for integrity and sound financial policy, but most of al he was an Antillean in heart and soul.Pourier was born on September 29th 1938 on Bonaire, but spent a large part of his life on the Curaçao, where he also attended school. After having studied Tax Law at the Tax Academy in Rotterdam and at the Catholic College in Tilburg, he returned to the Antilles in 1962, where he worked at the Tax Department. After making his career at the government service, he became the director of the Tax Department.
In the Evertsz-cabinet, Pourier was minister of Welfare from 1973 to 1977 and became minister of Economic Affairs and of Finance later on. In the interim-cabinet Pourier I, he was the minister of General Affairs and of Development Collaboration from July to November 1979. After his premiership, Pourier returned to the Tax Department where he became director. Mid eighties, Pourier was one of the co-founders of pressure group Kousa Komun, which advocated transparency and good corporate governance on Curaçao.
In 1983, Pourier left the government and became general manager at the then ABN Amro. A position he held until 1991. In that year he founded his own constancy firm. In this function, he was appointed chairman of the Inquiry Committee St. Maarten that was to investigate corruption on the Windward Island. During that period, Pourier was also chairman of the Committee Integral social-economic approach Bonaire, which studied possibilities for sustainable economic development on Bonaire.
Early nineties, Pourier was in the foreground with one of the largest political changes on Curaçao. En route to the referendum of 1993, together with congenial persons he founded the institution striving for restructuring of the Antilles. This institution advocated option A at the referendum, namely the status of the Antilles, contrary to the local politicians who choose for option B, autonomous status for Curaçao. Option A got almost 74 percent of the votes with the referendum. After the referendum, in December 1993, Pourier became one of the founders of the PAR, at the time, the Partido Antia Restrukturá (PAR).
With the Parliamentary elections in 1994 the PAR won eight of the fourteen Curaçao seats in the Antillean Parliament. The new party assumed power with a clear message: “Let’s clean up the mess”. An end must come to the misgovernment and corruption of the previous years. Led by Pourier, the PAR won all elections between 1995 and 1999. In that period Pourier was premier from 1994 to1998 and from 1999 to 2002. As premier, Pourier’s main aim as regards policy was to improve the financial situation of the Antilles. Under his command, drastic measures were announced and implemented, assuming the Netherlands would keep its promise to support the Antilles financially. However, the Netherlands never kept the meanwhile notorious ‘pas de deux’, to Pourier’s great disappointment.
A disappointed Pourier left active politics in 2002. He appointed Etienne Ys as his successor who became premier and the political leader of the PAR. After his political career, Pourier remained active as advisor for various authorities and persons, but also for the party he had once founded.
Pourier was especially known as the man of the financial measures such as introducing the General Spending Tax and the dismissal rounds both with the island and national government services. However, many forget his role with the foundation of Institution Development Fund Netherlands Antilles (Sofna) and Reda Sosial, both laboring for the destitute in the society. In 2001, it became known for the first time that Pourier was seriously ill. In that year he flew to the Netherlands for medical treatment.