New structure for former Netherlands Antilles under discussion
The Lower House in the Dutch Parliament started discussions on Monday on a possible new structure for Curacao, St Maarten and Aruba, with the parties involved indicating that the former Netherlands Antilles islands have to choose whether to tackle their problems of finances and corruption or opt for a commonwealth.
This initiative was prompted by a note from the Dutch parties VVD and the SP; however, there is some controversy over the issue in the Dutch Parliament.
During the consultation, the parties spoke about a new partnership in which the relationship with the Netherlands is equitable. In the case of a Commonwealth the islands are independent but have co-operation as a starting point.
Other parties, however, are opposed to this and believe that rules laid down in the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands must be followed. In other words, “the financial problems and corruption must be tackled without the islands reacting against Dutch involvement.”
“The Netherlands is responsible under the statute and must intervene sometimes,” said VVD MP André Bosman.
Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk was not present during Monday’s debate.