Caribbean countries offer aid to Dutch government

POSTED: 06/15/11 1:35 PM

THE HAGUE – St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba stand ready to help the Dutch government in carrying out the responsibilities the latter has towards Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The request for aid came from Senator Frank van Kappen on day one of the inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation and Members of Parliament from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom have said they’re willing to urge their governments to assist where they can.

“We are following the dismantling become directly responsible for the three islands in the Caribbean. That means we depend on cooperation with other countries in the region,” van Kappen said.

The Dutch Senator said education and cooperation were areas where cooperation could be strengthened as there is an existing usage. He also believes that air travel also needs attention and that the Dutch government should raise the issue of ticket prices on Winair with their counterparts in the Caribbean.

A proposal by National Alliance leader William Marlin that service level agreements be drafted received support from all the delegations. Those agreements will spell out exactly what support will be provided.

“It’s good if we can make arrangements for a service level agreement, whereby we determine what care we can provide,” Marlin said.

Chairman of St. Maarten’s permanent committee on Kingdom Relations and Inter-Parliamentary Affairs Roy Marlin added that the cooperation should take the desires of Saba and St. Eustatius into account, when a deal is being struck with St. Maarten.

“Ultimately, they want the same features as the Netherlands and therefore prefer for medical care to look like what exists in the Netherlands,” Marlin said.

He also pointed out that the Dutch delegation’s desire for lower tariffs on Winair should also be translated into a discussion on the costs of KLM’s tickets to St. Maarten, which have become more expensive since the Netherlands Antilles was dismantled.

Pueblo Soberano leader Helmin Wiels stressed healthcare cooperation and pointed out, “We have 25 years experience of working with Aruba, when it comes to the hospital, the CPC and the Capriles Clinic.”

Based on a proposal by Brigitte van de Burg, chairman of the meeting, it was decided that a more elaborate proposal would be crafted and the matter would be referred to the Kingdom Conference that the governments of all countries will attend in October.


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