Curacao gets the most attention in Kingdom Relations debate

POSTED: 10/26/11 11:35 AM

VVD concerned about St. Maarten’s budget

THE HAGUE – Tuesday’s debate by the Second Chamber’s Committee on Kingdom Affairs on the budget of the Ministry of Kingdom Relations centered mainly on the situation in Curacao while St. Maarten and Aruba got minimal attention in the debate.

The main concern about St. Maarten is the budget. The worry over how things are going was raised by Andre Bosman of the VVD, but D66 MP Wassila Hachchi said she remained positive about how things would go.

A majority of parties used the debate to say they don’t support the Netherlands setting up an independent committee to investigate corruption allegations in Curacao.

Committee Chairman Willibrord van Beek had requested that MPs keep the interruptions to a minimum but the Labor Party, D66 and GreenLeft took the PVV party’s representative in the Committee – Eric Lucassen – to task several times over his party’s position. In reply Lucassen said he and his party are looking out for the interests of the people on the islands by requesting the investigation. He also stressed a belief that the recent report by a committee led by Paul Rosenmöller and the recently leaked memo by the Security Service, which states that at least four ministers in the Schotte-Cabinet do not meet the criteria to hold their posts are proof that the investigation should be done.

Labor MP Martijn van Dam said, “As long as the PVV acts as an enemy of Antilleans, then no one really wants to go along with them, and rightly so. The approach is similar to that of Hero Brinkman who continuously said Antilleans are no good and unable to change.”

Van Dam’s comments were supported by D66 MP Wassila Hachchi, but Lucassen fired back that Brinkman had pointed to the corruption among the leaders in the islands, not the people themselves. He also told Hachchi to remember her party leader Alexander Pechtold was the one to initiate the debt relief program when he was minister of kingdom relations.

GreenLeft’s Ineke van Gent added that there was still no evidence that a crime had been committed.

“If there is crime, then something must be done. But if not, then I find it difficult to discuss,” van Gent said in the debate.

André Bosman of the VVD and Ronald van Raak of the SP zeroed in on the situation on Curacao and wanted to know how long minister Donner would wait for action by  the Government of Curacao on recommendations in the Rosenmöller report.

“Will the governor take action or will the letter from the Kingdom Council of Ministers to Schotte take a different course,” Bosman asked.

All MPs have asked the minister again to take a greater coordinating role with respect to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Donner will answer the questions and concerns on Wednesday.

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