Editorial: Silly season

POSTED: 07/22/13 11:58 AM

The fuss in the Netherlands about the position of the Caribbean islands in the Kingdom is a typical piece of non-news. Prime Minister Rutte simply stated a fact, and there is nothing new about it.

Apparently Dutch journalists have not considered the right to self-determination that belongs to all people. The people of St. Maarten decide about their destiny, not the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

It is absolute nonsense to suggest, as the Telegraaf did on Saturday, that the islands’ position in the Kingdom is on the line. The Dutch have no authority to kick out St. Maarten or any of the other islands, and the Dutch government has nothing to say about any decisions the islands may take in the future about this issue.

Reading the reactions in the on-line Telegraaf makes clear why this story became a (non)-issue: this is what people in the Netherlands want to hear, even though many of them have never been to the Antilles and could not pinpoint St. Maarten on a map even if you promised them a million dollars,

After all, ’tis the silly season in the Netherlands and newspaper readers are entitled to some excitement. Anything will do.

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