Opinion: Guilty by association

POSTED: 11/30/11 7:05 AM

It was to be expected: the Kingdom Council of Ministers swallows Curacao’s plan to have its integrity examined by transparency international. Kingdom Relations Minister Piet Hein Donner, who will most likely soon disappear from the political scene to become the successor of Herman Tjeenk Willink as the Council of State’s Vice President, must have accepted the idea the Schotte-government offered to him as an early Christmas present.

How wonderful. Transparency International will make 350,000 guilders for a meaningless integrity investigation. The project will take so long that by the time TI presents its findings (namely, that there is nothing wrong with the government’s integrity but that there is room for improvement; and, yes, there are grounds to do more research) everybody will have forgotten what it was all about.

Donner will no longer be around to be held responsible for good governance in the West and the ministers who came under suspicion in the Rosenmöller report (Gerrit Schotte, George Jamaloodin and Abdul Nasser el Hakim) will not have been investigated at all.

The Dutch Parliament is not done with this hot potato yet, because a majority disagrees with the decision to let Curacao off the hook so easily.

The decision will strengthen Schotte’s firm belief that he is able to do whatever he wants in his personal kingdom and that the Netherlands will never have the balls to interfere. That is probably an accurate assessment.

This means that the current government in Willemstad will continue on its chosen path. More harassment for Central Bank President Emsley Tromp, more political interference with that same Central Bank, and more nepotism and favoritism.

Curacao is setting a bad example for the other Kingdom partners, but the Kingdom Council of Ministers is guilty by association. It took a weak decision, just to be rid of a problem it felt powerless to solve.

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