Opinion: Maximum pressure

POSTED: 10/21/11 12:02 PM

Sad but true: the Caribbean part of the Kingdom is only news in the Netherlands when the news is bad. This is why Dutch newspapers spend a lot of ink on Curacao, and hardly any on St. Maarten. As far as the Netherlands is concerned, St. Maarten is irrelevant (Pechtold said that on the political level the interest in our island is zero), and if one considers the coverage Curacao is now getting, this is something to be almost grateful for. We are left to our own devices, but that is exactly what we wanted right? Autonomy within the Kingdom.
Paul Brill wrote a column in the Volkskrant yesterday about Curacao. The tone of his piece is somber, and his conclusion is so typical Dutch, that it is predictable.
First of all, Brill has now elevated the content of the Rosenmöller report to the truth. That’s a bit rash, we think. Not that we think there is no truth in the report at all, but to take all content now for a fact would probably even go too far for Rosenmöller. After all, he recommends that his findings are examined by a committee of wise men.
But Brill gallops ahead, though it is hard to fault him for his remark that Curacao is developing into an enormous problem. After that, Brill goes full steam ahead: “Corruption flourishes in
Curacao up to the heart of the government that took office last year. Several ministers maintain dubious connections, they are involved in suspicious transactions and appoint friends to important posts.”
This is stuff Rosenmöller put in his report. It is also stuff that he has recommended for serious scrutiny. But, Brill notes correctly, the government in Curacao scoffs at the report, and it does not plan to do anything with it.
Brill laments that politicians in Curacao put all problems on the account of the Dutch drive to meddle in their affairs. He notes as well that entrepreneurs in Curacao are wondering whether it makes any sense to stay on the island.
The Netherlands is confronted with a familiar dilemma, Brill wrote. It could stay on the sidelines, risking that the sdityuation deteriorates firther, or it could raise its voice, risking accusations of colonial behavior. Damn if you do and damned if you don’t.
Brill’s opinion wanders into the field of a total separation. “It were wonderful if we could free ourselves of this dilemma by breaking the ties, but we do not have that luxury yet.”
The only option, he wrote, is the Kingdom partners with the also familiar alternation of hot and cold baths,. It is now time for a ferm cold shower, Brill notes. He agrees with the appeal the faction leaders made in Willemstad this week (to follow up on Rosenmöller’s recommendations). And Donner? He will have to put “maximum pressure” on Curacao to correct the situation.
The sad thing is, Donner did this already – and it did not work. So now what?

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