Dutch Parliament demands update on Curaçao and St. Maarten

THE HAGUE--The Dutch Government must inform the Second Chamber on the latest political and administrative developments in Curaçao and St. Maarten in January next year.

The Second Chamber almost unanimously passed a motion on Tuesday which orders Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner to discuss the concerns of the Dutch Parliament about the latest developments in the countries Curaçao and St. Maarten.
The motion, submitted by Labour Party PvdA Member of Parliament (MP) Martijn van Dam, refers to "worrisome" political and administrative developments in the new countries whereby possibly the principles of good governance were violated.

According to the motion, Curaçao and St. Maarten have indicated that they want to deviate from agreements made with the Netherlands as part of the constitutional restructuring process and that the countries have tried to circumvent the Consensus Kingdom Laws and the financial supervision.
Through the motion, Parliament wants to obtain more insight into the developments in the countries since acquiring country status on October 10 this year. Minister Donner will visit the islands early January.

Parliament also passed a motion tabled by MP Ronald van Raak of the Socialist Party (SP) to draft a vision on Article 43 of the Kingdom Charter, the guarantee function which makes it possible for the Kingdom Government to intervene. Four opposition parties along with the Party for Freedom PVV supported this motion.

Based on this same Article 43, the Dutch Government will have to instruct Curaçao's Government to draft a future vision on Curaçao's Isla refinery before February 1, 2011. Opposition parties, along with PVV, supported a motion of Ineke van Gent of the green left party GroenLinks, co-signed by Wassila Hachchi of D66 and Van Dam (PvdA). The future vision of the refinery should have been ready by December 1 this year.

There was broad support for the motion on financial supervision submitted by MP Hero Brinkman of the PVV, and co-signed by Bas Jan van Bochove of the Christian Democratic Party CDA and André Bosman of the liberal democratic VVD party.

This motion calls on the Dutch Government to ensure that the Council for Financial Supervision CFT can properly execute its task so Curaçao and St. Maarten cannot build up a new debt and the Netherlands not ever again has to pay debts of the islands. Only Democrats D66, Party for Animals and the Christian Union (CU) voted against.

Parliament unanimously expressed support for the motion of CU MP Cynthia Ortega-Martijn to establish a temporary facility in the Netherlands where the Antillean guilder can be exchanged for the euro. Dutch exchange offices and commercial banks are no longer accepting the Antillean guilder. The motion was co-signed by Hachchi of D66, Van Dam of PvdA, Van Gent of GroenLinks, Van Raak of the SP and Van Bochove of CDA.

A motion requesting government to provide half-yearly reports on the supervision executed by the CFT on the financial administrations of Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba as well as Curaçao and St. Maarten, was supported by five opposition parties plus the PVV. The motion was an initiative of MP Van Dam.

Governing parties VVD and CDA, along with four opposition parties, supported a motion of MP Hachchi of D66 aimed at making optimal use of the relation between the European Union and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Van Gent of GroenLinks received broad support for her motion seeking a plan of approach from the Dutch Government aimed at active support of future perspectives of pregnant teenage girls and young single mothers in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. This includes ensuring that pregnant teenage girls are not sent away from school.

Three motions were rejected. An attempt by MP Van Dam not to include an option of sending back criminal Antilleans in the proposed Movement of Persons Law stranded with CDA, VVD, PVV, D66 and CU voting against.

A motion by Van Gent to appoint Donner as coordinating Minister for Dutch policy affecting Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba didn't make it either because VVD, CDA and PVV voted against it.
A motion to promote the use of sustainable energy in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, submitted by Hachchi, Van Gent, Ortega-Martijn and Van Dam, was voted down as well.

8 December 2010

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