Disappointment prevails in reactions Reference-Index

The State Council decided yesterday that personal data of Antillean citizens may be processed in the Reference-index Antillean citizens (VIA). Disappointment prevails in reactions.

While the Dutch Minister Ella Vogelaar (PvdA) is pleased with the State Council’s verdict and doesn’t consider it a discriminatory instrument, the Prime Ministers of the Antilles and Aruba, Emily de Jongh-Elhage and Nelson Oduber respectively and the Chairman of Parliament Pedro Atacho (PAR) are of a complete different opinion.
De Jongh-Elhage says that state secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (Kingdom Relations, CDA) herself has already informed her of the verdict in an early stadium . The premier will send a letter to Prime Minister Jan-Peter Balkenende (CDA), requesting the cabinet not to introduce the Reference Index. “We are in this Kingdom together and together we must find a solution.”
According to Atacho, the databank is ‘racist' and an expression of ‘intolerant attitude’. He hopes that the Lower House will finally vote against the idea.

In the Lower House, the Cynthia Ortega-Martijn, coming from Curacao, of coalition party ChristenUnie criticized the databank and is also very disappointed. According to her, this approach unnecessarily puts the cooperation with the Antillean community under pressure. “This stretches the privacy limit of a group of Dutch citizens. This way of labeling Antillean high risk young persons, is considered an ethnic distinction between inhabitants of the same Royal Dutch Kingdom.”

It also doesn’t do justice to the report presented by the Taskforce Antillean Policy the day before. “This taskforce comes with constructive solvability opinions, but the introduction of the VIA puts the good and constructive cooperation with the Antillean community under a lot of pressure. This is really being experienced as a black page in the total Antillean policy, with which this cabinet has started.”

ChristenUnie does acknowledge the big problems with the Antillean high risk young persons. But the party is also of the opinion that these problems are not solved with a reference index that is exclusively aimed at just one category. ChristenUnie has already argued for a fast introduction of Reference-index High-risk young persons (VIR) for all high risk young people.

Apart from the Deliberative Body Caribbean Dutch citizens (OCaN-Overlegorgaan Caribische Nederlanders) that was ruled in favour by the court in The Hague last year, also pressure group Maapp is of the opinion that taking the case to the European Court for Human Rights in Straatburg is to be considered.
Maapp says that they have received numerous reactions from the Antillean-Aruban community in the Netherlands. “It incites us not to resign ourselves to this verdict, but to continue fighting against each attempt of infringement of the undivided Dutch citizenship. In addition to many concrete proposals to take actions against the introduction of the Reference-index Antilleans, almost everybody is urging Maapp to appeal to the European Court.”

(National Newspaper Amigoe)

4 September, 2008

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