De Jongh-Elhage to Balkenende: "VIA stigmatizing and unacceptable"

Prime Minister Emily de Jongh-Elhage (PAR) is of the opinion that the Index Reference Antilleans (VIA – Verwijsindex Antillianen) makes ethnical and racial based distinction and stigmatizes the Antillean population as a whole. This is what she wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (CDA) and Integration-minister Ella Vogelaar (PvdA) that was sent earlier this week.

Using the VIA goes against the new political structure and cooperation in the Kingdom.

“With reference to our telephone conversation of last Thursday, I herewith confirm my disappointment about the decision of the Administrative Law department of the State Council in the appeal regarding dismissal of the so-called VIA. I have pointed out in earlier letters that I am of firm opinion that there are other ways to pursue the aim – namely solving the problem with high-risk young Antilleans – without having to make ethnical and racial based distinction and without stigmatizing the Antillean population as a whole”, writes De Jongh-Elhage to Balkenende.

With the other solution she means the intended Index Reference High-risk young people (VIR) that would apply to all young people. She is of the opinion that the VIR must be introduced sooner. “An efficient tackling of the problems with young people, as intended with the VIR, can count on full support and cooperation of the Antillean government.”

“We are for a special challenge in the Kingdom: the shaping of a new political structure and a new dimension to our cooperation. Using measures that distinguish between the citizens of our countries is totally unacceptable”, writes De Jongh-Elhage about the distinction created with the VIA.

The premier indicated yesterday during the weekly press conference of the Council of ministers that she has the feeling that the Dutch Government is surprised by the decision of the Supreme Court. It was state secretary Ank Bijleveld (CDA, Kingdom Relations) that called her and not the other way around, and that also Vogelaar has preferred a different set-up. “No matter how, the VIA is by no means acceptable”, said the premier.

(Source: National Newspaper Amigoe)

11 September, 2008

 

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