October 30, 2012 8:17 AM
THE HAGUE--The new Dutch cabinet formed by the conservative VVD party and the Labour Party PvdA will not cut Curaçao and St. Maarten any slack where it comes to financial supervision.
"Supervision on the countries of the Kingdom based on the Law on Financial Supervision will be maintained," it was stated in the VVD and PvdA Governing Accord which was presented on Monday.
Chairmen of the VVD Mark Rutte and Diederik Samsom of the PvdA in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament completed talks with their representatives in Parliament on Monday after which "informateurs" Henk Kamp and Wouter Bos presented their final report to Chairlady of the Second Chamber Anouchka van Miltenburg.
Rutte and Samsom presented their 81-page Governing Accord titled "Bridging" (Bruggen slaan) barely dedicates attention to the overseas countries of the Kingdom and Kingdom Relations. Besides the single line on financial supervision, the document mentions two other lines on fundamental rights in the Kingdom and the position of the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
"Fundamental human rights and freedoms, legal security and good governance and management remain the points of departure for the Kingdom Relations," it was stated in the document which obviously referred to the Kingdom Charter.
"The specific position of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba as part of the country The Netherlands will be respected," noted the single line on the public entities.
The Kingdom is also mentioned in the chapter immigration and integration of the Governing Accord. It is stated that the Dutch Government wants all immigrants, including those from the "three other countries of the Kingdom," Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, to comply with integration conditions.
"Our immigration policy is restrictive, fair and aimed at integration," it is stated. Immigrants have to be able to stand on their own feet by working to sustain themselves, quickly integrate and help to build up the Dutch society.
The Bosman law initiative to restrict the registration of poorly educated, deprived immigrants from Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten is not specifically mentioned, other than that it is stated that "We do this in another form with immigrants from the three other countries of the Kingdom."
Rutte said he was proud" to present a Governing Accord after weeks of negotiations. He said at a press conference on Monday that the PvdA and VVD had "looked each other in the eyes and decided to do this together." The new cabinet will be based on three pillars, said Rutte: "The National Treasury in order, fair sharing and working towards sustainable development."
The 16 billion euros that the VVD/PvdA cabinet will cut from the 2013 budget will affect every Dutch citizen, said Rutte. In fact, the measures will cost 1,000 euros per Dutch citizen. "We have lived beyond our means in The Netherlands. Everyone will feel these measures. We will be asking a lot from the people. We realise that this will have far-reaching consequences."
But said Rutte, there is an "absolute necessity" to bring the government expenditures in line with the economic reality. "We are doing what is necessary for the long term tenability of the government's finances."
Samsom said that the accord didn't exactly bring joy. "Everyone will have to make offers. We all have to pay the bill of the crisis, but we will do so fairly and it will help to prevent the next crisis whereby the next generations would have to pay our bill," he said.
According to Rutte, the package of measures outlined in the Governing Accord is "balanced and clear." He said that clarity was important for a stable economy and the confidence that people and the private sector must be able to have in the economy.
Rutte said that the cabinet would seek dialogue with the other parties in the First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament where the VVD and PvdA don't have a majority, unlike in the Second Chamber. He said the cabinet would also remain in dialogue with the social partners.
The Governing Accord is expected to be discussed in the Second Chamber during a plenary debate on Wednesday after which Rutte will be appointed "formateur." He will invite the candidate members of the new cabinet for talks. The PvdA will have a final say on the Governing Accord this Saturday. Possibly the new cabinet will be sworn in next week.
Samsom announced on Monday that Lodewijk Asscher, currently Alderman in Amsterdam, is PvdA's candidate for Vice-Prime Minister. Rutte is the candidate for Prime Minister. The names of possible members of the cabinet were mentioned in the Dutch media this week. Former Minister of Education, Culture and Science Ronald Plasterk of the PvdA is being considered as the next Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations.