No intervention in Bonaire according to Knops

THE HAGUE--Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops is not inclined to intervene in the Bonaire government.
 
The Dutch Party for Freedom PVV had suggested he do so to break the impasse in Bonaire’s public administration.
 
The existing structure and division of tasks, as laid down in the general law that regulates the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba WolBES, does not hamper solutions for the situation in the Bonaire government, Knops stated on Monday.
 
PVV Members of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Machiel de Graaf and Geert Wilders had submitted written questions mid-July in which they asked Knops to intervene in the Bonaire government by temporarily transferring the authority of the island commissioners and the Island Council to Island Governor Edison Rijna to break the impasse in the local government.
 
Knops did not agree with the PVV solution. “It is important to focus all energy on an agreement with the island government, to implement proposals that are ready to implement and to develop policy in the short term where this is direly needed,” he stated.
 
He did agree with the PVV Members of Parliament (MPs) that the political impasse in Bonaire was taking too long. “The impasse is blocking progress and must be broken,” he stated, citing a letter he had sent to the Dutch Parliament last month in relation to his visit to Bonaire early July.
 
“As I stated in my letter, the current Executive Council is at a crossroads. Speedy progress in several areas is essential, especially for the residents of Bonaire,” said Knops. He mentioned that he had had stern, but also constructive talks with the individual members of the Executive Council, with the entire Executive Council and with the Island Council during his visit to Bonaire.
 
According to Knops, there is a clear understanding with the Executive Council to come to an administrative agreement in which a “large number of issues” on government level will be “untangled.” The intention is to arrive at this agreement shortly after the summer vacation, followed by ratification by the Island Council.
 
He explained that the agreement will clearly stipulate the basis of the cooperation between the Dutch government and the public entity Bonaire, and what can be expected of both parties.
 
Responding to the MPs’ suggestion to cease all investments in Bonaire as long as the Executive Council and the Island Council “neglected their tasks,” Knops stated that Bonaire was a part of the Netherlands and that the residents of this island deserved a government that worked in their interest. “It is the responsibility of the Executive Council to ensure a solid and stable government. This is a pre-condition for additional investments from the Netherlands,” he said.
 
The Daily Herald

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