New offer of assistance with oil refinery
WILLEMSTAD - The Dutch government wants to reiterate their willingness to assist the Curaçao government with the problems of the oil refinery Isla.
But despite the statements of minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs about the refinery, environment and health care remain an autonomous affair and not the responsibility of the Kingdom.
Minister Ronald Plasterk said this today in response to questions from Wassila Hachchi. The D66 MP referred to a letter sent in February by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders to the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs on the developments in Venezuela. Koenders mentioned the dependence on Venezuela for energy supply, the operation of the refinery by PdVSA and the contribution from the refinery to the gross national product and employment in Curaçao. “That letter is not consistent with the statements of Minister Plasterk that the refinery is an internal affair. This will affect our foreign relations,” said Hachchi.
According to Plasterk, Hachchi and the Curaçao Foundation for Clean Environment have interpreted Koenders’ words too broadly. “Koenders writes that the refinery is important for the economy of the island, but that makes it no Kingdom matter.” Plasterk emphasized that there are currently no requests from Curaçao for support but that the Netherlands is always willing to do so by offering its expertise.