Published On: Wed, Oct 1st, 2014

Dutch Parliament demands action Plasterk in Caribbean

PlasterkTHE HAGUE - The Lower House in the Dutch Parliament is demanding action by Minister Plasterk to tackle the problems in Aruba, Curaçao and especially Sint Maarten. It is about reducing corruption and bickering over finances between the Netherlands and the islands.

Today the Lower House in the Dutch Parliament debated about the budget for Kingdom Relations.

Problems

Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are independent countries with their own government and parliament. But the Netherlands oversees the finances and integrity in politics. An alarming report about the politics in St. Martin appeared last Friday.

Investigation shows that in politics, there is plenty of corruption, fraud and nepotism. In Aruba it all went wrong in the summer: the Aruban Prime Minister went on hunger strike after a big fight with the Netherlands on the budget.

Criticism on Plasterk

According to Dutch MPs from the political party D66, Minister Plasterk has done and is doing too little to prevent the problems.

"Minister Plasterk is invisible when it comes to Kingdom Relations. He makes it get out of hand quite often. We have seen that in the summer in Aruba and now recently with St. Martin. It seems almost as a Minister of Kingdom-quarrels instead of Kingdom Relations. He should really pick up the work and fill his role,” MP for D66, Wassila Hachchi said.

D66 wants Plasterk to work on a dispute resolution agreement which should give guidance when there are conflicts between the Netherlands and the island.

Sint Maarten

The Dutch Parliament wants a major criminal investigation into corruption in St. Maarten. The VVD wants an investigation into politician Theo Heyliger. He won the last election, while he is embroiled in a lawsuit over buying votes in the previous elections.

"I want Minister Plasterk to order an investigation into Theo Heyliger,” says VVD MP André Bosman.

"Minister Plasterk gets all the space, all the manpower, investigators, detectives to do this investigation."

Minister Plasterk announced today that he wants a special integrity supervisor for the island. The Prosecution must also have more opportunities to investigate white-collar crime and tackle erroneous politicians.

According to the Dutch newspaper the Telegraph, Plasterk also wants the Netherlands to intervene in border control of the island.

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