Published On: Thu, Nov 28th, 2013

Plasterk: ‘No fumbling with the Kingdom’

Minister PlasterkTHE HAGUE – “No one will tamper with the Dutch Kingdom. The former Netherlands Antilles do not want a looser cooperation and thus it is not going to happen.” These are words spoken by the Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, in the media in the Netherlands.

Minister Plasterk implies that there are political parties in the Netherlands which want more distance between the European part of the Kingdom and the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Especially the VVD, SP and PVV want less responsibility from the Netherlands for what happens on the islands. These parties are annoyed about the corrupt island government and the irresponsible spending of taxpayers' money that the Netherlands has to pay again. But Plasterk says that the calls for a greater distance from the islands are just pie in the sky.

There may be some changes made according to international treaties only if the islands want to. “And I have received zero signals in my recent visit,” Plasterk indicated. Netherlands cannot change anything by itself; the islands must have this desire too. He considers the initiative note from the coalition partner VVD and the SP to create a commonwealth of the Kingdom (cooperation but without responsibility for each other) unreal.

Prime Minister Rutte makes no secret about it that he would rather lose the islands then stay with them. During the summer months he said he would not keep any of the islands if they want to get out of the Kingdom. “If you call me tomorrow and tell me you want out, we can arrange that immediately,” he told the local representatives. Plasterk is not accountable for that statement. He recalls that on Kingdom Relations nothing has been agreed in the coalition agreement.


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