Published On: Wed, Feb 21st, 2018

Knops stands behind Commissioner Franco

Raymond-KnopsTHE HAGUE - Dutch State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops will not honour a Party for Freedom PVV request to have a person from the Netherlands serve as the Dutch Government Commissioner in St. Eustatius.

Knops made this clear in his reply on Tuesday to written questions submitted by PVV Member of the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament Machiel de Graaf. Knops is standing by the choice for Curaçao-born Marcolino “Mike” Franco as Dutch Government Commissioner in St. Eustatius.

The Member of Parliament (MP) asked Knops last week whether he agreed that a Government Commissioner from the Netherlands should be appointed to “prevent the appearance that the Netherlands is not serious about the intervention in St. Eustatius.”

According to De Graaf, other countries in the Kingdom have no business in the taking over of the government in St. Eustatius. He also questioned the governing culture of Curaçao, which he said was of a “lower standard” than that of the Netherlands.

“Why did you opt for a politician from another country than the Netherlands, namely Curaçao, to act as Government Commissioner and not for a Dutch administrator who has earned his merits in his own country?” asked De Graaf.

Knops pointed out in his written reply that Franco has Dutch nationality. He explained that the decision to appoint Franco was made based on a recommendation of the Committee of Wise Men.
This Committee, which investigated the administrative situation in St. Eustatius, recommended opting for persons from both the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and the Netherlands in filling the positions of Government Commissioner and Deputy Government Commissioner.

Governmental experience, thoroughness and connecting qualities were deemed important qualities for the position. Both Franco and Deputy Government Commissioner Mervyn Stegers amply comply with the Committee’s recommendation, stated Knops.

Meanwhile, James Finies of the Nos Ke Boneiru Bèk movement sent an invitation to the media on Tuesday to attend a press conference with Statia’s Progressive Labour Party (PLP) leader Clyde van Putten, which will take place in Bonaire today, Wednesday. Van Putten will address the situation in St. Eustatius.

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