Published On: Mon, Mar 31st, 2014

Rutte says sorry for comments on ‘Zwarte Piet’

Mark RutteTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - Prime Minister Mark Rutte has apologized to Prime Minister Ivar Asjes Curacao for his statements about Zwarte Piet (the Black Pete who assists the traditional Dutch Saint Nicholas).

His remark that his “friends” in the Netherlands Antilles welcome the Saint Nicholas tradition, because they do not have to make up their face was not well received by the people of the Dutch Caribbean. Rutte also said that if he had to put that black makeup on his face, it would take him days to get if off again.

“It was not my intention to offend them,” the Dutch Prime Minister said during a cabinet meeting last Friday.

Rutte had a phone conversation with the Prime Minister of Curacao, Ivar Asjes, where he apologized for his comments. Many on the islands believe that the Dutch Prime Minister has to make a public statement where he apologizes for his statements, since it was through a televised press conference where these remarks were made.


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