ST. EUSTATIUS–As part of his farewell visit to the Dutch Caribbean, Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk will visit St. Eustatius on Monday, August 14. He will meet with the Island and Executive Councils. Looking back at the past four years, however, there is not much need for a celebration, according to Statia’s Democratic Party (DP).
“During the tenure of Mr. Plasterk there has been very little progress in the development of the three public entities: Statia, Saba and Bonaire. Very little follow-up has been given on agreements that have been made with the islands,” Island Councilman Koos Sneek said on behalf of the DP.
“The evaluation report from the Committee Spies has been largely ignored. The Ideeversa report on the free allowance, like the evaluation report commissioned by the Minister himself, has disappeared in a drawer. Both reports include information on the deficits of the public-entity status and little has been done to deal with these deficits. For the full term of the Minister nothing has been done to establish a minimum level of existence for the islands and as within The Netherlands an acceptable level of services. This counts especially for the social economic area. As a result, hardly anything has been accomplished in eradication of poverty,” Sneek stated.
He said that the relations between the National Government and Statia have reached an all-time low. “I distance myself from the actions and rhetoric of our local Government and I oppose their attempts to change the constitutional status of Statia. I believe though, that the Dutch Government has done very little to improve the situation on the island and to avoid the constitutional confusion there is today.
“I express my wish that the next Minister will be one who has more eyes for our struggles and who is prepared, together with us, to improve the lives and living circumstances of our people,” Sneek said.