SABA–Caretaker Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on Monday began his farewell tour of the islands of the Dutch Caribbean on Saba. In meetings with the Executive and Island Councils talks centred on the good working relationship between the island and The Hague, the achievements of the past years and areas that still require further development and progress.
Minister Plasterk had high praise for Saba’s approach to working with the Ministries of the Dutch Government.
“I truly appreciate the professional and business-like manner in which you conduct your business. Continue to maintain this level of optimism,” Plasterk said.
Both parties acknowledged that while much has been achieved the ambition is there to achieve even more in the foreseeable future.
Plasterk stressed that while people may not always be able to feel a direct result in their own pockets, today it still can be proven that there is better healthcare, free education, wider roads, underground electricity cables, and more. The Minister assured the Saba Government that there are more investments and developments to follow.
The Executive and Island Councils queried when the findings of the Spies Report will be implemented. According to Minister Plasterk, this has already started by way of the Multi-Annual Plans that are currently being implemented on Bonaire, Statia and Saba.
He further mentioned that the way forward will reflect in differentiation in the approach to working with each Public Entity. The bi-annual visits to the islands for work meetings between each Public Entity, the Director General of the Ministries at the Caribbean Netherlands Table and the Directorate of Kingdom Relations will work towards this goal.
The meeting also highlighted matters pertaining to social welfare, the level of the free-allowance and the pension cuts.
Plasterk further asked the representatives not to accept the assumption that nothing has improved on Saba these past years. Driving around the island one can see many positive changes. “Saba is on the right track. Continue in that spirit,” he said.
The Minister and his delegation travelled to Statia on Monday afternoon for similar talks with the Island and Executive Councils there.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68527-plasterk-praises-saba-approach