Oranjestad- Progressive Labor Party (PLP) leader Clyde van Putten says that the meeting with the president of the First and Second Chamber of Dutch Parliament were at times tense, but that overall he considered the meetings to be ‘constructive and meaningful’.
“Numerous topics were discussed. Some of the topics discussed were the strained relation between the Government of the Netherlands and St. Eustatius, the financial situation of the island, the quality of governance of the island, the islands’ quest for more autonomy and the yet to be published report of the two wise men”, according to Van Putten.
Van Putten said that the Dutch delegation expressed serious concern with regards to the breakdown of communication between both governments and stated that they were of the hope that with the new government that just took office in the Netherlands, the relationship would have improved.
Van Putten told the visiting delegation that it was also his hope that they would have been a reset in the relationship. However, he indicated that based on the first visit of the new state secretary, his approach and attitude towards the elected government of the island left us with the feeling that there is pretty much a continuation of the past. Van Putten stated that his government has always expressed and shown the willingness for dialogue with the Dutch government but told the delegation that this must be done based on mutual respect and equality.
According to Van Putten he told the Chair Ladies of parliament that Dutch politicians and officials were also being fed by ‘one-sided, misguided and baseless information’ provided by the opposition Democratic Party, with the sole intention to put the government of Statia in a bad light. The PLP-leader said that he made use of the opportunity to highlight the many improvements that took place regarding public finances and the quality of the government administration.
“I also told them we will not stop, until we reach the level for which we set out to achieve”, according to Van Putten.