Oranjestad- According to information from the RCN communication office, the so-called committee of wise men has completed a first visit to St. Eustatius between July 13th and 21st.
The committee, according to RCN, examines the administrative situation on St. Eustatius and the relationship between the island and the Netherlands. According to RCN, the committee has spoken with many people on St. Eustatius. The committee is said to be grateful that many people have been willing to share their experiences, impressions and feelings.
In the coming period, the committee will hold talks with the Dutch ministries, the Financial Supervisory Board (CFT) and the Kingdom Representative. The committee will return to St. Eustatius by early September. The committee hopes to complete its work before October 1st, 2017.
The work of the committee has become somewhat controversial after both persons, VVD-politician Jan Franssen and former Aruba Governor Fredis Refunjol, were both named to the committee by Holland. Candidates proposed to form part of the committee by local government, were not considered acceptable to The Hague.
Apart from the objections as far as the composition of the committee is concerned, the government in Oranjestad also seemed to differ in opinion about the exact goal of the committee. According to local government, the primary goal of the committee would be to look into the mounting tensions between the local government and The Hague. The Hague, on the other hand, seemed to be of the opinion that the main goal of the committee was to evaluate the functioning of local government in Oranjestad, much to the chagrin of the PLP/Merkman coalition.
The Executive council for these reasons earlier stated they would not cooperate with the work of the committee and would also instruct government workers not to cooperate with the work of the committee formed by Franssen and Refunjol.