Plasterk dismisses coalition’s Autonomy claim

According to Minister Ronald Plasterk, the Coalition’s wish for (more) autonomy is not realistic. Photo: De Volkskrant

Oranjestad/The Hague- Minister of Interior Affairs and Kingdom Affairs in a letter dated today, July 5th, 2017 with little or no ceremony simply rejects the governing coalition’s wish for (more) autonomy for St. Eustatius. The letter, addressed to the Executive Council of St. Eustatius, is a reaction by the Minister on various letters sent to him by the governing coalition.

Plasterk also states in his letter that the functioning of the Public Entity is exactly the subject of the study by the Committee of Wise Men. Plasterk says that he expects to have the report of the Committee in his position by September of this year and that he will, therefore, not react to any other letters from local government expressing the wish for (more) autonomy.

According to Plasterk, local Government in St. Eustatius cannot decide on their own that they want a different status. The Minister also points out that the new status of the island was in 2010 approved by the government of St. Eustatius at the time, and therefore stands ‘as is’. Plasterk also writes that that letters to the United Nations, sent by the Governing Coalition, will have little or no effect as the status of the islands are considered ‘internal affairs’ of the Dutch Kingdom.

“As I wrote to you in my letter of 12 May, an alternative (to the current status, editor) actually refers to the status of a more or less autonomous Country within the Kingdom, where there is no budget support and the island must therefore fully support its own financial income”, according to Plasterk’s letter to the Executive Council. “In view of the small scale of St. Eustatius and the current state of government administration, the status of autonomous Country within the Kingdom is not realistic”, according to the Minister.

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