Kralendijk- The President of the Democratic Party (PDB), Michael Pieters, says that the anchoring of the status of Public Entity in the Dutch constitution is currently in the best interest of the island. Last week, the Island Council adopted a motion presented by the Coalition, in favor of the so-called anchoring. Pieters says that the Dutch constitution is also ‘our constitution’ and that it is important that the status of the BES islands is regulated. Pieters thinks that almost 7 years after obtaining the new constitutional status, it is about time that the status of the islands gets formalized.
The anchoring of the status of Public Entity (Openbaar Lichaam) under the Dutch Consitution has been controversial and the topic of heated discussions. Opponents of the anchoring do not see such any advantage, but rather many potential disadvantages. They point to the fact that the anochoring of the current status justifies a differentiation in norms and standards, which will in most cases not favor Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. They point to the difference in unemployment benefits, child support and the determination of social minimum on the islands, compared to the European part of The Netherlands.
Robby Beukenboom, member of the fraction within the Democratic Party group which does not support the coalition, is angry about the passing of the motion. “What really bothers me is that the current status is being formalized while a lot of things are not properly regulated,” said Beukenboom. “Also, I wonder how the coalition just shoves aside the result of the 2015 referendum which indicated that 66% of the population is not in agreement with the content that has been given to the direct ties with Holland”, according to a critical Beukenboom. Beukenboom says that commissioner Clark Abraham, his father and former politician Jopie Abraham and PDB-chairman Michael Pieters have betrayed both the PDB party principles as well as the interests of the population.