ORANJESTAD- On Tuesday morning members of the Kingdom Relations Committee of the Dutch Senate met with the members of the Statia Island Council.
During the meeting, councilman Clyde van Putten called for what he called a ‘reset’ in the relationship between the Hague and Oranjestad. Van Putten said that the time has come for the finger pointing and the blame game to be stopped on both sides of the ocean.
“We must work together in the common interests of the people of Sint Eustatius. It is paramount for the Hague and Sint Eustatius to improve upon its relationship. The time has come for us to turn the page and work together in the common interests of the people”.
Van Putten also said a continued bad relationship between the Netherlands and the island of Sint Eustatius does not serve the common good and is not in the interests of the people of Sint Eustatius. The councilman said he sensed during the meeting that there is still a level of distrust, but that it is imperative to find common ground in order to address this in a more respectful way.
Van Putten also called for more dialogue at all levels and pleaded for more participation and consideration as it relates to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Sint Eustatius. “This should not be a question of imposing from one side or the other, but through mutual respect and consensus that we can collectively achieve the best for the people of Sint Eustatius”.
Van Putten at the same time reaffirmed his strong commitment towards working together with the Hague for a more sustainable development for the Island, by way of actually addressing the serious economic infrastructural and social deficit that exists over the years as a result of the lack of human resources and finances.
“There are a number of crucial areas I believe must be addressed forthwith in order to improve livelihoods of the people of Sint Eustatius”.
Van Putten however also restated that in conformity with the outcome of the elections in 2020, the time had come or the Dutch Government and Parliament to respect the wishes as was expressed by the people of Sint Eustatius during the Elections. “As soon as possible, a local government be appointed so that they can effectively carry out the mandate that was given to them by the people.
Open & Frank
Van Putten said that he thought Tuesdays’s meeting was frank, open and very constructive. “It is my sincere hope that we will be able to look in a different direction. I also hope that the Hague will not continue to look at an individual or a specific political party, but seriously look into the desires of the people and what is best for our citizens”.