‘Antilles-chapter very ambitious’

WILLEMSTAD — The chapter on the budget of the Antilles is very ambitious, stated State Secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten of Kingdom Relations (CDA) in a reaction to the budget. "2010 will be the year of the new political status, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."


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With this, Bijleveld referred to the economical crisis and the cutbacks announced by the Netherlands. Good governance and financial management, on both sides of the ocean, are therefore important, said the State Secretary, thereby repeating Queen Beatrix’ words yesterday.
"We must realize the new relations collectively in a swift but correct manner." As agreed, Bijleveld hopes to have the legislation for the BES-Islands ready for the Lower Chamber mid next month, and that this will be discussed with the Higher Chamber in December, before Christmas. Furthermore, the consensus-legislation is still up for discussion.
The dismantlement of the Antilles with the debt-reconstruction is visible in the budget. In exchange, there will be financial supervision by the College financial supervision (Cft), and Bijleveld expects cooperation in the field of legislation. She emphasized once again, that this package is a one-time opportunity. "I hope that they realize this on the other side of the ocean, otherwise it will become very difficult to pass such a budget in 2011." If a future country such as Curaçao or St. Maarten does not comply with the conditions of the 2006 Final Agreement, the tasks at Kingdom level will have to be implemented. Bijleveld hopes to accomplish agreement on this during the political steering group, which starts on Curaçao today.

Regarding Aruba, the State Secretary states that she wants to complete the investigation on the status of the government in 2010. On that basis, it will be determined whether measures are necessary. Furthermore, the Aruban government should continue the improvement of the application of law and the ‘foreigners’ chain’ regarding the National Security Plan, the population administration, and the immigration service Dimas. Finally, Bijleveld states that a number of symposia will be organized during 2010 regarding the future of the Kingdom.