Hirsch Ballin optimistic about political process

WILLEMSTAD — The Dutch resigning minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice and Home Affairs, CDA) is optimistic that the political process for the Netherlands Antilles will progress as agreed.


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However, he states, it is up to the Lower and Upper Chamber to take a decision on this matter.

Hirsch Ballin met with the Prime Minister Emily de Jongh-Elhage last Monday to exchange ideas on the latest developments in political The Hague and the possible consequences for the Netherlands Antilles regarding the resignation of the Balkenende-cabinet.
According to Hirsch Ballin, De Jongh-Elhage had been very clear in expressing her target to continue with the process. De Jongh-Elhage had expressed her concerns in a letter to various politicians in The Hague on a possible delay of the dismantlement of the Antilles.
However, Hirsch Ballin assured her that nobody benefits from a delay. "Both outgoing State-Secretary Ank Bijleveld-Schouten (Kingdom Relations, CDA) and myself, hope for a good progress of the dismantlement of the Antilles. We have agreed on this and it is important that the process is not delayed."
The outgoing minister had visited Aruba on Monday morning to consult with the colleague-ministers of Justice of the Antilles and Aruba. He had also spoken about Dutch help for Aruba regarding the approach of criminal youngsters and combating frontier running and illegal emigration. In the afternoon, he left Aruba for consultations on Curaçao.

Passenger traffic
Hirsch Ballin further stated that it was an illusion to expect that the resigned cabinet would discuss the draft national law passenger traffic before the elections of the Lower Chamber on June 9th.
The official draft of the National Law passenger traffic was discussed, but there are still many misunderstandings. One unjustly states that the proposal is identical to an enactment that had come up for discussion under former minister Rita Verdonk, according to Hirsch Ballin. The Dutch cabinet had revoked that proposal.
"We are setting course for three countries in the Caribbean area and the BES-Islands which will form part of the Dutch government. This had led to questions regarding passenger traffic. The target is to simplify and not impede matters."