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Tuesday, 5 February 2013 09:02


KRALENDIJK — It is important to discuss the rules in more detail with changes in policy that could affect Caribbean Netherlands. Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Ronald van Plasterk, wrote this in a report on his findings following his first visit to the islands.Although there is appreciation for how the Netherlands assumed its responsibility after 10-10-’10, the relation is frail, the minister warned, following responses to the recent changes by the cabinet in the health care package. The minister stated that the measures in the health care package took the islands by surprise and they wonder which intention the Netherlands has with Caribbean Netherlands. They don’t dispute the necessity of price control in the national health service but the three islands do find more space for deliberation and possibly other measures advisable. All discussion partners indicated their wish to still discuss this. “I therefore believe it’s important to discuss the rules in more detail with changes in policy that could effect Caribbean Netherlands”, said Plasterk.



Coordinating minister

However, there is also appreciation for the Netherlands, for example the investments in education, adjustment of the free payment and being open to arguments from the three islands (in particular with the tax legislation).

The three islands further requested attention for the medical traffic, the leeway in the infrastructure, deregulation, combating poverty and the so-called development plans. These subjects will be discussed in the coming Caribbean Netherlands Week from March 11th up to and including March 15th in the Netherlands.

The minister wrote that he wishes to substantially fulfill the role of coordinating minister. On the one hand this means he is the contact person for the islands on all areas, that he deposits the issues where they belong and that he maintains the relation with Caribbean Netherlands by insisting on consultation and sharing of arguments,

On the other hand, it means that the Minister of BZK in the Netherlands is informed of the travel movements between the Netherlands and Caribbean Netherlands and that the cabinet pushes back the traveling as much as possible. It also means preventing Caribbean Netherlands from being confronted with unnecessary rules.



The evaluation of 2015 was also discussed during his visit. Minister Plasterk wrote that he wants to make timely agreements with the islands on the evaluation, as regards what, how and when. His efforts will focus on optimizing the current construction instead of suggesting drastic constitutional changes. According to the minister, this line is broadly supported at the moment.