The Netherlands to take over Sint Eustatius


[Many thanks to Michael O’Neal for sharing this item.] Janene Pieters (NL Times) informs that the Netherlands are about to take over St. Eustatius on accusations of “gross neglect of duties,” corruption, abuse, lawlessness, and financial mismanagement, among other issues. As a result, the island’s governing body—the island council—will be dissolved. Pieters reports:

The Netherlands is taking over the governing of Sint Eustatius, an island that forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, State Secretary Raymond Knops of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations announced on Monday. This decision was made based on a report from a committee that investigated the state of the island and concluded that there is a “gross neglect of duties” on Sint Eustatius.

The island’s governing body, called the island council, will be dissolved and other officials will be relieved of their duties. A government commissioner will be appointed to restore order on the island. Knops will travel to the island later this week to explain the Dutch government’s decision to the local population.

The governing situation on Sint Eustatius has been a concern for some time, and as previous measures to improve the situation had no desirable effect, the previous Minister of Home Affairs Ronald Plasterk established a committee to map the problems and make recommendations on how to proceed.

[. . .] The government commissioner will perform all duties on the island until the island council is able to perform these duties properly again. Only then will elections for a new island council be held, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations said.

The committee was also critical on the Dutch government’s role in the development of the situation on Sint Eustatius. Over the past years delays arose in projects to improve roads, water supply, housing, underground pipelines, waste processing and the sea- and airport. The committee attributes this partly to the governing situation on the island, and the consequences it had on the relationship between Sint Eustatius and the Netherlands. [. . .]

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