Dutch Government Takeover in Statia

It’s been about one hundred days since our September 16th elections, and nothing much is happening, because the hands of our new government are tied. The dire financial situation they inherited makes it difficult to do anything besides struggle to pay the most basic bills, borrow more money, and seek long-term solutions in collaboration with the Dutch government.

So far, the under-financial-supervision relationship between Aruba and the Dutch kingdom seems on track, which frankly is our only hope to one day recover from the crazy, joyless ride of the last administration.

While we are hopeful, we should pay attention to a recent development in St Eustatius, Statia, and I am quoting the Saba News: Following a condemning report, Dutch State Secretary for Interior Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops appointed two commissioners to take charge of the Statia Government in what he called an “exceptional measure.”

According to Knops, the Statia’s own elected government completely neglected its tasks and plagued the island with intimidation and lawlessness.

Consequently, the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament and the Senate adopted a bill on Tuesday providing for an administrative intervention on that island. What it means is that the Dutch government exercised a TAKEOVER of government there on the basis of reported corruption, lack of transparency and bad governance.

The line has been drawn, the shit hit the fan, the buck stopped there. Ample warning has been given and ignored, now big stick, no carrot.

Not surprising: “Citizens, entrepreneurs and civil servants, with the exception of a few, were of the opinion that the current problems can only be solved by intervention of the Netherlands.”


Statia: The island has an area of 21 square kilometers (8.1 sq. mile). As of 2015, the population was officially estimated at 3,877. The official language is Dutch, but English is the “language of everyday life” on the island, and education is in English.

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February 14, 2018
Rona Coster