BIJ1 speaks of unequal Kingdom relations during plenary debate

Member of the Dutch Second Chamber of Par­liament Sylvana Simons of the BM party, during a plenary meeting on Wednesday about the draft 2024 budget, brought up what she called the unequal rela­tions within the Kingdom.

Simons said that in the relations, the Netherlands held the reins, while the six Dutch Caribbean islands “forever stayed behind in a subordinate position.” She said that the “failed” healthcare policy of the Netherlands in Bo­naire, St. Eustatius and Saba was “only one of the many indications of the unequal relations” within the Kingdom.

“The Dutch government re­ally needs to stop accepting that the standard of living in the Ca­ribbean part of the Kingdom is drastically and disastrously lower than in the Netherlands. But 400 years of colonialism and slavery that have resulted in a deplorable standard of living for Black people don’t cre­ate the same sense of ur­gency for White people. You can apologise for that, but where are the repara­tions?”

Simons advocated for implementing reparation measures in the form of a Kingdom consensus law, which would also repair the large inequality and the consequences of colonial­ism and slavery, whereby the affected communities would be in charge of the process.

According to Simons, a rep­arations package should be drafted in consultation with the islands, with the 10-point plan of the Caribbean Com­munity CARICOM as a possible guideline. “With a sustainable binding policy which is secured in legisla­tion, we ensure that repairs don’t depend on the good­will of a government.”

The Netherlands would have to be responsible to en­sure sufficient and structural financing for the reparations package. Simons said that reparations involved more than allocating 200 million euros on the government budget for awareness of the Dutch slavery past.

Simons was the only Mem­ber of Parliament who men­tioned the Kingdom and the islands in her speaker’s time during Wednesday’s general debate in the Sec­ond Chamber about the draft budget.

The Daily Herald.

Nine students received their "Certificate Nederland als vreemde taal" (CnAVT) Dutch A2 certificates from Saba Reach Foundation
Proposal to delay almost free childcare for islands until 2027

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Saba News