Secretary of State Raymond Knops of the Interior wants the government of Sint Maarten to clarify the complaint that parliament has submitted to the UN special rapporteur on racism. Only then does he want to talk further about new financial support for the island.
The parliament of Sint Maarten accuses the Netherlands in a petition of racism and human rights violations. According to the petitioners, the Netherlands is trying to use the corona pandemic to return colonial rule. Nonsense, Knops says on Friday. “There is no racist motive whatsoever. We will not affect the autonomy of Sint Maarten. ” He calls the charges “very painful.”
Sint Maarten, like Aruba and Curaçao, received financial support during the corona crisis. In return, the Netherlands demands that a number of structural reforms in, among other things, education, administration, justice and the economy are implemented on the island. St. Maarten MP Grisha Heyliger-Marten said in The Washington Post earlier this week that “they are trying to take full control of our democracy.”
Knops denounces the fact that it is precisely coalition parties in parliament that submitted the petition. He wants to know from the government whether Sint Maarten really accuses the Netherlands of racism, or whether the allegation is bad ‘for the stage’. The two countries must agree before work can continue on new aid packages, according to the State Secretary.