THE HAGUE - Dutch MP and leader of the DENK party Tunahan Kuzu, believes that residents of the islands are treated as second-class citizens. That is what Kuzu said in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament during the discussion of the Kingdom Relations/BES Fund budget.
During the budget discussion, Kuzu painted a changing picture since October 10, 2010, when the political structure of the islands changed. “Motions have been submitted in the Chamber about combating poverty for the Caribbean residents. Reports from the Ombudsman show that thirty percent of the residents of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba live in poverty,” says Kuzu.
The approach of the Rutte cabinet has led to an increase in households living below the poverty line. Kuzu: “Almost fifty percent of the inhabitants on each island live below the poverty line. Children are forced to steal, engage in crime or enter the escort world.”
The DENK MP is curious about when the fixed costs on the islands will become affordable and when the residents are entitled to a social minimum. Kuzu has asked various questions in the Chamber of Representatives about the conditions on the islands. He wants a response from a minister.
The cabinet has given 470 million to the World Bank for the reconstruction of Sint Maarten. Kuzu believes that little has come of this due to the absence of assistance. “The residents of this island live in dire circumstances, while the employees of the World Bank who are charged with the implementation of this are quietly paid from the fund,” said Kuzu.
According to DENK, Sint Eustatius has been neglected since 2018. The Netherlands is still in control of the government of that island.