THE HAGUE - According to Raymond Knops, the Netherlands should have worked more closely with the islands in the period just after 10-10-10 to achieve certain results and prevent certain situations. This is what the Undersecretary for Kingdom Relations says in a review of 10 years after the introduction of the new political structure.
In the new political structure, Curaçao and St. Maarten became autonomous countries in the Kingdom, and Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba became special municipalities of the Netherlands.
According to the undersecretary, people in both the Netherlands and the islands were convinced that after 10-10-10 life would get better with the introduction of the new political structure. Certainly, because they worked hard on it in previous years.
Knops also says that the Netherlands was initially reluctant to get involved in the three autonomous countries. “Perhaps the government was afraid to intervene on the islands at the time. This also had to do with the sensitivities on the islands. As soon as the Netherlands intervenes, people immediately say that it is neo-colonial behavior.”
Knops says he can imagine that the Dutch politicians were therefore more careful and less likely to interfere with the islands in order not to be accused.
“With today's knowledge, we know that it would have been better if we had worked together more on some points. It is easy to talk afterwards, but we must learn from it and from now on work together on the well-being of the population on the islands,” says Knops.