THE HAGUE - Prime Minister Mark Rutte today refused to answer questions about the report from RTL that the cabinet will apologize for the Dutch role in the slavery past and will earmark 200 million for an 'awareness campaign'.
The Prime Minister confirmed that the Council of Ministers has made a decision today, but will not make it public until mid-December. This seems to indicate that this will be on December 15, the day on which Queen Juliana signed the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the in 1954 and the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname were no longer a colony of the Netherlands but autonomous countries in the Kingdom. Kingdom Day has never been declared a public holiday.
The first Kingdom concert was held in 2006 at the initiative of the then Minister of Kingdom Relations Alexander . The Kingdom then consisted of the Netherlands, Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles. In 2015, the atmosphere between the governments of the Netherlands, Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten had cooled to such an extent that the celebration of Kingdom Day was canceled. As 'Kingdom Day' (also known as Statute Day), December 15 has since fallen into oblivion.
Meanwhile, Surinamese circles claim that Rutte, but preferably King Willem-Alexander should make the apologies in Suriname. Others find St. Eustatius more obvious, as the island, as the most profitable asset of the West India Company (WIC), played a crucial role as a transit port in the transatlantic slave trade.