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Dutch Gov't Steps Into Tackle Mismanagement In St Eustatius

by Mike Godfrey, Lowtax.net, Washington
06 February, 2018

The Caribbean island of Sint Eustatius will lose its self-governing powers if a bill recently introduced into the Netherlands' Parliament is passed.

The bill authorizes the Dutch Government to dissolve the island's governing council and to remove its commissioners and acting governor from office. In their place, a government commissioner will be appointed.

Explaining the proposal, the Dutch Government said the administrative situation in Sint Eustatius has been a matter of concern for some time, and previous measures to improve the situation have not had the desired effect. A "Committee of Wise Men" was established last year to identify problems and issue recommendations, and it has now concluded the administration of Sint Eustatius has "placed itself outside the legal order."

The Netherlands' Government said: "... the current administrative situation is marked not only by lawlessness and financial mismanagement, but also by discrimination, intimidation, threats and offensive behaviour, arbitrary decisions, and the pursuit of personal power at the cost of the people of Sint Eustatius. The Committee concluded that this constitutes gross neglect of duty and advised the Dutch government to step in."

The Netherland's Government has decided to appoint a commissioner who will assume all tasks and powers of the island administration. It says the commissioner will remain in place until the authorities of Sint Eustatius are capable of performing their duties properly. Only then will new elections be held for an island council, so a new administration can take office.

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