The Daily Herald writes that Dutch Labour Party PvdA in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament wants a general debate with Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on a number of developments on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. Member of Parliament (MP) Astrid Oosenbrug of PvdA requested a debate with the minister during a procedural meeting of the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Home Affairs on Thursday. She filed the request on behalf of her colleague Roelof van Laar who represents PvdA in the Committee Kingdom Relations. The committee honoured the party’s request. PvdA wants to discuss a number of current issues with the minister in that meeting, which the party has asked to be held no later than February 2014, after the Second Chamber’s return from a visit to the Dutch Caribbean early January.
Items on the agenda would include the fibre optic cable connection of St. Eustatius and Saba; the development of the purchasing power in the Caribbean Netherlands; children’s rights; the postal services on the islands and the planned evaluations on the National Government coordination on the islands and the constitutional relations in the Kingdom. Van Laar said that it was time to have a debate with the minister after he had sought attention as an MP for a number of subjects relating to the islands. He said in an invited comment that he also wanted to discuss the governmental situation on Bonaire with the minister. “The PvdA is concerned about the lasting crisis in government. That is why I will seek elaborate information on this issue during the trip that the Committee Kingdom Relations will make to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. I also expect that this trip will generate new subjects that we will have to discuss with the minister,” Van Laar said.
Van Laar, on Wednesday, asked for a written consultation with Minister Plasterk about the travel policy of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations to the Dutch public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba in the last few years. In 2012 alone, the ministry spent close to 310,000 euros on business trips to the islands. From 2009 to 2011 this amount was even higher. The PvdA last week also requested a written consultation (schriftelijk overleg) with Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker in relation to the Education Agenda Caribbean Netherlands.