Enquiry launched into money-grubbing Antillian politicians

28 October 2009

Enquiry launched into money-grubbing Antillian politicians

On the initiative of SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak, Secretary of State Ank Bijleveld is to establish an enquiry into how many former politicians in the Dutch Antilles are lining their own pockets at the public expense. This week saw revelations that a former minister from Sint Maarten had been given a sinecure of a job at a salary of €12,500 per month. Beyond this basic income this ex-politician receives a whole range of unjustified bonuses and is able to claim reimbursement of expenses at double the rate actually paid out. Van Raak wants to know how many such cases exist and how the government intends to intervene to prevent the abuse.

Ronald van Raak"It's shocking to see how decision-makers who have a record of neglecting their own peoples turn out to be rather good at looking after themselves," says Van Raak. "The Netherlands is obliged to forgive Antillian public debts amounting to €1.5 billion, yet at the same time the people who run the islands are lining their own pockets. This is legalised theft. It's especially disturbing that this money-grubbing by political leaders on Sint Maarten is being glossed over and justified. There is something sadly amiss with the culture of governance on this island."

Sint Maarten has opted to become an independent country whilst remaining part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Van Raak's opinion, however, it would be irresponsible to hand the people over to the kind of government which currently prevails there.

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