Published On: Tue, Jun 18th, 2024

PVV appoints Szabo as State Secretary for Kingdom Relations

THE HAGUE — Instead of Nicolien van Vroonhoven-Kok, the number two on the list of Pieter Omtzigt’s party New Social Contract (NSC), Zsolt Szabo, a member of Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration Party for Freedom (PVV) will become the new State Secretary for Digitalization and Kingdom Relations. That is, as the Dutch newspaper Trouw reported, “bad news for the islands.”

Ferenc Zsolt Szabo is described as a seasoned politician for the VVD, but his appointment to the post is on behalf of the PVV.

Szabo, 62, is currently the vice-president of IT-company Capgemini and the vice-chairman of ECP, a platform that promotes the advancement of the information society. Between 2003 and 2006 Szabo was the VVD-spokesman for ICT and development cooperation. Szabo also functions as chairman of the Do-Not-Call-Me register in the Netherlands. He has no apparent connection to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.

Whether Szabo’s appointment is really bad news for the island remains to be seen. However, only three years ago PVV-parliamentarian De Graaf stated in a debate about the budget for Kingdom Relations that it is time for the islands to “step onto the road towards maturity”: ”This is the moment to go and do it all by yourself.”

The government accord, signed by the same PVV together with its coalition partners VVD, BB and NSC states something completely different: “The Netherlands considers the Caribbean part of the Kingdom as valuable.”

How the new State Secretary for Kingdom Relations, who represents a party that would rather kick the Caribbean islands out of the Kingdom, is going to live up to that statement remains for the time being an unanswered question.


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Nicolien van Vroonhoven new minister for kingdom relations