Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Plain wrong

Maybe there is some silent diplomacy going on behind the scenes; we don’t know that. But to the public eye it seems right now that St. Maarteners who fled to the Netherlands after Hurricane Irma and who are encountering difficulties registering in municipalities like Haarlem are left out in the cold by the government of St. Maarten.

It is bad enough that Haarlem stubbornly denies Irma-refugees their most basic rights as Dutch citizens. The national ombudsman, Reinier van Zutphen, has in the meantime intervened with questions to Home Affairs Minister Kasja Ollongren. But the refugees have so far, and as far as we know, not received any form of support from the government in St. Maarten.

It is unclear, at least to us, whose responsibility it would be to actually do something. The minister of General Affairs seems to be the most logical official to act, but maybe the minister of Social Development could play a role as well.

Doing nothing creates the impression that citizens who have chosen to leave the island for personal reasons and after going through a traumatic event are no longer the concern of our government; that is plain wrong.


Related news:
Homeless St. Maarteners in a bind in the Netherlands
Ombudsman stands up for homeless St. Maarteners