Published On: Wed, Apr 12th, 2017

Send-in-the-troops remark hits a nerve in The Hague

André+BosmanTHE HAGUE – Prime Minister William Marlin has hit a nerve with his remark that the Netherlands should “send in the troops’ to enforce the instruction for the establishment of an Integrity Chamber. VVD-MP André Bosman demanded yesterday in the Dutch Parliament talks on ministerial level about proper etiquette in the Kingdom. Bosman also finds that Minister Plasterk (Kingdom Relations) has to sound the alarm in cases of such ballyhoo. The statements of PM Marlin are the reason for Bosman’s remarks.

Marlin said after the Kingdom Council of Ministers issued an instruction to St. Maarten last Friday that the Netherlands should ‘send in the troops’ to implement it. Recently the interim Prime Minister of Curacao, Gilmar Pisas sneered after an instruction to that island that the Netherlands ought to send a firing squad. Bosman considers both statements “impossible.”

Minister Plasterk emphasized first and foremost that he expects St. Maarten to abide by the instruction. Through a representative he said that Marlin’s statement had disturbed him. He said nothing about the statement of Pisas or about his reaction to it.

For Bosman, that was not enough. “To me this seems to be the moment for politicians to engage in talks and to look each other in the eyes. Not for telling each other what we think about this through all kinds of departments.”

Bosman says it is time for talks about how politicians in the Kingdom deal with each other. “My idea is that we should talk about this at least at the ministerial level to convince each other that this is not the way we deal with each other. These kinds of statements are not conducive to the mutual relationships and certainly not for possible behavior towards Dutch citizens on the islands.”