October 11, 2010 § Leave a comment
The Dutch Antilles are no more. Following recent changes the islands are being split up into their composite parts – all of which will still be under overall Dutch control. The larger islands of Curacao and St Maarten have followed the lead of Aruba some 25 years previously, and become autonomous nations within Holland. Meanwhile the smaller islands of Saba, Bonaire, and Saint Eustatius will enjoy the similar but lesser status of autonomous municipality within Holland.
The changes largely come about because of resentment by the small islands against Curacao – who they hold responsible for racking up the Antilles 2 billion euro debt. For a country of 175,000 people to rack up a debt of 2 billion really is something and, regardless of who is to blame, Holland had to step in because something was clearly not working. Holland will take over the economic running of the countries for what they promise will be a short while, to get things back on track.
If you want to know more there are a series of five pamphlets in English produced by the Antilles Government here:
They are very informative, albeit they stick to a fairly predictable Civil Service line where everything is wonderful and no-one is to blame.