photo: Flickr/David Gleason

THE HAGUE – While the Netherlands is taking over the management of St. Eustatius, the Saba authorities will gain more independence in the near future, state secretary Raymond Knops of Kingdom Relations declares.

The government praises the local government and the financial affairs of the island. The intention is for the special municipality of Saba to receive more and more powers ‘incrementally’.

State secretary Knops wants to reward Saba by, among other things, give extra money so that local administrators and civil servants can also carry out these tasks themselves. 688,000 USD is allocated for that, he writes in a letter to the House of Representatives.

The special municipality now has control when it comes to youth prevention. For example, to increase the chances of young people or decrease the number of dropouts. The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport has made money available for the next two years.

St. Eustatius and Bonaire
The situation on Saba is in stark contrast to that of the other special municipality of St. Eustatius. The failing government was deposed with the island council members after a devastating report from the Committee of Wise Men. A national commissioner has to put everything in order on behalf of the Netherlands. The Dutch government has not yet decided how long the state commissioner will remain.

The state secretary has already expressed his concerns several times about integrity and good governance on Bonaire. Knops travels to the island next week for discussions on this, he said earlier.