The islands don’t have the Dutch social welfare system, yet they must comply with all kinds of rules set by The Hague.

Thom de Graaf, current Mayor of the Dutch city of Nijmegen, former Minister of Administrative Reform and Kingdom Relations.

The quote above, from a more extensive interview refers to the status of Curaçao, St Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba, all current Dutch colonies in the Caribbean/ South America (they are not currently called “colonies” by the Dutch government, though; they are referred to as “Dutch territories” or “municipalities” or “country members of The Kingdom of The Netherlands”). This is also from the interview:

He (de Graaf) is very conscious of the fact that the average citizen in the Netherlands shows very little interest in the Kingdom.

And that is very true. There is absolutely no discussion in media or in politician’s minds about present day colonialism in The Netherlands (unless it is to point out how citizens of former colonies are a burden to the welfare system, or how the unemployment rates affect them, etc; always under a pretty negative light, I might add).

And yet, these territories must comply with laws, regulations, tax impositions, etc, while they get none of the benefits afforded to the citizens of European Netherlands (namely, they will not get any of the benefits of living in a European welfare state). Also, islands like St. Maarten, who benefit from income generated by wealthy tourism do not get to dictate their own laws or political measures.

But if you’d ask an average Dutch citizen, they’d tell you the colonial days are a thing of the past and that such things are no longer part of the country.

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