A new chapter for Saba, Bonaire and St Eustatius

The Netherlands has three new stunning municipalities. On 10-10-2010 the Caribbean islands of Saba, St Eustatius and Bonaire received a new status that ties them more closely to the Netherlands. What does that mean for the islands, their inhabitants and their ties to the Netherlands?

By Maartje Smeets

The new status of the islands has considerable consequences for their inhabitants. Positive consequences, such as health insurance, but also consequences that are emotionally more difficult to deal with, such as more environmental and construction regulations. Some of the inhabitants did not vote in favour of the new status when the referendum was held. They were sceptical of the Dutch who, sometimes in remarkably large numbers, are present as administrators, as inhabitants or as businessmen. It's up to the Dutch to earn the respect of the local population. The fact that working together does not always go smoothly (...)

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