Dutch cabinet that talks about the islands as a man who thinks his wife is too expensive.

Panama on the North Sea
Tommy Wieringa

After World War II, according to Wikipedia, the Netherlands received $1,128 million Marshall Aid from the US, 112 dollars per capita. After the flood disaster in 1953, there came such an overwhelming amount of aid supplies from home and abroad that a second tidal wave was mentioned. The warehouses burst from their seams through the shiploads of emergency goods from abroad. The Marshall Aid served another strategic geopolitical goal, the emergency aid after the flood disaster was strictly humanitarian in nature.

It's been a long time. We have almost forgotten that twice in the middle of the last century we depended on emergency aid from abroad. In April, Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra had no memory of this when he gave himself a relentless attitude to requests for aid from Spain and Italy, most affected by the Corona crisis. The Netherlands was the only one to impose heavy reform requirements through Hoekstra. Budget cuts in exchange for support, because for what belongs and charity we don't do. “While we count the deaths per thousand,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, “finance ministers play with words.” The plural was for courtesy, in reality it was only one. Le Maire called the Dutch attitude a disgrace to Europe.

In arrogant #boertigheid , Hoekstra was preceded by Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who in 2017 described the southern Member States as drinky skirt-hunters who held their hands in Brussels. Perhaps someone should take account of the reputational damage caused by the respective finance ministers in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands takes a similar attitude towards the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. The islands sigh under biblical plagues. Because Curaçao has a failed state like Venezuela as its big neighbour, the Isla-refinery has been shut down and the island has been flooded by tens of thousands of Venezuelan refugees — a heavy burden for a population of just 160,000 souls. The pandemic then put an abrupt end to tourism, the main source of income. The Netherlands is willing to support several tens of millions, but here too the conditions are unsympathetic. Carel de Haseth, writer-poet and former minister of the Netherlands Antilles, reports to me from the island: “The Netherlands is killing the islands in a way that does not do justice to equality in the Kingdom. To get Corona support, we have to agree that a triumvirate of Dutch men will carry out all kinds of reforms for seven years (at our expense) without our government or parliament having anything to say.”

With De Haseth, I attended the election victory of the PAR, the party of Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath in May 2017. It was a happy, hopeful evening. There was change in the air, Rhuggenaath was known as an intelligent and honest politician who would tackle administrative corruption and mafia practices on the island. However, circumstances have not made it easy for him. Sheila Sitalsing summarised last week in De Volkskrant: “He must move between aggressive Venezuela, expansive China, Latin American drug gangs, and a Dutch cabinet that talks about the islands as a man who thinks his outdoorwife is becoming too expensive.” Add to this the flow of refugees and the consequences of the pandemic, and the upheaval is complete. But The Hague reacts with diplomacy to clogs, mercy with the cheese slicer. This abuse of an emergency weakens the position of Rhuggenaath, who can use all the support for the problems on the island and the reform of the island administration. “Drop Rhuggenaath now,” writes Sitalsing, “and the criminals come to power there.”

It is the misplaced superiority of the empire.
which itself houses one of the largest synthetic drug economies in the world,
a shunting Tax Administration has
and offers a warm home to tax evaders from around the world.
Panama on the North Sea, with some evil will. The Netherlands should finally get rid of the persistent myth about itself as industrious and sparing and everything south of the Moerdijk as wasteful and corrupt. Comfortable self-deception, harmful fiction.
Tommy Wieringa writes a column at this place every week.

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