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Dutch parliamentarians against lenient rules for Dutch passport in St. Maarten

FRIDAY, 01 NOVEMBER 2013

THE HAGUE–The liberal democratic VVD party in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament demands clarity on the process of granting the Dutch nationality to foreigners in St. Maarten. The party is against relaxing the regulations to obtain a Dutch passport.

This was the reason for VVD Members of Parliament (MPs) Andre Bosman, Malik Azmani and Roald van der Linde to pose written questions to Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk in an article that appeared in the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant on October 21.

In the article headlined “Admittance requirement for the Netherlands is disastrous for

St. Maarten,” Minister of Justice of St. Maarten Dennis Richardson criticised the strict requirements that candidates have to comply with before they can attain the Dutch nationality. The stricter regulations oblige candidates to pass nine exams in Dutch and English.

According to Richardson, the stricter requirements are not good for the St. Maarten economy which heavily depends on immigrant workers. In the newspaper article The Daily Herald journalist Alita Singh of Guyana shared her experiences with the process to acquire the Dutch nationality.

The article has made MPs Bosman, Azmani and Van der Linde suspicious. They asked Minister Plasterk whether he had received reports that St. Maarten didn’t stick to the Kingdom law that regulates the Dutch nationality. “Are you willing to take measures if necessary?”

The MPs also wanted to know whether it was correct that Minister Richardson wants to make it easier for immigrants to obtain a Dutch passport in order to encourage unity in the St. Maarten community and to stimulate the economy.

“Do you share the opinion that giving out passports is not the solution to achieve more unity in the community and to stimulate the economy? Don’t you agree that providing a Dutch passport should not be made easier and that the rules to obtain a Dutch passport should remain the same for the entire Kingdom?”

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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