THE HAGUE—It’s been revealed that Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba will not fall under NATO’s protection after October 10.
This is based on a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) geographical exclusion clause.Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende told BNR News Radio last Tuesday that although the BES Islands (Bonaire, Statia and Saba) will become an integral part of the Netherlands as “special municipalities” as of October 10, they cannot count on the same support of NATO troops as regular Dutch municipalities. Balkenende said the Dutch government is currently involved in talks with authorities in the Netherlands Antilles concerning the future safety of the islands.
If reports coming out of Willemstad are correct, the future countries St. Maarten and Curaçao will share a new currency to be called “Caribbean guilder” in six to nine months. While this is directly related to the
constitutional changes and dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles, it won’t be possible on 10-10-10, when the new relations within the Dutch Kingdom are to take effect.
However, nobody seems to be able to explain why a new joint currency is needed in the first place. After all, the intention is to peg the “Caribbean guilder” to the US dollar in exactly the same manner as the Antillean guilder, as also was done with the Aruba florin when that island gained its separate status.