Eighteen members of the Frisian nationalist party Fryske Nasjonale Partij headed to Edinburgh on Wednesday to follow the vote in the Scottish referendum, Nos television reports.
‘Perhaps we Frisians can learn something from such a referendum,’ Friesland provincial councillor Sybren Posthumus told the broadcaster.
The FNP, he says, does not want to split off from the rest of the Netherlands but ‘we would like more say’, Posthumus said. ‘There is a lot of unhappiness in the provincial council about the gulf between The Hague and Friesland.’
One example of this, he says, is the decision by central government to close the maternity unit at Dokkum’s Sionsberg hospital. ‘The province voted unanimously to keep it open and a couple of days later, parliament voted to close it. That led to a lot of protest.’
Posthumus said he is neutral with regard to the Scottish debate. Whatever happens, the British government has pledged to give Scotland more financial independence, he pointed out. ‘And if the yes vote wins, the Scots can determine their own future.’
The Fryske Nasjonale Partij was founded in 1962 to promote the Frisian language, culture and sports. The party has four members on the 43-strong provincial council and is part of the ruling coalition.
The province is officially known as Fryslân in Dutch.