Dutch MP banned from Antilles parliament

A stand-off between the Netherlands and the Dutch Antilles appears to be intensifying following a vote by Antillean parliamentarians on Monday to ban a Dutch MP from the parliamentary building on Curacao where a meeting between the two sides was planned.

The move follows comments made by Hero Brinkman of the Dutch anti-immigration PVV party last week. Brinkman was reported as saying that Antilleans were ‘largely villains’ and that local politicians were ‘corrupt’.
On Monday, the Antillean parliamentarians voted 16 to one to ban Brinkman from entering the parliamentary building unless he apologised for the comments, reports today’s Volkskrant.
The leader of the Dutch parliamentary delegation, Willibrord van Beek, said that the decision not to allow entry to Brinkman had to be seen as refusing admission to the whole group, the paper reports.
‘We understand the sensitivity over Brinkman’s comments but the importance of the POK [political and financial meetings between Dutch, Antillean and Aruban parliamentarians] is bigger than this issue,’ Van Beek told ANP news service.
A suggestion by the Dutch to hold the meetings on Aruba or Bonaire was rejected by the Antilleans. A proposal by the Antilleans that the delegation leaders meet alone was dismissed by the Dutch side.
It now appears that the meetings will not go ahead.

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