15 December 2008 was the former effective date for the five constituent bodies comprising the Netherlands Antilles to dissolve.
Curaçao and Sint Maarten are to gain autonomous status in 2010. They each will form two new * states within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, resembling the status of Aruba within the Kingdom. A single Central Bank will be established to serve Curaçao and Sint Maarten with their own single currency, the name of which has not yet been decided, but it is known that it will not be the Euro.
Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius would become a direct part of the Netherlands as special municipalities (bijzondere gemeente), a form of "public body" (openbaar lichaam) as outlined in article 134 of the Dutch Constitution. The Dutch province of Noord-Holland will absorb these three bodies as parts of the province. For all intents and purposes, these three islands will in effect become a part of the country of the Netherlands in terms whereby if one were to travel by plane from Amsterdam and land in Oranjestad, not only would this person have landed in the same country as they originated, but also in the same province.
The date of 15 December has been postponed for Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius to become direct parts of the Netherlands.
As of 1 December 2008, no new schedule has been put forth as to the realisation of the status change. However, a round table conference will take place on 15 December with the goal of setting a date for the status change and officially answering questions surrounding financial and economic matters along with other administrative topics.
A Special Royal Dutch Commission was formed in March 2008 tasked with providing the Dutch government legal advise surrounding the three territories joining the Netherlands within the framework of the Dutch constitution and EU legal precedent. The commission's mandate included answering questions concerning economic and financial matters, specifically the question of whether or not the new parts of the Netherlands would adopt the Euro as their currency and whether or not Euro adoption would take place as additions to the Netherlands or as Overseas Territories. The result of this commission included a recommendation that Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius adopt the Euro as additions to the Netherlands.
Within the final opinion on this topic, members of the commission included the precept that upon status change of the three bodies in question, their new status would be no different than the polders that are formed in the IJsselmeer from reclamation.
As for adoption of the commission's recommendations, that will be left to the Dutch government and the EU council. A decision based on these recommendations could partially be rendered on the 15 December conference. Dutch Deputy Interior Minister Ank Bijleveld is expected to make the final announcement concerning the outcome of the conference by the end of 2008.
Regarding the Eurozone as a whole, the additions to the Netherlands would be incorporated into the overseas territory inset on the official geography of the Eurozone and, presumably, would also be included in the inset printed on Euro banknotes. No new Euro coins would be produced which would differ in design from the existing Dutch national obverse, but total allowance quantities could be increased given the population increase and higher share of total Eurozone population that may result; the Netherlands population would increase by 50 000 after the status change.
Until the status is changed and final decisions are rendered, Bonaire, Saba, Sint Eustatius, Curaçao and Sint Maarten will continue using the Netherlands Antilles Guilder as their currency, with the Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen serving as the central monetary authority and bank for all five bodies.
The Aruban florin has been used in Aruba since 1986, when the country left the Netherlands Antilles and the Centrale Bank van Aruba replaced the Bank van de Nederlandse Antillen to serve as the central monetary authority and bank for Aruba.
The Netherlands Antilles Guilder and the Aruban florin are both pegged to the US dollar at a rate of US$ 1 = Afl/NAƒ 1.79.
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