Curacao votes for greater autonomy
A narrow majority of Curacao's residents have voted in favour of greater autonomy.CURACAO - A narrow majority of Curacao's residents have voted in favour of greater autonomy. Friday's referendum saw 52 percent vote in favour, 48 percent against, paving the way for Curacao to become an autonomous territory within the Netherlands.
Turnout was high, with some 67 percent of the island's 119,000 voters casting their ballot.
The Dutch government has pledged close to two billion euros to write off 70 percent of the island's debt provided it retains oversight of Curacao's justice and state finances.
The administrative restructuring of the five-island archipelago of the Dutch Antilles is planned for next year. The Dutch government wants Sint Maarten also to become an autonomous territory of the Netherlands.
Aruba became autonomous in 1986. The less-populated islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are to become municipalities within the Netherlands.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica