The end of the Netherlands Antilles

Today October 10th 2010, the Netherlands Antilles are dissolved as a single political entity. The islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten are now independent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius are now ‘special councils’ of the Netherlands.

In 2005 the population of Curaçao voted for independence. This led to the Dutch government and the Netherlands Antilles discussing a new political structure for the five-island group situated in the Caribbean off the northern coast of South America.

Aruba has been a independent within the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1986.

Expatica wrote: Curacao and St Maarten will each have their own parliament, government, prime minister and currency: the guilder.

Bonaire, Saba and St Eustatius will switch to the US dollar and have "island councils" akin to municipal councils. Their inhabitants will vote for the national Dutch government.

The three new municipalities will have to adopt many Dutch laws. The most contentious among them, allowing for abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia, will be systematically adopted over a period of two years, said Dutch interior ministry spokesman Thijs Manten