BOLKESTEIN, Frits (Frederik)


BOLKESTEIN, Frits (Frederik)
(1933– )
   Politician and intel lectual. After his various studies (mathematics, physics, philosophy, Greek, economy, law) in the United States, London, and Amster dam, Bolkestein started his career in the Shellcompany in 1960, and by 1976 rose to be a member of the board of Shell chemistry in Paris.
   He left Shell the same year. In 1978, he entered the Parliament, be coming state secretary of international trade in 1982–1986 and de fense minister in 1988–1989. As leader of the liberal Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD) from 1990 to 1998, he pro voked the Dutch society with statements about desirable standards and immigration policy. From 1999 until 2004, Bolkestein was Eu ropean Union commissioner for internal market, taxation, and cus toms union. Since then he has been part-time professor at the uni versities of Delft and Leiden. Bolkestein wrote many books and articles, including The Limits of Europe (2004) and a diary about his experiences as commissioner, Grensverkenningen: Dagboek van een eurocommissaris (2005). Under the pseudonym Niels Kobet, he also wrote the English play Floris, Count of Holland (1976). BONAIRE. The largest but least densely populated (about 13,000 in habitants) of the three Leeward (Benedenwindse) Islands of the Netherlands Antilles, which the Dutch conquered in 1633. Alonso de Ojeda and Amerigo Vespucci had been the first Europeans who landed on Bonaire, in 1499. Just like Curacao, Aruba, and the other Dutch isles in the Caribbean, it was governed by the West India Company during the early modern period. The main economic ac tivities are salt production and tourism (scuba diving). The Bonaire dialect is called Papiamen. The local government—the authority, his deputies, and the island’s council of nine members—is located in the principal town Kralendijk. In 2004, the population voted for a direct constitutional relationship with the Netherlands, which will be real ized in 2008.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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