Map of the European Union in the world with overseas countries and territories and outermost regions
King Willem-Alexander is the head of state of Aruba
FredisRefunjol is the Governor of Aruba
Parliament of Aruba in Oranjestad
As a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba's politics take place within a framework of a 21-member Parliament and an eight-member Cabinet. The governor of Aruba is appointed for a six-year term by the monarch, and the prime minister and deputy prime minister are elected by the Staten (or "Parlamento") for four-year terms. The Staten is made up of 21 members elected by direct, popular vote to serve a four-year term.
Together with the Netherlands, the countries of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As they share the same Dutch citizenship, these four countries still also share the Dutch passport as the Kingdom of the Netherlands passport. As Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten have small populations, the three countries had to limit immigration. To protect their population, they have the right to control the admission and expulsion of people from the Netherlands.
Aruba is designated as a member of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) and is thus officially not a part of the European Union, though Aruba can and does receive support from the European Development Fund
The Aruban legal system is based on the Dutch model. In Aruba, legal jurisdiction lies with the Gerecht in EersteAanleg (Court of First Instance) on Aruba, the Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie van Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten en van Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba (Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) and the HogeRaad der Nederlanden (Supreme Court of Justice of the Netherlands). The KorpsPolitie Aruba (Aruba Police Force) is the island's law enforcement agency and operates district precincts in Oranjestad, Noord, San Nicolaas, and Santa Cruz, where it is headquartered.
Deficit spending has been a staple in Aruba's history, and modestly high inflation has been present as well. By 2006, the government's debt had grown to 1.883 billion Aruban florins. Aruba received some development aid from the Dutch government each year through 2009, as part of a deal (signed as "Aruba's Financial Independence") in which the Netherlands gradually reduced its financial help to the island each successive year.
In 2006, the Aruban government changed several tax laws to reduce the deficit. Direct taxes have been converted to indirect taxes as proposed by the IMF. A 3% tax has been introduced on sales and services, while income taxes have been lowered and revenue taxes for business reduced by 20%. The government compensated workers with 3.1% for the effect that the B.B.O. would have on the inflation for 2007.
Aruba's educational system is patterned after the Dutch system of education.
The Government of Aruba finances the public national education system.
There are private schools including the International School of Aruba and Schakel College.
There are two medical schoolsAureus University School of Medicine and Xavier University School of Medicine, as well as its own national university, the University of Aruba.
Aruba has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region. There is a low unemployment rate.[
The GDP per capita for Aruba was estimated to be $28,924 in 2014; among the highest in the Caribbean and the Americas. Its main trading partners are Colombia, the United States, Venezuela, and the Netherlands.
A graphical breakdown of Aruba's economy by exports The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries: tourism, aloe export, and petroleum refining (The Lago Oil and Transport Company and the Arend Petroleum Maatschappij Shell Co.). Before the "Status Aparte" (a separate completely autonomous country/state within the Kingdom), oil processing was the dominant industry in Aruba despite expansion of the tourism sector. Today, the influence of the oil processing business is minimal. The size of the agriculture and manufacturing sectors also remains minimal. The official exchange rate of the Aruban florin is pegged to the US dollar at 1.79 florins to 1 USD. Because of this fact, and due to a large number of American tourists, many businesses operate using US dollars instead of florins, especially in the hotel and resort districts.
About three quarters of the Aruban gross national product is earned through tourism or related activities. Most tourists are from the United States (predominantly from the north-east US), the Netherlands and South America, mainly Venezuela and Colombia.
As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, citizens of the Netherlands can travel with relative ease to Aruba and other islands of the Dutch Antilles. No visas are needed for Dutch citizens, only a passport, and although the currency used in Aruba is different (the Netherlands uses the Euro), money can be easily exchanged at a local bank for Aruban Florins.
For the facilitation of the passengers whose destination is the United States, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) full pre-clearance facility in Aruba has been in effect since 1 February 2001 with the expansion in the Queen Beatrix Airport. United States and Aruba have had the agreement since 1986. It began as a USDA and Customs post. Since 2008, Aruba has been the only island to have this service for private flights
In 1999, the U.S. Department of Defense established a Forward Operating Location (FOL) at the airport.
There is also a small Dutch marines base by Savaneta containing approximately 120 Dutch Marines and about 100 AruMil forces..
Ornate buildings in Oranjestad, Aruba On 18 March, Aruba celebrates its National Day. In 1976, Aruba presented its National Anthem (Aruba Dushi Tera) and Flag. Aruba has a varied culture. According to the Bureau Burgelijke Stand enBevolkingsregister (BBSB), in 2005 there were ninety-two different nationalities living on the island. Dutch influence can still be seen, as in the celebration of "Sinterklaas" on 5 and 6 December and other national holidays like 27 April, when in Aruba and the rest of the Kingdom of the Netherlands the King's birthday or "Dia di Rey" (Koningsdag) is celebrated.
Iguanas on a rooftop in Aruba Christmas and New Year's Eve are celebrated with the typical music and songs for gaitas for Christmas and the Dande[clarification needed] for New Year, and ayaca, ponche crema, ham, and other typical foods and drinks. Millions of florins worth of fireworks are burnt at midnight on New Year's Eve. On 25 January, BeticoCroes' birthday is celebrated. Dia di San Juan is celebrated on 24 June. Besides Christmas, the religious holy days of the Feast of the Ascension and Good Friday are holidays on the island. The holiday of Carnaval is also an important one in Aruba, as it is in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, and, like Mardi Gras, that goes on for weeks. Its celebration in Aruba started, around the 1950s, influenced by the inhabitants from Venezuela and the nearby islands (Curaçao, St. Vincent, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Maarten and Anguilla) who came to work for the Oil refinery. Over the years the Carnival Celebration has changed and now starts from the beginning of January till the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday with a large parade on the last Sunday of the festivities (Sunday before Ash Wednesday). Tourism from the United States has recently increased the visibility of American culture on the island, with such celebrations as Halloween and Thanksgiving Day in November.