Harry van Bommel: "Netanyahu is an obstacle to peace"

3 Mar 2015On Tuesday Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United States Congress. He had only one message: ‘Stop Obama from signing a nuclear agreement with Iran!' He said that in his opinion the struggle against  Iran is much more important than the struggle against ISIS.

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Ploumen Plan doesn’t match dangers of TTIP

2 Mar 2015Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen today joined five EU member state colleagues in launching a plan for an international court to settle trade disputes. In doing so Ploumen is at last recognising the dangers presented by the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), a clause in trade agreements which allows corporations to bring legal actions against states. But in the SP’s assessment the government’s plan is insufficient to counter the damaging effects of the free trade agreements with the US and Canada, respectively the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

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Labour gives way to centre-right coalition partners: JSF will be coming

28 Feb 2015The coalition government, which includes the Labour Party (PvdA), is going ahead with the purchase of eight Joint Strike Fighters. The JSF is a fighter-bomber the acquisition of which was opposed unequivocally by Labour during the last parliamentary election, yet that position has now been reversed. As SP Member of Parliament and defence spokesman SP Jasper van Dijk concluded after last week’s parliamentary debate on the matter, ‘The PvdA is even more manoeuvrable than the JSF.’

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Energy policy must remain in national hands

27 Feb 2015On Tuesday the European Commission published its plan for an energy union. The Commission wants more say in energy policy, which is at present in the hands of the member states. That’s how it must stay, in the opinion of the SP. It would be positive were member states to link their grids, but each country must be able to determine for itself how they generate energy.

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SP: Government must not permit human rights abuses

26 Feb 2015The Court of Justice in The Hague last week ruled that the European Patents Organisation (EPO) is in conflict with important European fundamental rights, such as the right to strike. Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten is, however, refusing to give effect to the judgment, on the grounds that the EPO – not an EU institution, but one with thirty-eight member states, including all EU countries - is an independent organisation and therefore enjoys immunity. SP Member of Parliament Michiel van Nispen finds this reasoning absurd, he says. ‘The minister is thus approving the silencing of trade unions and the fact that workers can’t in the end enforce their rights,’ he points out. ‘Independent organisations should not be hampered in their functioning, but that doesn’t mean that they have carte blanche to transgress human rights and ignore judicial rulings.’

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Clear government statement needed on alleged US and UK eavesdropping on Dutch telephones

25 Feb 2015SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak wants clarification from the government regarding British and American security services’ hacking of Dutch SIM cards, which enables them to steal the cards’ encryption codes and eavesdrop on phone calls. Now that the US and UK intelligence services have got their hands on the encryption codes of major telephone service providers KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile, they can eavesdrop on people – including Members of Parliament - without any interference from the companies involved.

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