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16 October 2017

De Jong disappointed by European Parliament’s position on detached workers

The European Parliament voted today on the report by PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) MEP Agnes Jongerius on the reform of the detached workers directive. Describing himself as “disappointed”, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said “I value enormously  the efforts made by  Agnes Jongerius and know that she fought hard to get a good result, but I also see missed opportunities. Worst of all is the fact that equal pay for equal work will come in only after two years in which a worker is posted abroad by his or her firm, while the average length of such ‘detachment’ is only four months. This is disappointing. I also see it as bad that the possibility exists to draw up separate rules for lorry drivers, which doesn’t bode well.”

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16 October 2017

Kox report on European convention system receives near-unanimous backing at Council of Europe

Today in Strasbourg, after two years of preparation, working visits, round table discussions and of going through a great deal of information, SP Senate leader Tiny Kox saw his report on ‘Defending the acquis of the Council of Europe: preserving 65 years of successful intergovernmental co-operation’ adopted by what was close to being a unanimous vote. “In my report I argue for the effective protection and sustainable development of the convention system on which the Council of Europe is based,” Senator Kox, who also heads the United Left Group in the Parliamentary Assembly  of the Council of Europe (PACE), explained. “In these conventions, which are embodied in international treaties, the human and social rights of all 835 million inhabitants of forty-seven member states are enumerated and guaranteed.”

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12 October 2017

Leijten: “Zambia treaty is theft through taxation dressed up as something new”

“Depriving a country of its natural resources for the sake of grabbing a few cents,” was how SP Member of Parliament Leijten described her fellow MPs’ vote to adopt the taxation treaty with Zambia.

The Secretary of State talks in terms of the modernisation of the treaty, but it’s really old-fashioned sucking dry of a country which doesn’t have much to start with,” says Leijten. “Multinationals will soon be able, as soon as they’ve extracted any kind of raw materials, simply to declare their profits in the Netherlands and thus avoid having to pay almost any tax at all. I call that shameless.”

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10 October 2017

SP leader on new Dutch government: “New faces, same old story”

“The new government is singing the same song, with the same discordant melody.” This was SP leader Emile Roemer’s initial reaction to the formation, after a wait of 208 days since March’s general election, of a new four-party centre-right coalition government. Referring to the fact that this is the third governing coalition in succession which will be headed by Mark Rutte and his right-wing VVD party, Roemer added that “Rutte I, II, of III, it’s always the same: division grows, security declines.”

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3 October 2017

SP success as Senate rejects new nationality law

The residency requirement for foreigners who want to be considered for Dutch citizenship will remain at five years. A law proposed by outgoing Secretary of State for Security Klaas Dijkhoff which would have extended the required term to seven years was today voted down in the Senate. SP Senator Anneke Wezel explains why she is pleased by the decision. “This law would not have solved any problems. On the contrary, adding two years to the required term of residence would simply have created more problems,” she says. “It’s great that the Senate has put a stop to what was merely symbolic politics.”

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3 October 2017

Karabulut: ‘Resignation of Defence Minister is a logical step’

“Inevitable” was SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut’s response to the resignation of Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis. Hennis stepped down following a parliamentary debate on the premature explosion of a mortar grenade during the Netherlands’ military incursion into Mali. The explosion caused the death of two Dutch soldiers and the serious wounding of a third. In a report by the Security Research Council, it was shown that the grenade had been rejected and should never have been in use. The Report also concluded that there was a structural problem in the organisation and culture of the Defence Ministry.

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2 October 2017

Stop subsidies to the fossil industry

Foto: SP

Every minute the fossil industry receives €14,000 in state support. That’s €7.6 billion per year. Almost half of this sum results from the exemption of air transport and shipping from energy taxes. At the same time, the energy transition in the Netherlands is going far too slowly. The Netherlands has never before emitted more CO2 than it did in 2016. The share of the market held by sustainable energy is scarcely growing. We must make the polluters pay instead of giving them huge subsidies. The money freed up could be invested in energy conservation and the transition to sustainable energy, affordable for all. Education and science can and must play a crucial role in this transition.

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1 October 2017

SP: Spanish political violence is out of all proportion

The actions of the Spanish police in Catalonia today must be condemned by the Dutch government and the European Union, insists SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten. “The pictures of unarmed people, with their hands up, being pulled over and thrown to the ground by the Spanish military police, are a bombshell. This violent attack against one’s own people has no place in a democracy.”

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28 September 2017

Court of Auditors' Annual Report 'much too rose-coloured'

The European Court of Auditors has this year for the first time offered no reproof in its judgment of the EU's accounts. In an initial reaction, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong says he has his doubts. “Fewer mistakes is of course good news,” says De Jong, “but I'm not convinced. I have the idea that the Court of Auditors has done everything it can to make its report as rose-coloured as possible. What other conclusion can you draw when the European Commission itself in its own Annual Report is more critical than the Auditors? That's never happened before and it seems that the Court of Auditors has deliberately sought to keep the percentage of errors as low as possible.

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