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16 June 2018

Puppet of the multinationals

Foto: SP

Who actually runs out country? It turns out that since 2005, using a tax haven, Shell has avoided paying the tax on dividends, And as if that isn't enough, it has also emerged that the Dutch revenue service were fully aware of this.

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13 June 2018

The handshake

President Trump takes one after another stupid, sometimes downright dangerous decisions. The United States has torn up the Iran deal, moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and removed its signature from the Paris climate agreement. In addition, Trump has sent more soldiers to the endless war in Afghanistan and asked the Netherlands to do the same. Little by little these moves are not making the world safer. Quite the opposite.

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11 June 2018

Improvement of the Dutch language won’t be in the Constitution

Not only Papiamentu, but also the Dutch language has many words that have been copied from other languages. Most of these words originate from French and German. After the Second World War, English became the dominant language. However, I think all these English terms we use don’t improve the language. Turn on the radio and you hear English songs, turn on the TV and you see programmes in English.

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5 June 2018

Ten years later

'The crisis is over'. I hear this often in The Hague. If you look at big corporations' profits, that's indeed the case. But if you look at the lives of ordinary people, you get a very different picture. Wages have hardly risen, more than half of young people have insecure work, and older people must continue working longer.

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4 June 2018

Breakthrough for passengers' rights

Foto: Spoorjan

The Internal Market Committee today adopted by an overwhelming majority the proposals from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong aimed at bringing about an enormous improvement in rail passengers' rights. Explaining the measures, De Jong said: “You can miss your connection because your first train is running late, and as things stand passengers are often left in the lurch, but if this legislative proposal is adopted, the company which sold you the tickets for the entire journey will be obliged to ensure that you reach your destination as soon as possible.”

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4 June 2018

The can of worms at KPMG will be opened anyway

Some questions are very obvious to be asked, but aren’t asked anyway – like the question why Wouter Bos led the conversations to form a new government in 2012. The former PvdA Minister of Finance became a partner at KPMG after his departure in 2010. It’s a good thing if politicians quickly get a new job after their political career, but I thought this position was remarkable. With this transfer, a lot of sensitive information from the Ministry of Finance came into the hands of this international accountancy firm, which advises companies on how to bend the financial rules.

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31 May 2018

The Netherlands must levy own taxes on tech giants

There is currently an absolutely justified call for digital giants such as Facebook and Google to be made to pay taxes on their extremely lucrative activities. It's therefore to be welcomed that the European Union's member states and the European Commission are looking for an effective way to achieve this. Now that it turns out that the proposals from Brussels fall well short of what is required, however, the Netherlands must set an example for other countries to follow and impose its own taxes on these corporations' activities, argue Mahir Alkaya and Renske Leijten.

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29 May 2018

Trade treaty with Latin American countries a threat to public health

The trade treaty between the EU and a number of Latin American countries, those which make up the trade association Mercosur, presents a threat to European public health. It cannot be ruled out that more 'salmonella chicken' will end up on the European consumer's plate. For this reason the treaty should be immediately rejected, argues Anne-Marie Mineur, MEP.

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29 May 2018

Don't travel to Afghanistan

Take a look at the travel advice on the Dutch government's website, and you'll see the same warning repeated at least seven times: don't go to Afghanistan. Armed attacks and incidents happen almost daily, often with police officers or soldiers as their target, but in places where many people gather. However, turn to another section, the one headed 'Official Communication -, Afghanistan', and you can read the policy concerning the return of refugees who have been refused asylum, though only after ninety pages of information on restrictions of human rights. There you will see that forced deportation of refugees to Afghanistan is indeed possible. The absolutely justified advice on travel does not therefore seem to be valid for Afghans themselves. This is, to say the least, most peculiar.

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