24 October 2017

For Karim – and many others

Foto: SP

Can we imagine it? That during a war in our neighbouring countries more than six million Germans or Belgians would be admitted? It’s an enormous number, but one comparable to what Lebanon is doing in the here and now. With four million inhabitants, the country has taken in one-and-a-half million refugees. And it is coming apart at the seams.

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23 October 2017

A binding human rights treaty

It has been known for some time that expected profits and economic growth figures are not the only way to happiness for all. Next week we will have the chance to make progress towards a UN treaty which will make it obligatory for corporations to respect human rights. As things stand European governments do not seem inclined to play a glittering role in this. That’s a pity, because a great deal is at stake.

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1 September 2017

Venezuela - regime change or democracy?

Venezuela has been in the international spotlight for some time. Its economy is in difficulties, there’s hyperinflation, living standards are deteriorating rapidly and social unrest is growing. Falling oil prices, a one-dimensional economy based on oil exports, and failing economic policies mean that there is a shortage of food, medicines and other basic products. Democracy is under pressure and incumbent president Nicolas Maduro’s support and legitimacy are being lost as a result of his repressive actions.

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6 August 2017

Brussels and The Hague must stop ignoring Calais situation

In June the first death occurred, when a Polish truckdriver crashed into a row of lorries which had to stop suddenly because some migrants had blocked the road with a tree trunk. Truck drivers are still going to Great Britain, but for how long? Once again a time is fast approaching when it will be too late to act, and yet once again the European Union decision-makers in Brussels, and the Dutch government in The Hague, remain worryingly quiet, while the government in Paris blunders on.

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31 July 2017

SP’s Sadet Karabulut visits troubled Rif region of Morocco

Last week SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut and National Secretary Hans van Heijningen paid a three-day working visit to Morocco. “People have been taking to the streets for almost a year now in Morocco,” explained Karabulut. “They want a fairer distribution of wealth in the country and are demanding jobs, health care, education and an end to corruption and impunity. Young and old and, for the first time, thousands of women are getting out on to the streets and calling for a better future. Many Dutch Moroccans feel involved in this protest movement and have organised solidarity actions in the Netherlands in recent months. The SP is in complete solidarity with this people’s movement.”

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28 July 2017

For the wealthy too, “simply paying your taxes must become the norm”

A special committee of the Netherlands Parliament has been investigating tax evasion by wealthy Dutch people and the constructions which enable moneys to be passed through our country. SP Member of Parliament Renske Leijten was a member of the special committee and expresses the view that, in addition to stricter regulations and improved surveillance, what’s needed is a fundamental discussion of the country’s system of taxation. Below, she speaks to Rob Janssen.

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6 July 2017

An undermining of democracy from here to Tokyo

Foto: SP

The SP is completely opposed to the trade treaty with Japan presented today by the European Commission. SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur sees it as ‘an undermining of democracy from here to Tokyo’, and as a threat to workers’ rights, regulations designed to protect the climate and the environment, and democratic and transparent decision-making.

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5 July 2017

SP and allies in Council of Europe nominate imprisoned Kurdish leader for human rights prize

The United Left Group in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is headed by SP Senator Tiny Kox, has nominated Selahattin Demirtaş for the Václav Havel Human Rights Prize for 2017. The nomination is supported in addition by the United Left Group (GUE-NGL) in the European Parliament, to which the SP is also affiliated, as well as the Netherlands-based Trans National Institute, and Kurds & Friends, a Dutch NGO which concerns itself with human rights in Turkey. The prize is presented annually to a defender of human rights in Europe or beyond. At the present time Demirtaş, leader of the Kurdish left party the HDP and chair of its group in the Turkish Parliament, is being held in prison under harsh conditions, accused of ‘activities which undermine the state.’

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23 June 2017

Trade treaty with Japan a threat to democracy and a sustainable economy

The trade treaty currently being negotiated between the European Commission and Japan (JEFTA) will allow corporations to take governments to court if they introduce measures to protect people and the environment. This can be seen in documents from the talks made public this evening by Greenpeace. The proposed treaty, in contrast to earlier commitments, contains no more than a few ineffectively mild agreements to promote sustainability.

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