5 July 2016

250 MPs demand involvement of national parliaments in CETA decision

Foto: SP

250 MPs from thirteen different member states have signed a statement demanding that national parliaments be given the right to debate the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada. Their demand for involvement was presented in a letter to the government of Slovakia in its capacity as holder of the EU’s rotating presidency. The statement was an initiative of SP Senator Tuur Elzinga. “CETA will have far-reaching consequences for these various countries,” Elzinga explains. “So it’s not a treaty which can be introduced behind people’s backs. National parliaments must have the chance to approve or reject the agreement. That’s democracy.”

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29 June 2016

Broad support for SP motion calling for a decent social minimum for Dutch Caribbean

The SP today welcomed the adoption of a motion calling on the government to introduce a social minimum income in the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, fixed at a level sufficient to cover the cost of basic necessities.

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28 May 2016

SP urges mailing campaign to Stop TTIP & CETA

Foto: SP

Today is National Action Day in the Netherlands against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and US, and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada. These two treaties give a free hand to corporations and show no concern for workers’ rights, sustainability or safety. Democracy in the Netherlands and Europe hangs in the balance.

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27 May 2016

‘Take more measures against illegal Israeli settlements’

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is urging the Minister of Foreign Affairs to take additional measures to counter illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. “It’s a good thing that products from the settlements can no longer be sold in Dutch supermarkets with misleading labels which give the impression that the products come from Israel,” says Van Bommel. “But as long as Israel continues to extend the settlements and the occupation of Palestinian territory is maintained, more far-reaching measures will be needed. That’s why I’m advocating that an end be put to investments by pension funds such as ABP in Israeli banks which provide mortgages to colonists, enabling the further enlargement of the settlements.”

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14 May 2016

TTIP bad for people on low incomes, bad for the environment

Foto: Anne-Marie Mineur

The TTIP will not help people in lower income groups to make progress, and could possibly even harm them, as consumer prices rise. In addition, the TTIP will increase coal consumption by 0.3% and gas consumption by 0.2% and lead to a growth in CO2 emissions of between 0.2% and 0.3%. Furthermore, the TTIP presents a threat to the agreements on climate signed late last year in Paris. The SP has drawn these conclusions from the draft environmental report published by the research bureau Ecorys, which examines the sustainability of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership currently under negotiation by the European Union and the United States.

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28 April 2016

Harry van Bommel: Turkey’s repression crosses the line

Freedom of expression and of the press have been under pressure for some years in Turkey, a fact confirmed by the World Press Freedom Index published annually by Reporters Without Borders. In 2014 Turkey recorded a poor result, but fell further last year to as low as 151st, only 29 off the bottom position, and lower than Venezuela, Russia or Tadzhikistan. In comparison the Netherlands came second.

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27 April 2016

TTIP-'transparency' adds very little

The SP has reacted critically to the attempt by the European Commission to increase transparency in relation to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Pact, the TTIP. The publication on the state of affairs in the TTIP negotiations includes little relevant new information and only serves to show how far the treaty remains from completion.

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26 April 2016

Van Dijk: Stop TTIP and CETA

Foto: SP / SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk at the presentation of the manifesto against the TTIP and CETA

Negotiations over the neoliberal trade treaties TTIP and CETA must be immediately halted, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk said in today’s debate with Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen. "The TTIP is a constitution for multinationals," Van Dijk argued. "Europe will be flooded with American products if this treaty goes through. A race to the bottom in relation to wages, working conditions and consumer protection will clearly be the result. American corporations, moreover, will be able to lodge claims for millions of euros if the Netherlands introduces laws which threaten their profits."

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10 April 2016

Merkies: end shady fiscal constructions

Foto: Geralt

If it were up to the SP, a parliamentary inquest would begin in the short term into the firms and individuals named in the Panama Papers. The SP has joined Green Left and the PvdA (Labour Party) in bringing forward a proposal to that effect. SP Member of Parliament and financial expert Arnold Merkies explains: "Every year billions of euros are lost to tax evasion and tax avoidance through shady constructions that remain well hidden from everyone. Money that could have been spent on health care, roads or education. The Panama Papers are bringing matters to light that should have been revealed much sooner, by means of a sound tax inspectorate and effective agreements with other countries. We’re still chasing after the facts. It’s time that tax havens and shady fiscal constructions were dismantled."

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