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As election approaches, Roemer attacks government record

21 Sep 2016SP leader Emile Roemer today gave the SP's response to the government's plans for the coming year, announced on Tuesday. These included the centre-right-centre-left coalition's final budget before it must face the electorate. In his speech to Parliament, with next year's election looming, Roemer attacked the government's record, concentrating for the most part on domestic concerns, particularly the rising cost of health care and the increasing inequality of which it is a major cause. Young and old deserve better, he said. There were ever fewer permanent jobs, and student grants had been abolished. School classes were far too large. Pensions had been lowered, while banks were rescued with taxpayers' money and pension funds rack up record profits.

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Loud 'no' to stranglehold trade accords

21 Sep 2016Demonstrations in Germany and Austria had already brought some 300,000 people on to the streets to demonstrate against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the US and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with Canada. In Brussels today, 15.000 were added to that total, with representation from trade unions, political parties, consumer groups, environmental organisations and groups which stand for good health care, food safety and democracy. The SP was amongst those present. “If you don't say no you get two,” said SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur. “TTIP and CETA must be chucked out, and as soon as possible.”

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TiSA: Commission throws away climate accord

20 Sep 2016The SP is delighted with the fresh leak of information on the negotiations over the megalomaniac Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) which Greenpeace revealed today, but extremely unhappy about its contents. Greenpeace's revelations on this occasion concern, amongst other documents, the energy chapter, which shows that the TiSA undermines the climate accord agreed at the end of last year in Paris.

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Juncker: still doing business with tax havens, just by the back door

18 Sep 2016In his ‘State of the Union’, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker repeated the claim that he was pursing the fight against tax dodging by major corporations. In addition, he advocated a doubling of the European Fund for Strategic Investment, aka the Juncker Fund. Yet now it's precisely via the Juncker Fund that money is finding its way straight to tax havens such as the Cayman Islands. Counter Balance, an organisation which keeps a critical eye on the European Investment Bank (EIB), has published a new report where all of this is explained in great detail. This is a matter on which I'll soon be putting written questions to the Commission. Juncker has some explaing to do.

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The True State of the Union

14 Sep 2016Today, all eyes were turned on president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as he presented his annual ´State of the Union´ address. The SP’s Euro-MPs were unimpressed, and presented an alternative, a True State of the Union. One of them, Dennis de Jong explained: “In our True State of the Union we have tried to give the voices of ordinary people a hearing. With five concrete proposals we want to give back control to people over their own neighbourhoods. That means less control by Brussels and big corporations. If you listened closely to Juncker, what you heard was a plea for more Brussels.”

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Combatting social dumping in road transport: clear rules, new technology and more inspectors needed

13 Sep 2016The European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) today presented a manifesto containing concrete proposals to combat social dumping in European road transport. Responding to the proposals, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: “Social dumping in road transport not only leads to degrading situations for drivers but also undermines road safety. Last year along with like-minded MEPs I presented a package of proposals to Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc. ETF’s proposals point in the same direction, and I’ll be stepping up the pressure on the Commissioner to get her to take them on board when she, as she has previously announced she would, comes up with her own legislative proposals early next year.”

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