News 2003

2 December 2003

NATO enlargement, No Thanks!

Recently the Dutch Parliament voted, against the better judgement of the Socialist Party, to agree to the enlargement of NATO. NATO member states must give their permission for the accession of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bulgaria. As the Netherlands took its decision, only the Socialist Party voted against. NATO is an outdated institution from the Cold War and is on the wrong track, preferring “preventative attacks” to defence as such. Below are extracts from the parliamentary intervention of SP spokesman on defence Harry van Bommel.

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26 November 2003

European Parliament rejects Ports Directive

In a huge victory for the militant workers who organised a series of demonstrations against the liberalisation and deregulation of Europes port services, the European Parliament this week voted by 229 to 209, with 16 abstentions, to reject ultra-liberal proposals from the EU Commission.

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20 November 2003

Disquiet over treatment of Guantanamo Bay prisoners

There is growing disquiet in different NATO member states regarding the treatment by the American authorities of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. So much became clear during the annual meeting of the NATO parliamentary assembly in Orlando, when a proposal was accepted from SP senator Tiny Kox, a member of the Netherlands’ delegation, to send representatives to the American enclave on the island of Cuba to investigate whether or not international treaties are being respected and implemented.

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20 October 2003

Wrong text for a European constitution

True constitutions have always resulted from discord, from angry citizens seeking to put an end to the omnipotence of their rulers. In the case of the EU constitution, this is not the case. The citizens, who do indeed want to see European co-operation to address trans-frontier nuisances and solve large-scale common problems, have never demanded the forming of a superstate with its own currency, military force and constitution.

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14 October 2003

Autumn Agreement far too meagre a result, resistance to B II* must continue


SP parliamentary group leader Jan Marijnissen has expressed his disappointment over the results of the annual ‘autumn meeting’ between government, trade unions and employers. Marijnissen sees the outcome as falling well short of the mark as far as social considerations are concerned. “Organised social solidarity is undermined on all sides: in public health insurance, social security and in the public sector as a whole. In exchange for very limited promises the trade unions have accepted what is a shoddy deal for all Dutch people, working or not, despite their earlier talk of the ‘antisocial policies’ of Balkenende II.*

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1 October 2003

Ports Directive unworkable, will lead to more unrest

The compromise between the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers over the liberalisation of port services is unworkable, according to SP Euro-MP Erik Meijer. "This plan will lead to still more unrest in European ports," Mr Meijer said.

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