SP votes against Services Directive

15 November 2006

SP votes against Services Directive

For the last time the European parliament today debated and voted on ex-Commissioner Frits Bolkestein’s Services Directive. The SP put forward a large number of amendments, but these failed to win the backing of a majority. The Services Directive was approved, and the SP voted against what is a draconian neoliberal measure.

The SP’s amendments won the support of a minority of social democrats, but not of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), which supported the Services Directive all the way. According to SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard, who opposed Bolkestein to the last ditch, European regulations have now opened the way to liberalisation of services, including essential public services, by the back door. “Education and health care, as well as the working conditions and conditions of service of employees, appear to be excluded from the measure as adopted,” she noted, “but in Europe nothing is any longer sacred. By means of the Posted Workers’ Directive and future rules governing ‘services of general interest’, the Commission will be able to attack these as well. Or as Dutch Liberal (VVD) Euro-MP Toine Manders said on the radio tonight, ‘Everything except the police can be liberalised.’ That is just what I fear.”

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