Nieuws uit 2004

26 November 2004

No Tomahawks - yet - for Dutch defence minister

While the Dutch government remains committed to a broad package of extensive spending cuts, Defence Minister Henk Kamp wants the country to beef up its military capability by buying Tomahawk cruise missiles. It’s a controversial wish on his part at a time when most people in the country are feeling the effect of government cutbacks. On Thursday, parliament in The Hague blocked the plans, with only Mr Kamp’s liberal-conservative VVD actually backing his proposal. The left-wing opposition is opposed, and even the VVD’s main coalition partner, the Christian Democrats, wants to wait and not take a final decision until 2006.

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25 November 2004

Broad European protest against services directive

Today, several thousand trade unionists gathered in Brussels to demonstrate against Frits Bolkestein’s proposed services directive. Delegations from throughout Europe formed a colourful procession through Brussels’ EU district, where the European Commission and Council of Ministers are based. SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard joined a delegation of trade unionists in presenting a petition to Dutch Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and current President of the EU Economic Affairs Council Karien van Gennip.

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15 November 2004

European Constitution goes against the interests of the people

The concept text of the European Constitution does not deserve to be called Constitution. It is a political program of neo liberal cut that does not make Europe more democratic or transparent, but leads to militarisation of Europe. On more than one point, European civilians are worse off than before. The outcome of the several referenda that are to be held should be a loud and firm “No”, says Harry van Bommel, member of the Dutch parliament for the Socialist Party (SP).

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11 November 2004

Sorrowful day for Palestine and the peace process

“The death of President Yasser Arafat means that this is a dark day for the Palestinians and for the peace process," said SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel today. The SP believes that it is of the greatest importance that the Netherlands is represented at the funeral at the highest level. “Arafat deserves to be honoured as a friendly head of state. He was a negotiating partner of the Dutch government."

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6 November 2004

Resistance pays off – But the neoliberal agenda is still on the table

The trade union movement, the hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life who demonstrated against the government’s policies on the 2nd of October, the many who have taken strike action and the majority of the population who have rejected this government have together achieved a great success! The cabinet – composed of VVD (liberals), CDA (christian-democrats) and D66 (social-liberals) – has suffered a big defeat. Yet their plans to demolish the welfare state are not dead.

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28 October 2004

Support for SP Motion: A more democratic system for choosing European Commissioners

Following the difficulties surrounding the installation of a new team of European Commissioners, the SP group in the Dutch national parliament (the ’Tweede Kamer’) has scored a success. The parliament voted today to support a motion from SP Member Harry van Bommel calling on the government to work in the European Council towards a revision of the system whereby Commissioners are nominated and approved.

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