Nieuws uit 2004

25 October 2004

Iraqi delegation visits the Netherlands: Co-operation in bringing democracy and reconstruction to Iraq

From the 16th to the 24th October a group of progressive Iraqi organisations visited the Netherlands. The visit came at the invitation of the radical left Socialist Party (SP). Eight days were filled with meetings and debates around the subjects of democracy, elections, and party formation, all in preparation for the general elections in Iraq next January.

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16 October 2004

SP calls for resistance to Bolkestein’s ‘Directive that came from Hell’

Representatives of trade unions and social organisations made it clear during the European Social Forum in London that they absolutely reject the proposed Directive on Services in the Internal market, Commissioner Frits Bolkestein’s “Directive that came from Hell”. On 11 November trade unions from several EU member states are organising a demonstration against the proposal outside the European Parliament in Brussels. At the ESF, SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard called on all of those present to turn up to the Brussels action, a call which was quoted as part of the ESF final resolution. She also promised to do all that she could to enable as many representatives of critical organisations as possible to be present at the meeting and has since written to Internal Market Committee Chair Philip Whitehead, a British Labour MEP, urging him to open the meeting to as broad an audience as possible.

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8 October 2004

TweedleKerry, TweedleBush: US voters face choice which is no choice

In the Netherlands and many other European countries the assumption has been too easily made that the United States would become in every way better under John Kerry than it is under George W. Bush. Some go so far as to express the opinion that Kerry would be as markedly to the left as Bush is to the right. Yet by any European or Dutch standards both of then are well to the right, while it has to be said that the Kerry’s USA would follow much the same foreign policy as has Bush’s. The American two-party system offers only a narrow choice. This should make us think very hard about the currently mooted reform of our own electoral system.

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5 October 2004

Council of Europe Assembly recognises importance of Social Forum

On a proposal from Dutch Socialist Party (SP) Senator Tiny Kox, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe has, in its autumn session, recognised the importance of worldwide and continent-wide movements such as the World Social Forum and European Social Forum.

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4 October 2004

Massive protest against neoliberal cuts

At least 300.000 people demonstrated in Amsterdam last Saturday, 2nd October, against cuts in social spending planned by the right-wing government of Jan Peter Balkenende. Museumplein, one of Amsterdam’s biggest squares, was packed with demonstrators, as were all of the streets leading into it from the city’s railway stations. The huge turnout might have been even larger, as many people were unable to reach the capital because the railways, despite employing every last bit of available rolling stock and personnel, simply could not cope with the numbers wanting to travel.

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30 September 2004

Killing seals is no way to spend your holidays!

“The killing of seals as a tourist attraction, can it get any sicker?” SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel describes himself as “bewildered” in the face of the Norwegian plan to recruit tourists to shoot seals. The SP has decided on immediate action in the form of an email campaign directed at the Norwegian Embassy and demanded that the Dutch government lodge a strong protest. “If Norway doesn’t come to its senses, we will organise a tourism boycott,” said Mr van Bommel.

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