20 September 2017

Hijink: 'Hold on to jobs and know-how at Tata Steel'

SP Member of Parliament Maarten Hijink is urging the government not to sit by and look on as mass redundancies loom at  Tata Steel in Ijmuiden, a town on the mouth of the North Sea Canal in North Holland. Indian parent corporation Tata Steel will shed as many as 2000 jobs as part of a merger agreement with Germany’s state-owned enterprise  ThyssenKrupp.  Hijink wants to ensure that the jobs and know-how at Tata Steel will remain in the Netherlands. 

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18 September 2017

Barend Wind: ‘The Netherlands is one of the leaders when it comes to inequalities in housing.’

Since the 1980s the mortgage market in many European countries has been liberalised. In these countries, which include the Netherlands, inequalities of wealth have grown enormously. Below, sociologist Barend Wind talks about the housing policies in other European countries and what the Netherlands can learn from them.

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12 September 2017

Commission must act to protect franchise holders

Foto: SP

The European Parliament today voted by an overwhelming majority to adopt a report by SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong on how to tackle abuses in the franchise system. “Franchises are seen principally in the retail trade, but they’re found in many other sectors too,” explained De Jong. “In itself franchising can be a useful formula, but unfortunately a large number of abuses result from the fact that in most cases the franchise-giver is much more powerful than the franchise-holder. To date the European Commission has taken no action in relation to this. This has to change. The European code of conduct for the sector must be tightened up and enforced, and the Commission needs to prepare a list of dishonest trade practices. And competition laws must be adjusted.”

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1 September 2017

Venezuela - regime change or democracy?

Venezuela has been in the international spotlight for some time. Its economy is in difficulties, there’s hyperinflation, living standards are deteriorating rapidly and social unrest is growing. Falling oil prices, a one-dimensional economy based on oil exports, and failing economic policies mean that there is a shortage of food, medicines and other basic products. Democracy is under pressure and incumbent president Nicolas Maduro’s support and legitimacy are being lost as a result of his repressive actions.

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29 August 2017

SP and Labour Euro-MPs demand immediate action on truck drivers’ safety

Foto: Diederik van der Loo

The safety of lorry drivers on European motorways is increasingly under pressure. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong and PvdA (Dutch Labour Party) MEP Agnes Jongerius today received a petition signed by 8,000 drivers which sounds the alarm bells. “It’s scandalous that national governments aren’t even doing anything about providing secured parking for trucks, while drivers are faced with increasing violence and criminality,” says De Jong. “The governments of the Netherlands, Belgium and France are together responsible for the major routes between our country and Calais, but are doing far too little. Today, as well as accepting the petition, Agnes Jongerius and I have also written to Dutch Infrastructure Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and her Belgian and French counterparts urging them to meet urgently to discuss and take measures to guarantee drivers’ safety. These should include not only secured parking places but also an alarm line for drivers that really works, as well as the police and courts making it a priority to tackle incidents quickly and effectively.”

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21 August 2017

Time for an offensive to keep energy company sustainable and in public ownership

State-owned energy company Eneco is threatened with privatisation. The city council executive in The Hague, as well as those in Rotterdam and Dordrecht have spoken forcefully in favour of the sale. This is outdated policy, based on outmoded ideas. It’s time to launch an offensive to keep Eneco sustainable and in public ownership.

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15 August 2017

Time for quicker procedures and a better system for children seeking asylum

Asylum procedures must be speeded up, and improvements effected to the ‘kinderpardon’, the system for dealing with children who have long been resident in the Netherlands but who have no legal right to be here. In making this point, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk was reacting to the deportation of the mother of three children who have already lived for nine years in the Netherlands . “This distressing deportation is the result of the fact that such long-lasting procedures are possible at all,” he said. “The children are the victims of a bad policy. This could be prevented by ensuring that families who have no right to be here are dealt with more quickly and that extended procedures with no chance of success are opposed. This would mean that something could also be done about a kinderpardon system which actually works, by giving parents who have made themselves available to be returned to their countries and the children of such parents, children who have lived here for more than five years, a residence permit.”

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14 August 2017

Beckerman: ‘Costs of climate policy must be more fairly divided’

“It’s unfair that households rather than polluting corporations are footing the bill for the climate problem,” says SP Member of Parliament in response to new figures published by the Netherlands’ Central Statistical Bureau (CBS). The figures demonstrate that of the more than €25 billion which the government received in climate taxes in 2016, two-thirds was paid by domestic users. “Of course a great deal of money has to be invested in the climate policy,” Beckerman adds, “but that must be done fairly. The corporations that cause the greatest damage to the climate are contributing relatively little, while households which are far less polluting pay a great deal more. This will result in all the will to tackle the climate problem being frittered away.”

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31 July 2017

SP’s Sadet Karabulut visits troubled Rif region of Morocco

Last week SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut and National Secretary Hans van Heijningen paid a three-day working visit to Morocco. “People have been taking to the streets for almost a year now in Morocco,” explained Karabulut. “They want a fairer distribution of wealth in the country and are demanding jobs, health care, education and an end to corruption and impunity. Young and old and, for the first time, thousands of women are getting out on to the streets and calling for a better future. Many Dutch Moroccans feel involved in this protest movement and have organised solidarity actions in the Netherlands in recent months. The SP is in complete solidarity with this people’s movement.”

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