20 November 2018

Saudi Arabia uses starvation as a weapon in Yemen

A famine in Yemen unprecedented in its extent is the result of a deliberate tactic. The Netherlands must take the initiative in imposing sanctions on individuals who deploy starvation as a weapon of war.

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15 November 2018

Great result for rail passengers' rights

Foto: Peter Bodensee / Pixabay

The European Parliament voted today by a large majority to improve rail passengers' rights. Expressing his delight at the result, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, said: “Despite attempts by the rail companies' lobby to weaken my proposal, it was accepted in full: better compensation in the event of delay and more immediate support for people with limited mobility.” Referring to the Netherlands' own national carrier, he said that “the NS can no longer hide behind 'falling leaves' or 'frozen points'. Provided the Parliament's report is accepted in negotiations with the Council, serious delays will mean the passenger has a right to assistance and compensation”.

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13 November 2018

Parliament supports SP asylum proposal: More capacity, shorter procedures

In order to reduce waiting times and speed up asylum procedures the government must provide more resources for the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), according to an SP motion which was adopted today by a parliamentary majority. Commenting on the issues which the motion seeks to address, SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk said: “The procedures can take years, which is partly a result of a shortage of resources at the IND. As a result, many families with children are left in uncertainly for very lengthy periods.” More capacity would at the same time avoid the IND having to make penalty payments to asylum seekers who have had to wait too long for a ruling. On Tuesday it was revealed that the IND has had to pay a million euros in fines of this nature. ”It would of course be better if this money was spent on staffing,” said Van Dijk. “Then you'd avoid both the fines and under-capacity at the IND.“

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7 November 2018

No to new nuclear power stations

Foto: SP

The SP is opposed to the building of a new nuclear power station, as proposed by the government and backed by a parliamentary majority. Whenever we're asked, however, whether we see nuclear power as taboo, we answer with a 'no'. We'll always consider what seems a good proposal. Your thought should never stand still. As things stand, though, we see no real possibility for either uranium, plutonium or thorium, certainly not in the short term. Safety must always be the priority, and at the moment that's not possible, and neither does the Netherlands have a definitive solution to the problem of the mountains of highly radioactive waste which would be produced by any new nuclear power station.

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7 November 2018

Impose an arms embargo on warring parties in Yemen

Foto: -

The brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was enough to convince Germany to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Before that, the Netherlands had already adopted a restrictive export policy. That's a good thing, but what's bizarre is that despite four years of war in Yemen and export criteria which should make it impossible, European arms continue to stream into Saudi Arabia in huge quantities.

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29 October 2018

EU Propaganda in Education

Kirsten Derksen's student thesis turned out to lead to a radio interview, an article in a major Dutch newspaper, and questions in Parliament. Derksen's study had taken a close look at the influence of EU propaganda on her own education, and what she found was that the European Commission is involved in determining the content of her course and comparable programmes of study.

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25 October 2018

Growing conflict over MEPs' expenses

On 24th October a clear majority in the European Parliament voted to back proposals from SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong which aim to put an end to the secrecy surrounding the general expenses reimbursement for MEPs. Welcoming the vote, De Jong said: “It's idiotic that while most Members are in agreement with the need for improved transparency and accountability in relation to the payment of the €4,400 which they receive each month for office expenses, the EP Bureau, which has responsibility for this, is refusing to implement their decision. So I'm pleased that the Bureau, under the leadership of the Parliament's president, will be called out on this, now that my resolution has been carried. Hopefully this means that the matter can be resolved by the time of the European elections.”

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22 October 2018

Israeli bulldozers and Dutch red lines

Israeli bulldozers are attempting to reach the Palestinian village of Khan-al-Ahmar in occupied Palestine in order to demolish the houses and deport the inhabitants, a war crime under international law. It is thanks to stern resistance from the villagers as well as international pressure and solidarity that the village hasn't already been demolished. Demonstrators have been injured, too, this week, and people arrested, one of whom was a Dutch citizen.

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17 October 2018

Who runs our country?

After a year of debate and resistance from across society, the decision has finally been taken: there will be no abolition of the tax on dividends. The billions which this abolition would have cost the state, however, have now been been repackaged in festive paper and given, for the most part, to the multinationals. SP leader Lilian Marijnissen, responding to this news, said: “This was a chance for the Prime Minister to restore his credibility by making it clear that he understands that this money must not go to provide another gift to big capital, but should instead be invested in our society. Unfortunately, however, he has not chosen to take this course. This gift token worth billions of euros must and shall be handed to big business. Doesn't he understand that all those Dutch citizens who were simply happy that the abolition of the tax on dividends had finally been abandoned now feel that they've been taken for a ride?”

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