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2 September 2015

Trading in the colours of the heart: The SP’s new development agenda

It’s 2015. The time to see Africa and poverty as irrevocably linked is past. Poverty is only one facet of Africa, one which unfortunately and unjustly still dominates its image. Poverty and inequality can, moreover, be found throughout the world, including in the Netherlands. There are also many positive developments in Africa: more than 90% of children now attend school, more is being invested than was the case twenty years ago and there is clear evidence of a growing self-awareness. Poverty has not disappeared, but in our view the post-colonial period characterised by traditional development aid is over. Along with it, a line must be drawn under the classic approach to development, where ‘aid’ was the dominant source of capital for many poor countries.  Also, the popular discussion around trade, in which it is seen as replacing aid, is somewhat wide of the mark, because this is a matter of Africa’s self-development. In this aid and trade are two of a number of sources of capital, which do not, moreover, stand in an unambiguous relationship towards each other.

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28 August 2015

El Pepe

By Jan Marijnissen - There was a time - not so long ago – when almost every South- and Central American country was a dictatorship, in which the army played a decisive role. That time is past. From Argentina to Mexico democratic thinking now has the upper hand. Are things going well throughout Latin America? Not entirely, but for the left and progressives it’s a relief that the armies are where they should be, in the barracks. That opens up prospects for the future.

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27 August 2015

The left in Europe must draw the lessons from Syriza’s defeat

Foto: Len Munnik

By Dimitris Pavlopoplous — On 12th July what for the time being was the final act of the Greek tragedy came to an end. The hope that the left government could lighten the appalling lot of the people had not been realised. The agreement signed on that day means not only that Syriza’s moderately left programme has been abandoned, but also that Greece will continue on the path of harsh austerity and neoliberal reforms.

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19 August 2015

Roemer: ‘The Netherlands could pay out a loan which the Greeks can’t sustain’

The SP will vote against any additional loans to Greece and the austerity package which accompanies them. According to party leader Emile Roemer, Greece’s medicine hasn’t worked. ‘I’d go further,’ he says, ‘the medicine for Greece has turned out to be a poison pill. Poverty has grown enormously, half of the young people have no job and wages are down by 37%. The Netherlands could pay for a loan which the Greeks can’t sustain. That the SP will therefore not do.’

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18 August 2015

Merkies: ‘Austerity agreement is poison pill for Greece’

On Wednesday Parliament will debate the new loan agreement between the European Union and Greece. The SP will not be voting in favour of this agreement. ‘Once again the Greeks are being prescribed the bad medicine of inhuman austerity,’ says SP Member of Parliament and parliamentary spokesman on financial affairs Arnold Merkies. ‘This agreement is bad for Greece and bad for the Netherlands.’ We posed Merkies three questions on the accord.

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13 August 2015

Europhiles are fracturing the European dream

On the evening of Wednesday June 1st, 2005, the SP gathered in Artis – Amsterdam’s zoo – to celebrate the victory in the referendum on the European Constitution. Two-thirds of Dutch voters had said ‘no’. Not to Europe, but to European politics. The world’s media were also amassed in Artis. Just as I began a live report for Fox News, a punk band began to play.

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11 August 2015

Sustainable banking

Banks fulfil a special role in our society. They are the powerful pivot of worldwide investments. On this rests a major responsibility when it comes to making choices about where they make those investments. Globalisation and financialisation have given banks’ investment policies increasing influence over production chains, workers' rights and the environment, anywhere in the world. At the same time that process has increasingly obscured our view of just where our money is going.

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3 August 2015

One Tax Haven Netherlands, many victims

Last week a popular TV news programme, EenVandaag, once more demonstrated that our country is a tax haven – not for ordinary people, but for multinational corporations which use the Netherlands to avoid paying taxes. Tijmen Lucie investigates.

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29 July 2015

Flight MH17: Perpetrators must be brought to justice

Foto: SP

It’s enormously disappointing that, as a result of a Russian veto, the UN Security Council has not agreed to the establishment of a special tribunal to investigate the shooting down of flight MH17 above eastern Ukraine. The SP wants assurance that the perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and is asking the Dutch government to take the initiative in this. ‘The most important thing is not how the perpetrators are tried, but that they are tried,’ says SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak.

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