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5 July 2015

TTIP: Corporate power and ISDS are biggest public concerns

The question that at the beginning of June SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur put out on Twitter brought many concerned reactions. The growing power of big corporations was one which came to the fore, neck-and neck with the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system, that gives corporations additional rights in relation to legal complaints against countries when a policy does not suit them. The undermining of democracy, food safety and social rights were also often mentioned. The TTIP will once again figure on the agenda in the coming week when the European Parliament votes on it.

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5 July 2015

TiSA a new threat to democracy, Wikileaks shows

Foto: Wikileaks

The SP is shocked at the contents of the freshly-leaked documents on the Trade in Services Agreement, the international treaty which the EU has been negotiating for the past two years. The treat represents a threat to European standards, but also to workers’ rights and to privacy. The SP is demanding maximum transparency in order that a broad public debate can be conducted on whether such a treaty is desirable. On Monday, the twelfth round of negotiations gets under way in Geneva.

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5 July 2015

Stop interfering in Greece – it’s their vote

Just as was the case in the Netherlands in 2005, there has been far too much interference from outside the country in a question which, in a democratic fashion, has been put before the electorate of a European Union member state.

SP Senator and Chair of the United Left in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Tiny Kox gives his view.

The president of the European Parliament is calling for fresh elections in Greece and an interim government of technocrats, all because of the referendum in the country next Sunday. Calling for regime change in response to a democratic decision by a member state of the European Union and the eurozone? Can things get any more bizarre than that?

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3 July 2015

Harry van Bommel: Extend regulation on compensation for surviving relations of victims of ‘Policing Actions’

This coming September 10th is the closing date for possible claims for damages from surviving relations of the Indonesians summarily executed by Dutch soldiers during so-called Policing Actions between 1946 and 1949. The Netherlands introduced this rule on 10th  September 2013 after the Committee on Dutch Debts of Honour, aided by Liesbeth Zegveld, lawyer for the widows of South Sulawesi, had succeeded in forcing the payment of compensation.

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30 June 2015

Thanks to the Netherlands, the Greek treasury has lost millions

The Netherlands is a tax haven. Not for ordinary men and women, but for multi-national corporations (MNCs) who set up post-box firms in order to evade taxes. One of these corporations is Canadian concern Eldorado Gold, which is guilty of human rights abuses and causing serious environmental damage in Greece. The Foundation for Research into Multi-National Corporations (known by its Dutch-language acronym, SOMO), recently published a report on the matter. The SP monthly magazine Spanning spoke to Indra Römgens, one of the report’s authors.

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28 June 2015

Emile Roemer: The Greeks must decide it

In the last few months the question has often been posed: should Greece quit the euro? My answer is always the same: the Greeks will decide that for themselves.

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26 June 2015

End social dumping in Europe

Foto: SP

This week Belgian trade unions demonstrated against social dumping - right in front of the European Parliament. The SP’s European team, including MEPs Dennis de Jong and Anne-Marie Mineur joined the action along with representatives of the Dutch trade union federations the FNV and CNV.

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25 June 2015

TTIP: Transparency must come from Europe

The SP is urging European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to make a serious effort to bring transparency to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the United States and the European Union. The US Congress yesterday opted for the so-called Fast Track procedure, which removes direct democratic control over the Transpacific Trade Partnership, the treaty being negotiated with a number of countries which lie within or border the Pacific Ocean, including Japan, Australia and Mexico. It is feared that these negotiations will simply continue to take place behind closed doors.

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24 June 2015

SP wins Parliament’s support: ‘Azerbaijan must release prisoners of conscience’

Foto: SP

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel won the support of his fellow MPs when they voted in favour of a resolution calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to demand the release of prisoners of conscience in Azerbaijan. ‘In the runup to the European Games which began recently in the country, critics of the government have been dealt with extremely harshly,’ says Van Bommel. ‘Dozens of them have been arrested and locked up to prevent them from expressing their opinions. It’s completely unacceptable that there are prisoners of conscience in Azerbaijan ao I’m pleased that Parliament has supported my call for their release. It’s important that we show solidarity with the victims of this repression.’

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