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17 September 2015

Yemen: the Netherlands is doing nothing

While the media pay most attention to the crisis in Syria and the resulting refugee problematic in Europe, a western-backed military coalition under the leadership of Saudi-Arabia is provoking a real humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. The Netherlands must speak out against this, argues SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel.

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16 September 2015

‘A country is more than a plc, politics is more than management’

Foto: SP

‘We must make fundamental choices. Stark differences of opinion between VVD and PvdA (centre-right and centre-left parties which together form the governing coalition – translator’s note) mean that this government, in crucial matters, cannot deliver. So it has become an obstacle. The gifts have all been handed out, the spark has gone out of them. To major questions such as inequality and unemployment. So you have become a hindrance.’ So said SP leader Emile Roemer during today’s debate on the government’s plans for the coming year. ‘If people want to build a society which is constructed on solidarity and trust, then we must and we will answer this call. A country is more than a plc, politics is more than management. After years of crisis we must make room for a new, social politics, in which we can offer people renewed security. Society is crying out for solutions to huge social questions.’

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10 September 2015

Roemer: 'Government is shirking responsibility for reception of refugees’

Foto: SP

In Thursday’s debate on the reception of refugees, SP leader Emile Roemer expressed strong criticism of the agreement concluded this week between the governing coalition parties. ‘It’s simple laziness to be indifferent’ he said. ‘To think that a fence around your country will keep misery outside the door. To assert that keeping the borders closed is humane. This agreement shirks responsibility for accommodating the refugees and puts it on to countries which are already doing their utmost.’

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10 September 2015

EU Climate policy in service of major corporations

The European Commission claims constantly that in terms of climate policy, it is in the forefront. Yet in reality the Commission is in the service of major corporations. At the end of the year a new international agreement on the fight against climate change must be concluded. The prospects are gloomy.

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9 September 2015

Juncker is threatening the European Union’s survival

Foto: SP

As a true president, Jean-Claude Juncker today gave his State of the Union address. The president of the European Commission is, it’s true, not democratically elected, but in status and style he is really trying to be a true president. Today he presented his vision of Europe, reading to us all from the lesson: “There is a shortage of Europe.” Above all, Juncker wants “more Europe”: a European treasury, a European Finance Minister, and European Union representation at international fora. He showed himself to be completely unaware of past mistakes, which is why we are now entering a fresh phase in Europe of a failing policy.

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8 September 2015

Dijsselbloem doesn’t spare the taxpayer

Despite the recently established banking union, the Dutch taxpayer is still forking out for failing banks, the Senate learned today during a debate with Finance Minister and Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

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5 September 2015

Kox: Right-wing majority is undermining the rule of law in Ukraine

On a proposal from SP Senator Tiny Kox, an investigation will be carried out into whether recent legislation passed in Ukraine, which is leading to bans on left parties, conforms to the rules of the Council of Europe. Ukraine, in common with all other European countries, is affiliated to this organisation and every member state is obliged to ensure that its laws do not transgress human rights or the rules for a democratic constitutional state.

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5 September 2015

Our hearts are bleeding

The stream of refugees will be demanding our attention in the years to come. The situation is untenable; the conditions on the Mediterranean Sea are unacceptable. The human suffering which we have all seen makes our hearts bleed.

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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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