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22 February 2016

SP leader Emile Roemer visits refugee camp in Greece

Foto: SP

SP leader Emile Roemer, along with the party’s Senate group leader Tiny Kox and General Secretary Hans van Heijningen, is visiting the refugee camps in Greece. Despite the massive problems with which Greece is faced, the left Syriza government is doing all it can to organise the decent reception of the refugees. ‘The Greeks can be proud of themselves and of their government,’ says Roemer. ‘I know of countries in Europe in much better financial and economic condition which could take their example from them.’

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18 February 2016

Jasper van Dijk: The secret reading room

Foto: greensefa

On Wednesday I went to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to examine secret documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). A closed reading room was set up in the Ministry on 1st February, containing reports of the TTIP negotiations between the EU and the US. In order to gain access I had to sign a declaration agreeing to maintain absolute secrecy, my telephone had to be switched off and I was under the permanent surveillance of a security guard. I am not allowed to communicate anything about the documents to a parliamentary policy adviser who was also there. Because of this sort of puppet show, the TTIP reading room is also known as ‘the darkroom’.

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17 February 2016

'Government deliberately making it harder to vote in Ukraine referendum'

The number of polling booths available to voters in the referendum on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement scheduled for April 6 has been reduced by an average of 10% across different local authorities, according to an investigation by state broadcaster NOS.

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16 February 2016

Tax avoidance via the ISDS is yet another problem with the TTIP

Foto: Geralt

The opportunities for tax avoidance offered by the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other trade treaties represent the umpteenth disaster in a thoroughly disastrous dossier. This was the SP’s response to a report published yesterday by the Transnational Institute (TNI) and Global Justice Now. Although countries are adding explicit reservations regarding tax issues to trade treaties to which they are party, it turns out that corporations still see an opportunity to bring and even win arbitration cases in relation to taxation.

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15 February 2016

Tiny Kox: Association Agreement with Ukraine goes further than similar EU treaties

Foto: SP

Volkskrant editor Bert Lanting is unimpressed by the criticisms of the EU Association Agreement with the Ukraine lodged by Jan Roos of GeenPeil, the group whose initiative led to the referendum on the issue. That’s understandable, in that Roos boasts of never having read the text of the treaty, which is rather silly. But that Lanting himself tells us that there’s nothing wrong with the agreement, when he hasn’t bothered to look at the relevant parliamentary debate, is harder to understand.

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14 February 2016

Harry van Bommel: In Ukraine corruption is the system

Foto: SP

The treaty with Ukraine will not benefit the fight against corruption. This struggle in desperately necessary in a country where corruption hasn’t just harmed the system: corruption is the system. That’s why Ukraine has a high score in the corruption index. One Dutch company, the shipbuilder Damen Shipyards, found that out the hard way.

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11 February 2016

'Services haven’t been cut back by victims of war, but by the government’

Prevent the creation of streams of refugees and ensure decent reception accommodation, in the region itself and here, says SP leader Emile Roemer. Fifty billion euros in spending cuts by Prime Minister Rutte’s two successive governments have fuelled people’s anger. And, Roemer says, ‘this anger is justified.’

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9 February 2016

ISDS: SP urges national legal body to offer its judgment of arbitration system

Foto: Ajel

In the wake of the condemnation of the proposed Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system by German and European judges’ associations, the SP is eager to hear the opinions of the Netherlands’ own Council for the Administration of Justice (Nederlandse Raad voor de Rechtspraak) regarding the controversial arbitration system and its successor, the Investment Court System (ICS). The SP has sent a written request to the Council to that effect.

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6 February 2016

De Jong: lobby transparency in European Parliament comes a step closer

At the urging of SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, European Parliament Secretary General Klaus Welle this week promised to enable MEPs who are writing reports to place up-to-date lists of appointments with lobbyists on the EP website. “This is a breakthrough,” says De Jong. “Naming the lobbyists who have had an important influence on a report will make for greater transparency in the European Parliament. But it mustn’t stop at that. Not only rapporteurs but all MEPs must have the chance to publish their most important meetings with lobbyists.”

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