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23 September 2015

Romanian gold mine pollution reveals spectre of TTIP

A report on Dutch TV on Monday evening on the struggle around a gold mine in Romania demonstrated once again the massive threat posed by the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) to democracy, the rule of law and the environment, says SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur.

Mineur wants to know from European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström whether in the future such things will still be possible, either under the arbitration plans contained within the proposed treaty with Canada, or under the new variant of the arbitration system, the ISDS, which the Europe Union is currently negotiating with the United States.

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21 September 2015

The Left

In 1993 I was in the US to look at the state of the country after ten years of neoliberal policies, as well as the position of the left in American politics. On that subject, I also had a meeting with the only independent member of the House of Representatives, Bernie Sanders. In the meantime he’s joined the Democratic Party and is creating a furore with his clear, left language. Mrs. Clinton’s pretty nervous about that.

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20 September 2015

SP congratulates Syriza

Grote klasse! (First rate!) That’s how SP leader Emile Roemer greeted Syriza’s fresh election victory in Greece. At Sunday’s parliamentary election, Alexis Tsipras’ party attracted a third of the votes cast, leaving it as the country’s clear biggest, well in front of the conservative New Democracy. From tomorrow, Prime Minister Tsipras can begin assembling a new government for Greece.

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18 September 2015

Kox: 'Those who recently slept, are waking up in fear’

'Politicians who are now crying that the whole world is fleeing to Europe and that we can’t cope, are causing panic instead of tackling problems. Although we’re elected to look ahead, they had their eyes closed when elsewhere the refugees flooded in as a result of war and other wrongs. In Jordan, in Lebanon, in Turkey, in Kenya. They took no notice when these countries had too little money to guarantee decent accommodation, for water, food, shelter and schooling. As a result these people now trekked further in search of safety and security. A small minority of the sixty million refugees worldwide want to come to Europe. And those who have recently slept are waking up in fear and want to build a fence around Europe. What I say is “get on with your work for once instead of frightening people.”’ So said SP Senator Tiny Kox this week during the annual informal meeting of European Parliament and Council of Europe group presidents.

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17 September 2015

“New” ISDS system no solution to fundamental problems

European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström is continuing down the wrong path with her arbitration system – the Investor State Dispute Settlement system (ISDS), according to SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur. Mineur’s reaction came in response to the elaboration of the plans, which Malmström published today. She sees no improvement, she says, in comparison to the Commission’s previous version. Referring to respondents to the Commission’s ‘consultation’, she said that “the fundamental criticism from 150,000 people was that the ISDS represents a separate system of justice for foreign corporations, and this has not changed. The improvements are purely cosmetic. Malmström must scrap the ISDS. It’s not needed.”

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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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