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30 September 2015

European Commission puts small firms at risk to favour banks

European Commissioner Jonathan Hill, responsible for ‘Financial Stability and Financial Services’, today presented his proposal for a capital markets union. An important initial element was that banks should be once again allowed to trade packages of loans, including those extended to small and medium-sized firms. Commenting on the proposed measures, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong said: 'The bank lobby has again done its work well. Hill says that he wants to help improve access for small and medium-sized firms to finance, but that’s an opportunistic argument. He has evidently forgotten that it was precisely the bubble created by this sort of package, at that time principally of bad mortgage loans, that brought about the crisis. The best thing we can do with this proposal is bin it as quickly as possible.’

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30 September 2015

Democratic People’s Party welcomes international monitoring of Turkish election

Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the left-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party (HDP), is counting on the support of the international community to guarantee free and fair elections on November 1st. He is calling on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to cease interfering in the election campaign, which according to the country’s constitution the president is not supposed to do. Demirtas was a guest this week at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) at the invitation of SP Senator Tiny Kox, chair of the United European Left in PACE, the political group to which Demirtas' HDP is also affiliated.

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30 September 2015

SP: Ban MEPs from moonlighting

In the wake of the Volkswagen fraud and the ensuing debate on the close links between the auto industry and the European Union institutions, it has emerged that Hans van Baalen, Member of the European Parliament for the bigger of the two Dutch governing coalition parties, the centre-right VVD, was on the Mercedes-Benz payroll. SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong, commenting on the revelations, said: ´Van Baalen has given up his job on the side and so at first glance he is not in formal conflict with the current rules. The code of conduct for Euro-MPs does set limits, for example when you are the EP rapporteur on a subject, but beyond that you can have as many paid jobs outside the Parliament as you like. At the moment review of these internal rules is on the EP agenda, and as chair of the European Parliament transparency network, I would say that paid moonlighting jobs should be banned as soon as possible, because an end must be put to the cosy relationship between, for example, the automobile industry and Euro-MPs.’

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27 September 2015

445,000 signatures for a referendum on EU treaty with Ukraine

Foto: SP

‘Geen Peil’, a coalition of organisations and individuals which includes the Citizens’ Committee-EU and the Forum for Democracy, has collected in excess of the 300,000 signatures required under Dutch law for a referendum on the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union. It is likely that the referendum on the national law approving the treaty will be held early in the new year.

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24 September 2015

Syriza must not succeed: The true nature of neoliberal Europe

The SP is in solidarity with the Greeks, yet voted against a support package. The ‘support’ in question was a neoliberal straitjacket. Slowly the realisation is dawning: ever more people are beginning to see that lies have been told about Greece; ever more people are beginning to see that the European Union has little time for democracy and social politics.

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24 September 2015

Panic in Neoliberalia

There’s something going on in the world’s most important bastions of neoliberalism. In the United States and Great Britain, socialists stand ready to take power in the Democratic and Labour Parties.

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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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