SP International

Jasper van Dijk: CETA annex no more than a sop

11 Oct 2016While the TTIP negotiations have been postponed, the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada has been fast-tracked, with the treaty’s signing having been fixed for 27 October. CETA comes down to TTIP via the back door, because most US corporations have subsidiaries in Canada. Major claims for damages can therefore be made just as easily against the Netherlands via CETA as via TTIP. That’s why we are demonstrating in Amsterdam on 22 October and why we are calling on trade minister Lilianne Ploumen not to approve the agreement.

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Ronald van Raak: Democracy still in danger in Curaçao

8 Oct 2016The gambling industry continues to run the former Dutch colonies of Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The islands, now autonomous regions of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, must escape from under this shadow if they are to become mature democracies.

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Senator Kox on Moroccan elections : Most of the population stayed away

8 Oct 2016On Friday, in an atmosphere of calm, Morocco's citizens elected a new parliament. At least, that was true of that section of the population that bothered to vote. The biggest party, however, were those who stayed at home, with less than a quarter of all Moroccan adults going to the polling booths. SP Senator Tiny Kox was present as an observer for the Council of Europe. “It was young people who more than any other group that stayed away,” he said. “They are certainly interested in what's happening, but have little confidence that the existing political parties are capable of tackling the great problems faced, or even want to do so “.

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EU is bartering away its own values

7 Oct 2016Foreign Minister Bert Koenders is correct when he says, as he did last week in this newspaper, that Europe can only work if countries hold to their agreements. So it would also be right for him to address Polish and Hungarian leaders on the subject of their reprehensible performance in relation to the refugees and the two countries’ attempts to wriggle out of a fair division. The referendum called by Hungarian Prime Minister Orban on migration quotas was even more despicable, because Hungary was asked to make only a modest contribution and take a total of 1,294 refugees. But if we want a Europe in which human rights really do come first, limiting oneself to a moral appeal to countries which care nothing for such matters makes no sense.

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SP: Binding declarations do nothing to improve CETA

5 Oct 2016The binding declarations which the European Commission is seeking to formulate have no legal worth and will not help get rid of the problems of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, according to renowned Canadian lawyer Steven Shrybman of Goldblatt Partners. SP Euro-MP Anne-Marie Mineur argues that only a resumption of negotiations on the text of the treaty can make a real difference.

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Ronald van Raak: Will Curaçao become a criminal state?

4 Oct 2016The former Prime Minister of Curaçao, Gerrit Schott has been sentenced to three years in prison. Yet he has managed to still participate in the upcoming elections and according to the polls, his party will come out as the biggest one. This means that the possibility is there that this coming Wednesday a convicted felon, a puppet of the gambling industry, will be back in parliament.

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Referenda: strengthening of democracy or new sickness?

28 Sep 2016In the wake of Brexit, voices are being raised in ever more European countries in favour of referenda. In the Netherlands too, local authorities are opting in increasing numbers for this form of direct democracy. Does this offer new opportunities, or is it a threatening development?

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SP leader Emile Roemer on report on downed airliner MH17: another step closer to the truth

28 Sep 2016“This is an important day for those who were close to the victims. A thorough and careful report has been done. An important phase in the criminal enquiry has been completed. The circumstances and the location of the attack on MH17 have been confirmed.” This was the reaction of SP leader Emile Roemer today to the interim report of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), the body charged with conducting the criminal enquiry into the July 2015 attack on flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Ukrainian airspace.

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As election approaches, Roemer attacks government record

21 Sep 2016SP leader Emile Roemer today gave the SP's response to the government's plans for the coming year, announced on Tuesday. These included the centre-right-centre-left coalition's final budget before it must face the electorate. In his speech to Parliament, with next year's election looming, Roemer attacked the government's record, concentrating for the most part on domestic concerns, particularly the rising cost of health care and the increasing inequality of which it is a major cause. Young and old deserve better, he said. There were ever fewer permanent jobs, and student grants had been abolished. School classes were far too large. Pensions had been lowered, while banks were rescued with taxpayers' money and pension funds rack up record profits.

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