25 January 2017

‘Killing the Referendum’

The result of last year’s consultative referendum was clear: 61% of those voting said ‘no’. That ‘no’ was, just before Christmas, in no time at all bent out of shape by a majority in Parliament, somehow becoming a ‘yes’.

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24 January 2017

SP launches ‘People’s Resolution’ on controversial CETA

Foto: SP

Following the disappointing vote by at the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade, the SP is launching a ‘People’s Resolution’ on the controversial trade treaty with Canada. The negotiation process has not been transparent, the proposal is not ready for a decision to be taken, and the treaty sacrifices important achievements in exchange for uncertain promises. The SP wants to offer the peoples of Europe time and space to respond.

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23 January 2017

Large-scale unregulated labour migration puts pressure on wages

The opening of the borders to central and eastern European (CEE) workers just a decade ago has led to labour market dislocation in the countries from which people have been attracted and repression, exploitation and underpayment in the Netherlands. The SP wants to see rogue temping agencies banned and work permits introduced for workers from CEE countries.

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19 January 2017

SP Senator Kox: Foreign Minister Must Follow Words with Deeds on Israeli Settlements

SP Senator Tiny Kox, who has visited both Israel and Palestine on several occasions on behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, says he is in full agreement with Foreign Minister Bert Koenders who on Sunday stated that in his view the two-state solution will cease to be viable should Israel continue to build illegal settlements on Palestinian territory. The SP’s own national Congress on Saturday, called to prepare for March 15th’s general election, passed a resolution, initiated by Kox, calling on the Dutch government to recognise the Palestinian State. “I agree with the minister’s words,” says Kox, “but it’s now up to him to follow up his words with deeds.”

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17 January 2017

XXII SP Congress: Roemer kicks off election campaign with call for a progressive pact

Foto: SP

On Saturday 14th January more than a thousand SP members gathered in Tilburg for the party’s twenty-second congress. On the same day, in an interview with national daily Algemeen Dagblad (AD), party leader Emile Roemer called for a pact between progressive parties and ruled out going into any ruling coalition with the VVD, the right-wing element in the present two-party government. Roemer told AD that “in saying this I am giving you a guarantee that we will not help the right to form a majority”. His aim is to persuade other parties to join him in isolating the VVD, which unlike its Labour Party coalition partner is performing respectably in the polls. “When people vote for a left party they expect left policies,” he said.

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11 January 2017

Arnold Merkies and Ronald van Raak: Dijsselbloem’s argument is far from credible

Labour Party Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has recently been arguing in favour of higher taxes on corporations. SP Members of Parliament Arnold Merkies and Ronald van Raak observe that in practice he is doing something quite different.

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6 January 2017

Jasper van Dijk and Anne-Marie Mineur: After CETA, the EU wants to throw in its lot with Japan

Last year Trade Minister Lilianne Ploumen was arguing in favour of a ‘reset’ of free trade policy aimed at making fairer agreements. Yet she seems to have few concerns about the new, CETA-like accord with Japan, say Anne-Marie Mineur and Jasper van Dijk.

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26 December 2016

National parliaments must have right to decide on trade treaties

Foto: Court of Justice of the European Union

Advocate-General Eleanor Sharpston, senior advisor to the European Court of Justice is of the opinion that national parliaments of the member states must be given the chance to participate in decision-making in relation to the conclusion of a trade treaty with Singapore. The SP agrees, and wants to see this advice followed.

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22 December 2016

SP move for enquiry into poor working conditions at budget airlines wins support of Parliament

The Dutch national Parliament has voted to support a proposal from SP Member of Parliament Eric Smaling for a thorough enquiry into the working conditions of airlines involved in a price war.

“Cheap airlines such as Ryanair and WizzAir are conducting a price war on the backs of staff and passengers. An enquiry into around seven thousand pilots working in the European Union arrived at shocking conclusions. Pilots at this kind of carrier have to put up with poor safety policies and are expected to fly even if they are too exhausted or sick,” says Smaling.

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