Worldlog Week 28 – 2012

٩ يوليو ٢٠١٢

Thursday saw this parliamentary year’s final session of the House of Representatives, always a demanding day but at the same time it is a lot of fun working through the evening and night with the parliamentary party. There were two important debates on the programme, the first of which involved the moves Brussels is making toward a European Banking Union (bad idea).

According to the president of the Dutch Central Bank Klaas Knot, resolving the euro crisis leaves absolutely no freedom of manoeuvre. I quote: "Whatever is required to save the euro has to happen. There is no real plan B to cover the eventuality of the euro breaking up. There is no simple solution. It is not a question of a few euro summits and – voila – your solution. There is just one road that will lead us out of the crisis and that is first a budgetary union, followed by a banking union and finally political union."

And we have now reached that point. The step toward the desired banking union is upon us and apparently there is no room for objections. During the debate I asked the cabinet to explain in a letter why there is no plan B and it what exit scenarios it envisages for countries that fail to keep to the budgetary agreements and become a danger for the rest of the euro zone. Whoever believes in European cooperation, whoever believes in solidarity and democracy will not wish to be drawn into a banking union!

There was also a debate on animal diseases which focused, in particular, on the government’s failing policy on Q fever. Just last week the Dutch television programme Nieuwsuur revealed that over the past few years the government has been – and still is – misleading the Lower House on has its tackling of Q fever. Q fever is an animal disease that affects goats and which cost the lives of 25 people and thousands of goats several years ago. Hundreds of people also became chronically ill, suffering from heart complaints and concentration problems, among other symptoms.

A June 13 broadcast of Nieuwsuur revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture knew that a large number of goats were infected with Q fever one year before milch goats on infected holdings were culled. We consider it extremely censurable that the ministry waited a year before taking action, which probably resulted in more people falling seriously ill from Q fever. Furthermore, thousands of culled goats could have been spared if a breeding and transport ban had been implemented earlier. Fortunately, all the lies regarding the then-government’s policy on Q fever keep making the news!

Last Monday was another very special day. Professor Peter Singer spoke on Animal Politics at the invitation of our party. It was a very inspiring lecture!

On the same Monday, Esther spoke in the debate on the abolition of mink farms in the Netherlands. Fortunately, a house majority voted in favour of a ban (in 2024). Each year 9.7 million minks are gassed and skinned for their fur in the Netherlands. The Netherlands is the world’s third largest producer of mink fur. Although the senate must again approve the legislation, when that happens we will finally see an end to this form of animal mistreatment.

I wish everyone a great summer. I am going to take some time out to relax but will be back again soon to start work on the campaign. We are ready to organize an election revolution on 12 September, which will see voters polish off the old political order and allow us all to build a sustainable future.

See you soon, Marianne