PvdA won't back referendum

25th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

25 September 2007, AMSTERDAM – The parliamentary faction of the Labour PvdA is opposed to a referendum on the new European treaty. This was the outcome of the faction meeting on Tuesday, deputy faction leader Mariëtte Hamer has announced. Without PvdA's support, the initiative from the left-wing opposition for a referendum will not make it through Parliament.

25 September 2007

AMSTERDAM – The parliamentary faction of the Labour PvdA is opposed to a referendum on the new European treaty. This was the outcome of the faction meeting on Tuesday, deputy faction leader Mariëtte Hamer has announced.
 
Without PvdA's support, the initiative from the left-wing opposition for a referendum will not make it through Parliament.

The faction does not see what added value a referendum would bring, in view of the results of the rejection of the constitutional treaty in 2005. In addition the faction finds the advice on the matter from the Council of State clear.

Although there was no official vote, it became clear that a large majority of the faction was not in favour of a referendum. A handful of PvdA MPs did support the initiative, but have resigned themselves to the party decision.

No further agreements were made on what the supporters might do in the event of a vote.

The cabinet decided last Friday not to organise a referendum. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende does not think it necessary or advisable to put the new treaty up for a public vote. He says the new reform treaty is essentially different from the constitutional treaty rejected in 2005.

Faction leader Jacques Tichelaar said his party's MPs had "praise" for the changes that were made to the treaty. The new treaty is "substantially and fundamentally different," he said.

The faction agreed with the Council of State that the new treaty no longer contains constitutional aspects. "We weighed up the pros and cons and decided that there was no point in holding a referendum."

Tichelaar stressed that his faction does still support referenda "where possible." He does not rule out that other difficult political dossiers, like the cabinet's plans to amend redundancy legislation, may have played a role in consideration for some MPs.

The PvdA fiercely opposes relaxing redundancy legislation. Insiders in the faction said on Tuesday that the redundancy legislation "is more worth a majority than the referendum." Tichelaar denies any connection between the dossiers.

Lilianne Ploumen, elected party chairperson on Monday, said she supported a referendum. She will not take office until the end of next week. Tichelaar says the sitting PvdA executive supports the faction's decision.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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