Press Statement 20/2/10 Peace & Neutrality Alliance: Collapse of Dutch Government

Press Statement 20/2/10 Peace & Neutrality Alliance

For more information contact the Chair of PANA Roger Cole on tel: 087-2611597 or PRO Seamas Rathigan:086-8369793

PANA welcomes the collapse of Dutch Government over the Afghan War.

The Peace & Neutrality Alliance welcomes the decision of the Dutch Labour Party to collapse the Dutch Government  because of Prime Minister Balkenende efforts to refuse to honour a commitment to withdraw Dutch troops from the occupation forces in Afghanistan.

Roger Cole, Chair of PANA said:

"PANA has consistently opposed the imperial wars in Afghanistan and Iraq by the US and its allies. It therefore welcomes the decision of the Dutch Labour Party  to collapse the Dutch government because its Prime Minister Balkenende sought to break a promise to withdraw Dutch troops from Afghanistan. In recent months in Ireland, elements of the Irish media has given coverage to the fact that there are seven Irish soldiers participation in the Afghan War and the Irish Examiner highlighted the fact that over 430,000 US troops passed through Shannon Airport in 2009 and that it cost the Irish taxpayer nearly €10 million to guard the Airport. PANA held its first demonstration at Shannon 2002. It has consistently opposed the militarist neo-liberal economic ideology that dominates Ireland's political/media elite. This ideology has had a horrific impact on not only the people of Iraq and Afghanistan but on the people who live in the states of the EU and the ! US. For example, studies by Prof. Elizabeth Warren have shown that these values have destroyed the middle class in the US and its absolutely clear that the same is happening to the middle class in Ireland. We call upon the Green Party to follow the example of the Dutch Labour Party and withdraw from government unless the 7 Irish soldiers are withdrawn from the Afghan war and the use of Shannon Airport by the US troops be terminated. The absolute reality is that peace and economic stability will only be restored when this neo-liberal militarist ideology is rejected by all the people's in the EU and the US so that we can create a Social Europe and a Social United States."