This Dutch video is an animation about the 21 April 2012 train crash in Amsterdam.
The VVD is the most pro-capitalist political party in the Netherlands.
For years, they claimed that all problems in the Netherlands could supposedly be solved by applying the economic quack recipes of Margaret Thatcher, Milton Friedman and his ‘Chicago boys’, etc.
So, privatize public transport, privatize this, privatize that, etc. And cut, cut, and cut again in public services (but … errr… not in “defence”, as the VVD wanted more money for war in Iraq, for war in Afghanistan, for expensive Joint Strike Fighter new warplanes, etc.).
So, together with other parties, the VVD privatised the Dutch railways in the 1990s. This meant that the railways themselves became one private corporation. And that railroad maintenance, which had been part of the government railways, became a separate private corporation, called ProRail.
Like the privatisation of railways in Argentina led to railway disasters, like the privatisation of railways in Britain led to railway disasters, the privatisation of railways in The Netherlands proved to be disastrous in various ways.
While rail transport and rail maintenance used to be in the same hand, now the railway corporation and ProRail started to work separately from, often against, each other.
A fire near Utrecht station wreaked havoc with rail transport all over the country.
In fall, trains could not ride any more. ProRail and the NS railway corporation said that was because of autumn leaves on the tracks. In winter, trains could not ride any more. ProRail and the NS railway corporation said that was because of frost on the tracks.
Recently, the ProRail bosses awarded themselves a 16% rise in income (while most people who are not as rich as ProRail bosses are unable to keep up with rising prices; and the VVD party, represented by Eric van der Burg, wants to cut the salaries of public sector workers, never mind keeping up with inflation.)
Last month, there was a horrible rail disaster near Amsterdam. Two trains collided. One woman died. Over 100 people got terrible injuries.
This morning, Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad reports that VVD member of parliament Aptroot wants to nationalize ProRail. He wants to make it part of the government Department of Transport and Water.
Mr Aptroot, how about the Thatcherite dogmas of your party (and some other parties) which caused these railway problems in the first place. The Dutch Socialist Party and others had proposed to re-nationalize the railways before; the VVD, now Johnny-come-latelies after the Amsterdam disaster and before the September parliamentary elections, opposed that then.
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Dutch constitution suffers under privatisation
Monday 04 June 2012
Privatisation has weakened the Dutch constitution over the past several decades, the former vice chairman of the council of state told a senate investigation on Monday afternoon.
Tjeenk Willink was speaking at a parliamentary inquiry into the effect of privatising government services in the 1990s, which began in the senate on Monday morning.
The democratic constitution has been weakened by the government distancing itself from its responsibilities, allowing the market to take over services and a decline in know-how in the civil service, news service ANP quotes him as saying.
‘The government also sees people increasingly as customers, which pushes joint interests into the background”, Willink told the hearing.
Willink, who left the council of state earlier this year, said he is not against privatisation per se, but against the idea it is automatically better. He has noticed many cases over the years where the most important reason for privatising a service was that it would be cheaper. It later proved not to be in the public interest.
There are many ‘unintentional and underestimated consequences’ in the policy, he said.
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Excellent post, thank you for taking of your time to inform those of us who are not from your country, all the information you gave to the best of my knowledge has never ever appeared on any U.S. news agencies. I do appreciate you enlightening us on these issues.
Thanks for your reblog! I try to highlight information neglected by corporate media, in the USA or elsewhere.
Reblogged this on Truth Troubles: Why people hate the truths' of the real world.
Meanwhile, I have replaced the video at this blog post which did not work any more, with one which does work.
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