Europe

War clouds gather over Munich Security Conference

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2018

The central issue being discussed by the high-ranking attendees at the conference is how the assembled great powers, and the Europeans in particular, can rearm to prepare for war.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

#MeToo campaign turns on French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot

By Francis Dubois, 15 February 2018

The media hysteria that the French government initially helped stir up around #MeToo is now turning against the government itself.

Germany: The coalition agreement and the return of militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2018

Important sections of the coalition pact between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed last week bear the imprint of the top military brass.

UK Prime Minister May calls for fight to “defeat socialism”

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2018

May spoke almost 40 years after Thatcher vowed to “roll back the tide of socialism,” and more than 25 years since the liquidation of the Soviet Union was hailed as proof of the triumph of capitalism.

Twenty thousand demonstrate against fascist rampage in Macerata, Italy

By Marianne Arens, 15 February 2018

Some 20,000 protesters, many of them young people, participated in an anti-fascist march through the town of Macerata Saturday.

Failed by the State co-director Daniel Renwick: “Every day I meet people who have been politicised and have a deeper consciousness”

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Daniel Renwick about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Oppose the right-wing campaign against Grenfell fire documentary Failed by the State

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The attack on the documentary is part of a broader offensive by the ruling elite and its media, which are attempting to portray all expressions of political and social dissent as “fake news” being spread by the Putin regime in Russia.

German grand coalition planning major military build-up

By Peter Schwarz, 14 February 2018

An article in IP magazine, published by the German Council for Foreign Relations, gives a glimpse of the foreign policy debates going on behind the scenes.

Germany: The resignation of Martin Schulz

By Peter Schwarz, 12 February 2018

The rapid rise and fall of Schulz cannot be explained simply on the basis of personal rivalries. At stake are major political issues.

New NATO headquarters planned in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2018

With a new NATO headquarters, Germany would be even more strongly involved in NATO preparations for war against Russia.

French media endorse plan for anti-worker Grand Coalition government in Germany

By Alex Lantier, 12 February 2018

The Grand Coalition deal and the new Berlin-Paris axis are both based on the most right-wing program since fascist parties ruled Europe.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

Sleeping rough in the UK: “I never expected to be on the streets”

By Margot Miller and Dennis Moore, 10 February 2018

WSWS reporters recently spoke to rough sleepers on the streets of Manchester in north west England.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors vote with Blairites against scrapping Haringey Council’s social cleansing project

By Paul Mitchell, 10 February 2018

Labour councillors, backed by Momentum, refused to back a motion that would have brought an end to the UK’s most infamous handover of council assets.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council on verge of bankruptcy

By Robert Stevens, 10 February 2018

The crisis facing councils is an indictment of the austerity, privatisation and outsourcing that has been the policy of successive central governments and local authorities.

Reject German coalition pact! Make public all secret agreements!

Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 10 February 2018

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) demands the publication of all secret protocols and lists of participants in the coalition talks, which have laid the basis for the coming to power of the most right-wing government since the downfall of the Nazis.

YouTube censors video opposing far-right Alternative for Germany

By Johannes Stern, 10 February 2018

The video by the left-wing, socialist channel “Political Analysis” was evidently censored following appeals by far-right circles to YouTube.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Berlin Senate plans increase in police powers

By Katerina Selin, 8 February 2018

Last week, the Berlin Senate, a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Greens, discussed a far-reaching security plan for the German capital.

Belgium: terror trial begins of Saleh Abdeslam, “Europe’s most wanted man”

By Anthony Torres, 8 February 2018

The trial of the sole survivor of the team that carried out the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, Saleh Abdeslam, opened Monday in Belgium.

Spain to double its military spending

By Alejandro López, 8 February 2018

The Spanish government is attempting to straddle the contradictions of supporting both the German-led PESCO and US-led NATO.

Why does Mélenchon want to expel Syriza from the European Left Party?

By Alex Lantier, 8 February 2018

Mélenchon wants to defend the anti-worker policies of European Left member parties in the face of rising social anger and working class militancy across Europe.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober: The social cleansing agenda of a Blairite “martyr”

By Julie Hyland, 8 February 2018

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober has received the support of over 70 leaders of Labour councils nationally who are all enforcing Tory spending cuts.

Polish president signs bill censoring free speech about the Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 7 February 2018

The action will have a “chilling effect” on all forms of political speech and scientific research opposed by the ultra-right Polish authorities.

Germany’s Grand Coalition for austerity and war

By Johannes Stern, 6 February 2018

In the final stretch of coalition negotiations, SPD leader Martin Schulz announced an agreement between his party and the conservative CDU/CSU on European policy.

Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide

By Marianne Arens, 6 February 2018

The extension of the operation is part of the plans of the grand coalition between the SPD and Christian Democrats to further strengthen police powers and coordinate security policy on a European basis.

May’s China visit highlights UK’s post-Brexit dilemma

By Jean Shaoul, 6 February 2018

The US tied May’s hands, leading to her refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding officially endorsing China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Post-Grenfell Tower fire report confirms systemic corporate flouting of health and safety standards

By Trevor Johnson, 6 February 2018

Even on essential safety issues like fire prevention, the Hackitt report considers it too great an imposition on landlords to demand, in law, that they carry out basic improvements such as fitting sprinkler systems in tower blocks.

Half a million metalworkers participate in strikes in Germany

By our reporters, 3 February 2018

On Friday, the all-day warning strikes in the metal and electrical industries culminated with hundreds of thousands of workers on strike.

French workers support growing mass strikes in Germany

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 3 February 2018

“If we support their struggle today, they will support our struggle tomorrow,” said a day laborer working multiple jobs in Paris.

The human cost of the destruction of the National Health Service

By NHS FightBack, 3 February 2018

The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed today at marches and rallies in defence of the National Health Service in London and other towns and cities.

German industrial workers shut down auto sector as strikes spread

By our reporters, 2 February 2018

Workers in the automotive and electrical industries are striking for a third consecutive day for higher wages and the voluntary reduction of the workweek.

European Union skeptic wins Czech presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2018

Acting Czech President Milos Zeman narrowly won the second round of the presidential election last Friday and Saturday.

Social cleansing in Haringey: Labour right reject Corbyn’s pleas for “unity”

By Julie Hyland, 2 February 2018

Haringey’s Labour-run council is mounting one of the largest privatisation and social cleansing operations in London

“Our job is like working in a slaughterhouse”

French retirement home workers strike to defend elderly, working conditions

By Anthony Torres, 2 February 2018

In an unprecedented event on Tuesday, workers at retirement homes (Ehpad) across France overwhelmingly followed calls for strike action.

Tens of thousands of German industrial workers on strike

By our reporters, 1 February 2018

Up to 500,000 workers are participating in one-day strikes in Germany’s automotive and electrical industries, the largest strikes in the sector for 15 years.

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

US media glorifies small protests by right-wing Putin opponent Alexei Navalny

By Clara Weiss, 1 February 2018

Though tens of thousands protested last year against social inequality and corruption, Navalny has been unable to tap into the massive social discontent, largely due to his fascistic politics.

A series of attacks at Russian schools

By Clara Weiss, 31 January 2018

Within one week, three schools witnessed outbreaks of violence, and one school a stabbing. Dozens of children and several teachers were wounded.

Polish government seeks to criminalize mention of Polish crimes during the Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 30 January 2018

The far-reaching assault on free speech is part of the systematic effort of the right-wing PiS government to strengthen fascist forces and, along with that, falsify the history of Poland.

UK Labour: Corbyn seeks accommodation with Blairites and big business

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2018

The policy of the Labour right wing is to extract maximum concessions from Corbyn—especially regarding Labour’s stance on Brexit.

UK Defence Secretary accuses Russia of planning to kill “thousands and thousands and thousands” of Britons

By Robert Stevens, 27 January 2018

Williamson’s comments come just days after the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces declared that Britain must actively prepare for war with Russia.

Julian Assange challenges warrant for his arrest as doctors confirm worsening of his health

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2018

The clinicians, with a combined four decades of experience, said Assange's "continued confinement" is "a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

German Chancellor promotes militarism and great-power politics at World Economic Forum

By Johannes Stern, 26 January 2018

Merkel sought to drum up support for a European defence policy that would enable Germany and Europe to enforce their economic and geostrategic interests around the world.

German, French parliaments prepare new alliance, 55 years after Elysée treaty

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2018

The resolution commits Berlin and Paris to a major arms build-up and deep austerity to enable them to carry out military operations independent of Washington.

Catalan nationalists struggle to form government

By Paul Mitchell, 25 January 2018

Spain’s Popular Party government is threatening to re-impose Article 155 and direct rule of the autonomous region by Madrid.

Carillion collapse in UK leaves pension scheme deficit of £2.6 billion

By Robert Stevens, 22 January 2018

A Sky News investigation revealed that Carillion’s debts and pension liabilities were almost double the amount initially cited.

UK, France boost military, intelligence ties at Sandhurst summit

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 20 January 2018

The summit aimed to boost UK-French cooperation despite the crisis in NATO caused by the election of Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the European Union.

UK: Office for Students spearheads privatisation and policing of universities

By Thomas Scripps, 20 January 2018

Accompanied by lifting the cap on tuition fees and selling off of student debt to private holders, the Office for Students is set to complete the basic framework for the wholesale privatisation of higher education.

The working class moves against Greece’s Syriza government

By Alex Lantier, 19 January 2018

The working class is fighting to defend its social and democratic rights against all the organizations that for decades passed for the “far left” of the political establishment.

German newspaper Die Zeit and SPD back #MeToo witch-hunt

By Verena Nees, 19 January 2018

It is no accident that the German #MeToo campaign is being led by a newspaper close to the SPD, which has adopted the issue in the wake of its disastrous result in last autumn’s federal election.

Carillion’s collapse in UK and the East Coast bailout: What would ending the “Private Financial Initiative rip-off” entail?

By Jean Shaoul, 18 January 2018

In the wake of the collapse of construction giant Carillion, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demagogically declared it was time “to end the rip-off privatisation policies.”

Another bonanza year for highest paid UK CEOs

By Dennis Moore, 18 January 2018

The median average pay of the top FTSE 100 CEO's is £3.45 million a year, 120 times the average pay of a worker.

Families and survivors hold seven-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 17 January 2018

Some 1,500 people, including survivors and the families of those who died in last year’s Grenfell Tower fire, staged their monthly Silent March on January 14.

Romanian prime minister resigns amid rising social tensions

By Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir, 17 January 2018

There is an increasing mood of militancy among Romanian workers, with autoworkers at Ford locked in a struggle against management, the union and the government.

UK: Election of pro-Corbyn slate to Labour’s National Executive Committee underscores left shift in working class

By Chris Marsden, 16 January 2018

Corbyn is now in control of his cabinet and, following various reshuffles, has a majority of the party membership and now the NEC.

UK: Carillion collapse threatens jobs and pensions, exposing plunder of social assets

By Julie Hyland, 16 January 2018

There are reports of banks shifting Carillion off their balance sheets over the last months in anticipation of its inevitable folding.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

For new elections and a socialist offensive against the grand coalition in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 15 January 2018

Opposition within the population to the grand coalition’s anti-working class and militarist policies is enormous.

Virgin Care and other private companies seize another £3.1 billion of NHS contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 15 January 2018

By running down National Health Service-run provision across the country, the Tories have opened up new avenues for private companies to cherry pick lucrative areas.

German conservatives and Social Democrats agree to coalition talks

By Peter Schwarz, 13 January 2018

The 28-page document on the results of the exploratory talks conceals a deeply reactionary right-wing programme behind unctuous rhetoric about an “awakening,” “democracy,” “peace” and “justice.”

German industrial workers continue strikes

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 January 2018

The IG Metall trade union is increasingly concerned by the unrest and radical atmosphere in the plants, but has indicated its readiness to compromise and reach a sell-out deal.

Greek workers stop work in opposition to Syriza anti-strike and austerity measures

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2018

Strikes shut down the Athens rail system, ships were unable to sail, and state-run hospitals were forced to rely on reserve staff.

Fraud of official inquiry into Grenfell fire exposed by forced withdrawal of project management adviser

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2018

The scandal over KPMG serves once again to dispel any illusions that the official Grenfell inquiry has anything to do with establishing the truth or holding the guilty to account.

160,000 industrial workers strike in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 11 January 2018

Amid widespread anger over social inequality and corporate job-cutting, there is a growing determination to fight for improvements in wages and working conditions.

France’s Socialist Party attacks Catherine Deneuve for opposing #MeToo witch-hunt

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2018

The courageous column published by 100 women in Le Monde criticizing the #MeToo campaign has provoked a venomous response from the French state machine.

Spanish PM Rajoy seeks to prevent Catalan nationalists from forming government

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 10 January 2018

The Supreme Court is planning to issue writs against a further 11 people linked to the deposed Catalan government for their part in organising last October’s independence referendum.

What does Russian “opposition leader” Alexei Navalny represent?

By Clara Weiss, 9 January 2018

There is a stark disjuncture between the overwhelming support that Navalny receives from the Western media and his near total lack of popularity in Russia itself.

French chemical industry unions back contract violating minimum wage laws

By Alex Lantier, 8 January 2018

Backed by the European Union, President Emmanuel Macron is using his labor decrees to try to scrap basic social rights won by the working class.

German foreign minister demands aggressive assertion of great power interests

By Christoph Vandreier, 8 January 2018

Gabriel’s rhetoric, in his interview with Spiegel Online, is aimed at initiating a further escalation of German militarism and freeing Berlin from any restrictions.

Volkswagen plans to dismiss all temporary contract workers in German plants

By Dietmar Henning, 8 January 2018

VW’s mass firing of temporary contract workers is the prelude to sweeping job cuts and attacks on the gains of all autoworkers.

UK rail workers continue strikes against Driver Only Operated train plans

By Michael Barnes, 8 January 2018

As dangerous incidents begin to escalate, the rail companies and the Tory government refuse to retreat in their war against conductors’ jobs.

UK workers confront rising job losses in 2018

By Tony Robson, 8 January 2018

At no point have Unite, GMB, the retail workers union, USDAW, or any other, even mooted a fight in defence of a single job.

Britain’s National Health Service is being deliberately brought to the brink of collapse

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2018

NHS employees now often refer to the conditions they face at work as a “battlefield” or “war zone.”

German conservatives and Social Democrats prepare formation of far-right government

By Peter Schwarz, 6 January 2018

There is a crisis over the formation of the government because the Christian Democrats, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats are preparing a sharp shift to the right, which finds no support among the population.

Incoming German government plans massive military rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 3 January 2018

A recent paper by the Bavarian Christian Social Union makes clear what the real questions are about forming the next government.

Germany: Demands grow for Merkel’s resignation

By Peter Schwarz, 30 December 2017

The longer negotiations on a new ruling coalition continue, the more likely leading business, political and media figures will press for a rapid change at the top of the government.

Italian election campaign officially opens

By Peter Schwarz, 30 December 2017

Italian President Sergio Matarella dissolved parliament on Thursday, opening campaigning for the election which will take place in the first week of March.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.

Macron turns France’s labor decrees on auto workers

By Alex Lantier, 29 December 2017

The announcement of mass layoffs by Europe’s second-largest automaker is part of a relentless international assault on workers' jobs, working conditions and social rights.

UK steps up provocations against Russia

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 27 December 2017

The effort to play up the passage of a Russian warship through the North Sea on Christmas Day is only the latest example of the UK’s escalating propaganda campaign against Russia.

How former Nazi official Reinhard Gehlen erected a state within a state in post-war Germany

By Wolfgang Weber, 27 December 2017

Over 100,000 pages of documents relating to the post-World War II head of the German Federal Intelligence Service and ex-Nazi official Reinhard Gehlen have been leaked to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Political turmoil in Spain following Catalan election

By Paul Mitchell, 23 December 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is under pressure from some quarters to consider negotiations, but there is no indication of a climbdown on his part.

Trump authorizes $41.5 million sale of lethal US weaponry to Ukraine

By Niles Niemuth, 23 December 2017

The decision to allow Kiev to purchase “lethal defensive weapons” portends an escalation in the nearly four-year-old war against pro-Russian separatists entrenched in the country’s eastern provinces.

Massive job cuts at Opel and Vauxhall

By Marianne Arens, 23 December 2017

The management board, works council and IG Metall union have agreed on a drastic reduction in staff and labour costs at Opel to make the company more profitable.

Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 23 December 2017

The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group accidentally disclosed a backdoor payment of £328,000 to Virgin Care, owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson.

Engineering workers occupy three BiFab yards in Scotland

By Darren Paxton and Sandy Campbell, 23 December 2017

Although workers effectively took control of the yards, the GMB and Unite trade unions were at pains to insist the action was a “work-in.”

Wildcat strike stops production as workers eject union leaders at Ford Romania

By Eric London, 23 December 2017

The spontaneous walkout took place the day after Ford and the union agreed to a sellout contract with similar terms as those imposed on workers in the US and Canada.

Social inequality and Germany’s government crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 23 December 2017

Social inequality has reached a scale that is no longer compatible with democratic forms of rule.

UK: Deputy Conservative leader Damian Green forced to resign by manufactured sex scandal

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2017

The contrived campaign at Westminster over sexual impropriety has caused the suicide of one leading Welsh Labour member and the sudden death of a Labour Party staffer—also believed to be a suicide.

German police publicly name and shame G20 protesters

By Peter Schwarz, 22 December 2017

In an unlawful act, the police and state prosecutor have published online the photos of hundreds of demonstrators five months after the G20 protests.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller, 22 December 2017

Haringey Labour Council will commence the demolition of 1,000 council homes and the building of luxury accommodation that only the wealthiest can afford, in one of the largest acts of social cleansing in the capital.

German Social Democratic Party follows the path of far-right Alternative for Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 December 2017

Ex-SPD leader and acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is calling for his party to adopt the right-wing nationalist policies of Alternative for Germany.

Far-right party enters Austrian government

By Peter Schwarz, 19 December 2017

Politicians with close ties to the neo-Nazi scene and ultra-right circles now wield power in Austria.

Families and survivors hold six-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2017

The marchers carried photographs of those who had perished in the Grenfell fire, and held large green heart-shaped banners and placards with slogans including “Justice for Grenfell” and “We demand the truth.”

Right-wing extremists enter government in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 18 December 2017

In a country where the ruling class resorted to dictatorship in the early 1930s, and largely backed the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the shadow of the past has returned.

Oppose media witch-hunt against “the left” over Grenfell fire

By Robert Stevens, 18 December 2017

The aim is to conceal the fact that, half a year on, no one has been questioned about, let alone arrested for, the inferno that killed more than 70 people.

EU summit agrees talks will move forward, but Brexit crisis continues

By Chris Marsden, 16 December 2017

Guidelines issued for the UK on Brexit stipulate that it must adopt all new European Union laws created during the transition period, while being excluded from any decision-making role.

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

By Johannes Stern, 16 December 2017

Despite the ongoing government crisis, all the German bourgeois parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.