Europe

Berlin conference prepares military occupation of Libya

By Peter Schwarz, 21 January 2020

The Libya conference, which took place last Sunday in Berlin, was not about peace in the war-torn country, but about the distribution of the loot.

Germany: New links found between Lübcke murder, neo-fascist NSU and the secret service

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 21 January 2020

The links between the series of murders carried out by the neo-Nazi terrorist group NSU, the murder of Kassel’s District President Walter Lübcke (CDU) and the secret service are closer than previously known.

UK: Highest-paid CEOs take home 117 times that of an average paid worker

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2020

In 2018, the average FTSE 100 CEO earned £3.46 million, equivalent to £901.30 an hour.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing document seeks to outlaw political dissent

By Thomas Scripps, 21 January 2020

The “guidance document” lists prominent left-wing, anti-war and environmental groups alongside far-right, fascist and white supremacist organisations.

Rich in US and UK live nearly ten more healthy years than the poor

By Kate Randall, 18 January 2020

Wealthy men and women generally have eight to nine more years of “disability free” life after age 50 than the poorest American and English adults.

US and UK clash over Huawei involvement in 5G rollout

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2020

The rollout of 5G broadband wireless networks globally is becoming an arena for the eruption of geopolitical tensions.

German government to continue military operations in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 18 January 2020

All of the parliamentary parties agree with the government’s policy of escalating Germany military intervention in the region.

The Libya conference and the new scramble for Africa

By Johannes Stern, 18 January 2020

The Berlin meeting is reminiscent of the infamous Congo Conference, also held in Berlin in 1884-85 and aimed at the complete colonization of Africa.

Germany: Auto manufacturer Opel to wipe out 4,100 jobs

By Peter Schwarz, 16 January 2020

After these cuts are completed in 2029, less than half of the company’s 19,000 jobs in Germany before its sale to PSA in 2017 will remain.

Russian government resigns after Putin’s state of the nation address

By Clara Weiss, 16 January 2020

The resignation of the widely unpopular Russian government comes amid mounting social conflict and escalating war tensions between the US and Iran which threaten to draw in the entire South Caucasus region and Russia itself.

YouTube, Facebook and Twitter remove accounts and content opposing the illegal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani

By Kevin Reed, 16 January 2020

The social media companies YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are following the orders of the Trump administration in the aftermath of the criminal assassination of Iranian General Suleimani on January 3.

Assange’s French legal advisor Juan Branco: “We’ve experienced a strong shift that we now need to nurture”

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 January 2020

In comments to the WSWS this week, Branco stated: “Citizens have their mass and geniuses like Julian Assange on their side—private interests have their economical power, cynicism and capacity to corrupt on theirs.”

Malians protest to demand departure of French occupation troops

By Alex Lantier, 16 January 2020

Anger is exploding against the carnage produced by the French war in Mali and against official lies that France is waging a global war on terror.

UK energy costs soar, leaving millions of households in fuel poverty

By Alice Summers, 16 January 2020

Rapidly increasing energy costs and low income have forced many working class households to choose between eating and heating.

German captain of refugee rescue ship “Lifeline” acquitted of criminal charges in Malta

By Marianne Arens, 16 January 2020

Despite the acquittal neither Malta nor the EU have retreated from its inhumane and murderous anti-refugee policy with Valletta continuing to prevent NGO ships from entering its waters.

European powers move toward scrapping nuclear accord with Iran

By Alex Lantier, 15 January 2020

Berlin, London and Paris, emboldened by Tehran’s weak response to the US murder of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, are escalating attacks against Iran.

Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung defends murder of Suleimani

By Peter Schwarz, 15 January 2020

In reaction to the Middle East crisis, Germany’s ruling circles are enthusing about the criminal methods of Trump while pursuing their own imperialist interests more aggressively.

All UK Labour leadership candidates sign up to stepped up pro-Zionist witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 15 January 2020

The most enthusiastic signatory to a document that means a stepped up witch-hunt of anti-Zionist party members is Rebecca Long-Bailey, the candidate favoured by the pro-Corbyn “left.”

UK Flybe airline reaches bailout deal with government

By Thomas Scripps, 15 January 2020

Emergency discussions with the government followed a decade of deep financial trouble for Flybe, which has suffered under the pressure of intensifying competition in the airline industry.

Social Democrat Milanović wins presidential election in Croatia

By Markus Salzmann, 14 January 2020

The Social Democrat unexpectedly won against incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who ran for the right-wing Croatian Democratic Community.

Stop the War rally tries to restore Corbyn’s tattered anti-war credentials

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2020

The more dangerous the world situation becomes, the less the STWC, which orients to the rightward-lurching Labour and trade union apparatus, is able to mobilise popular support.

“We’ve seen this all happen before, with the Iraq war. We saw how that went. It was a complete tragedy”

UK protesters speak out against war on Iran

By our reporters, 13 January 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to attendees at Saturday’s demonstrations in the UK against the danger of war in Iran.

French strikers march as Prime Minister Philippe offers cosmetic changes to pension cuts

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 January 2020

Hundreds of thousands of strikers and “yellow vests” marched against French President Emmanuel Macron’s pension cuts Saturday.

Spain’s new PSOE-Podemos government commits itself to austerity and war

By Alejandro López, 13 January 2020

Described by its architects as Spain’s most progressive government since the Second Republic (1931-1939), it is in fact committed to austerity, repression and militarism.

Erdoğan and Putin open TurkStream pipeline after Iran strikes US bases in Iraq

By Ulaş Ateşci, 11 January 2020

The opening of this strategic pipeline comes amid escalating conflicts over energy in the region and an esclalating conflict between the United States and Iran.

UK: Corbyn offers no fight against war with Iran

By Thomas Scripps, 11 January 2020

Corbyn articulates the concerns within ruling circles, including Johnson’s Tories and the armed forces, that Trump’s recklessness can endanger the UK’s world position.

UK police fire stun guns 2,500 times as deployment of weapon escalates

By Dennis Moore, 11 January 2020

The use of stun guns has sparked controversy since their introduction, following the growing numbers of deaths they have caused when deployed.

Germany: Response to satirical children’s video exposes self-censorship of the media

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 11 January 2020

The week before Christmas, German broadcaster WDR posted an online video of a children’s choir singing an updated version of a satirical song, triggering hysterical denunciations.

World famous pianist Igor Levit victim of anti-Semitic death threats

By Marianne Arens, 11 January 2020

The fact that a Jewish pianist cannot perform publicly without protection indicates the extent of the current turn to the right in German politics.

European powers support war preparations against Iran

By Peter Schwarz, 11 January 2020

Not a single leading European politician condemned the brutal murder of General Qassem Suleimani, which represented a gross violation of international law and massively expanded the ongoing regional war in the Middle East.

After four years of Corbyn, Blairite Sir Keir Starmer frontrunner in UK Labour leadership contest

By Robert Stevens, 9 January 2020

Such is Corbyn’s political legacy in preserving the Blairites domination of the PLP that Starmer was the first candidate to secure the necessary nominations to go forward, including the backing of a major union, Unison.

After Suleimani murder, New Anti-capitalist Party backs US war on Iran

By Alex Lantier, 9 January 2020

The NPA advances the lie that Iran, a former colonial country, is in fact an imperialist power attacking Washington and slanders Suleimani personally as a mass murderer.

Corbyn grovels to Privy Council, seeking to block mass anti-war movement

By Laura Tiernan, 8 January 2020

Corbyn’s letter to Johnson was framed as a defence of British national security interests and exhibited Corbyn’s trademark deference to the state.

Podemos enters Spanish government

By Alex Lantier, 8 January 2020

The formation of the government capped two months of manoeuvres within the Spanish ruling elite after the November 10 elections produced yet another hung parliament.

PSOE-Podemos loses investiture vote as Spanish right attacks Catalan government

By Alejandro López, 8 January 2020

On Sunday, acting Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez failed in a first vote to obtain the required majority to establish a government in coalition with the pseudo-left Podemos party.

New Year’s Eve in Leipzig: German media and police spread false reports about left-wing violence

By Christopher Lehmann and Christoph Vandreier, 8 January 2020

The aim of the latest campaign surrounding the events in Leipzig is to intimidate anyone who stands in the way of the far right.

Germany: Greens join Saxony coalition government’s right-wing agenda

By Martin Nowak, 8 January 2020

Shortly before the end of the year, the new state government in Saxony was sworn in. For the first time, a coalition of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Greens is taking over the government in the East German state.

Britain backs US war drive against Iran

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2020

Whatever the qualms in British ruling circles about the grave implications of war in the Middle East, the UK is already involved—as America's closest ally—in a potential war against Iran.

Conservative Austrian People’s Party to form government with Greens

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 6 January 2020

The Greens have seamlessly filled the shoes of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ), securing a majority for inhumane, pro-corporate, and law-and-order policies.

German authorities shut down investigations into far-right and state crimes

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 6 January 2020

The closing of the year 2019 has confirmed that the revival of the far right in Germany is principally due to policies pursued by the country’s ruling elite.

German defence minister supports combat operations in Africa

By Gregor Link and Peter Schwarz, 4 January 2020

Over the holidays, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer reiterated her call for a massive expansion of the Franco-German campaign in the Sahel region.

In New Year’s address, French President Macron pledges to impose austerity despite mass strike

By Alex Lantier, 4 January 2020

In his perfunctory eighteen-minute speech Tuesday night, Macron made clear he intends to impose his pension cuts in the face of mass protests and strikes by the working class.

UK refusal to accept Scotland’s supply of haemophilia drugs resulted in thousands of deaths

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2020

Blood supplied from contaminated sources led to thousands of people being infected with diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, and the deaths of nearly 3,000 people in the UK.

Russia, Ukraine reach last minute gas transit deal

By Jason Melanovski, 4 January 2020

The EU pushed for the Ukraine and Russia to accept a deal following the US announcement of sanctions against the Russian-German pipeline Nord Stream 2.

British fascists join Johnson’s Conservative Party

By Thomas Scripps, 3 January 2020

The Johnson government is an expression of the global rise of authoritarian and far right forces, sponsored by the ruling class as a necessary bulwark to confront social unrest and growing socialist sentiment.

Video shows Greek authorities performing illegal “push backs” at refugee crossing

By George Gallanis, 30 December 2019

A United Nations working group confirmed Greek authorities have been illegally deporting refugees for years, including under the Syriza government.

Poverty in Germany remains high, 2019 report finds

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 December 2019

Although the poverty rate experienced a slight decline of 0.3 percentage points between 2017 and 2018, it remains at a high level and has even increased in some regions.

UK Muslims demand investigation of Conservative Party’s Islamophobia

By Jean Shaoul, 30 December 2019

Johnson put racism and Islamophobia at the heart of his election campaign, pitting Indian Hindu voters against Pakistani Muslim voters.

Julian Assange “slowly dying” and “often sedated” in Belmarsh prison

By Mike Head, 28 December 2019

Assange’s phone call highlights the danger that he could die in jail, effectively at the hands of the British, US and Australian governments.

Amiens railworkers vote to continue strike against French President Macron

By Antoine Lerougetel, 28 December 2019

Workers, students, teachers and “yellow vest” protesters came to support the strike, which has lasted since December 5 and shut down rail transport across France.

UK Johnson government launches anti-Gypsy/Traveller/Roma measures

By Paul Bond, 28 December 2019

Without enough authorised encampments, the proposal to allow police to seize Travellers’ caravans—their homes—and destroy their property would effectively criminalise the existence of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.

Croatia: Right-wing Social Democrat wins first round of presidential elections

By Markus Salzmann, 28 December 2019

All candidates are deeply hated and discredited among broad sections of the population. Turnout in the elections was barely 39 percent.

UK Public Meetings:

The election of Boris Johnson and the failure of Corbynism

28 December 2019

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) is holding public meetings on the Labour Party’s general election debacle and the way forward for the working class based on the fight to build a new, genuinely socialist party.

“We’re sending a message: there will be no holiday truce”

Strikers call to step up class struggle against French President Macron

By Alex Lantier, 27 December 2019

The ongoing mass transit and public sector strike which is paralyzing much of transport in France to protest Macron’s pension cuts entered its fourth week today.

EU court rules jailed Catalan nationalist Junqueras had immunity

By Alejandro López, 23 December 2019

Madrid nevertheless kept Junqueras in jail over his role in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum and did not allow him to take his European parliament seat.

Assange gives evidence in Spanish case against security contractor

By Thomas Scripps, 21 December 2019

David Morales, a former Spanish military officer, is accused of spying on Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy and was charged in October with privacy violation, bribery and money laundering.

French unions work to end strike as government maintains pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 21 December 2019

The unions are now calling for an end to strike action or using negotiations scheduled for January as a pretext to weaken workers’ resolve and betray the strike.

UK to leave European Union at end of January after Johnson passes Withdrawal Agreement

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2019

A total of 38 Labour MPs defied Jeremy Corbyn’s instruction to oppose the bill.

UK Labour Party leadership contest begins after general election meltdown

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2019

The bogus character of all claims that this is a leadership contest between “left” and “right” is epitomised by the fact that the two most prominent Blairite challengers are Corbyn’s Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer and his Shadow Foreign Minister Emily Thornberry.

Hungary’s government continues its assault on democratic rights

By Markus Salzmann, 21 December 2019

Last week, the Hungarian parliament, dominated by the right-wing Fidesz party, passed bills that represent a further step towards dictatorial forms of rule.

Vadim Rogovin’s Bolsheviks against Stalinism 1928–1933: Leon Trotsky and the Left Opposition

A magnificent account of Stalin’s opponents in the USSR

By Andrea Peters, 21 December 2019

Stalin’s rise was neither foreordained nor a natural outgrowth of the October Revolution. The Great Russian chauvinist and bureaucrat secured power in ferocious conflict with the proletariat, peasantry and cadre of the revolutionary socialist movement.

French unions meet prime minister to sell out mass strike to defend pensions

By Alex Lantier and Johannes Stern, 19 December 2019

While strikers are calling for an end to talks with the government, the unions are seeking a rotten compromise they can use to justify selling out the strike.

UK general election result confirms protracted death of the Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 19 December 2019

Labour haemorrhaged support across the UK and among all sections of workers, young and old, from the north and south, those in favour of leaving the European Union and those for remaining.

Russia, Ukraine to resume talks on energy following Paris summit

By Jason Melanovski, 19 December 2019

The talks have resumed just after the US announced sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany.

Nurses and health workers strike in Northern Ireland

By our reporters, 19 December 2019

Over 15,000 nurses and other health workers struck December 18 in Northern Ireland over pay and staffing.

Millions march against French pension cuts amid public sector strike

By our reporters, 18 December 2019

Some 1.8 million strikers, youth and retirees marched in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to impose steep pension cuts.

Germany’s Left Party hails new SPD leadership and grand coalition

By Johannes Stern, 17 December 2019

The efforts to present Saskia Esken and Nobert Walter-Borjans as fighters for a “left-wing camp” that will introduce a new era of social democracy are patently absurd.

Build independent committees of action to bring down the Macron government in France!

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2019

The strike movement in France is part of a global upsurge of the class struggle that has led to mass strikes and protests on every continent.

French strikers protest prime minister’s pledge to impose pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 14 December 2019

Anger is mounting among workers after Edouard Philippe stressed he would push through his regressive program despite widespread strike action and popular opposition.

Julian Assange denied access to lawyers and vital evidence in US extradition case

By Thomas Scripps, 14 December 2019

It is clear that the fundamental legal rights of the WikiLeaks founder and world-famous investigative journalist are being trampled in what amounts to an extraordinary rendition.

The election of Boris Johnson and the failure of Corbynism

By Statement of the WSWS Editorial Board, 14 December 2019

The electoral debacle suffered by the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn in the UK general election is yet another example of the political bankruptcy of what passes for the left and labour organisations.

Recording reveals pseudo-left La France Insoumise collusion with Macron in 2016

By Francis Dubois, 14 December 2019

The manoeuvres of LFI deputy François Ruffin with the former banker and future president have recently been exposed.

Johnson wins majority in UK election after collapse of Labour vote

By Chris Marsden, 13 December 2019

Johnson’s return consolidates the most right-wing government in post-war British history, with devastating consequences for the working class.

US renews insults and threats against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 12 December 2019

The Trump administration has made clear that it has no intention of meeting North Korea’s end-of-year deadline for meaningful talks, thus setting the stage for confrontation and conflict.

French prime minister vows to impose pension cuts despite growing strikes

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 12 December 2019

In his speech, Edouard Philippe vowed to impose a pension cut opposed by two thirds of the population.

The Sun forced to delete article promoting fascist propaganda against UK left

By Paul Bond, 12 December 2019

The publication by the Sun of an article charging that Corbyn is the centre of a “hard-left extremist network” is part of an authoritarian turn by the ruling class.

Britain’s general election and the coming struggle of the working class for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 12 December 2019

Underlying the intensity of political conflicts is an historically unprecedented social polarisation between the classes that is now beginning to find expression in a global eruption of the class struggle.

Mass marches and strikes against Macron’s pension cuts continue across France

By Alex Lantier, 11 December 2019

Rail, mass transit and broader sections of the French public sector continued strikes begun on December 5 in an emerging trial of strength between the workers and Macron.

Labour’s pose as defender of the National Health Service exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2019

Labour’s claim to be the only party that will defend the NHS is the main reason many support the party. But like most of its main pledges, this too is without genuine substance.

Germany: SPD congress backs grand coalition government as class struggle intensifies

By Ulrich Rippert, 11 December 2019

The new SPD leadership is making hollow reformist promises in the hope of controlling growing anti-capitalist sentiment in the working class.

Strikes continue in Finland after Social Democrat prime minister resigns

By Jordan Shilton, 11 December 2019

The broad support for the postal workers was driven by sustained austerity measures implemented by successive governments.

London: Attendees at Socialist Equality Party’s general election rally speak

“The Socialist Equality Party has one goal and that’s what I feel most inclined toward, the class struggle”

By our reporters, 11 December 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those who attended the Socialist Equality Party’s general election rally in London on Sunday.

SEP (UK) candidate Dennis Leech speaks at hustings in Manchester

By our reporter, 11 December 2019

Leech emphasised the global campaign to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and prevent his extradition to the US.

Ukraine: Three-year-old boy killed in attempted political assassination by the far right

By Jason Melanovski, 7 December 2019

The killing of a three-year-old demonstrates that far-right forces in Ukraine are being given free rein to carry out targeted political assassinations.

The way forward for the mass strike in France

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2019

The working class faces a fight to bring down the Macron government, drawing into struggle ever broader layers of workers and youth in France and internationally.

SEP (UK) candidate Chris Marsden speaks on Kashmir and Palestine at Sheffield mosque hustings

By our reporter, 7 December 2019

Marsden told the attentive audience, “Kashmir has been a terrible victim of the partition of India on religious and communal lines.”

Former head of German Secret Service publishes fascist manifesto

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 7 December 2019

Maassen’s article contains a thinly-veiled call for building a fascist movement to crush working class opposition to social inequality and militarism.

Indian oil workers strike against privatisation: Auto workers in Haryana protest in solidarity with striking Honda contract workers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

7 December 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

German Amazon workers walk out; Zimbabwe doctors and public sector continue 13-week stoppage

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 December 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

1.5 million march amid mass strike in France against austerity and inequality

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 December 2019

Tens of thousands of rail, government, and education workers went on strike against plans by French President Emanuel Macron to slash pensions.

French public sector strikers call to free Julian Assange

By Alex Lantier and V. Gnana, 6 December 2019

Strikers denounced the imprisonment of the Australian journalist under appalling conditions in Britain, for having revealed imperialist war crimes in Iraq.

SPD youth leader defends Germany’s grand coalition government

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 December 2019

In a long interview with the Rheinische Post, Kühnert warned “of the consequences of a hasty exit” from the ruling grand coalition.

Labour’s election pledges no answer to UK’s housing crisis

By Paul Bond, 6 December 2019

Labour’s proposed social housing construction programme is based on the same capitalist market that makes the lives of millions impossible.

Doctors condemn failure of British government to answer letter demanding medical care for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 5 December 2019

The doctors state that “the UK government’s refusal to take the required measures to protect Mr Assange’s rights, health and dignity appears...unlawfully and unnecessarily exposes Mr Assange to potentially irreversible medical risks.”

Thousands of teachers strike in Croatia

By Markus Salzmann, 5 December 2019

The teachers, on strike for over a month, are demanding increased wages and improved working conditions in schools and colleges.

NATO summit dominated by growing inter-state conflicts

By Alex Lantier, 5 December 2019

Explosive conflicts over trade and military policy between Washington and its main European allies erupted this week at the NATO summit in London.

French public sector strike: Build independent committees of action for political struggle against Macron

By Anthony Torres, 5 December 2019

The December 5 strike is part of a vast international resurgence of class struggle in opposition to social inequality and military-police repression.

Trump denounces Macron’s criticisms of NATO at London summit

By Alex Lantier, 4 December 2019

Bitter conflicts between the United States and the major European powers erupted into the open yesterday, at the start of the two-day NATO summit in London.

Germany: Far-right AfD’s party conference strengthens völkisch-nationalist “wing”

By Peter Schwarz, 4 December 2019

The nationalist “wing” group (Der Flügel) in the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) around Björn Höcke and Andreas Kalbitz has emerged strengthened from its federal party conference.

Catalan nationalists negotiate over support for PSOE-led Spanish government

By Alejandro López, 4 December 2019

The Catalan nationalist parties are negotiating with the social democrats, even as the social democrats assault mass protests in Catalonia and target the nationalist parties.