Europe

Daily deaths near 1,000 as UK Parliament spends day ratifying Brexit treaty

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2020

In a world far removed from this death and suffering, the parties of the ruling class were engaged in a day long ratification of the Brexit treaty agreed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government with the European Union.

Spanish officers plot fascist coup to impose “herd immunity” COVID-19 policy

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 31 December 2020

The “left populist” Podemos party and its ruling social-democratic allies are hushing up active plotting for a coup that has taken place throughout virtually the entire year.

Freedom of Information request reveals surge of COVID-19 infections among London bus, rail and tube workers

By Laura Tiernan, 31 December 2020

Transport for London’s response has revealed the extent of COVID-19 exposure across the capital’s transport network.

Assange extradition decision due January 4: Mobilise the working class to secure his freedom!

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2020

Building the necessary campaign in the working class requires a political reckoning with the forces that have worked to isolate Assange—the media and civil rights organisations of the petty-bourgeois “liberal” fraternity, the pseudo-left and the trade union and Labour bureaucracy.

Spain to cut pensions as billions go to super-rich in EU pandemic bailout

By Alice Summers, 31 December 2020

While handing out €140 billion in COVID-19 bailouts to the banks, the “left populist” Podemos party is moving to slash workers’ pensions.

As scientific council warns of “uncontrolled resurgence of epidemic”

Macron government rejects national lock-down in France

By Samuel Tissot, 31 December 2020

Ignoring the recommendations of scientists, the government has determined to reopen schools and workplaces in the New Year

Coronavirus deaths reach record high in Germany as hospitals teeter on brink of collapse

By Marianne Arens, 31 December 2020

Nurses in Hamburg went public to speak about working conditions shortly before Christmas.

Emergency meeting of the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education

German high school student: “If we don’t close the schools, no one will!”

German high school student: “If we don’t close the schools, no one will!”

By Gregor Link, 30 December 2020

Faced with death tolls unseen in Europe since World War II, the Network of Action Committees for Safe Education in Germany convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to advance the fight for school closures and discuss prospects for a general strike against the politics of mass infection with the coronavirus.

French testing system missed 9 of 10 COVID-19 cases after first lock-down

By Samuel Tissot, 30 December 2020

A recent study exposes the inadequacy of the testing system the Macron government introduced after the first lock-down, leading to thousands of preventable deaths.

Catastrophe worsens as UK records nearly 100,000 new COVID-19 cases in 48 hours

By Robert Stevens, 30 December 2020

Hospitals are being overwhelmed with a number having to declare emergencies. Moreover, the surge in infections threatens to overwhelm a vaccine rollout taking place at a snail’s pace.

Fascists enter parliament as COVID-19 devastates Romania

By Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir, 30 December 2020

The ex-Stalinist Social-Democratic Party has provided material and political support for the rise of fascism while supporting the government’s “herd immunity” policy.

Active-duty Spanish officers hail retired officers’ fascist calls for mass murder

By Alejandro López, 29 December 2020

Despite the PSOE-Podemos government’s denials, calls by retired officers for a fascist coup and mass murder of left-wing voters have broad support among serving officers.

A deadly Christmas in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 29 December 2020

The crocodile tears shed by Steinmeier in his Christmas address cannot disguise the fact the ruling class is responsible for the greatest mass deaths since the end of World War II.

Sweden records deadliest November since 1918 Spanish flu pandemic

By Jordan Shilton, 29 December 2020

Around 100 people are dying on a daily basis, the equivalent of over 3,000 in the US population.

Open letter from London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee

Workers demand answers over COVID-19 infections at Cricklewood garage

Miles Driver, 29 December 2020

Despite the preventable deaths of 35 London bus workers, a new wave of infections has struck, with information about garage outbreaks deliberately concealed in the interests of “operational efficiency”, i.e., profits.

Brexit deal paves way for further conflicts

By Robert Stevens, 29 December 2020

Ultimately, the deal does nothing other than set the short-term parameters for the ongoing conflict between the UK and the European Union.

Coronavirus accelerates as new strain detected across Europe

By Will Morrow, 29 December 2020

The spread of the new strain of the virus intersects with the European governments’ criminal refusal of measures to stop the pandemic that would cut corporate profits.

A young Berlin teacher dies from coronavirus: An indictment of the city’s pandemic policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 December 2020

The death of a young teacher in Berlin following a coronavirus infection confirms the criminal nature of the official policy of keeping open businesses and schools.

Jacobin glorifies Dolores Ibárruri, Stalinist executioner of the Spanish Revolution

Part two

By Barry Grey, 24 December 2020

The glorification of Ibárruri by Jacobin and the DSA is by no means an aberration. It is part of a calculated promotion of Stalinism and the American Communist Party as models for radicalizing workers and youth today.

Britain descends into chaos as coronavirus crisis mounts

By Robert Stevens, 24 December 2020

On Tuesday, 691 more people were announced dead from the virus. Yesterday this was topped with 744 deaths reported, the highest total since April 29.

Germany: Coronavirus outbreaks turn Berlin elderly care homes into death traps

By Katerina Selin, 24 December 2020

In the German capital, which is governed by the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Left Party, care homes are turned into death traps for the elderly and staff.

Deadliest week in Germany since COVID-19 pandemic began

By Gregor Link, 24 December 2020

Last week was by far the worst in the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany, with officially 175,314 infections and over 4,300 deaths (against 3,050 the previous week). Across Europe, the death toll exceeded the catastrophic half-million mark on Tuesday.

Student rent strikers speak out at UK universities

By Ioan Petrescu, 24 December 2020

The World Socialist Web Site spoke with representatives of the rent strikes that began at the University of London and Goldsmiths University earlier this month.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government defends “herd immunity” policy in the Lancet

By Alice Summers, 24 December 2020

Its letter to the Lancet defends a policy that led to around 50,000 COVID-19 deaths in the first five months of 2020 alone.

Build action committees to oppose a return to UK schools and campuses in January!

By Statement of the UK Educator’s Rank-and-File Safety Committee:, 24 December 2020

The protection of children and educators can only develop as part of an independent movement of the working class in a struggle against the capitalist profit system, which sacrifices the safety and basic needs of workers to the profit drive of the ruling elite.

At Daimler, German trade union leader calls for job cuts and increased profits

By Ludwig Weller, 23 December 2020

The big corporations and unions in the auto, supply, steel, engineering, chemical and other industries are using the Corona crisis to shed workers, intensify exploitation and prepare for trade war and all-out war.

Half a million dead in Europe from COVID-19 pandemic

By Will Morrow, 23 December 2020

No European government is proposing a serious policy to urgently address the growing death toll and advance a scientific response.

The UK’s COVID-19 mutation: The deadly result of a “herd immunity” policy

By Robert Stevens, 23 December 2020

As at every other stage in this pandemic, the Johnson government had ample time to take the necessary measures required to save lives and avoid a catastrophic situation. Yet they did nothing.

As support grows among London bus drivers: Unite sabotages fight for Judith Katera’s reinstatement

By Laura Tiernan, 23 December 2020

The groundswell of support for Judith Katera across the garages must now be organised in direct opposition to Unite and the transport companies. She must not be left to fight alone!

UK: Poole Hospital and Royal Bournemouth Hospital staff respond to frontline nurse’s exposure of dangerous working conditions

By Ben Trent and Rory Woods, 23 December 2020

Posted on the NHS FightBack Facebook group page, the letter was read by hundreds of people and widely shared. It was also shared to various NHS based campaign groups across Facebook.

Spain’s Podemos deliberately downplayed COVID-19 danger starting in January

By Alejandro López, 23 December 2020

While Podemos officials downplayed the dangers from COVID-19, the Spanish Ministry of Defence was buying up personal protective equipment in anticipation of a pandemic.

Still no deal in Brexit talks as working class faces disaster

By Thomas Scripps, 22 December 2020

Amid a deadly catastrophe unparalleled in Europe since the end of the Second World War, the UK and the EU governments are locked in an intractable struggle for economic and political advantage.

Massive new coronavirus outbreaks at Amazon in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 22 December 2020

Several hundred workers of the shipping giant Amazon have been infected in the last few days.

Berlin teacher dies following COVID-19 infection

By Markus Salzmann, 22 December 2020

The death of Soydan A., a young teacher who taught at a community school in Berlin-Kreuzberg, is due to the reckless school opening policy amid a pandemic that has been spreading rapidly for months.

Active-duty Spanish soldiers chant fascist songs in online videos

By Alejandro López, 21 December 2020

This underscores the criminal role of the Socialist Party (PSOE)-Podemos government, which downplayed fascist sentiment in the army.

Germany: Coronavirus pandemic exacerbates social inequality

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 21 December 2020

An Economic and Social Science Institute (WSI) report by the trade union-sponsored Hans Böckler Foundation sheds light on the income losses workers have suffered in recent months.

John le Carré (1931–2020): Spy novelist and “inside-outside” man

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 December 2020

In the course of his career, le Carré was able to draw from his experiences during and after the Cold War to attract millions of readers with his carefully researched spy novels.

Britain’s dangerous new COVID-19 strain: A warning to take urgent action now!

By Robert Stevens, 21 December 2020

With hospitals already overwhelmed throughout the world, scientists are sounding the alarm about a new, more transmissible variant of COVID-19 that has emerged in Britain and is leading to a major surge in infections.

Trade union, works council and CEO impose cost-cutting programme on Volkswagen workforce in Germany

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 21 December 2020

Representatives of the owners and trade unions at Volkswagen unanimously agreed last week to launch an initiative to take on US manufacturer Tesla. The burden of this is to be borne by the workforce—at VW itself and in the parts supplier chain.

Corbyn launches “Peace and Justice” project to block fight against Labour right-wing

By Julie Hyland, 21 December 2020

The former Labour Party leader made clear to Jacobin, “This isn’t a new political party, but a space in which people can come together.”

Third worker dies of COVID-19 at a Bakkavor food plant in the UK

By Robert Stevens, 19 December 2020

No details were made public about the workers who died at the Tilmanstone plant.

More than 30,000 daily infections in Germany and war-like conditions in hospitals

By Gregor Link, 19 December 2020

Conditions at German hospitals resemble those in a war. One doctor told the press that several times in the past few days “we had to decide who gets oxygen and who doesn’t.”

Stop the UK’s winter of death! For emergency action to save lives!

Socialist Equality Party (UK), 18 December 2020

It is the responsibility of the working class, organised on its own independent political programme, to put an end to the pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron tests positive for coronavirus

By Will Morrow, 18 December 2020

The day before Macron was tested, France officially ended the highly limited national lockdown that had been in place since the end of October.

The ICC refuses to prosecute UK war crimes in Iraq despite “reasonable” evidence

By Jean Shaoul, 18 December 2020

The imperialist powers that orchestrated criminal wars are determined that they should never be brought to account for their war crimes.

Over 800,000 workers fall off payrolls, as poverty rockets in Britain

By Julia Callaghan, 18 December 2020

Several recent reports have exposed the shocking scale of poverty in the UK, as years of austerity and attacks on workers’ living standards are being compounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

French transport workers stoppage in Paris as UK transport workers in London ballot for strike action; UK airport workers strike at London Heathrow; South African healthcare workers walk out at six hospitals

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

18 December 2020

French transport workers strike in Paris against privatisation; UK Heathrow airport workers stoppage over pay and conditions; healthcare workers in six South African hospitals demand pay rise

German government increases military spending, cuts education and health care

By Johannes Stern, 17 December 2020

The entire budget debate underscored that the ruling class sees the pandemic primarily as an opportunity to advance its policies of militarism, repression and social austerity.

Reinstate London bus driver Judith Katera! For united strike action to fight victimisations!

the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 17 December 2020

According to workers at the Battersea depot, the former Health and Safety rep was sacked last week by Abellio after she exposed alleged fraud by a former Unite convenor who was reportedly close to management.

Almost 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths in Germany: The criminal outcome of keeping businesses and schools open

By Christoph Vandreier, 17 December 2020

Despite the horrific number of deaths, all parties in the German parliament continue to put profit before lives and health.

UK: Pandemic hits working class hardest due to deep social inequality

By Robert Stevens, 17 December 2020

The “COVID-19 Marmot Review” substantiates a growing body of analysis that the disease impacts most severely on the working class.

Scottish government and unions refuse to extend holiday break despite teachers' demands

By Steve James, 16 December 2020

The Scottish government and the Educational Institute for Scotland are working to ensure schools stay open as long as possible before the Christmas holiday to ensure maximum profits.

Largest US overseas base placed on missile alert amid nuclear war warnings

By Bill Van Auken, 16 December 2020

Sirens and loudspeakers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the center of the largest US overseas military complex in the world, sounded the alarm for an incoming missile strike.

As pandemic rages

Johnson government forces London schools to remain open

By Thomas Scripps, 16 December 2020

The dangers posed by keeping schools open worsen daily. London has been leading a renewed national surge of infections since the partial November national lockdown was ended.

Germany’s “hard lockdown” protects corporations at expense of lives

By Gregor Link, 16 December 2020

Large factories can remain open without exception even if they produce nonessential goods; parents who do not get time off from work will still be able to send their children to school.

France ends coronavirus lockdown, as thousands of cases reported each day

By Will Morrow, 16 December 2020

The government is ending the limited lockdowns announced in late October despite admitting that its own extremely high threshold of less than 5,000 daily cases is not close to being met.

London becomes epicentre of pandemic in the UK

By Robert Stevens, 15 December 2020

Every one of London’s 32 boroughs is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases

UN rapporteur Nils Melzer demands Assange’s immediate release after ten years’ arbitrary detention

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2020

Melzer’s statement was issued amid a major coronavirus outbreak in Belmarsh Prison, that threatens the WikiLeaks publisher’s life, and in the lead-up to a ruling on his extradition to the United States.

Open schools and businesses in Germany are leading to record infections and mass death

By Marianne Arens, 14 December 2020

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported the second consecutive daily record of the pandemic on Friday, with almost 30,000 new infections registered in 24 hours and almost 600 COVID-19 patients dying again in one day.

This week in history: December 14-20

14 December 2020

On December 14, 1970, Polish workers in the port city of Gdansk walked off the job protesting the announcement by the Stalinist government, led by Władysław Gomułka, that there would be a major increase in food and fuel prices.

More brinksmanship in Brexit talks as deadline extended again

By Robert Stevens, 14 December 2020

The decision was made after hours of talks over the weekend in Brussels.

Macron government authorizes police documentation of political views of French population

By Will Morrow, 14 December 2020

At the beginning of the month, the Macron government quietly released far-reaching changes to its police intelligence guidelines.

Sweden’s “herd immunity” policy produces disaster

By Bryan Dyne, 14 December 2020

Sweden’s response to the pandemic, which involved allowing schools and businesses to stay open while most of the world enacted lockdowns, was hailed as a model by all sections of the US and European political establishment.

School students in Germany protest and enforce online teaching to combat coronavirus infection

By Gregor Link, 14 December 2020

“With our pupils’ strike, we have achieved more protection against infection with a few hours of preparation than all of the measures taken by Bremen’s politicians in recent months.”

European Central Bank increases stimulus but markets want more

By Nick Beams, 12 December 2020

ECB President Christine Lagarde told a press conference the economic weakness resulting from the pandemic was more protracted than previously envisaged.

EU Summit: billions for the banks, nothing for workers

By Peter Schwarz, 12 December 2020

The EU summit on December 10–11 resembled a besieged fortress, held in the midst of the European Union’s deepest social and economic crisis since its foundation.

Johnson and Macron governments step up collaboration in persecution of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

By Simon Whelan, 12 December 2020

These extremely vulnerable people are fleeing from the wars, fratricidal conflicts, and economic and ecological destruction created and exacerbated by the world’s imperialist powers, foremost in Europe by Britain and France.

Croatian government and EU intensify violence against refugees

By Branko Krasnic, 12 December 2020

Croatia’s border with Bosnia and Herzegovina has for years been notorious for violence against migrants and asylum seekers as part of the EU’s “Fortress Europe” policy.

Frontline nurse at UK’s Poole Hospital Trust speaks out about unsafe working conditions amid surge of COVID-19

By our reporter, 12 December 2020

“Many staff have contracted the virus in our hospital because we don’t have enough protection.”

Europe’s COVID-19 deaths approach half a million

By Johannes Stern, 11 December 2020

Two weeks before Christmas, the COVID-19 pandemic is raging out of control in Europe.

Sweden sees ICU occupancy approach 99 percent in Stockholm

By Benjamin Mateus, 11 December 2020

The “herd immunity” model for dealing with the pandemic has led to a massive surge in infections, with the health system in the Swedish capital reaching capacity.

Strike ballots across UK in education, health care, transport, local government and British Airways; 24-hour strike by power workers in France; local government strike in Niger state threatens to spread

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

11 December 2020

Strike ballots across many sectors in UK including education, hospitals and health, transport, local government and British Airways; local government strike in Niger state threatens to spread to port and oil workers in Nigeria.

Spain’s ruling PSOE, Podemos use “anti-disinformation” tool for internet spying

By Alice Summers, 11 December 2020

The ELISA tool aims to detect “disinformation seeking to generate polarisation” amid mounting social anger at austerity and official handling of the pandemic.

Student rent strikes spread across UK universities

By Henry Lee, 11 December 2020

Thousands of students have joined rent strikes at Sussex, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham, and universities across London.

UK government forces schools to stay open as infections continue to surge

By Tom Pearce, 11 December 2020

Using the Coronavirus Act, the education secretary can “give temporary continuity directions requiring schools to take certain actions, including staying open”.

Private school permitting students to wear Islamic clothing closed in Paris

By Samuel Tissot, 11 December 2020

The school’s closure is only the latest provocation in a series of attacks launched by the Macron government against institutions that serve France’s six million Muslims.

Ukrainian uranium mines shut down amidst protest wave, threatening radioactive contamination

By Jason Melanovski, 11 December 2020

Miners across Ukraine are escalating strike actions over unpaid wages and deteriorating working conditions.

Fraught talks between Britain and European Union agree Sunday deadline for Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2020

The main areas of disagreement are over trade issues and ensuring a level playing field (LPF).

Germany’s Christian Democrats close ranks with the far-right Alternative for Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 10 December 2020

Nine months before the next federal election, the CDU is cozying up to the AfD. This is the issue at the heart of the government crisis in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Pupils in Germany resist in-person classes and demand “consistent lockdown”

By Gregor Link, 10 December 2020

The Bremen school strike is part of a growing wave of resistance by students against the herd immunity policies of the European governments.

Senior executive of firm supplying combustible insulation for Grenfell Tower told builders they were mistaking him for “someone who gives a damn”

By Charles Hixson, 10 December 2020

Three directors of Kingspan sold their share options before November 5 testimony at the Grenfell Inquiry concerning their knowledge of creating hazardous products and subsequent dishonest marketing.

UK National Education Union calls off strike over Covid safety at primary school in Merseyside

By Margot Miller, 10 December 2020

The strike called off by the NEU would have been the first official Covid-related strike in the UK since the spring, as pressure from educators and parents mounts to close unsafe schools.

Coronavirus death toll at record high in Germany: Merkel puts profits ahead of lives

By Johannes Stern, 10 December 2020

While the infection and death figures are exploding, the German chancellor speaks out in favour of keeping schools and factories open.

Brexit negotiations: Johnson in eleventh-hour discussion with von der Leyen

By Thomas Scripps, 9 December 2020

In attempting to avoid a “no deal”, both the UK and the European Union are balancing their predatory interests against volatile domestic and international situations.

London bus petition to sack Unite official John Murphy withdrawn in abject capitulation

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 9 December 2020

Rossi’s claim that Unite can be made accountable has burst like a soap bubble, but all they can offer is more of the same, promoting the chimera that the trade unions can be reformed.

Lufthansa increases job cuts to almost 50,000

By Ulrich Rippert, 9 December 2020

The cockpit pilots' union, the Independent Flight Attendants Organ, and the service union Verdi are seeking to outbid each other in agreeing to social cuts.

European Central Bank set to provide further market boost

By Nick Beams, 9 December 2020

Stimulus measures by the ECB are a vital component of the trillions of dollars poured into financial markets by the world’s central banks that have resulted in stock prices soaring to record highs.

Optare UK bus manufacturing workers strike for pay increase

By Barry Mason, 9 December 2020

The 100 Unite union members at the plant voted by a 73 percent majority for action, following months of fruitless negotiations.

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme will not halt pandemic deaths due to end of lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 9 December 2020

Despite the immense significance for mankind of the availability of the drug—and promising developments with other vaccines coming on stream—its ability to save lives given its 90 to 95 percent effectivity rate against COVID-19, is being undermined by Britain’s ruling elite in their drive to keep the economy open and make profits.

UK’s “spycops” inquiry continues coverup of Stephen Lawrence murder

By Paul Mitchell, 8 December 2020

Undercover officers were told to undermine the campaign for “a better investigation” into the murder of Stephen Lawrence by digging up “dirt” and “disinformation”.

Poverty in Germany reaches a new record high

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 8 December 2020

More than 13 million people in Germany were afflicted by poverty in 2019, pushing the poverty rate to 15.9 percent, the highest since reunification thirty years ago.

Mélenchon calls for military conscription, arms buildup in France

By Will Morrow, 8 December 2020

Mélenchon used the interview as a presidential candidate in 2022 to advance his credentials to France’s ruling elite as an aggressive promoter of the interests of French imperialism at home and around the world.

UK deploys troops to Mali

By Jean Shaoul, 8 December 2020

Earlier this year, Mali witnessed months of protests against the French occupation, launched in 2013, and the ethnic massacres between rival militias that Paris tolerates, and uses to divide and rule the country.

French President Macron hails Egypt’s dictator General al-Sisi in Paris

By Will Morrow, 8 December 2020

Macron’s declaration of support for the butcher of Cairo is a warning to the working class of the advanced preparations for military-police dictatorships across Europe.

UK People's Assembly talk “Zero Covid” while doing nothing

By Julie Hyland, 7 December 2020

Silence on the criminal role of the Labour and trade union bureaucracy is fundamental to the purpose of the People's Assembly. Though it presents itself as a “grassroots” movement, it is the construct of pro-capitalist tendencies, hostile to socialism and the working class

Macron greets butcher of Cairo al-Sisi for three-day state visit to Paris

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2020

Sisi is coming to give Macron a tutorial on how to run a fascistic authoritarian regime, amid mounting social anger at the French president’s police state agenda.

Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank announce new round of job cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmerman, 7 December 2020

At a time when the German DAX index approaches a historic high of over 13,000 points with shareholders swimming in money, tens of thousands of white-collar and blue-collar workers are paying the price for this orgy of enrichment with their jobs and livelihoods.

New coronavirus hotspots at German meatpacking plants and Amazon hubs

By Marianne Arens, 7 December 2020

At least five Amazon employees are among those currently struggling for their lives in an intensive care unit while 172 workers at a large Tönnies slaughterhouse tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Thirteen thousand jobs threatened at UK’s Arcadia Group

By Jean Shaoul, 7 December 2020

Twenty-five thousand jobs are threatened with the collapse of Arcadia, which operates 500 retail chain stores and Debenhams which runs 124 stores.

French government announces mass closure of mosques in continuing anti-Muslim crackdown

By Samuel Tissot, 5 December 2020

Just one week before Macron’s draft “anti-separatism law” is submitted to the convention, the interior ministry launches a new attack on mosques.