Europe

German vice chancellor says talks on US-EU free trade agreement have failed

By Christoph Vandreier, 30 August 2016

The discussions on the agreement demonstrate that transatlantic conflicts are growing.

UK household debt, excluding mortgages, tops a third of a trillion pounds

By Liz Smith, 30 August 2016

In 2015, there were an estimated 13.2 million “debtor households” in the UK, containing 31 million people.

Sarkozy launches French presidential bid based on anti-Muslim hysteria

By Kumaran Ira, 29 August 2016

The former French president called for returning to universal military service and imposing measures that would turn France’s Muslim population into second-class citizens.

French woman arrested, fined for wearing Muslim headscarf on Cannes beach

By Anthony Torres, 29 August 2016

In an unprecedented attack on freedom of religion and on France’s Muslim community, local police are moving to effectively criminalize the wearing of Muslim headscarves.

Death toll in Italian earthquake climbs to more than 250

By Marianne Arens, 26 August 2016

Italy’s civil defence organisation and volunteers continue to dig in the hope of saving those still buried alive.

Chakrabarti report refutes claims of rampant anti-Semitism in British Labour Party

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2016

Far from calming tensions, the findings have added to the already “toxic atmosphere” inside the Labour Party.

Stop the German government’s preparations for war!

By Socialist Equality Party of Germany, 25 August 2016

The “Civil Defence Concept” presented by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Wednesday proposes a range of measures to prepare the population for war.

Devastating earthquake hits Italy

By Marianne Arens, 25 August 2016

At least 200 have died, hundreds are still missing, thousands were injured and tens of thousands have been left homeless.

Spain: Pseudo-left Barcelona mayor persecutes migrant street vendors

By James Lerner, 25 August 2016

Under the Ada Colau administration, some 34,473 fines were levied against migrant and refugee street vendors in the first six months of 2016.

Britain: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outlines policies for “wealth creation”

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 24 August 2016

Corbyn routinely proclaims that he is for a “new politics,” but this amounts to only a handful of limited measures that do nothing to challenge the stranglehold of the super-rich over society.

UK junior doctors defiance of government contract curtailed by BMA

By Tony Robson, 24 August 2016

The Conservative government intends to enforce a revised contract—which has already caused five nationwide strikes and was overwhelmingly rejected in July—on junior doctors.

German interior minister supports partial ban on the burqa

By Johannes Stern, 24 August 2016

The campaign in Germany for domestic repression and war is assuming ever more openly racist forms.

German population told to stockpile food in case of war

By Sven Heymanns, 24 August 2016

Germany’s new civil defence plan underscores how the issue of war has returned to daily life 75 years after the catastrophe of World War II.

Volkswagen production halt affects almost 30,000 workers

By Dietmar Henning, 24 August 2016

The hard-line position of company headquarters toward suppliers is part of a massive attack on workers.

Biden’s blank check to the Baltic states: US will wage war on Russia in your defense

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2016

Vice President Biden said Washington’s commitment to militarily defend the tiny states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia was a matter of America’s “sacred honor.”

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy

By Alex Lantier, 23 August 2016

Amid the escalating crisis unleashed by the Brexit vote, the remaining major EU powers barely succeeded in papering over the divisions between them.

Britain: Labour’s anti-Corbyn plotters plan rival parliamentary grouping

By Julie Hyland, 23 August 2016

The Labour Co-op plan is being put forward as a way that the party right wing can avoid moving straight to a breakaway grouping, where they might struggle to muster any support.

UK: Strike action at historic low, and unions work to keep it that way

By Simon Whelan, 23 August 2016

The virtual disappearance of strikes during a period when workers’ jobs, wages, and conditions have been under unparalleled attack is a damning indictment of the trade unions.

Trade unions work to suppress German hospital strikes

By Markus Salzmann, 23 August 2016

With some difficulty, the trade unions managed to suppress the justifiable anger over poor working conditions and inadequate pay at hospitals.

Appalling conditions in Greek refugee camps

By Katerina Selin, 23 August 2016

The mainstream media has gone silent on refugees in Greece, but the suffering of these people, fleeing war and poverty, continues without interruption.

German report criticizing Turkey highlights growing tensions within NATO

By Johannes Stern, 19 August 2016

Relations within NATO have reached new lows, four weeks after the failed military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The pseudo-left and identity politics: RIO solidarizes itself with “Gina-Lisa” and promotes law and order

By Johannes Stern, 19 August 2016

As opposition to social inequality and war continues to grow, pseudo-left organizations are using identity politics to advocate increased state powers.

After brawl in town of Sisco, France launches campaign to ban burkini

By Kumaran Ira, 18 August 2016

Seizing on an ethnic brawl, the French political establishment is hysterically accusing Muslim women wearing burkinis of promoting terrorism.

Thyssen-Krupp Steel works council meeting prepares job cuts in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 18 August 2016

Around 250 works council officials from Thyssen Krupp’s steel division met at a conference last Friday in Duisburg.

Spain faces third general election in one year

By James Lerner, 18 August 2016

The Socialist Party (PSOE) is being called on by the media and other political parties to abstain in order to allow a minority Popular Party (PP) government to be formed.

German media steps up anti-Russian agitation

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 August 2016

Over the past week, virtually every leading newspaper in Germany has published articles denouncing Russia for its intervention in Syria, Ukraine, or both.

UK inquest reveals brutality of immigrant detainee’s death

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2016

Prior to the 43-year-old man’s death, he was attached by his wrists to a two-metre closet chain.

The Score of War: A haunting documentary film on Ukraine

By Bernd Reinhardt, 17 August 2016

In April of last year, the Ukrainian violinist and composer Mark Chaet, accompanied by a small film crew, travelled from Berlin to his home in Eastern Ukraine.

UK: Dorset health services to be slashed to reduce deficit

By Ajanta Silva, 16 August 2016

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group claims it is facing a £200 million deficit by 2021.

Lufthansa sets a course for confrontation with pilots

By Marianne Arens, 16 August 2016

The breaking off of talks between the pilots’ union and management heralds a new phase in the dispute.

Swedish prosecutors to question Julian Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 15 August 2016

Assange remains fearful that attempts will be made to railroad him to the United States, where a sealed Grand Jury indictment involving espionage charges is awaiting him.

German interior minister announces tightening of security and asylum laws

By Dietmar Henning, 13 August 2016

Restrictive asylum laws and expanded powers for the police and intelligence services are part of a European-wide buildup of state repression.

BHS scandal in the UK: The real face of capitalism

By Jean Shaoul, 13 August 2016

The BHS/Philip Green scandal shows how asset-stripping, sale-and-lease-back arrangements, dummy companies and tax havens are now the norm, not the exception.

Union calls off UK rail strikes

By Michael Barnes, 12 August 2016

By calling off the Scotrail and Southern GTR strikes, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union has again proved its worth to the government and the rail companies.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 August 2016

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Southern rail conductors begin longest UK rail strike in 50 years

By Robert Stevens, 9 August 2016

The five-day stoppage by train conductors on the busy Southern rail network has caused widespread disruption, with some 60 percent of services expected to be cancelled.

Turkish regime imprisons and harasses artists, journalists and academics after coup attempt

By Sandy English, 8 August 2016

In the aftermath of the July 15 attempted coup, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has imprisoned artists, banned books and frozen academic relations with other countries.

German defence minister announces domestic use of Armed Forces

By Johannes Stern, 6 August 2016

The minister left no doubt that “in an emergency”, the Armed Forces would not only handle “logistics,” but would “also provide military support.”

New powers for secret services in Bavaria

By Marianne Arens, 5 August 2016

The new Bavarian legislation is part of a massive upgrade of the country’s security services.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 August 2016

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Massive police operation for pro-Erdogan demonstration in Cologne

By Andreas Kunstmann and Marianne Arens, 3 August 2016

The police operation and civil war exercise in Munich has now been followed by a massive police deployment Sunday in the city of Cologne for a Turkish demonstration.

Spain: Catalan regional parliament votes next steps to independence

By Alejandro López, 3 August 2016

The independence vote has deepened the political crisis in Spain, which has now been without a government for eight months.

UK: Weymouth and Bridport bus drivers escalate strike action

By Ajanta Silva, 3 August 2016

The Weymouth bus drivers’ dispute demonstrates that whenever the union bureaucracy are forced to call industrial action, they ensure that it remains isolated.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 July 2016

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Lack of job protection for European pilots turns dream job into nightmare

By Marianne Arens, 26 July 2016

A growing number of pilots in Europe are compelled to accept short-term contracts, sham self-employment and insecure employment relations.

Corbyn and McDonnell plead with UK Labour Party right wing for “unity”

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 25 July 2016

The aim of the Blairites is not merely to depose Corbyn, but to thwart the growing anti-capitalist sentiment and yearning for fundamental social change among millions of people.

UK: National Health Service cardiac units to be cut

By Margot Miller, 25 July 2016

The cuts will reduce from 13 to 10 the number of units in the country dealing with congenital heart disease—a condition that mainly affects children.

The Munich shooting spree and the Americanization of German society

By Christoph Vandreier and Peter Schwarz, 25 July 2016

The massive police operation in Munich, as well as the reaction of many media outlets and politicians, showsthat the tragic event is being used to justify a new law-and-order campaign.

The Turkish coup, US militarism and the collapse of democracy

By Bill Van Auken, 22 July 2016

The tumultuous events in Turkey have exposed the interconnection between the worldwide eruption of US militarism and the global breakdown of democratic forms of rule.

France’s permanent state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 21 July 2016

Amid a deep crisis of bourgeois democracy and seething social tensions across Europe, the ruling elite aims to transition from democratic to dictatorial forms of rule.

Former British prime minister warns of revolution

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2016

Brown couches his comments in terms of the danger of right-wing populist forces, but his real fear is the development of a socialist movement of the working class.

German parliament expands law on sexual crimes

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 July 2016

The aim is to exploit an emotionally charged issue to strengthen the state and scapegoat refugees.

UK trade unions fail to mobilise for anti-austerity demonstration

By Paul Mitchell, 19 July 2016

The most striking feature of the London demo was the absence of trade union leaders and Labour “lefts.”

EU demands more austerity after Spain and Portugal fail to cut deficits

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 19 July 2016

The EU’s unprecedented call for billions of euros in fines comes amid a major banking crisis in Italy and the Brexit crisis.

After Nice attack, French government calls up military reserves

By Alex Lantier, 18 July 2016

Well before the political character of the mass killing in Nice has been clearly established, the French government is pushing for military escalation inside and outside France.

German Left Party and Greens: Warmongering after the attack in Nice

By Johannes Stern, 18 July 2016

Seizing on the murderous attack in southern France, two leading members of the German Left and Green parties demanded an intensified military intervention in Syria and Iraq.

Social inequality escalates in Denmark amid bonanza for banks and corporations

By Ellis Wynne, 18 July 2016

Denmark has fallen from the world’s most equal society at the beginning of the millennium to number 14 in the list of European countries.

What the coup against Jeremy Corbyn reveals about the Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 18 July 2016

Labour was, from its birth, dedicated to the defence of capitalism against the threat of international socialism.

“No more war, ever!”: PSG presents posters for Berlin state election

By Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, 18 July 2016

The PSG’s election campaign connects the struggle against social cuts and war with the struggle against their source—capitalism.

Failed military coup in Turkey

By James Cogan, 16 July 2016

The political upheaval in Turkey is testimony to the generalised breakdown taking place internationally in the political institutions and mechanisms of bourgeois rule.

UK Guardian’s Owen Jones offers apologia for anti-Corbyn coup

By Julie Hyland, 16 July 2016

Jones’ criticism of the right-wing Labourites is not with their coup against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn per se, but rather its timing.

One year since Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By Bill Van Auken, 15 July 2016

Syriza’s ceaseless collaboration in the implementation of brutal austerity measures has vindicated the warnings made by the WSWS even before the pseudo-left party came to power.

Trudeau bolsters Canadian support for Ukraine’s far-right regime

By Roger Jordan, 15 July 2016

During a two-day visit, Trudeau signed a free trade agreement with the Poroshenko government and signaled support for it “reclaiming territory” through war.

Dozens murdered in possible terrorist attack in Nice, France

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2016

French President Francois Hollande invoked the horrific attack to justify expansion of the “state of emergency” for another three months.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 July 2016

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German militarism on display at NATO summit

By Johannes Stern, 13 July 2016

Two years after German officials announced plans to remilitarise the country, media outlets are warning of preparations for “total war.”

Head-on train collision near Bari, Italy kills at least 25

By our reporter, 13 July 2016

The single track where the trains collided has no automatic braking system similar to other areas in Italy’s poorer southern regions.

Theresa May wins Conservative leadership contest and will be new UK prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 12 July 2016

The ruthless dispatch of contender Andrea Leadsom, in order to secure the favoured candidate of the ruling elite as prime minister, is testament to the dire crisis facing the British bourgeoisie.

Angela Eagle chosen to front anti-Corbyn coup in UK Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 12 July 2016

The campaign to remove UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by 172 MPs pits the Parliamentary Labour Party against the vast majority of Labour Party supporters.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon ignored in Europe

By Steve James, 12 July 2016

While the Brexit crisis centres on British relations with the EU, the unanticipated debacle is also threatening to destabilise relations between and within all the EU’s component countries.

NATO summit plans escalation against Russia in Eastern Europe, Middle East

By Alex Lantier, 11 July 2016

NATO is planning a major military escalation, based on plans for a perpetual state of war in the Middle East and preparations for all-out war with Russia in Europe.

Leadership contest launched, raising prospect of split in UK Labour Party

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 July 2016

Nothing is being ruled out by the Parliamentary Labour Party, including the possibility that Labour leader Corbyn will not be allowed to stand in a leadership contest.

Five agency workers crushed to death in British scrapyard

By Danny Richardson, 11 July 2016

Three serious incidents have occurred at the Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant in the Nechells area of Birmingham in the last few years.

European Union working with African despots to deter refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 July 2016

At their latest meeting in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, EU interior ministers agreed on speedier deportation of refugees and closer cooperation with African dictatorships.

German arms exports almost doubled in 2015

By Johannes Stern, 8 July 2016

In all probability, German arms exports will increase again this year.

French parliamentary report on terror attacks calls for new police powers

By Alex Lantier, 8 July 2016

The report, which evades the role of the imperialist war in Syria in creating the Islamist networks that carried out the attacks, is awash with contradictions and evasions.

UK junior doctors vote to reject contract

By Paul Mitchell, 7 July 2016

Junior doctors rejected a contract supported by the British Medical Association union that slashes overtime pay and extends working hours.

Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens preparing coalition in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 7 July 2016

Despite its proponents’ left phrase-mongering, the proposed coalition would aim to secure German hegemony in Europe.

UK Conservative leadership doubles down on Brexit as pound resumes plunge

By Julie Hyland, 6 July 2016

The pound fell to a 31-year low against the dollar following news that economic growth in the UK slowed to less than 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

Britain’s right-wing media call for creation of new pro-European Union party

By Robert Stevens, 6 July 2016

Leading commentators in the financial press view the founding of a new party as a means of reversing a strategic setback for the dominant sections of British capital.

Lufthansa flight attendants union accepts arbitration agreement

By Marianne Arens, 6 July 2016

By agreeing to the arbitration award, the union is stabbing cabin staff and pilots in the back in their struggle to defend jobs, wages and pensions.

UK: Forty-two years after Birmingham pub bombings, inquest to be reopened

By Trevor Johnson, 6 July 2016

The inquest is into the bombings themselves and their victims, rather than the frame-up of six innocent men.

Brexit and the return of European militarism

By Johannes Stern, 5 July 2016

The European Union has reacted to the outcome of the referendum on UK membership of the European Union by calling for the militarization of the continent.

Union boss offers to broker “peace” deal with Labour’s anti-Corbyn plotters

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2016

A frantic last-ditch effort is being made to force the resignation of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn so as to avoid a fresh leadership contest.

UK teachers hold one-day strike against education bill

By Tania Kent, 5 July 2016

The strike by National Union of Teachers members takes place amid the drive for the complete privatisation of state education.

Volkswagen: 700 workers lose their jobs in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 5 July 2016

The VW board is using the company’s current crisis to make long-planned cuts in its workforce, relying heavily on the IG Metall trade union and its related works councils.

Brexit financial fallout widens

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2016

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned of “economic post-traumatic stress” hitting financial markets, businesses and households.

Brexit vote heightens tensions in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 1 July 2016

Last week’s vote by the United Kingdom has been met by an intensified drive by Germany to exert dominance over the European continent.

The anti-Corbyn coup and calls for a second referendum on Brexit

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 1 July 2016

The strategic interests of the ruling elite in Britain and the US—especially as regards NATO and its military provocations against Russia—require that the referendum result be rescinded.

Death toll in Istanbul airport attack rises to 41

By Alex Lantier, 30 June 2016

The massacre is the tragic yet predictable outcome of the NATO powers' backing of Al Qaeda-linked forces in their war for regime-change in Syria.

EU maintains hard line toward UK over Brexit

By Johannes Stern, 30 June 2016

While officially expressing dismay over the result of the Brexit referendum, EU leaders now see it as an opportunity to turn the EU into an aggressive military power.

UK Labour right wing mounts leadership challenge against Corbyn

By Chris Marsden, 30 June 2016

The coup against Corbyn is considered vital to the ability of the British ruling class to safeguard its interests globally.

Thousands turn up for cancelled “Remain in EU” rallies throughout the UK

By our reporters, 30 June 2016

The purpose of those addressing the rally was to exploit the frustration and anger of young people at the referendum result and its consequences.

Spanish interior minister used state apparatus to topple opponents

By James Lerner, 30 June 2016

The “Fernándezgate” recordings, which show Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz conspiring against political opponents, expose the disintegration of democratic forms of rule in Spain.

Workers at two UK rail companies strike against threat to jobs and safety

By Michael Barnes, 29 June 2016

On all existing driver-only operations there are no conductors or onboard staff, other than the revenue inspectors.

Dozens killed in bomb attacks at Istanbul airport

By Patrick Martin, 29 June 2016

The death toll has mounted in the second major terrorist attack on a European airport in three months.

IG Metall trade union backs Volkswagen board

By Dietmar Henning, 28 June 2016

IG Metall sprang to the support of management, which is exploiting the emission scandal to impose the biggest ever attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

The way forward after the Brexit referendum

By Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 June 2016

The only certainty in the aftermath of the Leave vote is that the assault on the working class will be intensified, as the ruling elite demand greater sacrifices in the “national interest.”

Brexit vote intensifies conflicts within European Union

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2016

The process of European integration begun just after World War II, intended to build political institutions that would make a new world war impossible, is unraveling.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 June 2016

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