Europe

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 assets

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.

Amazon conducts total surveillance of workers in new German plant

By Marianne Arens, 16 December 2017

“One speaks of robots becoming more and more like humans, at Amazon it’s the other way round: humans become robots.”

French conservative leadership election signals move towards far right

By Anthony Torres, 16 December 2017

Laurent Wauquiez won The Republicans (LR) party presidency by attacking Muslims and gay marriage, prompting speculation that LR will seek neo-fascist alliances.

Germany: SPD and Christian Democrats initiate exploratory talks on new government

By Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

The leaderships of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats met yesterday for the first talks on forming a new government.

Italy’s “Black Wave” of neo-fascist attacks

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

Around 10,000 demonstrators protested last Saturday in the northern Italian city of Como against the “Black Wave”, the increase of neo-fascist attacks throughout the country.

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

German Left Party supports SPD foreign minister’s great power politics

By Johannes Stern, 13 December 2017

Dietmar Bartsch, the Left Party’s parliamentary leader, has followed Social Democrat Foreign Minister Gabriel in advocating an “assertive role” for Germany in the world.

General Electric follows Siemens in announcing mass layoffs

By Gustav Kemper, 12 December 2017

The American conglomerate General Electric announced the layoff of 12,000 workers last week, including 4,500 in Europe.

Grenfell Fire forum discusses upcoming six month anniversary

By our reporter, 12 December 2017

Six months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, more than half of the households that require rehousing remain in temporary accommodation, including many children.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

Germany: Protests against the deportation of refugees

By our correspondents, 9 December 2017

Refugees from Afghanistan were herded onto a plane and flown from the German airport in Frankfurt-Main to Kabul, despite the efforts of several hundred demonstrators.

UK government accelerates plans to ration and privatise National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017

In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.

Mark Mazower’s What You Did Not Tell: The fate of a 20th century family from Russia

By Clara Weiss, 5 December 2017

Mark Mazower’s account of his family’s history, which was closely entangled with the development of the Russian revolutionary movement, is a very interesting and stimulating read.

UK government rocked by Trump’s fascistic twitter postings

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2017

Following Trump’s unprecedented public attack on the Prime Minister, the alliance between the two countries has never been shakier.

At Abidjan summit, EU and France intensify neo-colonial scramble for Africa

By Francis Dubois, 2 December 2017

Faced with the disastrous results of the imperialist wars in Libya and the Sahel, the European Union is proposing to intensify its neo-colonialist and military interventions.

One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England

By Dennis Moore, 2 December 2017

A new study by the homeless charity Shelter shows widespread and pervasive homelessness across the UK, with an additional 13,000 without accommodation in the last year alone.

Campaign builds for grand coalition in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 2 December 2017

A new installment of the grand coalition would pursue a much more aggressive right-wing agenda than the previous governments.

German political establishment and big business call for grand coalition government

By Johannes Stern, 27 November 2017

The SPD fears that new elections and political uncertainty could destabilise conditions in Europe and undermine the global interests of German imperialism.

Protesting workers at bankrupt Air Berlin denounce Merkel government

By Gustav Kemper, 27 November 2017

More than a thousand employees of the insolvent airline gathered Wednesday in front of Berlin Central Station for a demonstration against imminent mass redundancies.

Bus workers in northwest England escalate strikes for pay parity

By John Newham, 27 November 2017

As more disputes erupt, the unions are doing everything to contain the situation and oppose any united offensive by transport workers.

Germany’s Social Democrats prepare for grand coalition with Merkel

By Peter Schwarz, 25 November 2017

A third installment of the grand coalition will will adopt an even more authoritarian and ruthless course from its predecessors.

UK Electoral Commission investigates Leave campaign finances in Brexit referendum

By Julie Hyland, 25 November 2017

The UK Electoral Commission is investigating whether the Vote Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum on British membership of the European Union breached its £7 million spending limit.

Kremlin instructs Russian industry to prepare for war mobilization

By Alex Lantier, 24 November 2017

A century after World War I, amid another catastrophic political collapse of world capitalism, countries across Europe and the world are again preparing for total war.

German SPD leader Martin Schulz: A false friend of Siemens workers

By Peter Schwarz, 24 November 2017

Despite Schulz’s rhetorical denunciations of planned job cuts at Siemens, the SPD has for years been at the forefront of attacks against workers’ jobs, wages, and living standards.

Co-plaintiffs criticize German federal prosecutor and secret service in neo-Nazi NSU trial

By Justus Leicht and Dietmar Henning, 24 November 2017

Lawyers for the relatives and victims of the terrorist attacks carried out by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) are presenting their final arguments in the case against the NSU.

The Socialist Equality Party in Germany demands new elections

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 23 November 2017

Under present conditions, this is the only way in which the working class can intervene into political events, bring their interests to bear and combat the far right’s political offensive.

Christian Democratic student association calls for the banning of the IYSSE at German universities

By Christoph Vandreier, 22 November 2017

The denial of working group status for the IYSSE in Leipzig sets a precedent to deprive socialist student organizations of standing as university groups across the country, an attack on basic democratic rights.

Grenfell Tower “independent” task force produces whitewash report

By Steve James, 18 November 2017

The report avoids any reference to the fire’s origins in national and local policy decisions, including the deregulation and privatisation of fire safety and building control, as well as fire service cuts.

Artist lists names of fortress Europe’s 33,000 refugee victims

By Dietmar Henning, 18 November 2017

Artist Banu Cennetoğlu has published a list with the names of 33,293 asylum seekers, refugees and migrants who have died since 1993 as a result of Europe’s refugee policies.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.

Report notes dramatic increase in homelessness in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 17 November 2017

The Federal Working Group for Homelessness reported this week that the homeless now number almost 1 million in Germany.

May’s Conservative government faces possible collapse over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 11 November 2017

European Union officials have let it be known that they are making contingency plans based on Prime Minister Theresa May not surviving beyond the end of this year.

Metropolitan Police try to block Freedom of Information requests over Grenfell Tower

By Simon Whelan, 11 November 2017

Attempts to stifle information over the Grenfell Tower inferno come as it has been revealed that 52 London tower blocks are similarly clad in flammable material.

The denunciation of the Russian Revolution in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 11 November 2017

If one reviews the articles, contributions on radio and television, and films to mark the centenary of the October Revolution in Russia, the principal rule that applies is: “anything goes.”

NATO summit escalates preparation for war with Russia

By Alex Lantier, 10 November 2017

NATO is planning for a major land war in Europe against Russia, which fields the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal after the United States.

UK Labour’s Carl Sargeant commits suicide after sexual harassment allegations

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2017

Friends and colleagues denounced Sargeant’s treatment, saying that he had been “thrown to the wolves,” despite none of the allegations being subject to investigation by the police.

German court rejects bid by Professor Jörg Baberowski to bar criticism of his right-wing extremism

By Christoph Vandreier, 10 November 2017

The Humboldt University professor was rebuffed in an attempt to have a court prohibit the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei from exposing his falsifications of history.

Tens of thousands protest in Catalonia against moves towards authoritarian rule in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 9 November 2017

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Catalonia against the detention of Catalan nationalist politicians as political prisoners by Madrid.

NATO intensifies its preparations for war with Russia

By Philipp Frisch, 7 November 2017

Against the backdrop of US aggression against North Korea, NATO is intensifying its preparations for war with Russia, the world’s second largest nuclear power.

SEP national secretary proposes “Capitalism Has Failed” at St Andrews University Union Debating Society

By our reporter, 7 November 2017

Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, won substantial support for the proposition that capitalism is an “abject failure.”

Deposed Catalan premier hands himself in to Belgian police

By Alex Lantier, 6 November 2017

Criticisms of Spain’s handling of the Catalan crisis from within European ruling circles reflect concerns that Madrid’s actions could provoke explosive popular opposition.

Germany: “Jamaica coalition” on a course towards war

By Peter Schwarz, 6 November 2017

The greatest pressure for a massive rearmament comes not from the “Jamaica” parties, but rather from the Social Democrats, the SPD.

European Union intervenes in Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 November 2017

The EU visit had nothing to do with defending “human rights” but to ensure the domination of western powers over the strategically located Indian Ocean archipelago.

French state of emergency expires in name, but police state remains

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 4 November 2017

The expiration of France’s two-year state of emergency does not signify a return to conditions before 2015, but stepped-up attacks on democratic rights.

Escalation of Universal Credit rollout in UK threatens millions more with poverty

By Robert Stevens, 4 November 2017

As well as facing delays in receiving the Universal Credit payments, many of those on the benefit face punitive “sanctions” aimed at cutting the pittance they receive even further.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Catalan, Spanish workers face grave dangers from Madrid’s repression

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 2 November 2017

The attempt by Madrid and the EU to impose a dictatorial regime, whether or not this is sanctioned by imposed elections, must be opposed by the entire Spanish and Catalan working class.

Catalan premier appeals to EU as opposition mounts to Madrid’s crackdown

By Alex Lantier, 1 November 2017

Puigdemont asked the EU to broker a deal between the Spanish government and the Catalan authorities based on the December 21 election imposed on Catalonia by Madrid.

Austria: Conservatives discuss coalition with the extreme right

By Markus Salzmann, 1 November 2017

Ten days after the Austrian parliamentary elections, the conservative Austrian People’s Party has begun negotiations to form government with the far-right Freedom Party.

EU backs Madrid’s imposition of authoritarian regime in Catalonia

By Francis Dubois, 31 October 2017

Fearing the eruption of mass struggles against austerity, the European financial oligarchy is backing the imposition of an authoritarian regime in Catalonia.

Catalan Premier Puigdemont flees to Belgium as Spain asserts direct rule over Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 30 October 2017

The Catalan nationalist parties are bitterly hostile to a political intervention in the crisis by the working class.

Art auction for Grenfell fire survivors raises £2 million

By Paul Bond, 30 October 2017

The auction in London met up with the feeling of solidarity that many people have with those devastated by the fire.

Spain imposes military rule in Catalonia to preempt independence bid

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 28 October 2017

The Senate vote marks a historic collapse of democratic forms of rule in Western Europe and a return to authoritarianism, posing an urgent threat to the working class.

As protests mount against Madrid, Catalan parliament declares independence

By Alejandro López, 28 October 2017

The Catalan regional parliament on Friday voted a resolution for independence from Spain and the start of a “constituent process” to draft a new constitution.