Europe

EU steps up police and military operations against refugees after special summit

By Johannes Stern, 24 April 2015

The special summit of the European Union yesterday in Brussels was dedicated to the construction of “Fortress Europe” and the efforts of the European powers to recolonize Africa.

French police arrest student on charges of plotting Paris terror attack

By Kumaran Ira, 24 April 2015

The Socialist Party government is seizing on the recent terror plot in the French capital to legitimise anti-terror and spying measures.

German train drivers strike for seventh time in a year

By Dietmar Henning, 24 April 2015

Deutsche Bahn management is delaying talks with German train drivers’ union (GDL) until the enforcement of a new law that will effectively outlaw strike action.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 April 2015

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Workers at Germany’s Postbank begin indefinite strike

By Gustav Kemper, 23 April 2015

As part of its gradual takeover of Postbank, Deutsche Bank has carried out a radical cost-cutting program, including outsourcing and wage cuts.

More layoffs as global oil price slump continues

By Niles Williamson, 18 April 2015

The world’s largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, announced this week that as a result of declining oil production it will cut 11,000 jobs worldwide, bringing the firm’s total layoffs so far this year to 20,000.

European Union, banks ramp up pressure on Greece’s Syriza government

By Stéphane Hugues, 17 April 2015

The Syriza government is responding to EU demands for austerity by looting Greece’s cash reserves and preparing further austerity measures against the working class.

Germany: Behind the conflict at Volkswagen

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 April 2015

A public attack by Volkswagen chief executive Ferdinand Piëch on the chairman of the board has provoked a leadership crisis at Europe’s largest auto company.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 April 2015

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Another 400 refugees feared dead in latest Mediterranean Sea disaster

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 April 2015

As desperate migrants increasingly seek refuge in Europe, the EU is transforming the Mediterranean into a no-go zone, resulting in a string of horrific tragedies.

Nordic countries sign defence cooperation agreement aimed at Russia

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2015

With the full backing of US imperialism, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Sweden are committing themselves to transforming the region into yet another flashpoint with Moscow.

German postal workers strike against outsourcing of jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 13 April 2015

While the trade union was forced to call a short-term strike, it is involved at the highest level in the restructuring of Deutsche Post and associated attacks on working conditions.

French oil giant Total uses Chinese funds to finance Russian oil project

By Athiyan Silva, 11 April 2015

As the imperialist powers in North America and Europe seek to divide up markets in Russia and Asia, inter-imperialist tensions are coming to the fore.

Greece makes €450 million payment to International Monetary Fund

By Christoph Dreier, 10 April 2015

In the face of the dire social conditions in Greece, the Syriza-led government’s pledge to repay all debts are an unmistakable commitment to further austerity.

Tata ends British Steel pension scheme

By Danny Richardson, 10 April 2015

The Indian steel giant stands to save around £1 billion by ending the defined benefit pensions it inherited from the once state-owned British steelmaker

German Left Party leader praises right-wing politician Peter Gauweiler

By Ulrich Rippert, 10 April 2015

Following the resignation of Peter Gauweiler from political office, Left Party stalwart Oskar Lafontaine praised the CSU right-winger in the German tabloid Bild.

Dutch Labor Party collapses in provincial elections

By Josh Varlin, 10 April 2015

Amid mass abstention, voters dealt a sharp rebuff to the Netherlands’ ruling liberal and social-democratic parties.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 April 2015

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Germany: Speculation mounts over Thyssen Krupp plan to outsource steel production

By Elisabeth Zimmerman, 7 April 2015

Speculation is growing at Germany’s largest technology firm that Thyssen Krupp may be preparing to separate from its steel production division, affecting some 26,000 jobs.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

3 April 2015

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German public service contract: Teachers sold out once again

By Dietmar Henning, 1 April 2015

Anger is running high among trade union members over the latest deal.

French prosecutor says copilot deliberately crashed Germanwings flight

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 March 2015

According to French prosecutors in Marseille, the German copilot of the Airbus A320 deliberately flew the jetliner into a mountain in the Alps.

The Germanwings Airbus crash: What is the state of airline safety?

By Dietmar Henning, 26 March 2015

In light of the latest tragedy, which killed 150 people, it is necessary to examine the state of safety conditions in the international airline industry.

New defeat for Socialist Party as neo-fascists rise in French local elections

By Antoine Lerougetel, 24 March 2015

The outcome of the first round of France’s departmental elections on Sunday is a stinging rebuke to the Socialist Party government and its policies of austerity and war.

Germany: ThyssenKrupp workers force union-dominated works council to resign

By Dietmar Henning, 24 March 2015

Workers supporting the opposition “List 5” have succeeded in their challenge to the result of the works council elections last year at steelmaker ThyssenKrupp.

German government plans new “anti-terrorism unit”

By Johannes Stern, 23 March 2015

The build-up of a paramilitary police force in Germany under the framework of the "war on terror" is part of a massive military expansion at home and abroad.

Strike by Lufthansa pilots continues

By Philipp Frisch and Ulrich Rippert, 21 March 2015

Management wants to force the pilots to submit and make an example of them in order to push through worse conditions for the other 110,000 staff.

Early Andalucía elections mark growing political volatility in Spain

By Vicky Short and Alejandro Lopez, 21 March 2015

The combined vote of the PSOE and PP has fallen to less than 40 percent, compared to 80 percent in 2009.

Syriza promises new austerity list as European institutions intensify pressure on Greece

By Robert Stevens, 20 March 2015

In advance of an EU summit, the political representatives of the European banks insisted that Greece must impose austerity measures or risk being cut off from further loans.

Attack on democratic rights in Germany follows Blockupy protest

By Christoph Dreier, 20 March 2015

The German media and politicians have responded to the Blockupy protests against the ECB on Wednesday by denouncing the protesters and demanding restrictions on the freedom of assembly.

Syriza government’s surrender to the EU in Greece exposes Podemos in Spain

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 20 March 2015

Syriza’s record in power shows what a Podemos government in Spain would be: a tool of imperialism, working with openly right-wing forces to attack the working class.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East and Africa

20 March 2015

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Massive police mobilization against anti-austerity protest in Frankfurt, Germany

By Christoph Dreier and Alex Lantier, 19 March 2015

Police arrested 350 people after thousands of protesters from across Europe converged on Frankfurt to protest austerity measures targeting Greece and other countries.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 March 2015

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Tens of thousands of auto supply jobs under threat in Germany

By Jan Peters, 12 March 2015

As global auto production falls, the pressure exercised by auto manufacturers on small and medium-sized suppliers to cut costs is increasing continuously.

Greece told deeper austerity needed to secure additional loans

By Robert Stevens, 10 March 2015

Demanding that the Syriza-led government carry out further austerity, an ECB board member said the Greek people “will understand quickly that they were deceived by false promises.”

NATO begins military manoeuvres in Black Sea

By Johannes Stern, 10 March 2015

The exercise is a further provocation against Moscow and increases the danger of war between the Western powers and Russia.

German teachers and pre-school workers stage protest strike

By our reporter, 10 March 2015

There is deep mistrust among teachers of the trade union leadership, which two years ago abandoned the central demand of equal pay for equal work.

Provocations against Russia dominate Estonian parliamentary elections

By Markus Salzmann, 10 March 2015

A few days before the election, the government organized a provocation jointly with the US and European imperialist powers just a few hundred metres from the Russian border.

European Union press Syriza to deepen its austerity program for Greece

By Robert Stevens, 7 March 2015

European Union officials are insisting that until Syriza imposes deep austerity measures, it will not receive another cent in loans.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

6 March 2015

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Dozens killed in fatal methane blast at east Ukraine coal mine

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2015

The deaths at the Zasyadko mine underscore yet again the bloody price that workers living in the former Soviet Union are paying for the restoration of capitalism.

German, Romanian officials plan further escalation against Russia

By Markus Salzmann, 5 March 2015

In a visit to Berlin, the Romanian president demanded a stronger NATO presence in Romania and the entire Black Sea region in response to the Ukraine crisis.

Danish government expands surveillance powers following Copenhagen shootings

By Jordan Shilton, 3 March 2015

Plans were already well advanced prior to the Copenhagen shootings to further undermine democratic rights, with only the appropriate pretext being required.

Syriza’s parliamentary group supports Greek austerity agreement

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2015

The vote comes amidst a developing crisis within Syriza’s ranks over the implications of the party’s repudiation of its election manifesto.

German trade union approves 1,400 layoffs at Karstadt department store

By Dietmar Henning, 27 February 2015

The job and wage cuts at the German department store are proceeding with the full support of the United Services Union (Verdi) and the joint works council.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 February 2015

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Greece’s Syriza government proposes list of social cuts to European Union

By Johannes Stern, 25 February 2015

Days after capitulating to EU demands for austerity, Syriza presented the EU with a list of cuts it is proposing to impose on the working class.

Poland increases military spending

By Sonja Bach, 25 February 2015

Poland will spend the equivalent of two percent of its GDP on its defence budget by 2016, fulfilling NATO’s minimum requirements for military spending.

The Danish roots of the Copenhagen terror attack

By Jordan Shilton, 23 February 2015

Omar El-Hussein’s terrorist attack was a reactionary and demoralised response to growing anti-immigrant chauvinism, militarism and social inequality in Denmark.

Germany: Further strike action imminent at Deutsche Bahn

By Dietmar Henning, 21 February 2015

A strike called by the German train drivers’ union would be the seventh strike in the ongoing contract dispute between the railway and the train drivers.

US-backed Kiev regime faces military debacle in east Ukraine war

By Alex Lantier, 20 February 2015

After its defeat at Debaltseve, the Kiev regime has provocatively called for military intervention by European Union peacekeepers along the border with Russia.

French government survives confidence vote over austerity law

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 February 2015

The posturing by so-called “rebel” factions of the ruling Socialist Party and its political allies against austerity stands exposed as a reactionary fraud.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 February 2015

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US steps up threats against Russia as Ukrainian troops retreat from Debaltseve

By Niles Williamson, 19 February 2015

US and EU officials continued to threaten further economic sanctions and military escalation as pro-Russian separatists solidified control over a key transit hub in eastern Ukraine.

Right-wing nationalists regain Croatian presidency

By Paul Mitchell, 19 February 2015

Croatia's unemployment rate is among the highest in Europe, and nearly half of the country's youth are without jobs.

No agreement reached between EU finance ministers and Greece

By Robert Stevens and Barry Grey, 17 February 2015

The opposition of the Syriza-led government amounts to pleading for terminological window dressing to conceal its capitulation to the EU austerity agenda.

Two detained on charges of aiding Copenhagen terror attack

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2015

More details have emerged regarding the alleged gunman's biography, confirming how well-known he was to police.

Report documents attacks on press freedom in US and Europe

By Nick Barrickman, 17 February 2015

Reporters Without Borders now ranks the United States below Niger and El Salvador on media freedom.

SPD victory in German state election conceals growing gulf between political establishment and population

By Dietmar Henning, 17 February 2015

Only 56.6 percent of those eligible to vote in the Hamburg state election went to the polls, down from 71 percent in 2001.

Siemens unveils another round of job cuts in Germany and worldwide

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 14 February 2015

The German electronics firm is cutting 7,800 jobs globally, 3,300 of them in Germany, with the collaboration of the IG Metall trade union.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 February 2015

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Over 300 migrant workers perish off Italian coast

By Paul Mitchell, 12 February 2015

The toll is the biggest loss of life since October, 2013, when a boat carrying migrants from Libya to Italy sank off the island of Lampedusa.

German media backs confrontation with Russia over Ukraine

By Peter Schwarz, 10 February 2015

Despite differences over whether to arm Ukraine, not a single major media outlet in Germany rejects the strategy of pursuing an aggressive confrontation with Russia.

Syriza leader issues nationalist appeal in speech to Greek parliament

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2015

British Chancellor George Osborne has indicated the UK government has made preparations for the Greek exit from the euro zone.

US official admits to UK role in rendition to Diego Garcia

By Jean Shaoul, 9 February 2015

Britain colluded in the use of the British overseas territory of Diego Garcia by the US for its criminal activities.

Europe on the brink of war

By Alex Lantier, 7 February 2015

“Unfortunately, war with Russia is conceivable,” former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung at the Munich Security Conference.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

6 February 2015

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NATO meeting in Brussels heightens danger of war with Russia

By Johannes Stern, 5 February 2015

Today’s meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels is aimed at consolidating the military alliance against Russia.

Mistreatment of detainees and asylum seekers widespread in Europe

By Jean Shaoul, 4 February 2015

The Committee for the Prevention of Torture visited detention centres in 25 of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe to examine detainee conditions.

Tsipras rushes to reassure EU, banks on Greek debt

By Robert Stevens, 2 February 2015

If Greece fails to reach an agreement with its creditors on €3.5 billion due in February and March, funding could be withdrawn from its banks.

Russian central bank cuts interest rate amid growing economic chaos

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2015

The rate cut is a sign of the deepening crisis of Russia’s economy resulting from the economic, diplomatic and military offensive led by Washington.

UK: Blair government colluded in extraordinary rendition of Libyans

By Jean Shaoul, 2 February 2015

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote to then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that he was “disappointed” that Britain was unable to send more regime opponents back to Libya.

Thousands march against water charges in Dublin and other Irish cities

By our reporters, 2 February 2015

The water charges are supported by the Dublin government as part of the multi-billion euro bailout programme concluded with the Troika in 2010.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

30 January 2015

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

After the Charlie Hebdo attack

Governments in Eastern Europe intensify attacks on democratic rights and immigrants

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2015

The attacks on immigrants, which go hand in hand with restrictions on democratic rights and the adoption of police state measures, are directed against the entire population.

Syriza wins Greek elections

By Alex Lantier, 26 January 2015

While the election result reflects broad popular opposition to austerity in Greece and across Europe, Syriza is committed to the EU, the euro and the defense of capitalism.

German corporations call for new forms of workplace exploitation

By Dietmar Henning, 26 January 2015

Corporations and government institutions in Germany have called for a “fourth industrial revolution” based on at-will employment.

Spain: Regional Catalan president calls early elections

By Alejandro López, 26 January 2015

The calling of early elections comes as the Catalan parliament discusses its 2015 budget, which will impose further austerity measures on the region.

On-the-spot coverage from Greece

Greek students describe social crisis facing youth

By our reporters, 26 January 2015

The economic crisis has forced hundreds of thousands of Greek workers and young people to leave the country in search of jobs and better prospects.

The election in Greece and the political tasks of the working class

By Peter Schwarz, 24 January 2015

Despite its left-wing facade, Syriza is a bourgeois party that rests on affluent layers of the middle class.

Greek election: SYRIZA leader calls for “new patriotic alliance”

By our reporters, 24 January 2015

Alexis Tsipras promised that, should his party come to power, it would guarantee the existing political and social order.

Europe faces political “earthquakes,” BBC warns on Democracy Day

By Paul Mitchell, 24 January 2015

A report commissioned by the BBC states that the rise of populist anti-establishment parties is set to cause political earthquakes across Europe in 2015.

Unemployed Greek workers face desperate situation

By our reporters, 23 January 2015

Mass unemployment has been a permanent feature of Greek life since the imposition of austerity measures in 2010.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

23 January 2015

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After Charlie Hebdo attack, France announces draconian anti-terror law

By Alex Lantier, 22 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks to dramatically expand the machinery of police-state rule.

EU foreign ministers discuss attacks on democratic rights, provocations against Russia

By Julie Hyland, 22 January 2015

The meeting underscored the inseparable link between imperialist militarism in the Middle East, war preparations against Russia, and the drive to dictatorship.

German TV documentary on the hunt for Edward Snowden

By Johann Müller, 21 January 2015

The programme details Snowden’s persecution by the US authorities and his search for a country that would grant him asylum.

UK to launch enhanced “anti-terror measures” and domestic use of troops

By Julie Hyland, 20 January 2015

Since 9/11, successive UK governments have introduced a series of “anti-terror” measures, each more draconian than its predecessor.

German city plans to accommodate refugees in former concentration camp

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 20 January 2015

The German city of Schwerte announced plans to accommodate around 20 refugees in a former SS barracks on one of the sites of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Police crackdown after Charlie Hebdo attack spreads across Europe

By Kumaran Ira, 19 January 2015

Security forces have been deployed across Europe in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo.

German Chancellor Merkel backs police state measures and militarism

By Johannes Stern, 19 January 2015

The German ruling elite is using the Charlie Hebdo affair to advance an agenda it has long been preparing: the dismantling of democratic rights and Germany’s return to an aggressive foreign policy.

US drug enforcement agency acknowledges longstanding warrantless wiretapping program

By Thomas Gaist, 19 January 2015

The US Drug Enforcement Administration carried out mass surveillance of US telephone data over a period of more than a decade.

Arrests follow terror raids across Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe have lost no time in using anti-terror police raids in Belgium, France and Germany to whip up a climate of fear and justify demands for further repressive measures.

Obama, Cameron discuss war and state repression following Charlie Hebdo attack

By Chris Marsden and Jerry White, 16 January 2015

The two heads of state—whose countries have carried out a sustained attack on democratic rights—issued a jointly authored comment Thursday: “We won’t let the voice of freedom be muzzled.”

FBI accuses Ohio man of terror plot to attack US Capitol

By Niles Williamson, 16 January 2015

The FBI disclosed that the alleged plot did not represent a real threat as it had been developed with the direct participation of an undercover informant.

SYRIZA’s “anti-oligarch” policy: A call to global finance to raid Greece

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2015

The Financial Times is trumpeting SYRIZA’s policy because it offers rich pickings for the global financial oligarchy

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 January 2015

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European powers implement police state measures in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the assault on Charlie Hebdo to push through policies that have long been prepared.