Europe

Workers and youth in Amiens speak out against French labour reform

By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 April 2016

A WSWS team spoke to protesting youth who unanimously criticised the strategy of the trade and student unions as insufficient to struggle against the labour reform.

German public sector union holds “warning strikes”

By Marianne Arens, 29 April 2016

Selective strikes are taking place in the public sector across Germany this week, but the Verdi union is determined to impose attacks on wages and work conditions.

IYSSE meetings in Germany oppose militarism and war

By our correspondents, 29 April 2016

The IYSSE held public meetings in Bochum, Frankfurt and Berlin to discuss the return of German militarism and the danger of a third world war.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 April 2016

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

In run-up to labour law protest, French rail workers stage one-day strike

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 28 April 2016

The trade unions, seeking to block the entry of workers into struggle against the labour law reform, organised no meetings or protests on the strike day.

Vast increase in “zero-hours” labor contracts in the UK

By Edwin Wills, 28 April 2016

Under zero-hours contracts, workers must be ready to work whenever required.

Hillsborough inquest: Ninety-six UK football supporters unlawfully killed

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the campaign by the families and supporters of the 96 Liverpool Football Club fans killed 27 years ago.

The Hillsborough disaster as it unfolded

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The death of 96 Liverpool football supporters on April 15, 1989 was followed by a 27-year cover-up.

Public support for UK junior doctors strike grows as government insists they must be “defeated”

By Robert Stevens, 27 April 2016

The strike by 45,000 junior doctors in England is the first stoppage in the history of the National Health Service to be held without emergency care being provided.

Poland’s Patriot Act: PiS government proposes new anti-terrorism law

By Dorota Niemitz, 27 April 2016

Cynically utilising the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, the Polish government is hastily introducing its own version of the USA Patriot Act.

More than 50,000 junior doctors begin two-day strike in UK

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016

Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.

Berlin college rector protests police intervention

By Verena Nees, 26 April 2016

On April 2, around 30 police stormed into Alice-Salomon College, forced all students and tutors present into the main auditorium, blocked all exits and collected personal information.

UK Chancellor touts Treasury analysis to promote European Union membership

By Jordan Shilton, 22 April 2016

The claim by Chancellor George Osborne that the European Union will guarantee prosperity for British families is absurd.

German government backs draconian refugee “integration” law

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 22 April 2016

The planned legislation does nothing to help refugees, but is instead an attack on basic democratic rights.

Podemos pleads with Socialist Party to form a government in Spain

By Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2016

If a power-sharing agreement is not reached by May 2, new elections will be held on June 26.

Divisions grow over European Central Bank policy

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2016

German criticism of the ECB’s negative interest rate regime is not the result of differences over monetary policy philosophy but is rooted in the political economy of German capitalism.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

22 April 2016

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

Steel producers summit threatens stepped-up trade war against China

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2016

The focus of the Brussels summit on the global steel crisis was “promoting structural adjustment” through job losses, deregulation and trade war measures against China.

Refugee deaths in the Mediterranean: An imperialist crime

By Peter Schwarz, 20 April 2016

Thousands of deaths by drowning are accepted, if not welcomed, as collateral damage required by the campaign to keep desperate refugees out of Europe.

Hundreds feared dead as another refugee boat sinks in Mediterranean

By Peter Schwarz, 19 April 2016

According to reports, hundreds more refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on the first anniversary of the worst refugee boat disaster to date.

Hollande sheds crocodile tears over refugees in Lebanon visit

By Kumaran Ira, 19 April 2016

French President François Hollande began his four-day trip to the Middle East, visiting Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, to boost economic and military ties amidst escalating war.

Belgian police arrest six suspects in March 22 Brussels attacks

By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2016

Mohamed Abrini’s accomplices were all known to intelligence services, as were their aliases and their movements, but they were not arrested.

Rail unions declare support for UK exit from the EU

By Michael Barnes and Julie Hyland, 19 April 2016

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and the train drivers union ASLEF claim EU membership is “bad for Britain in general and bad for the railway in particular.”

US-Russia tensions flare in Baltic Sea

By Jordan Shilton, 18 April 2016

Washington’s aggressive military build-up throughout Eastern Europe, in close collaboration with its NATO allies, has brought the entire region to the brink of war between nuclear powers.

VW hands out massive bonuses to company executives

By Dietmar Henning, 18 April 2016

The granting of bonuses to executives at VW illustrates how management is reacting to the exhaust emissions scandal, which has resulted in losses and potential fines.

People’s Assembly demonstration promotes Corbyn’s anti-austerity fraud

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2016

Large numbers of junior doctors currently involved in industrial action took part in the protest, which also included student nurses and steelworkers.

The political significance of the campaign for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2016

The SEP urges a rejection of both the defenders of the European Union and the advocates of a British exit from the EU in the official Remain and Leave campaigns.

UK Brexit referendum campaigns officially begin

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2016

The referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union is taking place under conditions of a deepening crisis for the Conservative government of David Cameron.

Conflicts over European financial policy point to coming attacks on workers

By Alex Lantier, 16 April 2016

Criticisms by German officials of easy-money policies at the European Central Bank were bitterly denounced by British, French, and US media and politicians.

German Chancellor Merkel gives green light for prosecution of satirist Jan Böhmermann

By Peter Schwartz, 16 April 2016

The prosecution of Böhmermann for his denunciations of the Turkish president sets a precedent for censorship and political repression in Germany.

Labour’s Corbyn pledges to lead pro-EU referendum campaign in UK

By Chris Marsden, 15 April 2016

The intervention by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in favour of Britain remaining in the EU is vital for the ruling elite amid growing popular hatred of the Cameron government.

Belgian air traffic controllers launch wildcat strike at Brussels airport

By Robert Stevens, 14 April 2016

The working class throughout Belgium and Europe must come to the defense of the striking air traffic controllers, who have taken a courageous stand against attacks on retirement.

German undercover agent employed National Socialist Underground terrorists

By Dietmar Henning, 14 April 2016

A construction company belonging to an undercover government agent employed the National Socialist Underground terrorist Uwe Mundlos after his disappearance.

Steel day of action: IG Metall, employers and German government demand trade war

By our correspondents, 13 April 2016

The German metalworkers union IG Metall organised the rallies as a backdrop for management and government representatives to demand protective tariffs and trade war measures against China.

UK: Unions work with asset stripper to impose cuts at Tata Steel

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2016

Plants will be taken over only on condition that wages, conditions and pension rights are decimated.

International Monetary Fund discussed forcing Greek debt default

By John Vassilopoulos, 12 April 2016

A leaked teleconference transcript published by WikiLeaks exposed differences between the European Union and IMF on how to enforce a third austerity package.

French police attack demonstrators protesting anti-worker labor law reform

By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 11 April 2016

The decision of the trade unions and their political allies not to call workers on strike alongside protesting students left the PS government free to assault the demonstrators.

Macedonian police use tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 April 2016

Greece and the Balkan states stepped up police violence and repression in the wake of the EU’s deal to deport refugees en masse to Turkey.

UK White Paper paves way for the destruction of public education

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016

The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.

UK junior doctors speak out during latest strike

By our reporters, 8 April 2016

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines around the country.

Panama Papers revelation triggers political crises around the globe

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

As pressure builds on Britain’s Conservative government over the tax arrangements of Prime Minister David Cameron, it is becoming clear that the Panama Papers are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Tax avoidance scandal wracks Iceland

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson announced his resignation Tuesday, before subsequently declaring that he had merely stepped aside temporarily.

Junior doctors face political fight to save National Health Service

By Paul Mitchell, 7 April 2016

Junior doctors have demanded more effective action after Health Secretary Hunt announced he would impose a new contract by August 1.

Hundreds arrested as French police assault student protests against labour reform

By Alex Lantier and Senthooran Ravee, 6 April 2016

Police are trying to intimidate youth in the run-up to the next major protest by workers and students, on April 9, amid rising anger with austerity and the state of emergency.

Youth and workers in Marseille speak out against austerity

By Anthony Torres, 6 April 2016

WSWS reporters in Marseille discussed with youth and workers who mobilised yesterday against the El Khomri law.

After four days of fighting, Azerbaijan, Armenia call Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

By Kumaran Ira, 6 April 2016

Doubts persist over how long the ceasefire will last, as the Caucasus and the Middle East have been put on edge by escalating imperialist wars and economic crisis.

Greece’s Syriza: Full partner in historic crime against refugees

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2016

The police-state measures and summary deportations employed by the Syriza government against refugees are of a piece with its relentless attacks on the Greek working class.

Syriza and European Union begin mass deportations from Greece

By Johannes Stern, 5 April 2016

The brutal actions against refugees and the militarisation of Europe are directly linked to the intensification of the attacks on the working class in Greece and throughout the continent.

The working class in France mobilizes against austerity

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2016

The attempt to promote hysteria over terrorism to suppress popular opposition is failing in the face of a growing radicalization of workers and youth.

Syriza government carries out mass deportation of refugees from Greece to Turkey

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

Thousands of people are being deported as part of the deal to seal off the “Balkan route” to refugees fleeing the war zones of the Middle East.

Azerbaijan-Armenia fighting erupts over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region

By Kumaran Ira, 4 April 2016

The conflict threatens to escalate into a broader war between Russia, Armenia’s main backer, and Azerbaijan’s ally, Turkey, and behind Turkey, the entire NATO alliance.

UK Tata Steel operation at centre of escalating trade war

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

The Labour Party and the trade unions have responded to the planned closure of Tata Steel’s UK plants with demands for protectionism and trade war.

Spain’s Podemos prepares for coalition talks with Socialist Party, Citizens

By Paul Mitchell, 4 April 2016

Podemos is playing the instrumental role in the possible formation of a PSOE-led government to continue imposing austerity on the workers in Spain.

French workers, youth defy state of emergency to protest austerity policies

By Anthony Torres, 1 April 2016

As many as 1.2 million people participated in demonstrations Thursday across France against the draconian anti-working class policies of the Socialist Party government.

US deploying additional armored brigades to Russian border

By Thomas Gaist, 1 April 2016

The US military is preparing to deploy some military equipment and thousands of troops directly on the Russian border as part of a “permanent footprint.”

Marxism and the pseudo-left: David North interviewed at Leipzig Book Fair

1 April 2016

Following a presentation of the new German edition of The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left, North was interviewed by the newspaper Schattenblick on the theoretical and political issues addressed in his book.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 April 2016

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

Forty thousand jobs threatened as Tata Steel announces end of UK operations

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2016

Neither Labour leader Corbyn nor the trade union bureaucracy proposes any struggle by steel workers in defence of their jobs.

Hungary strengthens state security powers after Brussels attacks

By Markus Salzmann, 31 March 2016

The Hungarian government plans to expand surveillance of telephone and internet data.

European Court rubber-stamps police murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

By Chris Marsden, 31 March 2016

Judges ruled that the UK had not violated article two of the European Convention of Human Rights protecting the right to life.

Intelligence accounts raise more questions on origins of Brussels, Paris attacks

By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2016

As NATO powers tried to discredit accusations that they relied on terrorists in their war in Syria, they downplayed signs that ISIS was developing a terror network in Europe.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to slash 2,100 rail freight transport jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 29 March 2016

Works councillors and union functionaries have already indicated they are prepared to cooperate in implementing the cuts, the first step to a further wave of consolidations.

UK Junior doctors dispute at a crossroads

Statement by NHS Fightback

29 March 2016

The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.

One hundred years since Ireland’s Easter Rising—Part three

By Jordan Shilton, 29 March 2016

The Easter Rising was a seminal event in Irish history, the lessons of which the working class must assimilate.

French students speak out against austerity and state of emergency

By Kumaran Ira and Anthony Torres, 25 March 2016

Students protesting the French labour reform expressed their opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity measures, state of emergency and imperialist wars.

UK dockers strike suspended by Unite union

By Steve James, 25 March 2016

From the start, Unite made clear that it sought nothing more than good relations with Forth Ports to carry forward their shared interests.

The Belgium bombing: Why the dots are not connected

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 25 March 2016

The extent of state intelligence foreknowledge in the Brussels attack explodes the official narrative that intelligence agencies failed to “connect the dots.”

German Left Party leader’s plea for nationalism and the free market economy

By Peter Schwarz, 25 March 2016

In her book Wealth without Greed (Reichtum ohne Gier), the leading Left Party politician advocates a strong, protectionist, ethnically and linguistically homogeneous national state.

Belgian authorities had “precise intelligence warnings” of Brussels bombings

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 24 March 2016

Claims that the attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people occurred because Belgian and allied intelligence agencies somehow failed to “connect the dots” are not credible.

Electoral success of AfD strengthens far-right forces in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 24 March 2016

Seventy years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, Germany’s ruling elite is responding to the global economic crisis and the growing war drive by building a right-wing movement.

200,000 jobs threatened by Norway oil industry crisis

By Ellis Wynne, 24 March 2016

Norway’s ruling elite insists that the relatively high wages in the oil industry be slashed.

The terror bombings in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 23 March 2016

This horrific attack targeted innocent people in no way responsible for the imperialist wars that have devastated the Middle East.

European Union-Turkey deal to expel refugees comes into force

By Jordan Shilton, 22 March 2016

The same powers that have routinely invoked “human rights” to justify war in the Middle East are denying refugees the right to seek protection from the disaster these wars have produced.

Paris terror attack suspect Salah Abdeslam arrested in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 21 March 2016

Astonishingly, Europe’s most wanted man, on the run from police for four months, was hiding near his parents’ apartment in the heavily-watched Molenbeek district.

French Socialist Party whips up law-and-order hysteria after Abdeslam arrest

By Kumaran Ira, 21 March 2016

As it cultivates Islamist forces in a war for regime change in Syria, France is citing the danger of terror attacks as a pretext to escalate attacks on democratic rights.

Berlin senate speeds up deportations of refugees

By Carola Kleinert, 21 March 2016

The new refugee passport system serves above all to sort asylum seekers according to their national origin, religion and usefulness and to make faster deportations possible.

Spanish youth protest education reforms

By James Lerner, 21 March 2016

The protests targeted the “3+2 Decree,” which increases the amount of unpaid, in-company internship time required in university courses of study.

Podemos enters government talks with Spain’s social democrats, conservatives

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 18 March 2016

The broaching of alliances between Podemos and openly right-wing parties is a warning sign that the ruling class is preparing deep new attacks against the workers.

Living standards fall and discontent rises in Russia

By Vladimir Volkov, 18 March 2016

In a sign of the population’s intense economic distress, retail trade levels in Russia have fallen to their lowest level in 40 years.

Germany: Siemens cuts another 2,500 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 March 2016

Siemens management announced the cutting of a further 2,500 jobs on March 9, with motor plants in Bavaria being hit hardest.

French government, trade unions rework reactionary labor reform

By Anthony Torres, 17 March 2016

The unions and the Socialist Party want to channel workers’ opposition to the most unpopular government since World War II behind minor changes to its hated reform.

Constitutional crisis in Poland continues

By Clara Weiss, 17 March 2016

The move to the right by the Polish government has exacerbated the crisis in the EU and led to growing tensions with Germany.

Glasgow City Council workers strike against cuts and poverty wages

By Steve James and Minnie Watson, 17 March 2016

Another round of spending cuts imposed by the Scottish National Party government on behalf of the Conservative central government is likely to cost as many as 15,000 job losses.

Shadow Chancellor McDonnell pledges UK Labour Party to austerity

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2016

McDonnell said ensuring Labour’s credibility on the economy to big business was “the struggle of a generation.”

English National Opera chorus to strike

By Margot Miller, 15 March 2016

The action was announced on the steps of the headquarters of Arts Council England.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deletes criticisms of EU from his web site

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2016

There is nothing that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn once proclaimed as an issue of political principle that he will not jettison.

Workers, students march against French labor law reform

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2016

The brutal police crackdown in Lyon underscores that, under cover of the state of emergency, the Socialist Party aims to illegalize constitutionally protected protests.

What do the electoral gains of the right-wing Alternative for Germany signify?

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 11 March 2016

The AfD, which achieved 13.2 percent of the vote in its first outing in the Hesse municipal elections, is a party created from above, not a movement from below.

The refugee crisis and the polarization of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 March 2016

Large sections of the population look on the brutal conditions of refugees with horror and disgust, but the official political debate takes place within a narrow spectrum ranging from the right to the ultra-right.

Striking cashiers and dockers interrogated under French state of emergency

By Anthony Torres, 10 March 2016

The unprecedented attack on the right to strike is yet another warning of the anti-working class character of the state of emergency imposed by the Socialist Party.

Mass layoffs at Bombardier hit Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 10 March 2016

In Germany, the works council and IG Metall trade union are working hand-in-glove with management to implement job cuts.

UK energy firms rake in profits as “fuel poverty” escalates

By Emily Wilson and Robert Stevens, 9 March 2016

In recent years, the annual profits of British Gas averaged £584 million.

Campaign for UK exit from the EU dominated by nationalism and big business interests

By Robert Stevens, 8 March 2016

The “Leave” campaign speaks for a layer of the British ruling elite that regards the EU as a constraint on the pursuit of Britain’s national interests.

Attempt to form PSOE-Citizens government coalition in Spain collapses

By Paul Mitchell, 7 March 2016

The social-democrats had appealed for “progressive” forces to support their alliance with the right-wing Citizens party.

European Union threatens summary mass deportations of refugees

By Alex Lantier, 4 March 2016

As growing numbers of refugees flee imperialist wars in the Middle East, the EU is preparing draconian attacks on democratic rights to prevent them from coming to Europe.

UN Security Council imposes harsh US-sponsored sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 4 March 2016

The punitive new measures will intensify North Korea’s economic and social crisis and greatly heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region.

German Left Party strives for coalition with Social Democrats and Greens in Berlin

By Johannes Stern, 3 March 2016

Having shared power in coalition with the SPD in Berlin between 2001 and 2011 and overseen a social catastrophe, the Left Party is now preparing to carry out similar policies in a new coalition with the SPD and Greens.