French presidential election 2017

Right-wing candidates’ debate advocates austerity, police-state measures

By Kumaran Ira, 24 October 2016

The French political establishment is unanimous that anti-Muslim hatred and police-state forms of rule are to become permanent features of political life.

Police stage right-wing, law and order protest in France

By Francis Dubois, 22 October 2016

The Socialist Party government has cultivated the police as its main social base, and police are now aggressively advancing demands for more resources and powers.

Hungary: Last newspaper critical of government shut down

By Markus Salzmann, 21 October 2016

The suddenness and political background of the closure indicates that the paper was put under pressure from the highest government circles.

Red-Red-Green coalition in Berlin state prepares to continue austerity drive

By Verena Nees, 20 October 2016

A so-called Red-Red-Green coalition in Berlin will pursue budgetary consolidation and impose an austerity programme on the backs of the working population.

Syriza agrees to further austerity measures

By John Vassilopoulos, 18 October 2016

European Union commissioner Pierre Moscovici praised Syriza’s “tremendous work” in imposing all the attacks demanded against the working class.

National strike needed in Britain to defend striking Southern GTR conductors

By Michael Barnes, 18 October 2016

Conductors should reject the RMT’s proposal to accept new contracts.

German think tank warns of growing nuclear war danger

By Peter Schwarz, 15 October 2016

A recent study by a German think tank leads to the conclusion that the risk for the present generation of dying in a violent atomic death is alarmingly high.

Are German authorities covering up for the death of Jaber al-Bakr?

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 October 2016

The 22-year-old Syrian terrorist suspect was found dead in his cell on Wednesday evening.

Podemos prepares to become the official bourgeois opposition in Spain

By Alejandro López, 15 October 2016

As the social democrats openly back the formation of a right-wing government, Podemos is signalling that it is also prepared to implement drastic austerity.

German government expands military operations in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 14 October 2016

In future, German soldiers will monitor Syrian airspace on board NATO’s AWACS reconnaissance planes.

UK: Bernard Matthews pensioners fleeced by liquidators

By Jean Shaoul, 14 October 2016

Liquidators Rutland Partners have already pocketed £34 million, with another £5 million to come.

British pound plummets over “hard Brexit” fears

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2016

The currency’s sudden fall on Friday was a warning that capital inflows needed to finance the British current account deficit could dry up.

Poland: Tens of thousands protest proposed anti-abortion bill

By Clara Weiss, 5 October 2016

If passed, the bill would implement a ban on abortions, including for minors and victims of rape.

Syriza government assaults Greek retirees

By Katerina Selin, 5 October 2016

On Monday, the Greek government mobilised the police to attack protesting retirees.

Italy: Strikes and protests against the Renzi government’s “Jobs Act”

By Marianne Arens, 4 October 2016

Italy is experiencing a wave of strikes by rail workers, flight attendants and teachers that are also directed against the traditional unions.

Spanish Socialist Party coup exposes Podemos

By Paul Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 4 October 2016

Podemos’ perspective was to form a government with the Socialist Party, which is now working to bring a right-wing government to power in Spain.

UK Prime Minister announces timetable for UK exit from European Union

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2016

According to plans put forward by Theresa May, Britain will be out of the European Union by March 2019—a year ahead of a scheduled 2020 General Election.

Spanish Socialist Party leader resigns to allow formation of right-wing government

By Alejandro López, 3 October 2016

The success of the inner-party putsch against Pedro Sánchez underscores how the ruling class uses parties like the Socialist Party (PSOE) to impose unpopular policies.

Police state preparations in Dresden for German Unity Day

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 3 October 2016

Some 2,600 police officers have been mobilised, including a special unit of the Saxony state police and the elite GSG 9 force.

Hungary’s anti-refugee referendum fails after low turnout

By Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2016

The refugee referendum marked the high point of a vicious anti-refugee campaign waged by the Hungarian government and the entire European Union.

The pseudo-left’s role in the defeat of the British junior doctors’ struggle

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2016

The Socialist Workers Party sowed illusions in the trade unions and the Labour Party at every juncture in the junior doctors' struggle.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi announces constitutional referendum for December

By Marianne Arens, 1 October 2016

The referendum is a step towards authoritarian forms of rule and lays the basis for fierce attacks on Italian workers.

Crisis at Germany’s Deutsche Bank intensifies

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 September 2016

Following the plunge in Deutsche Bank’s share price to its lowest level since 1983, Germany’s second largest bank, Commerzbank, has announced a major restructuring.

Push to install right-wing Spanish government splits Socialist Party

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 30 September 2016

On Wednesday, half of the Spanish Socialist Party’s Federal Executive resigned, launching an inner-party putsch aiming to force the installation of a right-wing government.

Irish unions call off Dublin bus strike

By Dermot Quinn, 30 September 2016

The unions are winding down the dispute and paving the way for the defeat of their members’ struggle.

Berlin police shoot Iraqi refugee

By Verena Nees, 30 September 2016

The young father of three was shot dead after reacting to the alleged sexual assault of his six-year-old daughter by another man.

The Verdi union’s despicable role in the breakup of Germany’s Kaiser’s Tengelmann retail group

By Marianne Arens, 30 September 2016

Roundtable talks, secret negotiations, time limit extensions—the unions are seeking to ensure nothing prevents the smooth sell-off of the retail chain.

Vienna refugee conference reaffirms Europe’s closed-border policy

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 29 September 2016

The conference has underscored the inhumane and reactionary content of German Chancellor's Merkel’s refugee policy.

British Medical Association sells out struggle of UK junior doctors

By Robert Stevens, 29 September 2016

The isolation and defeat of the doctors' struggle is the result of the collective efforts of the entire labour and trade union bureaucracy.

Pentagon chief outlines preparations for nuclear war with Russia

By Bill Van Auken, 28 September 2016

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered a chilling speech in favor of nuclear escalation to US Air Force personnel in charge of launching strategic bomber and missile attacks.

UK Labour Party conference: Corbyn again prostrate before right wing

By Chris Marsden, 28 September 2016

British Labour leader Corbyn wants to preserve the unity of the Labour Party because he represents only a left-talking faction of the apparatus.

Polish Parliament approves ban on abortion

By Clara Weiss, 28 September 2016

The latest ban on abortions is deeply reactionary and represents an attack on the democratic and social rights of the working class.

German Left Party on a war footing for participation in federal government

By Johannes Stern, 27 September 2016

The Left Party has reacted to the recent Berlin state election with a sharp shift to the right.

Lesbos fire highlights tragic situation of refugees in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 27 September 2016

Around 60 percent of the camp was destroyed, including sleeping tents and clothing supplies.

Bosnian Serb referendum inflames tensions in the Balkans

By Paul Mitchell, 27 September 2016

The referendum went ahead despite the Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitutional Court ruling it illegal.

German supermarket chain to be broken up with thousands of jobs lost

By Marianne Arens, 22 September 2016

The trade unions and the SPD have given their seal of approval to the destruction of jobs, wages and workers’ rights in the store chain merger.

Sweden upholds Assange arrest warrant

By Paul Mitchell, 22 September 2016

The significance of the Swedish decision is underscored by the revelations from WikiLeaks, which have led US news outlets to declare they could determine who becomes the next American president.

After the Berlin state election

German government steps up anti-refugee agitation

By Johannes Stern, 21 September 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel used her party’s historic low in the Berlin state election to distance herself from the so-called “welcoming culture.”

Young Euro Classic: International music festival in shadow of European Union crisis

By Verena Nees, 19 September 2016

The summer music festival was held in Berlin for the seventeenth time and attracted an audience of 26,000 to the Berlin concert hall at the Gendarmenmarkt.

Divisions erupt at post-Brexit Bratislava summit as EU calls for military-police build-up

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 17 September 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi refused to attend a joint press conference after the summit and publicly attacked EU proposals on economic and refugee policy.

SEP candidate prevented from speaking at tenants’ meeting in Berlin

By Verena Nees, 17 September 2016

A candidate of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit was barred from speaking because he intended to criticise the privatisation policy of the Left Party and the SPD.

Many UK museums face closure due to funding cuts

By Barry Mason, 16 September 2016

Museums are being forced to absorb a one-third cut in public funding and the pressure of falling visitor numbers due to the economic crisis.

European Commission President Juncker calls for state-build up and war

By Johannes Stern, 15 September 2016

Two days before Friday's post-Brexit summit in Bratislava, Jean-Claude Juncker warned that the EU faces “an existential crisis” and called for police-state build-up and war.

Berlin election: Pseudo-left supports right-wing election campaign of the Left Party

By Johannes Stern, 15 September 2016

The Revolutionary Internationalist Organisation and Socialist Alternative are backing a so-called red-red-green coalition, pledged to austerity and anti-immigrant policies.

Polish and British governments exploit attacks on Polish immigrants

By Clara Weiss, 15 September 2016

Attacks on Polish immigrants in the UK are being exploited by the Polish and British ruling class to strengthen their alliance, amid deepening divisions within the EU.

German weekly Die Zeit defends Al Qaeda

By Peter Schwarz, 13 September 2016

Die Zeit is angry that the Russian-American accord on Syria instructs the “moderate rebels” to distance themselves from Al Qaeda.

French unions join far-right movement against refugees in Calais

By Anthony Torres, 12 September 2016

The CGT is inciting nationalist hatred to divide the workers and disorient their opposition to the wars and social cuts of the French government, which it helped elect.

The reasons behind the failure to form a government in Spain

By Alejandro López, 10 September 2016

The failure to form a government is not based on deep political differences, as all the contending parties are committed to austerity, the EU and NATO.

Earthquake disaster aggravates social crisis in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 10 September 2016

Two weeks after the earthquake in central Italy on August 24, it is clear that the devastation and loss of life was not due to a “natural disaster” but corruption and government indifference.

Working conditions worsen in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 10 September 2016

Working conditions in Germany have worsened significantly. Evening, night and weekend work as well as both paid and unpaid overtime are on the rise.

Appeal by Berlin Senate candidate Andy Niklaus: Workers need their own party!

By Andy Niklaus, 9 September 2016

Andy Niklaus has worked for the Berlin Transport Company for 25 years and is running as a candidate of the Partei für Soziale Gleichheit in the Berlin Senate elections on September 18.

British Medical Association calls off junior doctors strikes

By Robert Stevens, 8 September 2016

The junior doctors have been isolated by both the trade unions and by the Labour Party, with a key role played by party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“Stand Up against Racism”: A right-wing alliance in support of an SPD/Left Party/Green coalition government

By Katerina Selin, 8 September 2016

A few thousand demonstrators gathered last Saturday at Adenauerplatz in Berlin to drum up support for a Social Democrat/LeftParty/Green coalition government.

State election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

The right-wing threat in Germany and the need for a socialist party

By Ulrich Rippert—leading candidate of the PSG for the Berlin state election, 7 September 2016

It is anger against the establishment parties, including the Left Party, and the absence of a progressive alternative that boosts the far right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Corbyn offers olive branch to right wing as purge of British Labour Party escalates

By Robert Stevens, 6 September 2016

By September 24, when Labour’s leader is elected, it is highly likely that well over 200,000 people will have been barred from voting for Jeremy Corbyn.

German Luftwaffe begin NATO patrols over the Baltic

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2016

NATO’s growing operations in Eastern Europe heighten the danger of direct conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia.

Warmongers united: Germany’s Left Party welcomes former top army general

By Johannes Stern, 3 September 2016

On World Peace Day, the German Left Party invited the former Chief of Staff of the Bundeswehr and chairman of the NATO military committee to a meeting in Hannover.

UK: Further National Health Service hospital closures and cuts to be imposed

By Liz Smith, 3 September 2016

A recent House of Commons Select Committee report found the National Health Service to be in a state of near collapse and hinted that in the future patients might have to pay for services.

Irish government crisis over Apple’s €13 billion tax dodge

By Robert Stevens, 1 September 2016

The EU’s decision to fine Apple for failing to pay taxes has triggered a major crisis in Irish ruling circles.

Spain’s public debt reaches record levels

By Alejandro López, 31 August 2016

All the major parties—Popular Party, Socialist Party, Citizens and the pseudo-left Podemos—are committed to upholding the payment of the debt.

UK: Corbyn, Brexit and the so-called progressive alliance

By Julie Hyland, 31 August 2016

There are increasing efforts to link up the Labour Party, the Greens and the various nationalist blocs in Wales and Scotland on the basis of a pro-EU program.

PSG election campaign: Anger at the government’s new civil defence guidelines

By our correspondents, 31 August 2016

Berliners discuss the growing war danger and social conditions in the capital with supporters of the Socialist Equality Party.

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

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

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.”