Europe

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

By Michael Barnes, 29 June 2016

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

IG Metall trade union backs Volkswagen board

By Dietmar Henning, 28 June 2016

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

The way forward after the Brexit referendum

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

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

Brexit vote intensifies conflicts within European Union

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2016

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

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 June 2016

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

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition make nationalist case for Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2016

The Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party serve to blind the working class to the dangers posed by the strengthening of the most right-wing sections of the bourgeoisie through the referendum campaign.

Despite mounting opposition, French unions signal concessions on labor law

By Alex Lantier, 20 June 2016

The Stalinist General Confederation of Labor has indicated that it may be open to negotiating firm-level contracts under the new law that violate the national Labor Code.

Billionaire former BHS boss faces down UK parliamentary committee

By Jean Shaoul, 20 June 2016

Some 11,000 workers are set to lose their jobs and around 22,000 present and future retirees will see their pensions decimated after the collapse of high street retailer BHS.

US Navy to continue Black Sea incursions, brushing aside Russian demands

By Thomas Gaist, 18 June 2016

Rather than countering “Russian aggression,” the breakneck militarization of the Black Sea is rooted in the drive by the US and European powers to control the Eurasian landmass.

Unidos Podemos pulls ahead of Socialist Party in Spanish election campaign

By Alejandro López, 18 June 2016

The latest polls confirm the historic breakdown of the two party-system that has dominated Spanish politics since the end of the fascist dictatorship.

Leeds bus workers strike over pay

By Barbara Slaughter, 18 June 2016

Earlier this month, 250 workers employed by First Bus Leeds voted unanimously to reject management’s paltry pay offer and begin a campaign of strike action.

The EU referendum and the murder of British MP Jo Cox

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2016

The murder of Cox has starkly revealed the fascistic character of the forces being whipped up around this week’s referendum on British membership in the EU, particularly by the Leave campaign.

Fears of UK exit from the EU fuel global panic

By Robert Stevens, 17 June 2016

The release of polls showing a likely “leave” result in the referendum on membership in the EU has fueled a stock sell-off and prompted worried statements by central banks.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

17 June 2016

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

Britain’s Labour Party helps Conservative government pass Snoopers’ Charter

By Trevor Johnson, 15 June 2016

The UK’s security and spying agencies are being rewarded for their criminality with new and almost unlimited powers.

NATO orders four additional battalions to Russian border

By Thomas Gaist, 14 June 2016

The deployments are among the most provocative actions taken by the NATO high command in the course of its anti-Russian buildup, now well into its second year.

Pseudo-lefts appointed to leadership of Germany’s Left Party

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 June 2016

Within Germany, the Left Party is increasingly viewed as a right-wing, bourgeois party, which spouts left sounding phrases, but is no different in practice than the established parties.

Belgian unions try to suppress country’s growing strike wave

By Ross Mitchell and Paul Bond, 13 June 2016

The unions in Belgium and France view a joint struggle by workers in both countries as a threat.

North Sea oil workers must wage unified struggle

By Steve James, 13 June 2016

The crisis in the North Sea industry is one expression of the global capitalist chaos in oil production.

Sports Direct and BHS: The real face of British capitalism

By Julie Hyland, 13 June 2016

While lamenting Ashley and Green as the “unacceptable face of capitalism,” the media made clear that much of what had occurred was perfectly legal.

The Brexit referendum from a European perspective

By Peter Schwarz, 13 June 2016

Reading the commentary in the international press concerning the referendum on a British exit from the European Union, one gets a sense of a ruling class that has lost its bearings.

Bond yields fall as fears rise over global economic growth

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2016

As the pile of negative yielding government debt passes the $10 trillion mark, it has been described as a “supernova that will explode one day.”

UK trade union federation calls for Britain to remain in EU

By Robert Stevens, 11 June 2016

The Trades Union Congress is backing the Remain campaign on the cynical basis that it is necessary to protect workers from the attacks of the Conservative government.

Public meeting at Humboldt University in Berlin

The referendum on Brexit: Why the SEP rejects both camps

11 June 2016

On Friday, June 17, Chris Marsden, a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site from Britain, will speak in Berlin at Humboldt University on the referendum for British withdrawal from the EU, and on the party’s campaign for an active boycott.

British rail workers facing state repression

By Michael Barnes, 10 June 2016

Workers have held strikes to protest the elimination of the safety-critical role of the conductor, who operates doors on the busiest routes in the UK.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 June 2016

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

Massive NATO war game risks conflict with Russia

By Johannes Stern, 9 June 2016

NATO’s largest exercise since the end of the Cold War began Tuesday with 2,000 British, Polish and American troops parachuting from planes near the northern Polish town of Torun.

Strikes against austerity in France and Belgium defy union pressure for sellout

By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2016

Garbage workers took strike action in several cities across France, joining rail, port and oil workers in France and rail workers in Belgium.

Cameron/Farage debate on EU dominated by anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2016

Tuesday night’s TV debate between Prime Minister David Cameron and UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage centred on who could more aggressively scapegoat migrants.

Setback for ruling Democratic Party in Italian municipal elections

By Marianne Arens, 9 June 2016

Poor results for Democratic Party candidates and gains for Grillo’s Five Star Movement are clear signs of dissatisfaction with the Renzi government.

Right-wing Polish government revives effort to extradite Roman Polanski

By Alan Gilman, 9 June 2016

The new attempt by the Polish government to extradite Polanski is the latest chapter in the US government’s vindictive pursuit of the filmmaker.

One in seven children in Germany relies on social welfare

By Marianne Arens, 7 June 2016

Almost a decade and a half after the “Agenda 2010” reforms, more than 1.5 million children under the age of 15 rely on Hartz IV welfare.

The case for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2016

The struggle for a socialist Britain within a United Socialist States of Europe is a burning necessity for workers who, in every country, face the same class enemy and the same problems of austerity and war.

UK: The political fraud of the Another Europe is Possible campaign

By Julie Hyland, 7 June 2016

The campaign makes no mention of the Cameron government’s austerity agenda that has seen millions of jobs destroyed, wages cut, welfare slashed to the bone and migrants denied entry to the UK.

Hundreds more refugees die in the Mediterranean

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 6 June 2016

Within eight days, many more than 1,200 refugees have drowned during their voyage to Europe.

UK Labour leader Corbyn stakes his future on vote to remain in EU

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2016

Corbyn is towing the line dictated by the dominant sections of British imperialism, which see membership of the EU as essential for securing Britain’s economic interests.

German government tightens anti-terror laws

By Johannes Stern, 6 June 2016

Throughout Europe, the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris are being used as a pretext for constructing a police state, just as happened in the US following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Striking rail workers speak out on movement against French labor law

By Alex Lantier and V. Gnana, 6 June 2016

WSWS reporters spoke to striking rail workers and students mobilized in solidarity with their strike at railway stations across Paris.

What is behind the Armenian resolution passed by the German parliament?

By Johannes Stern, 4 June 2016

On Thursday, the German parliament passed a resolution describing the mass murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as “genocide.”

A dozen dead, tens of thousands displaced as floods hit Germany and France

By our reporter, 4 June 2016

Floods claimed between 12 and 18 lives, according to initial reports, and it is feared that the death toll could climb higher.

Scotland’s RISE electoral coalition descends into crisis

By Steve James, 4 June 2016

RISE is led by an aspiring middle class layer of academics and commentators seeking to build their careers through the creation of a new Scottish capitalist state

British pensioners over 75 increasingly likely to live in poverty

By Trevor Johnson, 4 June 2016

Just under a quarter of single pensioners are living in poverty.

Strikes in France elicit support from German workers

By Verena Nees, 3 June 2016

Sympathy from workers and young people, anger and resentment in the media—this is how Germany is reacting to the strikes in France.

German Left Party congress carries out further shift to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 3 June 2016

Regardless of the standard trite phrases about social justice, the Left Party set a political course at its party congress for participation in government at the federal level.

Anti-migrant propaganda dominates UK Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 3 June 2016

Both the Remain and Leave campaigns for the June 23 referendum on UK membership of the European Union are pushing anti-migrant measures.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 4

NATO’s preparations for war with Russia

By Clara Weiss, 3 June 2016

This is the final part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, which was developed as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

More than 2,500 refugees drowned in Mediterranean so far this year

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 June 2016

The number of refugee deaths over the first five months of this year, up 35 percent from 2015, has hit a new record.

Strike wave against labor law spreads in France

By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2016

As the trade union bureaucracy prepares to sell out an escalating strike wave, opposition to the Socialist Party’s “El Khomri” labor reform is mounting in the working class.

UK firms use new regulations to cut pay and conditions

By Danny Richardson, 2 June 2016

Many of the attacks on wages and conditions began within the food industry, which is heavily reliant on the use of agency workers as cheap labour.

French strike movement exposes bankruptcy of New Anti-capitalist Party

By Alex Lantier, 2 June 2016

The emergence of the working class as the central force in struggle against France's Socialist Party government refutes the anti-working class perspective of the NPA.

Ninety Years Since the Coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 3

The Intermarium and Poland’s integration into the US war alliance against Russia

By Clara Weiss, 2 June 2016

This is the third part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, which was developed as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

The return of the “grand narrative”

By Andre Damon, 1 June 2016

The resurgence of the class struggle is undermining the intellectual charlatanry that underpinned the ideological dominance of various forms of anti-Marxism over the past half-century.

Belgian public sector goes on strike in run-up to French rail walkout

By Ross Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2016

Workers are mobilising across national borders in Europe against the reactionary austerity policies that the entire European Union has imposed since the 2008 crash.

German Green Party leader confronts Jörg Baberowski with his war propaganda

By Christoph Vandreier and Peter Schwarz, 1 June 2016

The national chair of the Green Party confronted Professor Baberowski on the “Maybrit Illner” talk show with his demand to employ the methods of a war of extermination to fight terrorists.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 2

The Intermarium from 1921 to 1989

By Clara Weiss, 1 June 2016

This is the second part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, the main basis of which emerged in the period leading up to World War I, as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

Divisions over Europe tear through UK Conservative Party

By Robert Stevens, 31 May 2016

Several leading Tory euro-sceptics made unprecedented attacks on Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend.

Right-wing German academic Jörg Baberowski demands more repression against refugees

By Christoph Vandreier, 31 May 2016

At the Phil.Cologne congress, the Humboldt University professor declared that “men in Germany” were helpless against refugees because they had forgotten how to fight.

Ninety years since the coup of Piłsudski

The Strategy of the Intermarium—Part 1

The Intermarium and the Russian Revolution

By Clara Weiss, 31 May 2016

This is the first part of a series reviewing the history of the Intermarium, the main basis of which emerged in the period leading up to World War I, as a bourgeois nationalist antipode to the United Socialist States of Europe as proposed by Leon Trotsky.

Over 700 refugees drown in Mediterranean shipwrecks

By Laura Tiernan, 30 May 2016

In the deadliest week for refugees so far this year, over 700 people died trying to reach Europe from North Africa in three separate disasters.

CGT union tries to block general strike against French labor law

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2016

On the BFM-Politique show, CGT General Secretary Philippe Martinez said he was in back-channel talks with the government over its unpopular labor law.

Amid strikes, French President Hollande pledges to impose labor law

By Alex Lantier, 28 May 2016

Hollande is manoeuvring to use the trade union bureaucracy to contain social anger among workers against his reactionary labor law reform.

The El Khomri law in France and the Schröder-Blair Paper

By Peter Schwarz, 28 May 2016

Over the past decade and a half, the social democratic parties, working with the trade unions, have led the drive to impose austerity on the working class.

Greece's Syriza government imposes harsh austerity measures

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 May 2016

Eurogroup finance ministers have made clear they will accept no way of dealing with the Greek debt crisis other than continuing attacks on the working class.

Rail strike hits Belgium

By Ross Mitchell, 27 May 2016

Rail workers began an indefinite strike Wednesday evening in Belgium, paralysing mass transit and creating traffic jams in Brussels.

Major police operation against Roma in Berlin

By Andy Niklaus and Karola Kleinert, 27 May 2016

A hundred-strong force of the Berlin police conducted a brutal raid on Roma families protesting against their threatened deportation.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 May 2016

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

Strike wave against austerity spreads in France, Belgium

By Kumaran Ira, 26 May 2016

Police repression of anti-austerity protests in France and Belgium is enraging workers and driving broader layers of the working class into struggle.

French Socialist Party’s labor reform boosts far-right National Front

By Francis Dubois, 26 May 2016

The far-right party can only profit from the Socialist Party’s ruthless austerity policy due to the reactionary role of the pseudo-left organisations.

Military and security figures take opposing sides in UK referendum on European Union

By Chris Marsden, 26 May 2016

The various military officials and spy chiefs backing either side in the Brexit campaign are all committed to defending British and US imperialism, particularly in the conflict with Russia.

German chancellor boosts anti-refugee deal in visit to Turkey

By Peter Schwarz, 26 May 2016

Angela Merkel traveled to Turkey last week in an attempt to shore up the deal stuck between Turkey and the EU to block refugees from entering Europe.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung lobbies for militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 26 May 2016

The mouthpiece of the Frankfurt banks has provided a platform for former general Wolf Poulet to advocate an aggressive German war policy.

Swedish court refuses to drop arrest warrant for Julian Assange

By Josh Varlin, 26 May 2016

The Stockholm Court rejected the conclusion of a United Nations working group that Assange has been arbitrarily detained in violation of international human rights conventions.

Mobilize European workers to defend French strikers!

By Alex Lantier, 26 May 2016

The most powerful ally of workers struggling against pro-austerity governments in France, Belgium and Greece is the European and international working class.

The Brexit referendum, socialism and the European working class

By Julie Hyland, 26 May 2016

The following is a speech delivered to public meetings by Julie Hyland, assistant national secretary of the SEP, on the Party’s campaign for an active boycott of the referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union.

Meeting in Sheffield on June 7

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum!—Socialism versus left nationalism

26 May 2016

The Socialist Equality Party is holding a series of public meetings in cities across the UK in May and June as part of its campaign for an active boycott of the June 23 referendum.

International finance capital and the strikes in France

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2016

The aim of the “structural reforms” demanded by the IMF and the financial elites is the destruction of all the social gains of the European working class won in the past seven decades.

1980 Oktoberfest bombing: German government and secret service still withholding information

By Dietmar Henning, 25 May 2016

For over a year, the Secret Service has refused to publish files relating to the bombing of the Munich Oktoberfest 35 years ago.

Belgian prison wardens strike met with government repression

By Ross Mitchell, 25 May 2016

The government plans to shrink the public sector by 20 percent, with pay and staffing being cut by 10 percent by 2020 overall.

Julian Assange challenges anti-democratic “no platform” campaign

By Laura Tiernan, 24 May 2016

The Sheffield meeting was a victory over efforts to silence Assange and close down debate on fundamental issues surrounding the escalation of militarism and war.

The capitalist crisis and the defense of democratic rights

By Andre Damon and Alex Lantier, 23 May 2016

Underlying the global breakdown of democratic institutions is the world economic crisis, the growth of militarism and war, and, above all, the intensification of the class struggle.

Close race in Austrian presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 23 May 2016

After the casting of 4.4 million votes, the two candidates are separated by only 3,000, according to projected results.

Oil workers mobilise against French labour law

By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2016

The Socialist Party is sending riot police to break up refinery strikes as they cause fuel shortages across France.

George Galloway backs “Left Leave” and urges alliance with UK Independence Party

By Chris Marsden, 23 May 2016

”Left Leave” is a mechanism for transmitting the most degraded and right-wing nationalist sentiments into the working class.

German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung demands military deterrence against Russia

By Johannes Stern, 23 May 2016

In the lead-up to the NATO summit in Poland in early July the professional warmongers in the German media are intensifying calls for a military build-up in Eastern Europe.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

20 May 2016

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

French government backs neo-fascist protest against opposition to labor law

By Alex Lantier, 19 May 2016

Wednesday’s protest, organised by a police union close to the neo-fascist National Front, was aimed at intimidating broad popular opposition to the Socialist Party's labor reform.

NATO rearmament in Eastern Europe increases danger of world war

By Johannes Stern, 19 May 2016

In the run-up to its July summit in Warsaw, NATO is building up its capabilities in Eastern Europe, heightening the danger of a nuclear conflict with Russia.

Queen’s Speech 2016: UK Conservatives continue agenda of austerity and repression

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2016

The government’s legislative programme for the next year includes new powers for the state under the guise of tackling “extremism” and the abolition of the Human Rights Act.

UK: Manchester United ground evacuated in false terror scare

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2016

No explanation has yet been provided by Manchester United, the police or the company that left a dummy explosive device in a football stadium, of Sunday’s extraordinary events.

Ireland’s Fine Gael forms minority government after pact with Fianna Fail

By Dermot Quinn, 16 May 2016

After weeks of negotiations, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has been elected prime minister.

Wage deal in Germany: IG Metall agrees to end industry-wide contracts

By Dietmar Henning, 16 May 2016

Industry heads are enthusiastic about the deal that allows individual corporations to be released from wage contracts when profits are lower than desired.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 May 2016

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

Protests erupt in France against regressive labor law

By Alex Lantier, 12 May 2016

Protesters clashed violently with police and sacked the headquarters of the ruling Socialist Party in several cities across France.

How #UpAllNight seeks to block opposition to French labour law

By Francis Dubois, 12 May 2016

Occupations of public squares led by activists closely tied to the trade unions and the petty-bourgeois left are a dead end for working class opposition to austerity.

Volkswagen board pockets €63 million in 2015

By Dietmar Henning, 10 May 2016

Despite the exhaust emissions scandal and record losses, the nine members of the VW Executive Board were paid €10 million more in 2015 than the previous year.

The Berlin Senate’s inhuman deportation policy

By Carola Kleinert, 10 May 2016

Refugees in Germany are being crammed into inhumane camps, bullied and brutally deported.

US intelligence agencies expand electronic surveillance worldwide

By Thomas Gaist, 6 May 2016

Congress is reviewing statutory changes to a little known “Rule 41” that will allow the FBI and other security agencies to hack and spy on computers and networks anywhere in the world, based on a single, non-specific warrant.

Labour “anti-Semitism” witch-hunt dominates media in run-up to UK polls

By Robert Stevens, 6 May 2016

During Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament Wednesday, David Cameron reiterated the charge that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was a supporter of terrorism.