Europe

Ten years after riots, French police cleared in deaths of Clichy-sous-Bois youths

By Anthony Torres, 23 May 2015

The ruling reveals the impunity enjoyed by police, as the ruling class depends ever more directly on law-and-order hysteria to stabilize its rule.

France boosts military spending, recruits more youth into the army

By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2015

The army is set to be France’s largest recruiter in the coming year, as the country plunges billions into the armed forces amid a broad military build-up across Europe.

UK rail unions call off strike action

By Michael Barnes, 23 May 2015

The unions have betrayed a large strike mandate and disarmed rail-workers in the face of a ferocious assault by the incoming Conservative government.

German train drivers’ union calls off strike and agrees to arbitration

By Ulrich Rippert, 22 May 2015

The strike was called off Thursday, the day before the Bundestag takes up the contentious “contract unity” bill, which would essentially ban strikes by smaller unions in an industry.

Greece edges towards collapse as troika demands new austerity plan

By Robert Stevens, 20 May 2015

Without further loans, the Syriza government, which has pledged to implement austerity measures, could default on an overall debt of €300 billion within weeks.

Spanish elections: Support for Podemos declines amid predicted losses for main parties

By Paul Mitchell, 20 May 2015

Podemos’ earlier rapid rise was a sign of the volatile political situation and the collapse in support for the Popular Party and the Socialist Party.

UK government counter-terrorism bill would criminalize speech, political activity

By Jordan Shilton, 18 May 2015

The proposed legislation would give the state the power to require an “extremist” group or individual to submit any written publication to the police before it is printed.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 May 2015

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Nationwide strike by child care workers in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 14 May 2015

Striking workers in child care and social services confront not only their employers, but also the trade unions.

Swedish Supreme Court rejects Julian Assange’s appeal of arrest warrant

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2015

The ruling is another blatant trampling on the democratic rights of Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

German SPD achieves worst result in Bremen state elections since World War II

By Dietmar Henning, 13 May 2015

The outcome of the Bremen state elections exposes the immense gulf between official politics and the working class in Germany

Berlin police powers strengthened

By Bernd Reinhardt, 13 May 2015

The changes to Berlin’s police powers reveal a mentality that places so-called security needs above the protection of civil liberties.

Siemens announces massive job cuts worldwide

By Dietmar Henning, 12 May 2015

The new job cuts were agreed upon between the trade union, works council and management.

Seventy years since the defeat of Hitler’s Third Reich

By Fred Williams, 9 May 2015

The boycott of the May 9 celebrations in Moscow by the US and Germany is bound up with their alliance with fascistic forces and their virulently anti-Russian foreign policy.

Polish presidential election expresses growing hostility towards Russia

By Markus Salzmann, 9 May 2015

The campaign has been characterised by agitation against Russia and the promotion of a military build-up.

VE Day in Germany: War commemoration and war propaganda

By Peter Schwarz, 9 May 2015

Previous commemorations of the end of the Second World War were dedicated to shared reflection on the past, now they revolve around current conflicts and future wars.

Italian parliament adopts new election law

By Marianne Arens, 8 May 2015

The reforms will provide the government with more room to act independently of the will of the electorate.

French National Assembly passes draconian electronic surveillance law

By Anthony Torres, 7 May 2015

The law retroactively sanctions the mass spying already carried out by the intelligence services and formally sets up the surveillance infrastructure of a police state in France.

The British election as seen from Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 7 May 2015

The European media regard the British general election as a source of economic instability and a step towards the fracturing of the European Union into its national components.

Russell Brand performs volte face and urges Labour vote

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 7 May 2015

Brand won popular support for standing out against the very claims he is now making.

NATO begins largest anti-submarine exercises ever in the North Sea

By Niles Williamson, 6 May 2015

In a provocation aimed at Russia, the annual NATO naval exercises include forces from non-member state Sweden for the first time.

German foreign intelligence service aided NSA spying in Europe

By Sven Heymanns, 5 May 2015

The BND has been spying on leading European politicians and companies on behalf of the NSA for decades.

Anger mounts among Greek retirees as Syriza threatens to withhold pensions

By Kumaran Ira, 2 May 2015

The Syriza government delayed pension payments while continuing to repay the banks.

European Union steps up repressive measures against refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 May 2015

The EU’s militarized anti-refugee measures do not stop at the Libyan coast, but are being extended to Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Mali and Niger.

Governing parties suffer defeat in Finnish elections

By Roger Jordan, 29 April 2015

The aggressive US-led drive to encircle Russia in eastern Europe and the Baltic will be one of the main issues confronting the incoming administration.

Syriza-led government prepares new austerity measures against Greek workers

By Christoph Dreier, 28 April 2015

After European finance ministers ruled out any concessions to Greece, the Syriza-led government called an emergency meeting to draft new austerity measures.

Governing parties suffer defeat in Finnish elections

By Roger Jordan, 28 April 2015

The aggressive US-led drive to encircle Russia in eastern Europe and the Baltic will be one of the main issues confronting the incoming administration.

Stress and speedup in German GM-Opel plants

By Marianne Arens, 27 April 2015

The IG Metall trade union is collaborating with management to pressure workers to increase output at GM-Opel factories.

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.