Europe

Germany: Merkel’s re-election and the fight against militarism, welfare cuts and dictatorship

By Johannes Stern, 15 March 2018

With the re-election of Angela Merkel, the most right-wing German government has taken office since the fall of the Third Reich.

The Skripal poisoning: What lies behind UK-US ultimatums against Russia?

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2018

As London and NATO concoct a case for war against Russia based on allegations that Moscow poisoned Sergei Skripal, certain elementary questions must be asked.

UK university lecturers revolt against union sell-out agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

Thousands protested nationally and hundreds of lecturers lobbied outside the union’s headquarters in London Tuesday to demand rejection of a deal reached the previous evening.

“I’m delighted with the voices of solidarity from West Virginia”

Students and lecturers at the University of Aberdeen speak about the issues in the strike

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

Members of the IYSSE spoke to students and striking lecturers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland about the issues in the lecturers’ struggle.

UK seeks international support for anti-Russia measures

By Chris Marsden, 14 March 2018

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is engaged in a high-stakes effort to turn the tide internationally towards stepped-up conflict with Russia, up to and including a military confrontation.

Great power politics, militarism, increased deportations: The right-wing programme of Germany’s grand coalition

By Peter Schwarz, 14 March 2018

The ruling class of Germany is reacting to the crisis of the European Union by returning to the criminal methods it used in the past.

Striking UK lecturers speak out to denounce attempted UCU sell-out: “I’d like to see the membership taking control more as it has done today”

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters interviewed striking lecturers at an all-day protest of several hundred lecturers, students and university workers outside UCU’s headquarters in North London.

“It’s certainly not going to shut me up”

Grenfell fire: Joe Delaney answers right-wing media witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to north Kensington resident Joe Delaney about the recent attack on him by the Sunday Times.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

The 2018 Berlinale and the #MeToo campaign

By Stefan Steinberg and Verena Nees, 14 March 2018

The 68th Berlin Film Festival, whose 2018 edition ended February 25, is the world’s largest film festival open to the public.

UK prime minister delivers ultimatum to Russia, heightening war danger

By Laura Tiernan, 13 March 2018

May’s speech follows a wave of anti-Russia hysteria unleashed by the media, political and military establishment, including the mobilisation of 180 military personnel in the cathedral city of Salisbury.

UK: More than a million welfare benefit sanctions imposed against disabled people

By Dennis Moore, 13 March 2018

In 2015, the UK government withheld £132 million from claimants in the form of sanctions.

An Open letter from the International Youth and Students for Social Equality to the editors of German daily Tageszeitung

12 March 2018

The following letter was sent by the IYSSE to the editors of the German daily Tageszeitung, after it published a defence of right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski and defamed his critics.

Corbyn opposes Momentum leader Jon Lansman’s bid for Labour’s general secretary post

By Julie Hyland, 9 March 2018

Far from marking a breach in the bureaucratic apparatus, the contest between two supporters of leader Jeremy Corbyn underscores the anti-democratic, right-wing character of Labour.

Dozens of fatalities during European cold snap

By Tom Pearce and Robert Stevens, 9 March 2018

According to reports, more than 60 people, including many homeless people, have perished across the continent, with 29 dying in Poland alone.

Anti-Russia campaign follows alleged poisoning of former UK/Russian double agent and daughter

By Robert Stevens, 8 March 2018

Sergei Skripal is a former colonel in Russia’s GRU, the military intelligence service. He spent four years in jail in Russia after being found guilty in 2006 of passing secrets to the British MI6.

Germany: Grand coalition expands foreign operations in Afghanistan and Iraq

By Johannes Stern, 8 March 2018

No sooner had the membership of the SPD voted for the continuation of the government alliance with the CDU/CSU, plans for new military operations were announced.

After Burkina Faso bombing, France pledges to step up war in Sahel

By Francis Dubois, 8 March 2018

The capital of Ouagadougou was shaken on March 2 by an attack by two commando squads on the French embassy and Burkinabe army headquarters.

Why the far-right won in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 7 March 2018

Decades of austerity and attacks on democratic rights by the official “left” in Italy, aided and abetted by its pseudo-left apologists, have produced an electoral victory by the far-right parties.

Putin’s state of the nation speech highlights crisis of Russian oligarchy

By Clara Weiss, 6 March 2018

Menaced by US imperialism and gripped by economic crisis, the Russian state headed by Putin offers no solution to the historic impasse facing the country.

German Green Party-aligned newspaper defends far-right Professor Baberowski

International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), 6 March 2018

The Tageszeitung, a daily close to the German Green Party, dedicated its weekend edition to a frontal attack on the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE).

Hung parliament emerges in Italy as social-democratic vote collapses

By Alex Lantier, 5 March 2018

Yesterday’s general elections in Italy have produced a hung parliament and a historic collapse of the ruling social-democratic Democratic Party.

German Social Democratic Party votes to form grand coalition

By Johannes Stern, 5 March 2018

The SPD has cleared the way with their vote for the most right-wing government in Germany since the downfall of the Nazis.

European Union demands Google, Facebook step up Internet censorship

By Kumaran Ira, 5 March 2018

The EU’s call for the automatic removal of online content is part of an international attempt to censor social opposition to austerity and war.

EU threatens retaliation to Trump’s trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 3 March 2018

Trump’s announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium has triggered international criticism, including from US allies that will be among the hardest hit.

French neo-fascist Marine Le Pen indicted for tweeting pictures of IS killings

By Francis Dubois, 3 March 2018

The indictment of two National Front deputies for posting pictures on Twitter is an act of political censorship threatening basic democratic rights.

Theresa May’s Brexit speech gets short shrift from European Union

By Chris Marsden, 3 March 2018

Despite her conciliatory tone, May failed to meet EU demands to flesh out what her government means by “ambitious managed diversion.”

Germany: The membership vote and the war policy of the SPD

By Ulrich Rippert, 3 March 2018

The massive pressure the SPD leadership has exerted on its members is part of a political conspiracy to implement a militaristic program.

Elections in Italy deepen European Union crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 3 March 2018

Unless the polls are proved wrong, tomorrow’s parliamentary election in Italy will usher in a new stage in the crisis and instability of the European Union.

The Italian election alliance Potere al Popolo: A repackaging of pseudo-left politics

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 2 March 2018

The driving force behind this new Italian electoral alliance is Rifondazione Comunista, which for many years played a crucial role in stabilising the bourgeois order and suppressing the class struggle.

Skoda workers in the Czech Republic prepare to strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 March 2018

The strike preparations at Skoda are part of a growing radicalisation of workers in Eastern Europe, who are no longer willing to accept conditions of extreme exploitation.

German defence minister confirms grand coalition’s rearmament plans

By Johannes Stern, 1 March 2018

Ursula von der Leyen made clear in a recent interview what the central tasks of Germany’s incoming government will be: a major rearmament programme and the waging of war.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slithers toward sellout

By Chris Marsden, 1 March 2018

Corbyn’s speech expresses the role that would be played by any future Labour government, under conditions where a deepening Tory crisis could hasten a general election.

UK lecturers and students speak out during second week of strikes over pensions

By our reporters, 28 February 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to lecturers, other university staff and students at picket lines and rallies around the UK on Monday and Tuesday.

French President Macron turns his labor decrees against rail workers

By Alex Lantier, 28 February 2018

On Monday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to end the French rail workers' statute and privatize the French National Railways.

Greek rent subsidy scandal forces resignation of two Syriza ministers

By Alex Lantier, 28 February 2018

The wealthy couple had a yearly income of over $500,000 but claimed €23,000 in rent subsidies for an apartment in Athens’ upscale Kolonaki area that they in fact owned.

German Left Party leader backs new attack on immigrants

By Christoph Vandreier, 28 February 2018

Sahra Wagenknecht defended the decision of Essen Tafel to restrict its food handouts to German citizens only.

Right-wing media launch witch-hunt against Grenfell activist Joe Delaney

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 28 February 2018

The accusation should be met with contempt by the thousands of residents who know Delaney, and all those in the UK and internationally who have solidarized with the Grenfell victims.

The Italian elections: A perspective for the working class

By Peter Schwarz, 28 February 2018

All the political problems that confront workers and young people across Europe are expressed in concentrated form in the elections to be held in Italy this Sunday.

UK local authorities escalate anti-homelessness policies

By Barry Mason, 27 February 2018

Living on the streets is a very precarious existence, reducing life expectancy to 47 years compared to 81 years for the average person in the UK.

Parti de l'égalité socialiste holds meeting in Paris against militarism and austerity

By our reporters, 27 February 2018

The meeting exposed the militaristic plans underlying attempts to form a Grand Coalition government in Germany working closely with President Emmanuel Macron.

German Left Party voices support for military rearmament and war

By Johannes Stern, 26 February 2018

Left Party representative Stefan Liebich greeted the war speech of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) at the Munich Security Conference.

London tower block leaseholders oppose having to pay cladding repair bill

By our reporters, 26 February 2018

The owners of the Citiscape apartments in south London, Proxima GR Properties, are trying to force leaseholders to pay at least £2 million for replacing unsafe cladding.

“We will not eat until we are free”

UK: Hunger strikers at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre

By Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2018

The mainly women detainees are demanding an end to indefinite detention, describing “systematic torture” by the Home Office and the private security firm, Serco.

UK lecturers stage second day of national strikes

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2018

In contrast to the stand by lecturers and students, the University and College Union has insisted that the strikes give way as soon as possible to resumed negotiations.

Lecturers and students stage united protests in Sheffield and Southampton

By our reporters, 24 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to lecturers and students at universities around the UK.

Tuition fees review will escalate marketisation of higher education in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 24 February 2018

At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings.

Informal EU summit steps up Middle East war threats, attacks on migrants

By Alex Lantier, 24 February 2018

The summit featured threats against Syria and plans to intensify the neocolonial war led by France in Mali.

German Chancellor promotes rearmament and war in speech to parliament

By Johannes Stern, 24 February 2018

Merkel made clear that the incoming grand coalition will implement a massive military build-up, a new round of social austerity and adopt the far-right’s policies on refugees.

Spain: Podemos support plummets after rightward lurch

By Paul Mitchell, 24 February 2018

A major factor in the decline of Podemos has been the experience of workers and middle-class people with the party in numerous town halls and city halls.

Tory-media witch-hunt claims Labour’s Corbyn was a spy

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2018

This latest offensive by the Tory Party and media follows threats by senior military figures that Corbyn must not be allowed to form a government.

Macron launches campaign to privatise French railways

By Kumaran Ira, 20 February 2018

The report calls for the privatisation of the French National Railways, aiming to eliminate basic social rights of the working class to finance Macron’s militarist policies.

New round of attacks across Spain’s auto industry

By Alejandro López and Gabriel Labarthe, 20 February 2018

The auto industry in Spain is utilising the full conversion of plants to produce electric cars, claims of lower expectations of profits last year—combined with threats to move production offshore—to impose attacks on wages and work conditions.

Amazon set to open new depot in Sheffield—“low pay capital of the UK”

By Danny Richardson, 20 February 2018

Sheffield and its surrounding area was previously a major steel producing region with Amazon building its “Fulfilment Centres” in the South Yorkshire area on shuttered steel plants.

Munich Security Conference threatens war on all fronts

By Chris Marsden, 19 February 2018

Washington led the pack in bellicosity towards Syria and North Korea, tied to allegations of Russian and Chinese culpability.

German defence minister delivers war-mongering speech at Munich Security Conference

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2018

A rearmament offensive is being prepared, comparable only to that of Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

A tool of imperialism: Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France calls for military buildup

By Alex Lantier, 19 February 2018

As Paris threatens to bomb Syria, and Washington threatens Russia and China, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is stampeding behind calls to build a European war machine.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Failed by the State co-director discusses smear campaign against his documentary

By our reporter, 19 February 2018

After a lively discussion on issues raised by the film, the Grenfell Fire Forum passed a resolution opposing the attack on it by the corporate media.

War clouds gather over Munich Security Conference

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2018

The central issue being discussed by the high-ranking attendees at the conference is how the assembled great powers, and the Europeans in particular, can rearm to prepare for war.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

#MeToo campaign turns on French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot

By Francis Dubois, 15 February 2018

The media hysteria that the French government initially helped stir up around #MeToo is now turning against the government itself.

Germany: The coalition agreement and the return of militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2018

Important sections of the coalition pact between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed last week bear the imprint of the top military brass.

UK Prime Minister May calls for fight to “defeat socialism”

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2018

May spoke almost 40 years after Thatcher vowed to “roll back the tide of socialism,” and more than 25 years since the liquidation of the Soviet Union was hailed as proof of the triumph of capitalism.

Twenty thousand demonstrate against fascist rampage in Macerata, Italy

By Marianne Arens, 15 February 2018

Some 20,000 protesters, many of them young people, participated in an anti-fascist march through the town of Macerata Saturday.

Failed by the State co-director Daniel Renwick: “Every day I meet people who have been politicised and have a deeper consciousness”

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Daniel Renwick about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Oppose the right-wing campaign against Grenfell fire documentary Failed by the State

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The attack on the documentary is part of a broader offensive by the ruling elite and its media, which are attempting to portray all expressions of political and social dissent as “fake news” being spread by the Putin regime in Russia.

German grand coalition planning major military build-up

By Peter Schwarz, 14 February 2018

An article in IP magazine, published by the German Council for Foreign Relations, gives a glimpse of the foreign policy debates going on behind the scenes.

Germany: The resignation of Martin Schulz

By Peter Schwarz, 12 February 2018

The rapid rise and fall of Schulz cannot be explained simply on the basis of personal rivalries. At stake are major political issues.

New NATO headquarters planned in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2018

With a new NATO headquarters, Germany would be even more strongly involved in NATO preparations for war against Russia.

French media endorse plan for anti-worker Grand Coalition government in Germany

By Alex Lantier, 12 February 2018

The Grand Coalition deal and the new Berlin-Paris axis are both based on the most right-wing program since fascist parties ruled Europe.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

Sleeping rough in the UK: “I never expected to be on the streets”

By Margot Miller and Dennis Moore, 10 February 2018

WSWS reporters recently spoke to rough sleepers on the streets of Manchester in north west England.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors vote with Blairites against scrapping Haringey Council’s social cleansing project

By Paul Mitchell, 10 February 2018

Labour councillors, backed by Momentum, refused to back a motion that would have brought an end to the UK’s most infamous handover of council assets.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council on verge of bankruptcy

By Robert Stevens, 10 February 2018

The crisis facing councils is an indictment of the austerity, privatisation and outsourcing that has been the policy of successive central governments and local authorities.

Reject German coalition pact! Make public all secret agreements!

Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 10 February 2018

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) demands the publication of all secret protocols and lists of participants in the coalition talks, which have laid the basis for the coming to power of the most right-wing government since the downfall of the Nazis.

YouTube censors video opposing far-right Alternative for Germany

By Johannes Stern, 10 February 2018

The video by the left-wing, socialist channel “Political Analysis” was evidently censored following appeals by far-right circles to YouTube.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Berlin Senate plans increase in police powers

By Katerina Selin, 8 February 2018

Last week, the Berlin Senate, a coalition of the Social Democratic Party, the Left Party and the Greens, discussed a far-reaching security plan for the German capital.

Belgium: terror trial begins of Saleh Abdeslam, “Europe’s most wanted man”

By Anthony Torres, 8 February 2018

The trial of the sole survivor of the team that carried out the 13 November 2015 attacks in Paris, Saleh Abdeslam, opened Monday in Belgium.

Spain to double its military spending

By Alejandro López, 8 February 2018

The Spanish government is attempting to straddle the contradictions of supporting both the German-led PESCO and US-led NATO.

Why does Mélenchon want to expel Syriza from the European Left Party?

By Alex Lantier, 8 February 2018

Mélenchon wants to defend the anti-worker policies of European Left member parties in the face of rising social anger and working class militancy across Europe.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober: The social cleansing agenda of a Blairite “martyr”

By Julie Hyland, 8 February 2018

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober has received the support of over 70 leaders of Labour councils nationally who are all enforcing Tory spending cuts.

Polish president signs bill censoring free speech about the Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 7 February 2018

The action will have a “chilling effect” on all forms of political speech and scientific research opposed by the ultra-right Polish authorities.

Germany’s Grand Coalition for austerity and war

By Johannes Stern, 6 February 2018

In the final stretch of coalition negotiations, SPD leader Martin Schulz announced an agreement between his party and the conservative CDU/CSU on European policy.

Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide

By Marianne Arens, 6 February 2018

The extension of the operation is part of the plans of the grand coalition between the SPD and Christian Democrats to further strengthen police powers and coordinate security policy on a European basis.

May’s China visit highlights UK’s post-Brexit dilemma

By Jean Shaoul, 6 February 2018

The US tied May’s hands, leading to her refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding officially endorsing China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Post-Grenfell Tower fire report confirms systemic corporate flouting of health and safety standards

By Trevor Johnson, 6 February 2018

Even on essential safety issues like fire prevention, the Hackitt report considers it too great an imposition on landlords to demand, in law, that they carry out basic improvements such as fitting sprinkler systems in tower blocks.

Half a million metalworkers participate in strikes in Germany

By our reporters, 3 February 2018

On Friday, the all-day warning strikes in the metal and electrical industries culminated with hundreds of thousands of workers on strike.

French workers support growing mass strikes in Germany

By V. Gnana and Alex Lantier, 3 February 2018

“If we support their struggle today, they will support our struggle tomorrow,” said a day laborer working multiple jobs in Paris.

The human cost of the destruction of the National Health Service

By NHS FightBack, 3 February 2018

The following statement by NHS FightBack is being distributed today at marches and rallies in defence of the National Health Service in London and other towns and cities.

German industrial workers shut down auto sector as strikes spread

By our reporters, 2 February 2018

Workers in the automotive and electrical industries are striking for a third consecutive day for higher wages and the voluntary reduction of the workweek.

European Union skeptic wins Czech presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2018

Acting Czech President Milos Zeman narrowly won the second round of the presidential election last Friday and Saturday.

Social cleansing in Haringey: Labour right reject Corbyn’s pleas for “unity”

By Julie Hyland, 2 February 2018

Haringey’s Labour-run council is mounting one of the largest privatisation and social cleansing operations in London

“Our job is like working in a slaughterhouse”

French retirement home workers strike to defend elderly, working conditions

By Anthony Torres, 2 February 2018

In an unprecedented event on Tuesday, workers at retirement homes (Ehpad) across France overwhelmingly followed calls for strike action.

Tens of thousands of German industrial workers on strike

By our reporters, 1 February 2018

Up to 500,000 workers are participating in one-day strikes in Germany’s automotive and electrical industries, the largest strikes in the sector for 15 years.

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

US media glorifies small protests by right-wing Putin opponent Alexei Navalny

By Clara Weiss, 1 February 2018

Though tens of thousands protested last year against social inequality and corruption, Navalny has been unable to tap into the massive social discontent, largely due to his fascistic politics.

A series of attacks at Russian schools

By Clara Weiss, 31 January 2018

Within one week, three schools witnessed outbreaks of violence, and one school a stabbing. Dozens of children and several teachers were wounded.

Polish government seeks to criminalize mention of Polish crimes during the Holocaust

By Clara Weiss, 30 January 2018

The far-reaching assault on free speech is part of the systematic effort of the right-wing PiS government to strengthen fascist forces and, along with that, falsify the history of Poland.

UK Labour: Corbyn seeks accommodation with Blairites and big business

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2018

The policy of the Labour right wing is to extract maximum concessions from Corbyn—especially regarding Labour’s stance on Brexit.

UK Defence Secretary accuses Russia of planning to kill “thousands and thousands and thousands” of Britons

By Robert Stevens, 27 January 2018

Williamson’s comments come just days after the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces declared that Britain must actively prepare for war with Russia.