Europe

German Christian Democrats’ election programme calls for increased state powers

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 July 2017

On Monday, the leaders of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union government parties presented their election programme in Berlin.

London residents on the Grenfell fire: “All they want to do is maximise their profits”

By our reporters, 6 July 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to London residents on Bramley Road, near Grenfell Tower.

Macron speaks to assembled houses of French parliament in Versailles

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2017

Macron called for military escalation overseas and broad-ranging changes to basic institutions of French political and social life, to be worked out with the trade unions.

German foreign minister goes on the offensive in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2017

Just days before the G20 summit in Hamburg, and in the midst of the Qatar crisis, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel traveled to the Arabian Peninsula.

G20 summit in Hamburg: A city in a state of siege

By Sven Heymanns, 4 July 2017

The planned measures in Hamburg are not just to protect the political elite attending the G20, but are deliberate preparations for a civil war scenario.

“There are people who died in there—and they’re not telling us who they are.”

Anger grows over Grenfell Tower inferno

By our reporters, 4 July 2017

Residents of the Lancaster West housing estate near Grenfell Tower talked to the World Socialist Web Site about the June 14 fire in London.

“People died because they used cheap cladding. It’s like war between rich and poor”

Anti-austerity protestors speak on the Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 3 July 2017

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed some of those participating in Saturday’s anti-austerity demonstration. Dominating the thoughts of those who attended was the Grenfell Tower inferno and its implications.

Report: UK low-income families cannot afford basic requirements to live

By Alice Summers, 1 July 2017

A survey reveals that many poor families, with stagnating incomes and record levels of personal debt, are unable to afford basics such as food, beds or refrigerators.

Italian local elections see defeat of Renzi’s Democratic Party

By Marianne Arens, 1 July 2017

With turnout below 50 percent, the election result is a huge vote of no confidence in the governing Democratic Party and the entire so-called centre-left camp.

Criminal prosecutions finally brought 28 years after 96 Liverpool fans killed at Hillsborough stadium

By Robert Stevens, 30 June 2017

While these long overdue prosecutions are welcome, it has been so long since the terrible crime was committed that many of the guilty figures are either dead or nearing the end of life.

Timeline of the Hillsborough disaster and cover-up as it unfolded

By Robert Stevens, 30 June 2017

April 15, 1989

Two weeks after London’s Grenfell Tower inferno, real death toll still concealed by Tory government

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2017

As with the victims of their policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere, those killed in the Grenfell Tower fire are looked upon by the ruling class as “collateral damage.”

What drove Darren Osborne to commit the London anti-Muslim terrorist attack?

By Richard Tyler, 29 June 2017

The acres of press coverage of this disturbing attack do not provide any serious explanation as to why a man with no evident background of racism would suddenly commit such a heinous crime.

On-the-spot report from London:

Residents in Camden speak about Grenfell fire and their evacuation due to fire risk

By our reporters, 27 June 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to residents evacuated from tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate in London by Labour Party-run Camden council over the weekend.

German parliament agrees to massive expansion of digital surveillance

By Sven Heymann, 27 June 2017

The state will be given the power to deploy “trojans,” computer code that can bypass a user’s security and implement remote online searches of a person’s devices.

The political implications of the Grenfell Tower fire

By Chris Marsden, 27 June 2017

The staggering loss of life epitomises the devastation capitalism has wrought on generations of working people. It is the outcome of a vast and ongoing transfer of society’s wealth from the poor to the rich.

Hundreds of thousands in UK face same fire risk as Grenfell Tower victims

By Robert Stevens, 26 June 2017

Of the UK’s 4,000 tower blocks, 600 have been selected for testing, due to the use of unsafe building materials.

UK: Camden residents speak of ill treatment during tower block evacuation

By our reporters, 26 June 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to some of the thousands of Camden residents, who were evacuated because their tower blocks are unsafe.

German SPD conference: Schulz attacks Merkel from the right

By Johannes Stern, 26 June 2017

At its party congress in Dortmund, the SPD presented itself as the party of social cuts, militarism and the intelligence services.

Austrian Social Democrats open to coalition with right-wing extremist Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann, 26 June 2017

The SPÖ governor of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser, declared: “We are in a situation where the wind is not blowing from the left, but coming from the right.”

Part 1: The reactionary origins of Britain’s incoming National Union of Students executive

By Stephen Alexander, 26 June 2017

The following is the first of a two-part series on the political issues behind the election of Labour’s Shakira Martin as NUS President.

The SPD in Germany competes for the legacy of conservative Finance Minister Schäuble

By Peter Schwarz, 23 June 2017

The SPD’s tax plan picks up from and continues the ruthless austerity policies introduced by current CDU finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

After Grenfell Tower fire:

May government admits hundreds more UK tower blocks potentially clad in combustible material

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2017

With the final death toll from the inferno still unknown, the Conservative government has called a public inquiry as part of efforts to conceal its complicity in the disaster.

Political lessons of the French elections

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2017

The election of Emmanuel Macron is the outcome of the reactionary policies of the organizations in the so-called French left that broke with Trotskyism.

Weakened May government sets out plans for hard UK exit from the European Union

By Julie Hyland, 22 June 2017

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May set out her government’s legislative agenda yesterday in the Queen’s Speech, which was widely acknowledged to be her first and last one.

Grenfell Tower fire victims and survivors treated with contempt by UK authorities

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2017

The government’s “Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund,” which totals a pitiful £5 million, stands in stark contrast to the £369 million worth of repairs to Buckingham Palace.

UK’s Daily Mail tries to scapegoat resident for Grenfell Tower inferno

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 21 June 2017

Angry denunciations of the tabloid flooded in after it tried to pin the blame for the horrific fire that cost the lives of at least 79 people on an Ethiopian taxi driver.

German Greens seek power—at any price

By Dietmar Henning, 21 June 2017

The Greens are currently hovering around 5 percent in opinion polls and could fail to reach the threshold necessary for entry into the Bundestag.

Exit talks begin between UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 20 June 2017

Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis and Michel Bernier of the European Union launched negotiations Monday on the terms of Britain’s exit from the trade bloc.

“We cannot brush this under the table, some heads have to roll”

London residents speak on Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 20 June 2017

London residents and people living in housing nearby Grenfell Tower speak about the horrifying fire that has killed at least 79 residents, and the economic and political decisions that allowed it to happen.

France’s new pro-Macron legislature: The ruling class in office

By Francis Dubois, 20 June 2017

Despite claims that President Emmanuel Macron is renovating French politics, his party is a haven for business owners and France’s old political establishment.

On the eve of the second round of the French legislative elections

By Alex Lantier, 17 June 2017

The elections taking place tomorrow will undoubtedly mark a historic collapse of French democracy and of what has passed for the “left” in France for nearly a half century.

Spanish dockers strike in opposition to deregulation

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 June 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute by writing to comments@wsws.org.

London’s Grenfell Tower inferno: A crime against the working class

By Laura Tiernan, 15 June 2017

The catastrophic fire broke out shortly after midnight Wednesday, on the second floor of 24-storey council flats in Kensington, West London that were home to an estimated 500 people.

German law professor accuses Baberowski of right-wing extremism and historical revisionism

By Peter Schwarz, 15 June 2017

Despite right-wing historian Jörg Baberowski’s defeat in court, the Presidium of Humboldt University continues to defend him. Bremen-based law Professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano has therefore accused the university Presidium of being “an accomplice of right-wing scholarship.”

Syriza government in Greece passes more austerity

By John Vassilopoulos, 13 June 2017

The bill includes measures designed to facilitate mass sackings as well as further sell-offs of public assets.

European Central Bank still failing to meet inflation objective

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2017

Structural changes in the European economy mean low wages along with part-time and casual employment are becoming the “new normal.”

Britain’s general election: A new stage in the class struggle

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 10 June 2017

To those now inclined to accept the portrayal of Corbyn by pseudo-left groups in Britain as the natural leader of the working class, we say: Remember Alexis Tsipras and Syriza.

British general election delivers seismic political shock

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 9 June 2017

Though the election result in part reflected concern over May’s hard Brexit strategy, the overwhelming issue was hostility to Tory austerity measures.

New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) election meeting in Paris: The dead end of the pseudo-left

By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2017

Despite the war crisis and growing social anger among workers, NPA leader Alain Krivine insisted that internationalist opposition to capitalism would find no popular support.

IYSSE demands Humboldt University retract its defense of right-wing radical Jorg Baberowski

By the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 9 June 2017

The university leadership can no longer sustain the assertion that it is protecting the freedom of academic inquiry and defending a scholar “whose integrity is beyond doubt.”

Britain’s crisis election and the tasks facing the working class

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2017

Britain is being destabilised economically, politically and socially as world capitalism descends into its deepest crisis since the end of World War II.

London terror suspects were known to police

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2017

As evidence continued to mount that the attackers received some degree of state protection, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced Prime Minister Theresa May for having allowed “cuts in police numbers.”

Macron’s En Marche set to win large majority in French legislative elections

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2017

The newly-elected president intends for the assembly, controlled by his party, to serve as a rubber stamp for unprecedented attacks on social and democratic rights.

Official account of London terror attack unravels

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 5 June 2017

Within 24 hours of Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge, the official narrative presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun to fall apart.

Socialist Equality Party stands candidates in German election: Against militarism and war! For socialism!

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party of Germany), 5 June 2017

At the centre of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) election campaign is a socialist programme directed against war and capitalism and expressing the interests of the working class and youth all over the world.

In French legislative elections, Mélenchon moves closer to Macron

By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2017

The perspective for opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s agenda offered by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the Unsubmissive France movement, is collapsing.

Germany turns to Asia

By Johannes Stern, 1 June 2017

In the midst of a historic crisis in transatlantic relations, Berlin is working systematically to expand political and economic ties with Asia.

Green Party mayor demolishes refugee camp in Grenoble, France

By Athiyan Silva, 1 June 2017

More than one hundred CRS police rounded up and forcibly expelled refugees from the Valmy Refugee camp in southeast France.

German Professor Baberowski explains his far-right agenda

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2017

In an interview in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski complains of the “cultural hegemony of the left” and calls for the “removal of taboos” on far-right positions.

German Social Democrats, Left Party back Merkel’s anti-US stance

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2017

The political and media establishment in Germany is exploiting outrage at US President Trump’s arrogant behaviour to mobilise support behind an independent great power policy.

UK and US mount damage control operation over Manchester bombing

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2017

Amid revelations that suicide bomber Salmand Abedi was closely monitored by British intelligence, MI5 has launched an investigation into its latest “intelligence failure.”

Gasoline and chemical truck drivers strike in France

By Francis Dubois, 30 May 2017

The unions are insisting that this strike should be limited to action in one industry and are seeking to avoid any serious interruption of industry and transport.

As Labour rises in UK polls, Blairite breakaway party plans gather pace

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2017

Ahead of the June 8 snap general election, former Labour Party leader Tony Blair and his supporters are brazenly advancing plans to establish a new right-wing political formation.

Conflict between Europe and America dominates NATO summit

By Johannes Stern, 26 May 2017

The first trip by US President Donald Trump to Europe has exposed the deep rift in the transatlantic alliance.

Trump to press for increased defence spending at NATO summit

By Johannes Stern, 25 May 2017

Thursday’s summit takes place in the context of a deep crisis to which the ruling classes on both sides of the Atlantic are responding with a sharp shift to the right.

Macron prepares enabling act to slash contracts, labor rights in France

By Alex Lantier, 23 May 2017

The newly-elected president is preparing a historic assault on jobs, wages, and labor legislation to be rammed through by presidential decree in the face of public opposition.

Explosion kills, wounds dozens at pop concert in Manchester

By our reporters, 23 May 2017

The carnage and terror occurred barely 17 days before Britain votes in the snap June 8 national election.

Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia intensifies tensions with Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 23 May 2017

The European media has accused Trump of further inflaming the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites with his moves to forge a closer alliance with Saudi Arabia targeted against Iran.

Links established between neo-Nazi network and “Identity Movement” in the German army

By Christoph Vandreier, 23 May 2017

The latest reports confirm that the suspected terrorist cell is part of more widespread right-wing extremist networks in the German army.

French media, political parties hush up PS government’s coup plan

By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2017

Thursday’s edition of L’Obs magazine revealed that the outgoing Socialist Party government planned a coup d’état if National Front candidate Marine Le Pen had won the May 7 presidential elections.

French government prepared coup if Le Pen won presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 19 May 2017

According to L'Obs the plan aimed not to keep Le Pen out of office, but to crush anti-fascist protests, impose martial law, and force Le Pen to work with a social democratic government.

UK: Labour’s manifesto amended to stress commitment to militarism and war

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s infinite malleability is essential to the Labour “left” in providing the necessary window dressing to sell to the working class a party of big business, militarism and war.

“It’s sheer slavery”

Amazon warehouse worker in Manchester UK “enterprise zone” speaks of intolerable working conditions

By our reporters, 19 May 2017

Amazon’s warehousing operations have become a byword for ultra-high levels of exploitation of a largely minimum wage workforce, who carry out highly demanding physical work.

“A declaration of hostility towards the principles of humanity”

Professor Mario Kessler publishes comment criticizing views of right-wing professor Jörg Baberowski

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 May 2017

On Sunday, the Tagesspiegel published a reader’s comment by Professor Kessler, who wrote that Humboldt University professor Baberowski showed an “elemental lack of feeling” for the victims of the Nazis.

Greek workers mount one-day strike against EU austerity package

By Alex Lantier, 18 May 2017

Workers mobilized Wednesday across Greece in a strike called by the trade unions against new austerity measures being imposed by the Syriza government.

Macron names government to implement social counterrevolution in France

By Francis Dubois, 18 May 2017

Edouard Philippe, named to the post of prime minister May 15 by newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, presented his cabinet yesterday afternoon.

Macron delays announcement of French ministerial cabinet

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2017

The cabinet is to be announced Wednesday, with a delay of 24 hours, after verification of future ministers’ tax status and potential conflicts of interest.

UK: Labour’s shadow foreign secretary spells out Corbyn’s pro-war “journey”

By Laura Tiernan, 17 May 2017

The Labour shadow foreign secretary used her appearance Sunday on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” to declare that party leader Jeremy Corbyn had repudiated his previous opposition to NATO.

Sánchez aims to save Spain’s Socialist Party from collapse

By Alejandro López, 17 May 2017

The faction backing Sánchez represents sections of the ruling class seeking to preserve the PSOE from being destroyed, like its social democratic counterparts in Greece and France.

VW trade union boss pockets €750,000 per year

By Dietmar Henning, 17 May 2017

It has just been revealed that the salary of Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the joint works council of the Volkswagen Group, totals around €750,000 per year.

French President Macron names right-wing PM, meets Merkel to plan austerity and war

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2017

Macron’s friendly meeting with Merkel shows that his election as president is part of a social counterrevolution being waged across Europe.

French auto parts workers at GM&S threaten to blow up plant to block closure

By Anthony Torres, 16 May 2017

The only way forward is a broad mobilization of workers to defend jobs at GM&S in a break with the union bureaucracies and in opposition to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

UK National Union of Teachers sabotages struggle against funding cuts

By Tom Pearce, 16 May 2017

While the NUT continues to oppose action, other education unions, including the NASUWT, are equally concerned about preventing strikes.

Neo-Nazi network in German army larger than previously thought

By Johannes Stern, 15 May 2017

According to Der Spiegel, investigations are on-going into seven people allegedly involved in preparing terrorist attacks against high-profile German politicians.

What is in the UK Labour Party’s manifesto?

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2017

Labour proposes to fund its spending by an increase in Corporation Tax, asking “large corporations to pay a little more while still keeping UK corporation tax among the lowest of the major economies.”

Mélenchon-Communist Party alliance for French legislative elections collapses

By Alex Lantier, 11 May 2017

The two main forces that together supported Mélenchon’s presidential bid will run as opponents in the legislative elections next month.

What way forward in the struggle against Macron?

By Alex Lantier, 9 May 2017

Macron’s actions have rapidly exposed the fraudulent claims of his media and political supporters that he would defend democracy and block the rise of neo-fascism.

Hundreds of migrants drown in Mediterranean

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2017

The deaths occurred during a spike in crossings spurred in part by a planned crackdown that would send migrants back to hellish conditions in Libya.

Young “gig economy” worker hounded to his death over debt repayment

By Barry Mason, 9 May 2017

According to the Debt Support Trust charity, nearly half of people struggling with debt in the UK have considered suicide to resolve their situation.

Defence Minister Von der Leyen apologises for criticizing the German army

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 May 2017

Rather than hold the army leadership to account for having covered up a right-wing terrorist conspiracy, Germany’s defence minister has been forced to kowtow to the general staff after mildly criticising its actions.

May Day 2017

The class issues in the British election

By Chris Marsden, 5 May 2017

With trade and military war comes the attack on wages, working conditions and the destruction of essential services.

Dangerous developments in Germany

Neo-Nazi network in German army exposed

By Peter Schwarz, 4 May 2017

The arrest of a German army officer suspected of plotting the assassination of leftist politicians and high-ranking state officials has exposed the operations of neo-Nazi forces at the highest levels of the German military.

Call by Labour right for a “progressive alliance” in UK election falls flat

By Robert Stevens, 3 May 2017

Declaring that Britain’s exit from the EU is the “dominant… issue” in the upcoming election, Tony Blair called for a more “open position on Brexit across the party divide.”

Workers’ struggles: The Americas

Anger grows among US telecom workers

By Our reporters, 3 May 2017

The World Socialist Web Site urges workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature by e-mailing reports to comments@wsws.org .

May Day in France: Trade union calls to support Macron fall flat

By Francis Dubois, 2 May 2017

Workers and youth throughout France sense that the calls to “block” Le Pen from the political establishment are barely disguised appeals to vote for the former banker Macron.

German army officer arrested for planning terror attack

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2017

The arrest of a 28-year-old German army officer suspected of planning a far-right terrorist attack shows that the Bundeswehr provides fertile ground for extreme right-wing elements.

May Day 2017

The perspective for the working class in the French presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 2 May 2017

The PES' campaign for an active boycott of the election is the revolutionary alternative to the impotent parliamentary maneuvers proposed by Mélenchon.

French right splits as sections back neo-fascist Le Pen

By Kumaran Ira, 1 May 2017

As the French two-party political system collapses, the National Front is developing overt ties with more traditional sections of the French right.

French youth protest Le Pen-Macron second round in presidential elections

By Alex Lantier, 28 April 2017

The critical issue facing youth protesting the elections is to turn to the working class, in defiance of the media’s reactionary pro-Macron propaganda.

Blairites declare UK Labour party unelectable

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 28 April 2017

Tony Blair refused to endorse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in an interview with Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV Thursday, saying that Tory Prime Minister Theresa May would win the election.

British ruling elite regard Macron victory in France as a “mixed blessing”

By Julie Hyland, 27 April 2017

Britain’s right-wing media are concerned that Macron will be unable to enforce his agenda under conditions of widespread political alienation and hostility to the ruling elite.

What lies behind the German elite’s celebration of Macron?

By Johannes Stern, 26 April 2017

All the major parties have hailed the results of the first round of the French presidential election.

Labour outlines pro-business “soft Brexit” policy for June 8 vote

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2017

Labour's preoccupation is satisfying the concerns expressed by the majority of Britain’s bourgeoisie, which supported Remain and whose interests are tied to the EU.

Alternative for Germany moves further to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 26 April 2017

Founded in 2013 as an anti-Euro party, the AfD has completed its transformation into a far-right, ethno-nationalist organisation.

Spain: Architect of 1936 Franco uprising reinterred with full military honours

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2017

While the army, the Church and the PP call on the victims of fascism to forget and move on, they secretly glorify and pay homage to the fascist coup plotters.

Demonstrators in Cologne support IYSSE fight for freedom of expression at Humboldt University

By our reporters, 26 April 2017

The IYSSE and SEP distributed thousands of copies of "The Defence of Historical Truth and the Fight against the Alternative for Germany (AfD)" in Cologne during demonstrations against the AfD’s party conference.

French ruling elite rallies around Macron

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 25 April 2017

Despite claims that Emmanuel Macron represents a “democratic” alternative to the fascistic Marine Le Pen, the former banker seeks to extend France's anti-democratic state of emergency, impose drastic austerity and re-establish the draft.

Attack on UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn over nuclear first strike

By Chris Marsden and Paul Mitchell, 25 April 2017

Britain’s ruling elite is set on establishing that the fundamental criteria for leading the country is a readiness to launch World War III.

Rail companies Bombardier and Siemens plan merger

By Gustav Kemper, 25 April 2017

Since the beginning of 2017, the two rail companies have been engaged in secret merger negotiations behind the backs of their employees.