Europe

Vast increase in “zero-hours” labor contracts in the UK

By Edwin Wills, 28 April 2016

Under zero-hours contracts, workers must be ready to work whenever required.

Hillsborough inquest: Ninety-six UK football supporters unlawfully killed

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The verdict in the longest jury case in British legal history vindicates the campaign by the families and supporters of the 96 Liverpool Football Club fans killed 27 years ago.

The Hillsborough disaster as it unfolded

By Robert Stevens, 28 April 2016

The death of 96 Liverpool football supporters on April 15, 1989 was followed by a 27-year cover-up.

Public support for UK junior doctors strike grows as government insists they must be “defeated”

By Robert Stevens, 27 April 2016

The strike by 45,000 junior doctors in England is the first stoppage in the history of the National Health Service to be held without emergency care being provided.

Poland’s Patriot Act: PiS government proposes new anti-terrorism law

By Dorota Niemitz, 27 April 2016

Cynically utilising the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels, the Polish government is hastily introducing its own version of the USA Patriot Act.

More than 50,000 junior doctors begin two-day strike in UK

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2016

Junior doctors have refused to back down in the face of government threats, but the danger is their isolation at the hands of the health unions and the Labour Party.

UK Chancellor touts Treasury analysis to promote European Union membership

By Jordan Shilton, 22 April 2016

The claim by Chancellor George Osborne that the European Union will guarantee prosperity for British families is absurd.

German government backs draconian refugee “integration” law

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 22 April 2016

The planned legislation does nothing to help refugees, but is instead an attack on basic democratic rights.

Podemos pleads with Socialist Party to form a government in Spain

By Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2016

If a power-sharing agreement is not reached by May 2, new elections will be held on June 26.

Divisions grow over European Central Bank policy

By Nick Beams, 22 April 2016

German criticism of the ECB’s negative interest rate regime is not the result of differences over monetary policy philosophy but is rooted in the political economy of German capitalism.

Steel producers summit threatens stepped-up trade war against China

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2016

The focus of the Brussels summit on the global steel crisis was “promoting structural adjustment” through job losses, deregulation and trade war measures against China.

Refugee deaths in the Mediterranean: An imperialist crime

By Peter Schwarz, 20 April 2016

Thousands of deaths by drowning are accepted, if not welcomed, as collateral damage required by the campaign to keep desperate refugees out of Europe.

Belgian police arrest six suspects in March 22 Brussels attacks

By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2016

Mohamed Abrini’s accomplices were all known to intelligence services, as were their aliases and their movements, but they were not arrested.

Rail unions declare support for UK exit from the EU

By Michael Barnes and Julie Hyland, 19 April 2016

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union and the train drivers union ASLEF claim EU membership is “bad for Britain in general and bad for the railway in particular.”

VW hands out massive bonuses to company executives

By Dietmar Henning, 18 April 2016

The granting of bonuses to executives at VW illustrates how management is reacting to the exhaust emissions scandal, which has resulted in losses and potential fines.

People’s Assembly demonstration promotes Corbyn’s anti-austerity fraud

By Paul Mitchell, 18 April 2016

Large numbers of junior doctors currently involved in industrial action took part in the protest, which also included student nurses and steelworkers.

The political significance of the campaign for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2016

The SEP urges a rejection of both the defenders of the European Union and the advocates of a British exit from the EU in the official Remain and Leave campaigns.

UK Brexit referendum campaigns officially begin

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2016

The referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union is taking place under conditions of a deepening crisis for the Conservative government of David Cameron.

Labour’s Corbyn pledges to lead pro-EU referendum campaign in UK

By Chris Marsden, 15 April 2016

The intervention by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in favour of Britain remaining in the EU is vital for the ruling elite amid growing popular hatred of the Cameron government.

Belgian air traffic controllers launch wildcat strike at Brussels airport

By Robert Stevens, 14 April 2016

The working class throughout Belgium and Europe must come to the defense of the striking air traffic controllers, who have taken a courageous stand against attacks on retirement.

German undercover agent employed National Socialist Underground terrorists

By Dietmar Henning, 14 April 2016

A construction company belonging to an undercover government agent employed the National Socialist Underground terrorist Uwe Mundlos after his disappearance.

Steel day of action: IG Metall, employers and German government demand trade war

By our correspondents, 13 April 2016

The German metalworkers union IG Metall organised the rallies as a backdrop for management and government representatives to demand protective tariffs and trade war measures against China.

UK: Unions work with asset stripper to impose cuts at Tata Steel

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2016

Plants will be taken over only on condition that wages, conditions and pension rights are decimated.

International Monetary Fund discussed forcing Greek debt default

By John Vassilopoulos, 12 April 2016

A leaked teleconference transcript published by WikiLeaks exposed differences between the European Union and IMF on how to enforce a third austerity package.

French police attack demonstrators protesting anti-worker labor law reform

By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 11 April 2016

The decision of the trade unions and their political allies not to call workers on strike alongside protesting students left the PS government free to assault the demonstrators.

Macedonian police use tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 April 2016

Greece and the Balkan states stepped up police violence and repression in the wake of the EU’s deal to deport refugees en masse to Turkey.

UK White Paper paves way for the destruction of public education

By Tania Kent, 11 April 2016

The Conservative Cameron government is demanding that all schools are converted into academies, which are state funded but privately run, by 2022.

UK junior doctors speak out during latest strike

By our reporters, 8 April 2016

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to junior doctors on picket lines around the country.

Panama Papers revelation triggers political crises around the globe

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

As pressure builds on Britain’s Conservative government over the tax arrangements of Prime Minister David Cameron, it is becoming clear that the Panama Papers are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Tax avoidance scandal wracks Iceland

By Jordan Shilton, 7 April 2016

Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson announced his resignation Tuesday, before subsequently declaring that he had merely stepped aside temporarily.

After four days of fighting, Azerbaijan, Armenia call Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

By Kumaran Ira, 6 April 2016

Doubts persist over how long the ceasefire will last, as the Caucasus and the Middle East have been put on edge by escalating imperialist wars and economic crisis.

Greece’s Syriza: Full partner in historic crime against refugees

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2016

The police-state measures and summary deportations employed by the Syriza government against refugees are of a piece with its relentless attacks on the Greek working class.

Syriza and European Union begin mass deportations from Greece

By Johannes Stern, 5 April 2016

The brutal actions against refugees and the militarisation of Europe are directly linked to the intensification of the attacks on the working class in Greece and throughout the continent.

The working class in France mobilizes against austerity

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2016

The attempt to promote hysteria over terrorism to suppress popular opposition is failing in the face of a growing radicalization of workers and youth.

Syriza government carries out mass deportation of refugees from Greece to Turkey

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

Thousands of people are being deported as part of the deal to seal off the “Balkan route” to refugees fleeing the war zones of the Middle East.

UK Tata Steel operation at centre of escalating trade war

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

The Labour Party and the trade unions have responded to the planned closure of Tata Steel’s UK plants with demands for protectionism and trade war.

Spain’s Podemos prepares for coalition talks with Socialist Party, Citizens

By Paul Mitchell, 4 April 2016

Podemos is playing the instrumental role in the possible formation of a PSOE-led government to continue imposing austerity on the workers in Spain.

French workers, youth defy state of emergency to protest austerity policies

By Anthony Torres, 1 April 2016

As many as 1.2 million people participated in demonstrations Thursday across France against the draconian anti-working class policies of the Socialist Party government.

Marxism and the pseudo-left: David North interviewed at Leipzig Book Fair

1 April 2016

Following a presentation of the new German edition of The Frankfurt School, Postmodernism and the Politics of the Pseudo-Left, North was interviewed by the newspaper Schattenblick on the theoretical and political issues addressed in his book.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 April 2016

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

UK Junior doctors dispute at a crossroads

Statement by NHS Fightback

29 March 2016

The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.

One hundred years since Ireland’s Easter Rising—Part three

By Jordan Shilton, 29 March 2016

The Easter Rising was a seminal event in Irish history, the lessons of which the working class must assimilate.

French students speak out against austerity and state of emergency

By Kumaran Ira and Anthony Torres, 25 March 2016

Students protesting the French labour reform expressed their opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity measures, state of emergency and imperialist wars.

UK dockers strike suspended by Unite union

By Steve James, 25 March 2016

From the start, Unite made clear that it sought nothing more than good relations with Forth Ports to carry forward their shared interests.

The Belgium bombing: Why the dots are not connected

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 25 March 2016

The extent of state intelligence foreknowledge in the Brussels attack explodes the official narrative that intelligence agencies failed to “connect the dots.”

German Left Party leader’s plea for nationalism and the free market economy

By Peter Schwarz, 25 March 2016

In her book Wealth without Greed (Reichtum ohne Gier), the leading Left Party politician advocates a strong, protectionist, ethnically and linguistically homogeneous national state.

Belgian authorities had “precise intelligence warnings” of Brussels bombings

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 24 March 2016

Claims that the attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people occurred because Belgian and allied intelligence agencies somehow failed to “connect the dots” are not credible.

Electoral success of AfD strengthens far-right forces in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 24 March 2016

Seventy years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, Germany’s ruling elite is responding to the global economic crisis and the growing war drive by building a right-wing movement.

The terror bombings in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 23 March 2016

This horrific attack targeted innocent people in no way responsible for the imperialist wars that have devastated the Middle East.

European Union-Turkey deal to expel refugees comes into force

By Jordan Shilton, 22 March 2016

The same powers that have routinely invoked “human rights” to justify war in the Middle East are denying refugees the right to seek protection from the disaster these wars have produced.

French Socialist Party whips up law-and-order hysteria after Abdeslam arrest

By Kumaran Ira, 21 March 2016

As it cultivates Islamist forces in a war for regime change in Syria, France is citing the danger of terror attacks as a pretext to escalate attacks on democratic rights.

Berlin senate speeds up deportations of refugees

By Carola Kleinert, 21 March 2016

The new refugee passport system serves above all to sort asylum seekers according to their national origin, religion and usefulness and to make faster deportations possible.

Spanish youth protest education reforms

By James Lerner, 21 March 2016

The protests targeted the “3+2 Decree,” which increases the amount of unpaid, in-company internship time required in university courses of study.

Podemos enters government talks with Spain’s social democrats, conservatives

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 18 March 2016

The broaching of alliances between Podemos and openly right-wing parties is a warning sign that the ruling class is preparing deep new attacks against the workers.

Living standards fall and discontent rises in Russia

By Vladimir Volkov, 18 March 2016

In a sign of the population’s intense economic distress, retail trade levels in Russia have fallen to their lowest level in 40 years.

Germany: Siemens cuts another 2,500 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 March 2016

Siemens management announced the cutting of a further 2,500 jobs on March 9, with motor plants in Bavaria being hit hardest.

Constitutional crisis in Poland continues

By Clara Weiss, 17 March 2016

The move to the right by the Polish government has exacerbated the crisis in the EU and led to growing tensions with Germany.

Shadow Chancellor McDonnell pledges UK Labour Party to austerity

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2016

McDonnell said ensuring Labour’s credibility on the economy to big business was “the struggle of a generation.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deletes criticisms of EU from his web site

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2016

There is nothing that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn once proclaimed as an issue of political principle that he will not jettison.

Workers, students march against French labor law reform

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2016

The brutal police crackdown in Lyon underscores that, under cover of the state of emergency, the Socialist Party aims to illegalize constitutionally protected protests.

What do the electoral gains of the right-wing Alternative for Germany signify?

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 11 March 2016

The AfD, which achieved 13.2 percent of the vote in its first outing in the Hesse municipal elections, is a party created from above, not a movement from below.

The refugee crisis and the polarization of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 March 2016

Large sections of the population look on the brutal conditions of refugees with horror and disgust, but the official political debate takes place within a narrow spectrum ranging from the right to the ultra-right.

Campaign for UK exit from the EU dominated by nationalism and big business interests

By Robert Stevens, 8 March 2016

The “Leave” campaign speaks for a layer of the British ruling elite that regards the EU as a constraint on the pursuit of Britain’s national interests.

Attempt to form PSOE-Citizens government coalition in Spain collapses

By Paul Mitchell, 7 March 2016

The social-democrats had appealed for “progressive” forces to support their alliance with the right-wing Citizens party.

European Union threatens summary mass deportations of refugees

By Alex Lantier, 4 March 2016

As growing numbers of refugees flee imperialist wars in the Middle East, the EU is preparing draconian attacks on democratic rights to prevent them from coming to Europe.

German Left Party strives for coalition with Social Democrats and Greens in Berlin

By Johannes Stern, 3 March 2016

Having shared power in coalition with the SPD in Berlin between 2001 and 2011 and overseen a social catastrophe, the Left Party is now preparing to carry out similar policies in a new coalition with the SPD and Greens.

Left and anti-austerity sentiment produces political earthquake in Ireland

By Dermot Quinn, 3 March 2016

The most significant development was the increase in the popular vote for parties that have painted themselves as “left” alternatives to the two main parties of the Irish bourgeoisie.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank in crisis

By Gustav Kemper, 23 February 2016

Fears of collapse and panic sell-offs on the stock market have halved Deutsche Bank’s value over the course of a year to €20 billion.

Right-wing “Remain” and “Leave” campaigns begin for UK referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 22 February 2016

What is on offer in the June 23rd referendum is a choice between supporting one of two reactionary camps that articulate opposed strategies for the British bourgeoisie.

German defence ministry spent billions on wars abroad

By Johannes Stern, 22 February 2016

The German armed forces has spent at least €17.2 billion on foreign deployments since 1992, Spiegel Online reported.

Hundreds demonstrate in Berlin against harsher asylum law

By our correspondents, 22 February 2016

Many young people and refugees joined a demonstration in Berlin last Tuesday to protest against the tightening up of asylum laws.

Germany: Trial opens against SS guard at Auschwitz

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 22 February 2016

Reinhold Hanning, former SS guard at the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, is accused of 170,000 counts of accessory to murder.

French labor law reform sets stage for historic attack on workers’ rights

By Francis Dubois, 22 February 2016

The impact of this reform is being compared to that of epoch-making attacks like the Hartz IV reforms in Germany or the breaking of the PATCO union in the US.

Portuguese government prepares second austerity package

By Paul Mitchell, 22 February 2016

The Eurogroup welcomed the commitment of the Socialist Party/Left Bloc/Communist Party coalition to comply with the EU’s austerity demands.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

19 February 2016

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

Closure of Balkan refugee route deepens rifts in the EU

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 February 2016

Diplomatic tensions between the EU member states are intensifying in the run-up to the meeting of heads of state and governments this week.

In wake of VW scandal European Parliament relaxes emissions regulations

By Jan Peters and Dietmar Henning, 16 February 2016

Last autumn, it was revealed that Volkswagen manipulated the emissions readings in 11 million diesel vehicles and hundreds of thousands of petrol models.

Popular Unity Candidacy votes ensure passage of Catalan austerity budget

By Alejandro López, 16 February 2016

The vote exposes the CUP’s reactionary role and that of all the parties in Spain and internationally that have promoted its false “anti-capitalist” pretensions.

What is behind Varoufakis’s “Democracy Movement to Rescue Europe?”

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2016

Behind Varoufakis’s defence of the European Union is the defence of the sinecures and privileges of the well-off layers for whom Varoufakis speaks.

Italy hit by banking crisis

By Marianne Arens, 9 February 2016

Stock markets across the world experienced a sharp downturn at the beginning of 2016, with the stock exchange in Milan affected particularly severely.

Human Rights Watch report exposes French state of emergency

By Stéphane Hugues, 9 February 2016

The report points to systematic, arbitrary denials of basic democratic rights by police and the targeting of people of Muslim descent.

Italian steel work faces closure or sell-off

By Marianne Arens, 8 February 2016

On January 11, 500 steel workers occupied the city hall in Genoa to protest the likely loss of their jobs.

Support for Poroshenko regime collapses in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 8 February 2016

The decline in popularity for Poroshenko explodes the myth that the right-wing Maidan “revolution” was a democratic transformation.

Portugal’s Socialist Party agrees to impose further austerity

By Paul Mitchell, 8 February 2016

The Left Bloc, Communist Party and Greens have enabled the Socialist Party government to impose one pro-capitalist measure after another in the short time it has been in power.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

UK: Junior doctors demonstrate in run-up to Wednesday strike

By Thomas Scripps and Ajanta Silva, 8 February 2016

The British Medical Association used the event to bolster their ongoing fruitless negotiations with Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Mass one-day strike hits Syriza’s austerity measures in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 5 February 2016

Just over one year after it came to power, Syriza, the party that was hailed by pseudo-left groups internationally, is an object of hatred and contempt.

UK Prime Minister Cameron signals early referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden, 4 February 2016

The proposed agreement between Cameron and European Council President Donald Tusk is a refutation of those who depict the EU as the guardian of a more progressive agenda.

German government steps up attacks on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 February 2016

Germany’s grand coalition government is adopting ever more drastic measures against refugees and paving the way for far-right forces in the process.

German economics minister seeks to smooth relations with Poland

By Clara Weiss, 4 February 2016

The Nord Stream pipeline, which supplies gas from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea, is one of the most important issues of dispute between Berlin and Warsaw.

Austrian municipalities impose ban on refugees using swimming pools

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2016

The ban on refugees in two Austrian cities, unless they are accompanied by an “escort,” recalls the darkest chapters in Austrian history.

Former British Prime Minister Blair joins call for a European army

By Jordan Shilton, 2 February 2016

In calling for the creation of a European military force, Blair wrote that the European powers had to be capable of projecting their interests on the global stage.

US Congress quietly enables funding for Ukrainian neo-Nazi-led Azov Regiment

By David Levine, 1 February 2016

A proposed ban on US funding of Ukrainian neo-Nazis that had attracted substantial media attention last June when it was introduced never actually became law.

Thousands of jobs threatened in North Sea oil and gas industry

By Stephen Alexander, 1 February 2016

As many as 200,000 oil-related jobs could be lost in the UK.

Sweden announces plans to deport up to 80,000 refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 29 January 2016

Sweden’s announcement came the same day as Human Rights Watch published a scathing indictment of the curtailment of democratic rights in Europe in response to the refugee crisis.

Google’s UK tax deal leaves major corporations with nothing to fear

By Simon Whelan, 29 January 2016

Technology giant Google’s pathetically small British tax payment confirms once again that major corporations operate virtually unhindered by national governments.

Ten thousand jobs in danger at Volkswagen

By Dietmar Henning, 29 January 2016

VW has signaled through the corporate press that it is planning mass layoffs, wage cuts and a drastic worsening of working conditions.

European governments step up offensive against refugees

By Marianne Arens, 28 January 2016

Proposals made at the EU meeting amount to the transformation of Greece into a giant concentration camp for refugees.

Over a thousand jobs to go at Welsh steel plants

By Danny Richardson, 28 January 2016

There is no suggestion of opposition from either the trade unions or the Labour Party.

Prominent German journalist beats the drum for nationalism and war

By Christoph Dreier, 27 January 2016

German media outlets are seeking to outdo each other in stirring up hatred against refugees, calling for a strong state and for more military missions.