European Economy

Euro zone debt burden continues to rise

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 July 2013

Figures from the Eurostat statistics agency show that the debt burden across the euro zone continues to rise after three years of austerity.

Portugal’s “National Salvation” pact fails

By Paul Mitchell, 24 July 2013

In a televised speech, Portuguese President Cavaco Silva declared that the country was in a national emergency, but rejected new elections.

Demand grows for Spanish prime minister to resign

By Alejandro López, 23 July 2013

Secret hand-written ledgers covering the period 1990 to 2008 detail more than 30 donations to the ruling Popular Party that were illegal.

UK government set on deeper cuts to welfare

By Julie Hyland, 20 July 2013

The Conservative/Liberal coalition in Britain has laid out further attacks on welfare provision, while the opposition Labour Party calls for even deeper cuts.

Greek government bans demonstrations in central Athens

By Christoph Dreier, 19 July 2013

The Greek government has used the visit on Thursday by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to impose a blanket ban on demonstrations in central Athens.

Reports confirm deepening recession in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 July 2013

A series of reports confirm that austerity policies implemented since the financial crisis of 2008 are plunging Europe ever deeper into recession.

Spanish government imposes new tax hikes and austerity measures

By Alejandro López, 19 July 2013

Since the global economic crisis erupted in 2008 state revenue in Spain has slumped by nearly €200 billion.

Greek workers in fourth general strike of 2013

By Robert Stevens, 17 July 2013

Greek workers struck against the firing of thousands of public sector employees.

Germany’s Praktiker chain store declares bankruptcy

By Peter Schwarz, 16 July 2013

Home improvement chain store Praktiker announced last week it is going into liquidation.

European Union’s Nabucco pipeline project aborted

By Clara Weiss, 13 July 2013

The Nabucco pipeline project, which was to have transported gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe in order to bypass Russia, has been cancelled.

Strikes and protests against mass layoffs in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 11 July 2013

Greek municipal workers went on strike Monday in response to government plans to carry out further redundancies in the public services.

The infrastructure of a police state emerges in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 10 July 2013

Former NSA employee Edward Snowden has exposed the infrastructure of a police state whose surveillance powers far exceed those of former totalitarian dictatorships.

Russian government implements austerity as economy falters

By Andrea Peters, 10 July 2013

Russia’s minister of finance announced plans last week to address a $33 billion budget shortfall with cuts targeting the working class.

European Central Bank promises banks long-term cheap credit

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 July 2013

In a major break with traditional policy, the European Central Bank promised last week to provide cheap credit indefinitely to European banks.

Portuguese government continues austerity following ministerial resignations

By Paul Mitchell, 8 July 2013

The governing coalition faced crisis last week with the resignation of the Finance Minister and Foreign Minister.

Major slump in European auto industry

By Markus Salzmann, 6 July 2013

2013 will be the worst year for the auto industry in Western Europe in three decades. A recent study estimates that car sales will fall another 5 percent this year to below 12 million vehicles.

Looting of Greece continues under new government

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2013

A deal expected over the weekend between the “troika”and the Greek government will have further devastating austerity as its centerpiece.

German chancellor holds phony Jobs Summit

By Peter Schwarz, 4 July 2013

At Wednesday’s European Jobs Summit in Berlin, government heads agreed to use record high levels of youth unemployment as the pretext for further attacks on the remaining social protections and past social gains of European workers.

Mass sackings increase in Spain following labour reforms

By Franci Vier, 3 July 2013

Following the passage of trade union-agreed labour reforms, making it easier for companies to sack Spanish workers, mass sackings are on the increase.

British government planning privatisation of student loan debt

By Jordan Shilton, 3 July 2013

A secret internal government report has revealed the plans of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to sell student loan debt to private investors.

The EU’s fraudulent “call to action” on youth unemployment

By Peter Schwarz, 29 June 2013

The European Union’s “Call to Action on Youth Unemployment” is a travesty that only underscores the fact that an entire generation has no future in a capitalist Europe.

UK chancellor announces a further £11.5 billion in cuts

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2013

This week’s Spending Round by the British government continues its programme of mass austerity and puts in place permanent welfare and pay cuts.

Ireland: Bankers joke about their €7 billion bailout scam

By Steve James, 29 June 2013

The taped 2008 conversations of Irish bank executives at the now-defunct Anglo-Irish bank gives an insight into the criminal activities of the banking elite globally.

General strike in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 28 June 2013

Many Portuguese workers participated in a general strike Thursday, the fourth in two years against austerity.

Swiss tax deal with the US voted down

By Marianne Arens, 28 June 2013

Relations between Switzerland and the United States are worse than ever before due to the tax dispute between the US Justice Department and Swiss banks.

French pseudo-left works to defeat workers’ opposition to upcoming pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 27 June 2013

The NPA is trying to bring the popular opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity policies into the dead end of support for the Left Front and the union bureaucracy.

New Democracy and PASOK form new crisis-ridden government in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 27 June 2013

A crisis-ridden Greek government, composed of New Democracy and PASOK, announced a new cabinet following the resignation of the Democratic Left from the coalition.

Major attack on pensions being prepared in Spain

By Vicky Short, 26 June 2013

The Spanish trade unions and opposition Socialist Party are collaborating with the Popular Party government in the destruction of the pension rights of millions of workers.

Mass austerity to be outlined in UK government spending review

By Robert Stevens, 24 June 2013

This week’s spending review by the UK government will slash local authority budgets by a further 10 percent.

DIMAR party leaves Greek government amid protests over TV shutdown

By Christoph Dreier, 22 June 2013

DIMAR chairman Fotis Kouvelis announced that his party would leave the Greek government coalition yesterday, amid protests over the shutdown of public broadcaster ERT.

Bank of Spain calls for elimination of the minimum wage

By Alejandro López, 22 June 2013

The Bank of Spain has called for the elimination of the minimum wage, more flexibility in the labour market and other attacks on the working class.

Wave of suicides in Italy as social conditions deteriorate

By our correspondent, 21 June 2013

Suicides related to economic causes have increased 30 percent in the past four years, according to a recent report.

Workers in Britain suffer the greatest fall in wages since the 1930s

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2013

Wages, adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 15 percent in the UK over the last five years.

JPMorgan calls for authoritarian regimes in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 June 2013

The authors of the JPMorgan report are arguing for governments to adopt dictatorial-type powers to complete the process of social counterrevolution that is already well underway across Europe.

Irish government to impose austerity until 2020

By Jordan Shilton, 17 June 2013

Ireland’s trade unions are trying to force through an agreement that will reduce public sector jobs, cut overtime pay and lengthen working hours.

Greek government shuts public broadcast station

By Christoph Dreier, 13 June 2013

On Tuesday night, Greek police stopped transmission of the public broadcasting service, which is slated for restructuring and large-scale job cuts.

London police launch violent raid on anti-G8 protesters

By Robert Stevens, 13 June 2013

Mass arrests were made by police who smashed their way into a squat with chainsaws, axle-grinders, crowbars and climbing gear.

Alter-Summit in Athens: A pseudo-left response to growing social opposition in Europe

By Christoph Dreier, 11 June 2013

Trade unions and pseudo-left groups organized a so-called Alter-Summit in Athens, backing the European Union institutions that impose austerity throughout Europe.

Global stock sell-off amidst signs of deepening slump

By Andre Damon, 6 June 2013

The volatility in financial markets reflects the artificial and unsustainable character of the rise in asset prices in the midst of stagnation and slump in the real economy.

UN warns against social unrest in Europe

By Christoph Dreier, 4 June 2013

In the face of rising social inequality, growing unemployment and the absence of popular confidence in the region’s governments, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned Monday about the prospect of social unrest in Europe,

More austerity in Europe in face of record unemployment

By Christoph Dreier, 1 June 2013

Though euro zone unemployment hit a two-year high in April, European governments are preparing further austerity measures.

The reality of Greece’s “recovery”

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2013

For the working class, there has been a drastic reversal in living standards, growing mass unemployment and savage cuts in social spending.

IMF to have power over Irish healthcare spending

By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2013

According to a leaked document from the European Union (EU) commission, the government in Dublin will now have to report monthly on healthcare spending.

The European Commission, French President Hollande accelerate austerity

By Anthony Torres, 23 May 2013

While the French economy has entered into recession, the European Union and the French government are pressing to accelerate social attacks.

Protest opposes London-wide National Health Service cuts

By Paul Bond, 22 May 2013

The Save our NHS demonstration showed the bankruptcy of the Labour Party and trade unions campaign in defence of health care.

Six million suffer fuel poverty in UK

By Emily Wilson, 22 May 2013

The number of people in fuel poverty in England is expected to rise from 6 million today to 9 million by 2016.

Beppe Grillo agitates against immigrants

By Marianne Arens, 22 May 2013

On May 14, Beppe Grillo published a racist blog post appealing to far-right forces.

Slovenian government adopts another austerity programme

By Markus Salzmann, 21 May 2013

Seven weeks after taking power, Slovenia’s centre-left governing coalition adopted a new austerity programme and presented it to the EU commission.

Tens of thousands march in Rome against austerity

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 May 2013

Trade union leaders used a large demonstration in Rome on Saturday to cover their tracks in supporting the recently formed coalition government led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

The betrayal of the Greek teachers’ strike

By Chris Marsden, 18 May 2013

The decision by leaders of the OLME teachers union to abandon an agreed strike in the face of civil mobilisation orders has delivered a serious blow to the entire Greek working class.

Spanish government rejects unions’ pleas for anti-crisis pact

By Vicky Short, 18 May 2013

With 6.2 million out of work, the trade unions are appealing for unity with the right wing Popular Party government.

Sharp increase in US jobless benefit claims

By Andre Damon, 17 May 2013

Negative economic figures released this week point to continuing stagnation in the US amidst a worsening slump internationally.

OECD reports growing inequality worldwide

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 May 2013

The latest OECD report confirms that inequality in most industrialised nations has grown significantly since the world economic crisis broke out in 2007-8.

Austrian Social Democrats suffer massive losses in local elections

By Markus Salzmann, 17 May 2013

In regional elections in Salzburg, the Social Democrats and the Austrian Peoples’ Party recorded the largest loss of support since the Second World War.

Euro zone contracts for sixth consecutive quarter

By Andre Damon, 16 May 2013

The euro area economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, which was followed by further calls for austerity.

Attacks on Greek teachers intensify

By Christoph Dreier, 15 May 2013

The public service trade union federation, ADEDY, has made clear that it will not mobilize public employees to defend the teachers.

The rotten foundations of the Italian coalition government

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2013

An appellate court has handed down a four-year prison sentence for tax evasion to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Divisions between major powers dominate G-7 meeting

By Nick Beams, 13 May 2013

Differences within the G-7 over economic policy are fuelled by the fact that almost five years since the global financial crisis erupted, the world economy is marked by deepening recessionary trends.

Greek government outlaws teachers strike

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2013

The New Democracy, social democratic PASOK and Democratic Left coalition government signed a civil mobilisation order Saturday to outlaw a teachers strike, scheduled to begin on May 17.

IMF demands further austerity in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 10 May 2013

The IMF’s report follows the agreement made between the “troika” and the coalition government of New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left last month.

Thousands of job cuts in UK financial sector

By Jordan Shilton, 9 May 2013

Over recent months, financial firms in Britain including banks and insurers have announced thousands of lay-offs.

Lufthansa: Verdi union agrees to 30 percent pay cut for airline workers

By Ernst Wolff, 9 May 2013

Verdi union negotiators have approved the setting up of three low-cost subsidiaries at Lufthansa, the largest European airline, paying up to 30 percent lower wages.

Left Front’s offer to serve in France’s pro-austerity government unnerves NPA

By Kumaran Ira, 8 May 2013

The NPA fears that Mélenchon’s willingness to work under Hollande will expose the anti-working class politics of the entire pseudo-left.

Europe on the eve of mass working class struggles

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 May 2013

Against the background of the greatest economic crisis since the 1930s, the European Union is showing its true face—that of a dictatorship of finance capital.

Austerity policies heighten national divisions in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 May 2013

The official debate over austerity in Europe has broken out amid deepening economic crisis and mounting social anger in the working class.

Athens mayor bans fascist demonstration

By Christoph Dreier, 4 May 2013

Police intervened to prevent supporters of the Greek fascist party Golden Dawn from carrying out a food distribution in Athens’ Syntagma Square.

Netherlands unemployment at record level

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 4 May 2013

Unemployment in the Netherlands has reached 8.1 percent—the highest level in 30 years

France: What is Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s May 5 protest?

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 4 May 2013

A class gulf separates the explosive anger and opposition to austerity that is building in the working class across Europe from establishment figures like Mélenchon.

Euro zone unemployment hits record high for 23rd consecutive month

By Andre Damon and Stefan Steinberg, 2 May 2013

Unemployment in the euro zone hit another record in March, with no end in sight to the economic and social catastrophe gripping Europe.

No retreat from austerity in Italy

By Chris Marsden, 2 May 2013

Enrico Letta heads a coalition tasked with continuing the savage austerity measures begun under Mario Monti.

Amid jobs collapse, French President Hollande backs austerity in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 30 April 2013

With 26 million workers unemployed in Europe, Hollande is signaling that he will keep supporting social cuts that are devastating the French and European economies.

A Grand Coalition for austerity in Italy

By Chris Marsden, 29 April 2013

The formation of a Grand Coalition government in Italy shows the degree to which the global financial oligarchy dominates political life.

Governing coalition suffers huge losses in Iceland

By Jordan Shilton, 29 April 2013

Voters in Iceland have inflicted a massive defeat on the Social Democratic-Left Green coalition, which has ruled the country for the past four years.

Italian bank scandal reveals depth of financial crisis

By Mike Jobson, 29 April 2013

Italian prosecutors ordered the seizure of €1.8 billion in a probe of Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank.

EU demands further austerity in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 29 April 2013

Slovenia is regarded as the next likely candidate for an EU bailout to shore up its banks.

Spanish government announces more austerity as unemployment soars

By Alejandro López, 27 April 2013

The Spanish government has announced the first in a series of new austerity measures to be presented to the European Union.

Unemployment hits record highs in Spain, France

By Alex Lantier, 26 April 2013

The number of unemployed workers in Spain and France reached all-time highs, as Europe’s economic collapse accelerates under the impact of devastating austerity measures.

Anti-government sentiment dominates elections in Iceland

By Jordan Shilton, 26 April 2013

Elections in Iceland this weekend are likely to see a massive anti-government vote, putting an end to four years of rule by the Social Democrat-Left Green coalition.

Political issues in the teachers’ lockout in Denmark

By Christoph Dreier, 25 April 2013

The lockout of tens of thousands of Danish teachers by the state marks a new stage in the class struggle in Europe.

Democratic Party’s Enrico Letta will try to form Italian government

By Alex Lantier, 25 April 2013

After two months of crisis following February’s elections, recently reinstalled Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has tasked Enrico Letta with forming a government.

Protest strike by teachers in Berlin

By Ute Reissner, 25 April 2013

Some 8,000 teachers were called out on a one-day protest strike in Berlin on Tuesday.

Spain: Polls show support for all parties, unions and monarchy at record low

By Alejandro López, 24 April 2013

The huge decline in support for the political parties, trade unions, and the monarchy can only mean huge social struggles are on the horizon.

Mass evictions continue in Spain

By Franci Vier and Paul Mitchell, 23 April 2013

None of the main demands of the anti-evictions petition launched by the Mortgage Victims Platform have been included in a new law by the Popular Party.

Italy: Napolitano re-elected as president

By Peter Schwarz, 22 April 2013

The reelection of Georgio Napolitano as Italian president is a strictly temporary solution.

Spain’s Socialist Party and trade unions profit from redundancy schemes

By Vicky Short, 22 April 2013

The Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) and the two main trade unions, Workers Commissions (CCOO) and General Workers Union (UGT), are embroiled in a fraud scandal.

Presidential vote heightens political crisis in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 20 April 2013

The election of Italy’s president, like the previous general election, has exposed deep divisions and bitter power struggles within the ruling elite.

EU, Greek government plan more mass layoffs, privatisations

By Robert Stevens, 19 April 2013

Under terms agreed with the “troika” some 15,000 public sector workers will lose their jobs by the end of 2014, including 4,000 jobs this year.

Dozens of migrant farmworkers shot in Greece

By Chris Marsden, 19 April 2013

Thirty or more migrant workers have been wounded in a shooting on a strawberry farm in southern Greece. Eight of the workers remain in critical condition.

IMF slashes world growth outlook

By Andre Damon, 18 April 2013

The International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2013 outlook for the world economy Tuesday amid mounting signs that the global slump is intensifying.

Siemens to slash 4,000 jobs in its industrial sector

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 17 April 2013

Siemens plans to cut 4,000 jobs in its industrial sector worldwide in order to save 1.1 billion euros by 2014.

British banks engulfed in new scandals

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2013

The Parliamentary Commission on Banking declared that HBOS crashed after a lack of risk controls, rapid and aggressive expansion and poor management amounting to a “colossal failure” on the part of bank executives

EU finance ministers demand more austerity at Dublin summit

By Stefan Steinberg, 15 April 2013

Despite data indicating that Europe’s recession will continue this year, European finance ministers meeting in Dublin over the weekend agreed to intensify austerity measures.

Irish unions support government austerity

By Jordan Shilton, 15 April 2013

Ireland’s trade unions are intensifying their collaboration with the government in order to implement a further €1 billion in austerity cuts.

European Union demands more austerity in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 13 April 2013

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem has warned that Greece needed to “speed up its efforts” in order to comply with the troika’s austerity programme.

Hundreds of thousands of defrauded small savers face loss of life savings in Spain

By Alejandro López, 12 April 2013

Over 700,000 Spanish bank depositors have been defrauded by the banks, including many who have lost their life savings.

Italy: Bersani, Berlusconi discuss forming coalition government

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 12 April 2013

Seven weeks after the Italian election, the Democratic Party and the People of Freedom party are discussing a grand coalition to form a government.

The Cypriot bailout marks a new stage in the euro crisis

By Christoph Dreier, 11 April 2013

Fifty-five years after the founding of the European Economic Community, the project of unifying Europe on a capitalist basis has been irrevocably shattered by the global economic crisis.

UK Council Tax changes spell deepening poverty for millions

By Dennis Moore, 10 April 2013

From this month, millions of the poorest people in the UK are being forced to pay Council Tax for the first time, plunging many into deeper poverty.

Germany’s Left Party defends the looting of Cyprus

By Christoph Dreier, 10 April 2013

With the escalation of the euro crisis, the Left Party is moving closer to the Merkel government and essentially supports its brutal course on Cyprus, which means the unprecedented looting of the country.

European Union demands cuts after Portuguese court rules bailout unconstitutional

By Paul Mitchell, 9 April 2013

The Portuguese Constitutional Court’s ruling against EU budget cuts reveals the politically criminal and illegal basis of the pan-European onslaught on the working class.