European Economy IMF loans $17 billion to Ukraine to repay banks, loot economy The International Monetary Fund formally signed off yesterday on a $17.5 billion, four-year loan to the far-right regime in Kiev. Fri, 13 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-13T05:00:00Z Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa The <em>World Socialist Web Site</em> invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature. Fri, 13 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-13T05:00:00Z Danish government expands surveillance powers following Copenhagen shootings Plans were already well advanced prior to the Copenhagen shootings to further undermine democratic rights, with only the appropriate pretext being required. Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-03-03T05:00:00Z Stock markets rise after Greece signs new austerity agreement The financial aristocracy celebrated the Syriza government’s abject capitulation to the European Union’s demands for renewed austerity. Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-24T05:00:00Z Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ mission to save capitalism Varoufakis’ essay on becoming an “erratic Marxist” is a damning exposure of the political role of the new Syriza-led government in Greece and the social layer that it represents. Sat, 21 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-21T05:00:00Z A comment from a reader: The peculiar socialism of Syriza The <em>World Socialist Web Site</em> received this comment from a reader in Greece on the nature of the new Syriza-led government. Sat, 21 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-21T05:00:00Z Schäuble’s arrogance towards Greece and the class divide in Germany Schäuble's arrogant attack on Greece is primarily directed at opposition to austerity in the working class in Germany and across Europe. Sat, 21 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-21T05:00:00Z Siemens unveils another round of job cuts in Germany and worldwide The German electronics firm is cutting 7,800 jobs globally, 3,300 of them in Germany, with the collaboration of the IG Metall trade union. Sat, 14 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-14T05:00:00Z Greece’s Syriza government pledges to serve the EU In the talks with the EU, the Syriza government is preparing to implement new austerity measures and "respect the European rules." Fri, 13 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-13T05:00:00Z IMF announces new $17 billion loan agreement for Ukraine The latest multi-billion dollar loan agreement is a prelude to further attacks on the living standards of the working class throughout Ukraine. Fri, 13 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-13T05:00:00Z Syriza capitulates to the European Union Syriza leaders are traveling across Europe to assure governments they can rely on the party to push through “deep reforms." Sat, 07 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-07T05:00:00Z Germany demands Greek austerity as Syriza pledges “frenzy of reasonableness” At a press conference with his German counterpart, Greece’s new finance minister pleaded with the European powers to “use us to implement the European programme.” Fri, 06 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-02-06T05:00:00Z EU foreign ministers toughen sanctions against Russia In the first foreign policy action of the new Syriza government, Greece agreed to new measures to step up the US-EU economic war against Moscow. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-30T05:00:00Z Germany moves into deflation as global bond prices point to deepening slump The potential consequences of falling consumer prices and money flooding into bond markets threaten to outweigh even those of the 2008 financial crisis. Fri, 30 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-30T05:00:00Z The election in Greece and the political tasks of the working class Despite its left-wing facade, Syriza is a bourgeois party that rests on affluent layers of the middle class. Sat, 24 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-24T05:00:00Z Financial markets celebrate European Central Bank launch of €1 trillion quantitative easing program The measure will have little or no impact on the real economy. Rather, it is aimed at making available further supplies of ultra-cheap cash for financial speculation. Fri, 23 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-23T05:00:00Z Workers, youth in Athens discuss upcoming election Tens of thousands of Greeks now rely on food handouts and soup kitchens as a consequence of devastating austerity measures. Thu, 22 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-22T05:00:00Z European Central Bank appears set to introduce quantitative easing European stock markets rose to seven-year highs this week in anticipation that the ECB will decide tomorrow to start purchasing sovereign bonds. Wed, 21 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-21T05:00:00Z Closure of coal mines in Poland threatens 5,000 jobs Miners are resisting the Polish government’s plans to restructure the coal industry and lay off thousands of workers. Sat, 17 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-17T05:00:00Z Financial markets rocked by decision to abandon ceiling on Swiss franc The decision by Swiss authorities to end the franc’s fixed relationship to the euro has led to one of the most rapid currency appreciations in history. Fri, 16 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-16T05:00:00Z Oil prices and bond yields continue their decline Oil prices on Tuesday sank further toward their levels of 2009, while bond yields hit zero in Japan. Wed, 14 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-14T05:00:00Z The economic and political implications of deflation The announcement that Europe has gone into deflation underscores the deepening breakdown of the global capitalist economy. Sat, 10 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-10T05:00:00Z Euro zone officially tips into deflation More than six years since the 2008 financial crash, Europe is beset by economic stagnation. Fri, 09 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-09T05:00:00Z Thousands of UK apprentices paid below minimum wage A significant number of young apprentices receive below the minimum wage, work unpaid overtime and have no written contract of employment. Fri, 09 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-09T05:00:00Z Sharp market falls over euro and oil price slump The main factor in the fall in US markets appears to have been the further sharp decline in oil prices. Tue, 06 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-06T05:00:00Z Lithuania adopts the euro Lithuania is the third and last Baltic state to introduce the euro. Mon, 05 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-05T05:00:00Z European Central Bank president’s interview sends euro to four-year low ECB President Mario Draghi has taken another step to full quantitative easing amid increasing deflationary pressures. Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-03T05:00:00Z UK: Thousands of City Link delivery workers sacked on New Year’s Eve City Link is the latest in a number of private equity-backed companies that have gone bankrupt over the last few years. Sat, 03 Jan 2015 05:00:00 GMT 2015-01-03T05:00:00Z French pseudo-left seeks to block opposition to Socialist Party’s austerity agenda The New Anti-capitalist Party and the Left Party are insisting that all opposition be controlled by France’s union bureaucracy. Mon, 29 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-29T05:00:00Z Ireland opens parliamentary inquiry into banking crisis Even at this early stage, it is clear that nothing will be done to uncover the criminal practices of those who crashed the economy through financial speculation. Sat, 27 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-27T05:00:00Z Corporations reached secret deals with Luxembourg to avoid tax payments The tax deals deprived tax revenue to governments around the world, all of which now claim that public services are unaffordable. Mon, 22 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-22T05:00:00Z Imperialism and the ruble crisis As imperialism encircles and financially strangles Russia, the catastrophic consequences of the dissolution of the USSR are being made all too clear. Thu, 18 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-18T05:00:00Z General strike against austerity hits Belgian government The strike brought the country to a standstill amid mass opposition in the working class to the reactionary Michel government's austerity agenda. Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-16T05:00:00Z Italy: One-day general strike against Renzi’s Jobs Act Renzi has the backing of an all-party political alliance and can also rely on the support of the union leadership in enforcing his anti-labour reform plans. Mon, 15 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-15T05:00:00Z Report shows rising social inequality in major capitalist countries Thirty years ago, the richest 10 percent in OECD countries earned seven times more than the poorest 10 percent. Today, the ratio is 9.5 to 1. Fri, 12 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-12T05:00:00Z Protests erupt in Rome against attack on job protection Protests broke out in Rome against the Renzi government’s Jobs Act, a labor reform that removes basic workers’ rights and guarantees. Fri, 05 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-05T05:00:00Z German parliament passes austerity budget Finance Minister Schäuble’s austerity diktats and the Left Party’s call for investment programmes are only the right and left boot of capitalist exploitation. Mon, 01 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-01T05:00:00Z German welfare “reforms” promote virtual slave labour The Hartz welfare and labour “reforms” and the enlargement of the EU have created conditions in which hundreds of thousands of workers are exploited as virtual slaves. Mon, 01 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-12-01T05:00:00Z UK workers see six years of falling wages Young workers have borne the brunt of the post-2008 assault on pay, with the real wages level of those under 25 falling back to below levels last seen in 1988. Sat, 29 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-29T05:00:00Z French automaker Peugeot-Citroën plans new mass layoffs The Peugeot-Citroën group has laid out plans for a new wave of mass sackings accompanied, as in previous years, by public denials that these are being prepared. Sat, 29 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-29T05:00:00Z Franco-German reform plan calls for deep social cuts, wage freeze in France France and Germany are proposing a joint economic reform plan with deep social cuts and flexible labour rules in favour of big business. Wed, 26 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-26T05:00:00Z Luxembourg tax avoidance scandal rocks European Union Leaked documents show how 340 multinational groups set up corporate structures to avoid taxes. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-14T05:00:00Z European Central Bank seeks to reassure financial markets ECB president Mario Draghi insisted that the bank stands ready to inject up to one trillion euros into the financial system. Fri, 07 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-07T05:00:00Z Further job cuts in European auto industry Thousands of job cuts are taking place at major assembly plants and in the parts industry. Fri, 07 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-07T05:00:00Z France, Italy vow more social cuts as EU approves their 2015 budgets In the negotiations, the French and Italian governments agreed to impose deep attacks on the social rights of the working class. Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-03T05:00:00Z UK Lloyds Banking Group to shed another 9,000 jobs and close 200 branches The restructuring is part of a three-year strategy, with Lloyds planning to make a further £1 billion a year in cost savings by 2017. Sat, 01 Nov 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-11-01T05:00:00Z French Socialist Party plans to scrap post-World War II job security rules Valls is proposing to eliminate long-term job contracts in order to boost French competitiveness by allowing businesses to hire and fire at will. Tue, 28 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-28T05:00:00Z Greece proceeds with further austerity after government survives confidence vote The vote of confidence was taken after an opinion poll put pseudo-left opposition party SYRIZA ahead of the ruling New Democracy. Mon, 13 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-10-13T05:00:00Z French Prime Minister Valls travels to Berlin The meeting of French Prime Minister Valls with German Chancellor Merkel cannot hide the growing Franco-German tensions in Europe. Thu, 25 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-09-25T05:00:00Z <em>Who Owns Germany?</em> Documenting the widening gulf between rich and poor Berger’s book reveals startling facts about the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top of German society. Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-09-15T05:00:00Z Capitalist breakdown and the drive to war Just as in the period prior to 1914, a deepening breakdown of the global capitalist system is fuelling the drive to a new world war. Sat, 06 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-09-06T05:00:00Z European Central Bank cuts rates and announces asset purchasing program The European Central Bank has launched a new round of financial stimulus in the face of worsening economic conditions in Europe. Fri, 05 Sep 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-09-05T05:00:00Z Further plant closures at Germany’s Heidelberg Press The trade unions are playing a key role in imposing more redundancies at Germany’s biggest print machine manufacturer. Wed, 20 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-08-20T05:00:00Z EU advisors advocate use of military against strikes and protests An EU think tank has advised governments to protect the rich from the poor by suppressing social protests. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-08-19T05:00:00Z Rising British self-employment used to obscure worsening job situation The rise in self-employment is driven not by an “entrepreneurial spirit,” but the lack of full-time employment offering an adequate income and pension. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-08-19T05:00:00Z Germany: Osram cuts 7,800 jobs worldwide The German-based lighting manufacturer announced a new round of job cuts last week. Tue, 12 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-08-12T05:00:00Z London mayor threatens to dock pay of striking firefighters Mayor Boris Johnson has previously imposed cuts to fire services, including the closure of fire stations. Fri, 08 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-08-08T05:00:00Z Lloyds Bank admits fixing repo rate Lloyds, in which the British Treasury has a 24 percent stake following the bank’s collapse in 2008, admitted that four of its staff had defrauded the Treasury. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-08-05T05:00:00Z British university system faces collapse Britain’s universities increasingly rely on private philanthropists for their funding. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-07-29T05:00:00Z Serbian Parliament passes labour reforms Official unemployment has risen to nearly 25 percent and is above 50 percent for youth while the average monthly wage remains extremely low at about €380 (US$515). Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-07-28T05:00:00Z Contradictions of capitalism underlie monetary policy dispute A war of words over monetary policy has erupted between the Bank for International Settlements and major central banks. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-07-24T05:00:00Z Spain: Pseudo-left Podemos party presents “a programme for the country’s salvation” Podemos aims to occupy the vacuum left by the collapse of the establishment parties to prevent growing social opposition from developing into a conscious political movement threatening capitalism. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-07-21T05:00:00Z The acquittal of HSH Nordbank: Capitalist class justice in Germany The judgment in the HSH Nordbank trial shows how the capitalist judicial system serves the financial aristocracy. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-07-14T05:00:00Z EU summit in Ypres: National conflicts and militarism The EU does not preserve European peace. It is a breeding ground for social inequality, nationalism and war. Mon, 30 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-30T05:00:00Z New reports confirm economic stagnation in Europe The economic crisis in Europe is increasingly shifting from the periphery to the core of the continent. Wed, 25 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-25T05:00:00Z Poll spotlights British economic insecurity Official statistics confirm that the UK’s economic “recovery” is benefiting only the super-rich, to the detriment of working people. Sat, 21 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-21T05:00:00Z Bank of England governor warns of threat to capitalism Coming in the context of a series of reports on the astronomical levels of social inequality in Britain and internationally, Carney’s comments are a warning to ruling circles over the instability of their social order and the inevitability of mass social opposition. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-16T05:00:00Z Budget cuts threaten scientific and cultural projects at London’s Kew Gardens Due to years of budget cuts, Kew Gardens has a £5 million shortfall, leaving it ever more dependent on philanthropic and commercially generated funding. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-11T05:00:00Z Austerity forces British children into record levels of poverty This will be the first decade since records began in 1961 that has not seen a fall in absolute child poverty in the UK. Tue, 10 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-10T05:00:00Z European Central Bank cuts interest rate below zero The move is an expression of the fact that, nearly six years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the world economy remains in deep crisis. Fri, 06 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-06T05:00:00Z Support for Portugal government nosedives Votes for the two right-wing government coalition partners collapsed to just 27.7 percent Mon, 02 Jun 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-06-02T05:00:00Z Spain’s major parties hammered in European elections The ruling right-wing Popular Party (PP) and the opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) both had their worst results since the first elections in post-Franco Spain. Fri, 30 May 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-05-30T05:00:00Z The new aristocracy in Britain Britain’s super-rich elite now control wealth equivalent to one third of total economic output, or £519 billion. Fri, 23 May 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-05-23T05:00:00Z Britain has more than 100 billionaires, says Sunday Times Rich List The <em>Times</em> figures show that the UK now has one billionaire for every 600,000—the highest concentration in the G8. Tue, 13 May 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-05-13T05:00:00Z Spain: United Left ends differences with PSOE in Andalucía coalition The Communist Party (PCE)-led United Left (IU) has reaffirmed its commitment to the coalition government with the Socialist Party (PSOE) in the Spanish region of Andalucía. Mon, 05 May 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-05-05T05:00:00Z Pointing to rise of neo-fascists, banks demand austerity in France Financial markets are calling on the Socialist Party government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls to intensify attacks on the working class. Wed, 30 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-30T05:00:00Z Spanish Congress rejects Catalan independence referendum The Spanish Popular Party government and the main opposition Socialist Party have rejected the request by the Catalan regional parliament to hold an independence referendum on November 9. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-22T05:00:00Z France’s incoming government launches historic attack on working class The PS is repudiating all the social concessions made to the working class after the fall of the Nazi collaborationist regime at the end of World War II. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-21T05:00:00Z European Union: From economic community to alliance of warmongers In turning to an aggressive foreign and military policy, the ruling elite is responding to a profound crisis of European capitalism. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-14T05:00:00Z German chancellor visits Greece to prop up right-wing regime German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew to Athens Friday to bolster the prospects of the right-wing government of Antonis Samaras in the forthcoming European elections. Sat, 12 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-12T05:00:00Z Top Greek state official resigns over collusion with fascist Golden Dawn Panayiotis Baltakos was seen as the “No. 2” man in the government, co-ordinating its policies. Tue, 08 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-08T05:00:00Z Report: Thousands of Polish children go hungry A recent report by the Central Statistical Office of Poland shows that more than half a million of the country’s children suffer from malnutrition. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-01T05:00:00Z Greek parliament approves new attacks on workers The latest agreement between the European Union-led troika and the Greek government includes measures to limit the right to strike. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-04-01T05:00:00Z As EU commissioner, former Socialist Party minister demands more austerity in France Pierre Moscovici, European economy commissioner, has demanded more austerity in France as part of the EU’s attacks on the working class across Europe. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-28T05:00:00Z UK Labour Party proposes compulsory cheap-labour scheme Under Labour’s scheme, young people will be compelled to work for a six-month period at the minimum wage. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-27T05:00:00Z Academic experts advise Spanish government to escalate attacks on the working class Among the proposals from nine Spanish academics is a nearly 10 percent reduction in income tax on the richest sections of the population. Wed, 26 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-26T05:00:00Z Spain: One million march in Madrid against austerity A mass demonstration on Saturday in the Spanish capital Madrid protested growing austerity, evictions, unemployment and poverty. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-24T05:00:00Z Greece’s “The River” party: A populist fraud Under the slogan “politics for everyone”, founder Stavros Theodorakis advances the conception that it is possible to achieve a national economic revival within the framework of the capitalist profit system. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-24T05:00:00Z Massive budget cuts and labour reforms to follow Serbian election In the fortnight leading up to the elections, the International Monetary Fund sent its latest mission to Serbia to drum home the precarious state of the economy. Sat, 22 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-22T05:00:00Z Cyprus parliament passes privatisation programme The sale of state-owned companies to international investors is anticipated to net the government €1.4 billion. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-20T05:00:00Z German President Gauck visits Greece The German president exhibited all of the dishonesty and hypocrisy that have become his political trademarks on his three-day trip to Greece. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-11T05:00:00Z Rome at risk of Detroit-style bankruptcy Italy’s new premier, Matteo Renzi, has approved a decree that prepares the framework for an unprecedented assault on public workers and services as well as the selloff of cultural assets. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-03-04T05:00:00Z Devastation of health care in Greece The closure of the entire state-run outpatient clinic network for one month to introduce the new Primary Healthcare Network could lead to thousands of job losses. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-28T05:00:00Z Czech government embarks on more austerity The new Czech government is committed to a political course that is aligned to the European Union but abhorred by the population. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-27T05:00:00Z Greek police enter schools, quiz children on political activities One of the police raids took place at the Keratsini High School on February 8, where students questioned by police were singled out because they had participated in a protest occupation of the school in October. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-25T05:00:00Z Serious concerns persist over helicopter safety in North Sea A long delayed fatal accident inquiry into the crash of a Super Puma into the sea off the coast of Peterhead in 2009, killing all 16 on board, has finally begun. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-21T05:00:00Z Widespread abstention in UK’s Wythenshawe by-election With a turnout of just 28.5 percent, there is no disguising the widespread alienation of the overwhelming majority of the population from the existing setup. Mon, 17 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-17T05:00:00Z French automaker PSA plans to slash jobs at Poissy, shift production to Asia PSA is intensifying the exploitation of its work force, relying on speedup and job cuts in Europe while preparing a major production shift towards Asia. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-11T05:00:00Z SYRIZA’s pose of opposition to Greek austerity unravels The SYRIZA coalition has acknowledged that if it came to power, it would pay back the vast bulk of the country’s debt. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-10T05:00:00Z Deflationary tendencies intensify in Europe as unemployment remains at record levels The human misery resulting from the policies of the European elite finds its sharpest expression in the growth of mass unemployment and resulting poverty. Wed, 05 Feb 2014 05:00:00 GMT 2014-02-05T05:00:00Z