The European Union

On the spot report from Athens

Mass demonstration opposes austerity in Greece

By Robert Stevens and Christoph Dreier, 4 July 2015

Tens of thousands of people took part in a demonstration Friday evening in Athens in opposition to the austerity programme of the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

On eve of referendum

Rumbles of military coup as Greek workers demand end to EU austerity

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2015

Statements by retired military officers calling for a “yes” vote in Sunday’s Greek referendum carry the implied threat of a coup.

Australian pseudo-left hails Syriza’s fraudulent referendum in Greece

By Oliver Campbell, 4 July 2015

Socialist Alternative’s promotion of the Greek referendum is an attempt to prevent the working class drawing any lessons from its experiences with the Syriza government.

Syriza’s fraudulent capital controls

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2015

Billions of euros have been taken out of Greece by wealthy individuals and corporations in order to make a financial killing if the country goes back to the drachma.

Greek collapse, global turbulence loom as Syriza imposes capital controls

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2015

The decision followed Sunday’s announcement by the European Central Bank that it would not increase its emergency funding for Greek banks.

Greek crisis comes to a head

By Alex Lantier, 29 June 2015

The decision of European financial authorities to terminate the bailout of Greece and limit the flow of credit to banks has brought the country to the brink of an economic and financial meltdown.

Greek prime minister calls for referendum on EU austerity demands

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 27 June 2015

Tsipras’s proposal is a reactionary fraud, designed to lend a veneer of democratic legitimacy to the looting of Greece by the banks.

EU summit strengthens brutal refugee policy

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 27 June 2015

Deportations are to be more effectively organized and special camps created in which asylum proceedings will be fast-tracked under the supervision of EU authorities.

Political issues in the Greek debt crisis

By Alex Lantier, 26 June 2015

Having built its entire policy around denying the possibility of socialist revolution, Syriza is proposing ever deeper attacks on the working class under the EU’s direction.

EU begins military intervention in Mediterranean

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 25 June 2015

The military operation will use military force against refugee boats, particularly in Libya, and involves a massive expansion of intelligence and police powers.

After Syriza’s concessions, EU demands more austerity at Greek debt summit

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2015

While approving Syriza’s capitulation to its demands for deep cuts in pensions and health care, the EU called for further austerity measures as a precondition for a deal on Greek debt.

Syriza offers last-ditch concessions prior to EU summit on Greek debt

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras heads to the summit under the threat of a deliberately imposed economic catastrophe and expulsion from the eurozone.

European Central Bank extends credit on fears of Greek bank collapse

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2015

The brinksmanship of the EU and ECB threatens not only the decimation of the Greek economy, but a potential domino effect that could impact on the entire European economy.

Belgian and French authorities move to seize Russian assets

By Andrea Peters, 20 June 2015

Implementing a ruling handed down by the Hague, law enforcement officials are working to seize billions of dollars of Russian assets in Europe and around the world.

European Union extends economic sanctions against Russia

By Alex Lantier, 19 June 2015

The sanctions are part of a broad drive by the NATO powers to isolate Russia, threatening it with bankruptcy and war, in order to reduce it to a semi-colonial status.

EU threatens to push Greece into bankruptcy after collapse of debt talks

By Alex Lantier, 17 June 2015

Even as he denounced the EU, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras signaled that he is still seeking a deal on the basis of imposing more austerity on the Greek population.

The dictatorship of finance capital: Greece and Ukraine

By Alex Lantier, 13 June 2015

Behind the apparent contradiction in the treatment of Greece and Ukraine stand the reactionary class interests of finance capital in the leading imperialist powers.

IMF and ECB walk out of Greek debt talks with Syriza

By Robert Stevens, 13 June 2015

The talks centre on new austerity measures to be carried out by Syriza.

Germany, France and Italy to build military drone

By Denis Krasnin, 6 June 2015

The European powers, above all Germany, intend to use their own drone program to increase their independence from Israeli and US production.

In Brussels talks, Greece moves closer to austerity deal with EU

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 4 June 2015

The Syriza-led government is trying to work out the details of its capitulation to the austerity program demanded by the European Union and the banks.

European leaders dictate terms for Greece

By Nick Beams, 3 June 2015

German chancellor Angela Merkel convened a meeting in Berlin late Monday that laid out the demands of Greece’s creditors.

Syriza’s Tsipras outlines concessions programme as Greece faces debt default

By Robert Stevens, 2 June 2015

Syriza has claimed that it was possible to reach an amicable, negotiated settlement with the troika over Greece’s debt, based on Athens remaining in the euro zone.

European Union squabbles over refugee quotas

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 May 2015

While military intervention on the coast of Libya to destroy refugee boats is welcomed by all member states, the question of accepting refugees has unleashed a fierce dispute.

UK Prime Minister Cameron tours Europe lobbying for EU reforms

By Chris Marsden, 30 May 2015

Cameron received a fairly hostile reception in France, a country occupying a special position of enmity for the Tory right and the UK Independence Party.

Riga talks fail to produce Greek loan deal

By Robert Stevens, 25 May 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel ruled out any immediate agreement, saying one was only achievable as a result of a joint deal between the so-called “troika.”

Moves for a “left alliance” government accelerate in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 25 May 2015

With the Socialist Party unable to significantly capitalize on the disaffection with the government, smaller pseudo-left parties could hold the balance of power.

EU approves military operation against Mediterranean refugees

By Johannes Stern, 21 May 2015

On Monday, EU foreign and defence ministers agreed to plans for a military intervention against refugees in the Mediterranean and North Africa.

Syriza government endorses “war on terror” to divert opposition to austerity

By Kumaran Ira, 9 May 2015

Fearing mass opposition to its unpopular austerity measures, Greece’s Syriza-led government is endorsing imperialist wars to divert rising social tensions.

Anger mounts among Greek retirees as Syriza threatens to withhold pensions

By Kumaran Ira, 2 May 2015

The Syriza government delayed pension payments while continuing to repay the banks.

European Union steps up repressive measures against refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 May 2015

The EU’s militarized anti-refugee measures do not stop at the Libyan coast, but are being extended to Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Mali and Niger.

The lessons of the capitulation of Syriza

By Christoph Dreier, 1 May 2015

Three months after taking power, Syriza has become the key instrument for continuing the implementation of social cuts.

Greece’s Syriza government signals pension cuts

By Christoph Dreier, 25 April 2015

The elimination of early retirement benefits, which Syriza previously declared a “red line” that would not be crossed, is one of the central demands of the troika.

EU steps up police and military operations against refugees after special summit

By Johannes Stern, 24 April 2015

The special summit of the European Union yesterday in Brussels was dedicated to the construction of “Fortress Europe” and the efforts of the European powers to recolonize Africa.

The refugee crisis and the new “scramble for Africa”

By Johannes Stern, 23 April 2015

The European powers are seizing on the mass drownings in the Mediterranean to further their plans for the recolonization of Africa.

The pseudo-left and the Libyan catastrophe

By Bill Van Auken, 21 April 2015

The pseudo-left organizations that served as cheerleaders for imperialist intervention in North Africa and the Middle East share responsibility for the latest disaster.

European Union plans more aggressive measures against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 21 April 2015

The European powers are preparing to exploit the mass deaths in the Mediterranean to intervene militarily once again in the geostrategically important and resource-rich region.

Syriza dispatches police to clear protesters from Athens university

By Christoph Dreier, 18 April 2015

With this action, the Syriza-led government has signalled its readiness to use state repression against opponents of its austerity measures.

European Union, banks ramp up pressure on Greece’s Syriza government

By Stéphane Hugues, 17 April 2015

The Syriza government is responding to EU demands for austerity by looting Greece’s cash reserves and preparing further austerity measures against the working class.

Why is Syriza demanding reparations from Germany?

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2015

Demands for reparations are an inappropriate means of combating fascism, war and social attacks. They do nothing to address their causes, but rather serve to reproduce them.

Greece’s Tsipras manoeuvres with Russia in bid to strike better bargain with Europe

By Robert Stevens, 9 April 2015

The moves towards Russia are seen by sections of the Greek bourgeoisie as a bargaining chip in their ongoing negotiations with the European powers over Greece's debts.

Greece verges on default as creditors demand deeper austerity cuts

By Robert Stevens, 2 April 2015

Greece’s international creditors are set to reject a new set of austerity proposals from the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as insufficient.

New defeat for Socialist Party in second round of French local elections

By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2015

The right-wing Union for a Popular Movement swept up to 70 of France’s 101 departments, as voters punished the Socialist Party for its attacks on jobs and wages.

Syriza government submits new list of austerity proposals to Greece’s creditors

By Robert Stevens, 28 March 2015

It is not certain that Syriza’s measures will go far enough to satisfy creditors demanding deeper cuts in workers’ living standards.

Syriza leader Tsipras meets with Left Party leaders in Berlin

By Johannes Stern, 26 March 2015

The Left Party is firmly backing Tsipras precisely at the point when he is uncritically accepting the line of the German government and the austerity policy of the European banks.

Tsipras in Berlin: Germany and Greece pledge “cooperation” in imposing austerity

By Johannes Stern, 24 March 2015

Syriza has completely capitulated to the demands of the European banks, making clear that it will not only continue the austerity measures dictated by the “troika,” but will intensify them.

Syriza promises new austerity list as European institutions intensify pressure on Greece

By Robert Stevens, 20 March 2015

In advance of an EU summit, the political representatives of the European banks insisted that Greece must impose austerity measures or risk being cut off from further loans.

Attack on democratic rights in Germany follows Blockupy protest

By Christoph Dreier, 20 March 2015

The German media and politicians have responded to the Blockupy protests against the ECB on Wednesday by denouncing the protesters and demanding restrictions on the freedom of assembly.

Greek Finance Minister Varoufakis prostrates himself on German talk show

By Christoph Dreier, 18 March 2015

The appearance of the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis on the Günther Jauch talk show was a pathetic spectacle that symbolized the bankruptcy of Syriza.

Troika enforcers return to Athens to step up looting of Greece

By Robert Stevens, 13 March 2015

The European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund are finalizing new austerity measures in co-operation with the Syriza government.

Greece and the dictatorship of finance capital

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2015

Remarks on the Greek debt crisis by the head of the Belgian central bank, Luc Coene, expose the fictions of parliamentary democracy.

Greece told deeper austerity needed to secure additional loans

By Robert Stevens, 10 March 2015

Demanding that the Syriza-led government carry out further austerity, an ECB board member said the Greek people “will understand quickly that they were deceived by false promises.”

European Union press Syriza to deepen its austerity program for Greece

By Robert Stevens, 7 March 2015

European Union officials are insisting that until Syriza imposes deep austerity measures, it will not receive another cent in loans.

Greek debt crisis sharpens geostrategic tensions between US, Europe, Russia

By John Vasilopoulos, 6 March 2015

Voices in the Western media have expressed concern that a Greek default could undermine the integrity of NATO in the strategically vital eastern Mediterranean.

French Socialist Party government announces new round of free-market reforms

By Kumaran Ira, 4 March 2015

After pushing through the Macron Law on deregulation, the PS government is preparing a further round of sweeping austerity measures and structural reforms.

German parliament endorses Syriza’s proposed austerity measures

By Robert Stevens, 28 February 2015

The Left Party and the Green Party backed a new round of austerity in Greece in the vote in Germany’s Bundestag.

German television documentary on the troika and Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 28 February 2015

While the film shows how the troika engineered a social catastrophe, it promotes the policies of Syriza and other bourgeois critics who support the EU austerity program.

Syriza’s parliamentary group supports Greek austerity agreement

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2015

The vote comes amidst a developing crisis within Syriza’s ranks over the implications of the party’s repudiation of its election manifesto.

Stock markets rise after Greece signs new austerity agreement

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2015

The financial aristocracy celebrated the Syriza government’s abject capitulation to the European Union’s demands for renewed austerity.

The capitulation of Syriza and the lessons for the working class

By the International Committee of the Fourth International, 23 February 2015

It has taken less than one month for the Syriza government in Greece to repudiate its anti-austerity election program and betray, totally and utterly, the impoverished working people whose votes placed it in power.

Syriza capitulates to the EU

By Robert Stevens, 21 February 2015

Tsipras and Varoufakis have agreed to enforce the EU-dictated austerity program, exposing—within weeks of forming a government—the fraudulent and reactionary character of Syriza.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ mission to save capitalism

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2015

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.

Schäuble’s arrogance towards Greece and the class divide in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2015

Schäuble's arrogant attack on Greece is primarily directed at opposition to austerity in the working class in Germany and across Europe.

German finance minister demands unconditional surrender from Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 20 February 2015

As it negotiates the terms of surrender, Syriza is not being allowed even the mildest concessions needed to maintain some small degree of political credibility.

Germany and EU look set to reject Greece’s request for six-month loan extension

By Robert Stevens, 19 February 2015

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble denounced a new Greek proposal for a six-month loan extension and demanded further austerity measures.

A revealing Financial Times comment on the Greek debt crisis

By Nick Beams, 16 February 2015

Financial Times columnist advises Syriza-led government to stand firm in “high noon” showdown with euro zone finance ministers.

Pseudo-left embrace Syriza’s alliance with the Independent Greeks

By Chris Marsden, 16 February 2015

Various pseudo-left groups have moved from providing political apologies for Syriza’s coalition with the Independent Greeks to fully embracing the alliance as a model to be emulated

Fresh talks begin on forcing Greece to accept austerity package

By Robert Stevens, 14 February 2015

Since it was elected on January 25 on an anti-austerity ticket, Syriza has made one concession after another, including ditching pre-election pledges to write off a large part of the debt.

Greece’s Syriza government pledges to serve the EU

By Christoph Dreier, 13 February 2015

In the talks with the EU, the Syriza government is preparing to implement new austerity measures and "respect the European rules."

IMF announces new $17 billion loan agreement for Ukraine

By Niles Williamson, 13 February 2015

The latest multi-billion dollar loan agreement is a prelude to further attacks on the living standards of the working class throughout Ukraine.

Talks on Greek bailout terms break down

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2015

The talks in Brussels on Greek bailout terms failed to reach agreement even on a statement of principles as to how discussions should proceed.

Syriza prepares to make a deal with the EU

By Christoph Dreier, 11 February 2015

The Greek government has announced a ten-point program that retains large parts of the previous government’s austerity program.

Meeting in Moscow fails to produce agreement as US plots escalation in Ukraine

By Niles Williamson, 7 February 2015

The meeting between Merkel, Hollande and Putin took place amidst threats by the US to directly arm the regime in Kiev that was installed in a right-wing coup one year ago.

Europe on the brink of war

By Alex Lantier, 7 February 2015

“Unfortunately, war with Russia is conceivable,” former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung at the Munich Security Conference.

German chancellor seeks to push Hungary away from Russia

By Markus Salzmann, 7 February 2015

The Hungarian prime minister has criticised Western sanctions against Russia, declaring they would “harm us more than Russia.”

Syriza capitulates to the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 7 February 2015

Syriza leaders are traveling across Europe to assure governments they can rely on the party to push through “deep reforms."

NATO doubles combat forces in Eastern Europe

By Johannes Stern, 6 February 2015

The imperialist powers are massing their troops to compel Russia to make concessions and subordinate itself to their interests in Eastern Europe and Asia.

Germany demands Greek austerity as Syriza pledges “frenzy of reasonableness”

By Robert Stevens, 6 February 2015

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.”

Tsipras rushes to reassure EU, banks on Greek debt

By Robert Stevens, 2 February 2015

If Greece fails to reach an agreement with its creditors on €3.5 billion due in February and March, funding could be withdrawn from its banks.

The class character of Syriza revealed

By Robert Stevens, 30 January 2015

The bourgeois character of the new Greek government is exposed first of all in Syriza’s political alliance with the Independent Greeks, a right-wing nationalist party.

EU foreign ministers toughen sanctions against Russia

By Johannes Stern, 30 January 2015

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.

Syriza wins Greek elections

By Alex Lantier, 26 January 2015

While the election result reflects broad popular opposition to austerity in Greece and across Europe, Syriza is committed to the EU, the euro and the defense of capitalism.

On-the-spot coverage from Greece

Greek students describe social crisis facing youth

By our reporters, 26 January 2015

The economic crisis has forced hundreds of thousands of Greek workers and young people to leave the country in search of jobs and better prospects.

The election in Greece and the political tasks of the working class

By Peter Schwarz, 24 January 2015

Despite its left-wing facade, Syriza is a bourgeois party that rests on affluent layers of the middle class.

Financial markets celebrate European Central Bank launch of €1 trillion quantitative easing program

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2015

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.

Unemployed Greek workers face desperate situation

By our reporters, 23 January 2015

Mass unemployment has been a permanent feature of Greek life since the imposition of austerity measures in 2010.

EU foreign ministers discuss attacks on democratic rights, provocations against Russia

By Julie Hyland, 22 January 2015

The meeting underscored the inseparable link between imperialist militarism in the Middle East, war preparations against Russia, and the drive to dictatorship.

European Central Bank appears set to introduce quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2015

European stock markets rose to seven-year highs this week in anticipation that the ECB will decide tomorrow to start purchasing sovereign bonds.

Arrests follow terror raids across Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe have lost no time in using anti-terror police raids in Belgium, France and Germany to whip up a climate of fear and justify demands for further repressive measures.

Financial markets rocked by decision to abandon ceiling on Swiss franc

By Nick Beams, 16 January 2015

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.

SYRIZA’s “anti-oligarch” policy: A call to global finance to raid Greece

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2015

The Financial Times is trumpeting SYRIZA’s policy because it offers rich pickings for the global financial oligarchy

European powers implement police state measures in wake of Charlie Hebdo attack

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 January 2015

Governments throughout Europe are exploiting the shock and confusion generated by the assault on Charlie Hebdo to push through policies that have long been prepared.

Euro zone officially tips into deflation

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 January 2015

More than six years since the 2008 financial crash, Europe is beset by economic stagnation.

Tsipras urges Greek pseudo-left groups to rally behind SYRIZA

By Robert Stevens, 8 January 2015

SYRIZA is asking the pseudo-left outfits to join a government dedicated to the defence of capitalism.

German government threatens to force Greece out of euro zone

By Johannes Stern, 6 January 2015

German leaders are threatening Greece with an exit from the euro zone if the new government does not uphold the agreements reached with the European Union.

SYRIZA’s programme for the rescue of Greek and European capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2015

SYRIZA’s programme has been developed in the course of intense discussions with leading political representatives of the international financial elite.

Sharp market falls over euro and oil price slump

By Nick Beams, 6 January 2015

The main factor in the fall in US markets appears to have been the further sharp decline in oil prices.

Lithuania adopts the euro

By Markus Salzmann, 5 January 2015

Lithuania is the third and last Baltic state to introduce the euro.

European Central Bank president’s interview sends euro to four-year low

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2015

ECB President Mario Draghi has taken another step to full quantitative easing amid increasing deflationary pressures.

Two dead, dozens injured in three separate attacks in France

By Kanda Gabriel and Kumaran Ira, 31 December 2014

The three attacks prior to Christmas have been used to stoke fears of Islamist attacks in retaliation for French involvement in wars in the Middle East and Africa.