Southern Europe

Italy’s “Black Wave” of neo-fascist attacks

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

Around 10,000 demonstrators protested last Saturday in the northern Italian city of Como against the “Black Wave”, the increase of neo-fascist attacks throughout the country.

Tens of thousands protest in Catalonia against moves towards authoritarian rule in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 9 November 2017

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Catalonia against the detention of Catalan nationalist politicians as political prisoners by Madrid.

Deposed Catalan premier hands himself in to Belgian police

By Alex Lantier, 6 November 2017

Criticisms of Spain’s handling of the Catalan crisis from within European ruling circles reflect concerns that Madrid’s actions could provoke explosive popular opposition.

Catalan premier appeals to EU as opposition mounts to Madrid’s crackdown

By Alex Lantier, 1 November 2017

Puigdemont asked the EU to broker a deal between the Spanish government and the Catalan authorities based on the December 21 election imposed on Catalonia by Madrid.

EU backs Madrid’s imposition of authoritarian regime in Catalonia

By Francis Dubois, 31 October 2017

Fearing the eruption of mass struggles against austerity, the European financial oligarchy is backing the imposition of an authoritarian regime in Catalonia.

Catalan Premier Puigdemont flees to Belgium as Spain asserts direct rule over Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 30 October 2017

The Catalan nationalist parties are bitterly hostile to a political intervention in the crisis by the working class.

Catalonia announces plan for independence as Madrid threatens military rule

By Alejandro López, 26 October 2017

Madrid’s turn toward military dictatorship in Catalonia and across Spain is intended to strangle popular opposition to the European Union and the banks.

Catalan government in turmoil over Spain’s suppression of autonomy

By Paul Mitchell, 24 October 2017

The anti-democratic measures imposed under Article 155 are leading to a violent conflict with the Catalan population.

Move to Spanish military rule in Catalonia exposes bankruptcy of Podemos

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 24 October 2017

Despite winning 5 million votes, Podemos neither wanted nor sought to mobilize opposition to the turn to authoritarian rule by Madrid, backed by the European Union.

Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia murdered in Malta

By Richard Tyler, 21 October 2017

Galizia was well known for her exposures of corruption and criminality at the top of Maltese politics and business.

200,000 protest jailing of Catalonian nationalist leaders in Barcelona

By Paul Mitchell, 19 October 2017

The jailing of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart marks the first incarceration of Spanish political prisoners since the end of the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

Jailing of separatist leaders sparks protest demonstrations in Catalonia

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 18 October 2017

The High Court ruling is an indication of the dictatorial measures the Spanish Popular Party regime is prepared to carry out.

Madrid rejects Puigdemont’s call for talks in Catalan referendum crisis

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 17 October 2017

With Spanish military forces and thousands of police preparing for action, Spain is teetering on the brink of martial law and a bloody crackdown in Catalonia.

Deadline looms for Catalonia to confirm or deny independence declaration

By Alejandro López, 16 October 2017

The secessionists led by Catalonia’s regional premier Carles Puigdemont have spent the past week seeking to strike a deal with Madrid, but no deal is on offer.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

As the Spanish army prepared to deploy armored units to Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to suspend the Catalan regional government.

Podemos’ call for dialogue on Catalonia: A political trap with deadly consequences

By Paul Mitchell, 12 October 2017

With calls for ‘patriotism’ and national unity, the pseudo-left Podemos is seeking recognition as a potential saviour of Spanish capitalism at a time of acute crisis.

Catalan premier affirms right to independence from Spain, but delays formal declaration

By Alex Lantier, 11 October 2017

Regional premier Carles Puigdemont delivered his speech amid an unfolding Spanish military and police intervention into Catalonia and the looming threat of a bloody crackdown.

Spain's Popular Party threatens repression if Catalan authorities declare independence

By Alejandro López, 10 October 2017

Popular Party leaders warned Monday that national police and civil guards are ready to halt any unilateral declaration in the Catalan parliament.

As Spanish crackdown looms, France’s New Anti-capitalist Party promotes Catalan nationalism

By Alex Lantier, 10 October 2017

Rather than advance a principled policy to unite the Spanish and Catalan working class against Spanish state repression, the Pabloite New Anti-capitalist Party is lining up behind the Catalan bourgeoisie.

Spanish government sends troops to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 5 October 2017

The Ministry of Defense has dispatched army units to support the Civil Guard and national police in a possible further crackdown on the Catalonian population.

Defenders of imperialist “human rights” hail Spanish government’s crackdown in Catalonia

By Chris Marsden, 4 October 2017

The United States and the EU leapt to the defence of the Spanish government as it sent police to savagely beat and arrest anyone who dared to exercise their fundamental right to vote.

Spanish king demands new crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2017

An open intervention by the Spanish king into public affairs is without precedent since the 1981 coup attempt in Spain.

Hundreds of thousands protest Madrid’s repression in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 4 October 2017

Demonstrations took place in cities across Catalonia amid a “national work stoppage” backed by Catalan business groups, separatist parties, and trade unions.

EU hands Spain blank check for stepped-up police repression in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 3 October 2017

After the mass repression in Catalonia Sunday, the European Commission issued a statement formally endorsing Madrid's handling of the Catalan independence crisis.

Millions defy brutal crackdown by Spanish police to vote in Catalan referendum

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 2 October 2017

The Popular Party government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy sent some 16,000 police to Catalonia to shut down polling stations, seize ballot boxes and attack voters.

Oppose the state crackdown on the Catalan independence referendum!

For working class unity! No to separatism in Spain!

Statement of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 30 September 2017

On the eve of the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, Spain is in the throes of its deepest political crisis since the fall of the fascist Franco regime.

Catalan secession crisis: Alongside Rajoy, Trump calls for a united Spain

By Paul Mitchell, 29 September 2017

The American ruling elite, like its European counterparts, are concerned the tensions between Madrid and Barcelona are provoking an explosive situation.

Spain’s crackdown on the Catalan secessionist referendum: Podemos looks for its “Syriza moment”

By Alejandro López, 29 September 2017

Podemos is presenting itself as the only alternative able to resolve the Catalan secessionist crisis without sparking social opposition.

Poverty, inequality on the rise in Spain as independence vote looms

By James Lerner, 26 September 2017

The growth in poverty and inequality is the intended product of the policies of the Spanish, Catalan, and European bourgeoisie.

Spanish government dispatches police reinforcements to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 23 September 2017

Demonstrations continued in Catalonia yesterday as Madrid reinforced its police presence in the Eastern region.

Barcelona dockworkers boycott Spanish police ships sent against Catalan referendum

By Alejandro López, 22 September 2017

Dockworkers in Catalonia’s two main ports, Barcelona and Tarragona, are refusing supply services to vessels carrying riot police and paramilitary Civil Guard units.

Spanish police raid Catalan government buildings, arrest officials

By Paul Mitchell, 21 September 2017

Powerful sections of the Spanish ruling class are demanding that the Popular Party government crack down harder to block the October 1 Catalan independence referendum.

Spain threatens potential military takeover of Catalonia as referendum looms

By Alejandro López, 18 September 2017

Madrid’s inflammatory language and actions recall the thuggery of the Francoist dictatorship that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1978.

Greece: Syriza touts for investors and fêtes Macron

By Katerina Selin, 18 September 2017

The Greek parliamentary summer is over. In the weeks and months ahead a new round of cuts will begin, which will lead to fierce class battles.

Hundreds of thousands march in Catalonia as Madrid aims to block independence referendum

By Paul Mitchell, 12 September 2017

The march came amid an explosive political crisis in Spain, as Madrid mobilizes police and the courts to try to block the independence referendum.

Macron goes to Greece: “Radical left” Tsipras welcomes ex-banker turned French president

By Alex Lantier, 12 September 2017

Macron traveled to Greece to hail the austerity measures imposed by the Syriza (“Coalition of the Radical Left”) government, which show the future for the workers of France.

Spain deploys police as interior minister claims Barcelona terror cell dismantled

By Alejandro López, 21 August 2017

It is not credible to claim that the forces that organized the attack escaped the attention of the intelligence services.

Pseudo-left Popular Unity Candidacy campaigns for Catalan separatism

By Alejandro López, 17 August 2017

Last week, the Catalan pseudo-left separatist Popular Unity Candidacy launched its campaign for the referendum on Catalan independence from Spain planned for October 1.

Divisions mount in Spain’s Podemos as Catalan independence referendum looms

By Alejandro López, 24 July 2017

From its creation Podemos has been an amalgam of forces with opposing views on regional nationalism.

Syriza offers big business mega-profits in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 18 July 2017

Nothing is to be allowed that prevents the financial oligarchy from plundering Greece’s assets and stepping up the exploitation of an already pauperised workforce.

Italian local elections see defeat of Renzi’s Democratic Party

By Marianne Arens, 1 July 2017

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

Syriza government in Greece passes more austerity

By John Vassilopoulos, 13 June 2017

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

Greek workers mount one-day strike against EU austerity package

By Alex Lantier, 18 May 2017

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

Sánchez aims to save Spain’s Socialist Party from collapse

By Alejandro López, 17 May 2017

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

Hundreds of migrants drown in Mediterranean

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2017

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

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

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2017

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

Small turnouts for Podemos-led demonstrations in Spain

By Alejandro López, 11 April 2017

The pseudo-left party has come into ever more open conflict with the working class and youth, even as it steadily acquires lucrative positions in the capitalist state.

Spanish dockworkers threaten to strike

By Alejandro López, 24 February 2017

Dockers are facing a savage attack on their working conditions by the Popular Party-led government, port companies and the European Union.

Pablo Iglesias re-elected as Podemos general secretary at Vistalegre II congress

By Alejandro López, 13 February 2017

Pablo Iglesias won the internal leadership contest yesterday, amid a bitter faction fight pitting his supporters against those of former Political Secretary Íñigo Errejón.

EU summit approves sealing off the Mediterranean from refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 6 February 2017

As European governments hypocritically denounce Trump’s anti-immigrant measures, the EU is planning to build up the Libyan coastguard and establish internment camps in North Africa to keep out refugees.

Spanish media promote Anticapitalistas’ and Podemos’ “back to the streets” campaign

By Alejandro López, 4 January 2017

The aim of the campaign is to trap escalating social anger behind Podemos and block the emergence of a politically independent struggle of the working class for socialism.

Paolo Gentiloni named as new Italian prime minister

By Marianne Arens, 13 December 2016

At the head of a transitional government, Gentiloni will continue the policies of his predecessor Matteo Renzi, particularly in dealing with the massive banking and debt crisis.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi resigns after defeat in constitutional referendum

By Alex Lantier and Mark Wells, 5 December 2016

The vote on Renzi’s referendum, which was rejected by a margin of 59 to 41 percent, expresses growing opposition to the institutions of European and world capitalism.

Vote no on the Italian constitutional referendum!

By Joint statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), Parti de l'égalité Socialiste (France) and Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Germany), 3 December 2016

The referendum would give the prime minister virtually unchecked powers to impose his party's agenda, in a major step towards authoritarian forms of rule.

EU fears ‘no’ vote in Italian referendum

By Marianne Arens, 28 November 2016

The constitutional reform, a step toward authoritarian rule, is the key element of the program of Prime Minister Renzi.

Over 300 refugees drown in Mediterranean

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 19 November 2016

Turning refugees away from Europe’s coasts and leaving them to drown in the Mediterranean is a crime that exposes the EU’s true brutality.

Trump’s election as seen from Europe

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2016

Well before the content of Trump’s foreign policy has come into focus, it is clear that his election marks a historic shift in world affairs, raising the specter of global conflict.

Greek protests greet Obama’s last overseas tour as US president

By Alex Lantier, 16 November 2016

Obama aimed to reassure the European ruling classes that Donald Trump's election would not undermine their relations with the United States.

Syriza agrees to further austerity measures

By John Vassilopoulos, 18 October 2016

European Union commissioner Pierre Moscovici praised Syriza’s “tremendous work” in imposing all the attacks demanded against the working class.

Syriza government assaults Greek retirees

By Katerina Selin, 5 October 2016

On Monday, the Greek government mobilised the police to attack protesting retirees.

Spanish Socialist Party coup exposes Podemos

By Paul Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 4 October 2016

Podemos’ perspective was to form a government with the Socialist Party, which is now working to bring a right-wing government to power in Spain.

Spanish Socialist Party leader resigns to allow formation of right-wing government

By Alejandro López, 3 October 2016

The success of the inner-party putsch against Pedro Sánchez underscores how the ruling class uses parties like the Socialist Party (PSOE) to impose unpopular policies.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi announces constitutional referendum for December

By Marianne Arens, 1 October 2016

The referendum is a step towards authoritarian forms of rule and lays the basis for fierce attacks on Italian workers.

Push to install right-wing Spanish government splits Socialist Party

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 30 September 2016

On Wednesday, half of the Spanish Socialist Party’s Federal Executive resigned, launching an inner-party putsch aiming to force the installation of a right-wing government.

Lesbos fire highlights tragic situation of refugees in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 27 September 2016

Around 60 percent of the camp was destroyed, including sleeping tents and clothing supplies.

Earthquake disaster aggravates social crisis in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 10 September 2016

Two weeks after the earthquake in central Italy on August 24, it is clear that the devastation and loss of life was not due to a “natural disaster” but corruption and government indifference.

Spain’s public debt reaches record levels

By Alejandro López, 31 August 2016

All the major parties—Popular Party, Socialist Party, Citizens and the pseudo-left Podemos—are committed to upholding the payment of the debt.

Death toll in Italian earthquake climbs to more than 250

By Marianne Arens, 26 August 2016

Italy’s civil defence organisation and volunteers continue to dig in the hope of saving those still buried alive.

Devastating earthquake hits Italy

By Marianne Arens, 25 August 2016

At least 200 have died, hundreds are still missing, thousands were injured and tens of thousands have been left homeless.

Appalling conditions in Greek refugee camps

By Katerina Selin, 23 August 2016

The mainstream media has gone silent on refugees in Greece, but the suffering of these people, fleeing war and poverty, continues without interruption.

EU demands more austerity after Spain and Portugal fail to cut deficits

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 19 July 2016

The EU’s unprecedented call for billions of euros in fines comes amid a major banking crisis in Italy and the Brexit crisis.

One year since Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By Bill Van Auken, 15 July 2016

Syriza’s ceaseless collaboration in the implementation of brutal austerity measures has vindicated the warnings made by the WSWS even before the pseudo-left party came to power.

Head-on train collision near Bari, Italy kills at least 25

By our reporter, 13 July 2016

The single track where the trains collided has no automatic braking system similar to other areas in Italy’s poorer southern regions.

Spanish interior minister used state apparatus to topple opponents

By James Lerner, 30 June 2016

The “Fernándezgate” recordings, which show Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz conspiring against political opponents, expose the disintegration of democratic forms of rule in Spain.

Unidos Podemos pulls ahead of Socialist Party in Spanish election campaign

By Alejandro López, 18 June 2016

The latest polls confirm the historic breakdown of the two party-system that has dominated Spanish politics since the end of the fascist dictatorship.

Setback for ruling Democratic Party in Italian municipal elections

By Marianne Arens, 9 June 2016

Poor results for Democratic Party candidates and gains for Grillo’s Five Star Movement are clear signs of dissatisfaction with the Renzi government.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

New Catalan premier installed on pro-austerity platform of secession from Spain

By Alejandro López, 12 January 2016

The regional parliament has elected Carles Puigdemont as regional premier for the Together for Yes coalition, with the support of the pseudo-left CUP.

Spain: CUP supports a pro-austerity, separatist Catalan government

By Alejandro López, 12 January 2016

The Popular Unity Candidacy and the pro-austerity separatist parties of the Together for Yes coalition have joined to elect a new Catalan premier.

Podemos considers forming government with Spanish social democrats

By James Lerner and Alejandro López, 11 January 2016

The purpose of such a government, like Syriza in Greece, would be to enforce more unpopular austerity measures on working people and the entire population.

Spain: Elections anticipated after CUP refuses to back Catalan government

By Alejandro López, 6 January 2016

The petty-bourgeois Candidatures of Popular Unity have refused to invest Catalan President Artur Mas, whose party they have backed in parliament.

Portugal’s new Socialist Party government bails out another bank

By Paul Mitchell, 29 December 2015

The bailout of Banif was only possible because of the actions of the Left Bloc and the Communist Party, whose support brought the minority PS government to power last month.

Spanish political system in turmoil over hung parliament

By Paul Mitchell, 23 December 2015

Sunday’s elections resulted in a historic collapse of the two-party system that has dominated Spanish politics since the fascist Franco dictatorship fell in 1977.

Spanish political establishment shifts to right in run-up to general election

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 19 December 2015

While the Podemos and Citizens parties have emerged to rebrand parts of Spain’s discredited ruling establishment, neither speaks to workers’ social aspirations.

Murder trial implicates leadership of fascist Golden Dawn in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 13 October 2015

Nikos Michaloliakos and other Golden Dawn officials are accused of being part of a criminal organisation.

Varoufakis documents Syriza's political treachery

By Robert Stevens, 24 August 2015

Varoufakis’ documentation of the reactionary, anti-socialist perspective of Syriza exposes the lies of the Left Platform and pseudo-left groups the world over.

In bid to ram through austerity package, Tsipras calls snap elections in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 21 August 2015

The snap election is a cynical attempt to boost Syriza’s vote before the austerity policies go into effect, in anticipation of a confrontation with the working class.

German parliament votes by a large majority for Greek austerity plan

By Peter Schwarz, 20 August 2015

The surrender by the Syriza government in Greece has clearly strengthened the Merkel government in Germany and the drive for austerity policies throughout Europe.

European parliaments move to back austerity measures for Greece

By Peter Schwarz, 19 August 2015

There is no serious opposition in a single European parliament to the brutal cuts being imposed on Greece, which mean untold misery for millions of workers and youth.

Syriza agrees to full list of EU austerity demands in new bailout plan

By Robert Stevens, 12 August 2015

The proposed deal, which accepts all the main demands of the "troika," will have catastrophic consequences for Greece’s already impoverished population.

Italian pseudo-left supports Syriza’s betrayal

By Marianne Arens, 11 August 2015

Italian pseudo-left politician Nichi Vendola is dissolving his SEL organisation and preparing to establish a new “political subject” modelled on Syriza.