Western Europe

SPD wages law-and-order campaign in Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2017

Adopting many slogans of the extreme right, Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor Martin Schulz is calling for more police and a crackdown on immigrants.

German politicians and media promoted the ideology on display in Charlottesville

By Johannes Stern, 16 August 2017

The sanctimonious outrage of German politicians and media outlets over the Charlottesville events cannot conceal their responsibility for the rehabilitation of right-wing extremist ideology and its violent consequences.

“The night our eyes changed”

Five musical responses to the Grenfell Tower inferno

By Paul Bond, 16 August 2017

Music mogul Simon Cowell brought together high-profile figures for a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, but a far more powerful and politically interesting response has come from local artists.

German economy minister threatens counter-measures in response to US sanctions on Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 1 August 2017

Following the adoption of new sanctions against Russia by both chambers of the US congress, Brigitte Zypries threatened that Europe may take counter-measures.

Residents in London district of Ladbroke Grove speak out on Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 31 July 2017

A Socialist Equality Party campaign team spoke to local residents in London’s Ladbroke Grove on Saturday about the Grenfell Tower fire.

German politicians call for quicker deportations after attacks in Hamburg and Konstanz

By Justus Leicht, 31 July 2017

The blood of the victims in Hamburg and Konstanz has barely had time to dry and the background to both attacks remains unclear, but politicians from all of the major parties are already seeking to outdo each other with right-wing demagogy.

Mélenchon denies France’s responsibility for the Nazi-era deportation of the Jews

By Alex Lantier, 31 July 2017

The social movement Mélenchon aims to launch would be a nationalist and petty-bourgeois movement hostile to historical truth and the working class.

Police announce possible manslaughter charges in connection with Grenfell Fire

By Robert Stevens, 29 July 2017

Despite the investigation being in operation for more than six weeks, not a single person has been arrested or even charged.

London schools with flammable cladding deemed “safe”

By Tom Pearce, 28 July 2017

Despite the widespread use of flammable cladding in schools, only three schools have so far been tested.

Grenfell fire witness Johnny Regasa: “You saw so many people at their windows burning alive”

By our reporters, 27 July 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to Johnny Regasa, who lost a friend, Hashim Kedir, in the Grenfell Tower fire and assisted several survivors.

Residents confront head of government inquiry into Grenfell Fire

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2017

Such consultations are an attempt to bestow much needed legitimacy on the inquiry, which will have no legal powers to prosecute anybody or hold anyone to account.

Protest in London against police killing of Rashan Charles

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2017

It is already clear from the response of the police and Independent Police Complaints Commission that yet another cover-up of the death of a man in police custody is underway.

German Social Democrats embrace policies of right-wing nationalist AfD

By Peter Schwarz, 26 July 2017

Anyone believing there is a limit to the SPD’s rightward shift in the federal election campaign was disabused of this notion on Sunday. The party is now openly agitating against refugees.

German government escalates confrontation with Turkey

By Johannes Stern, 24 July 2017

Last week, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced a realignment in the government’s policy toward Turkey.

Mélenchon hails French army as he launches movement against Macron’s cuts

By Alex Lantier, 24 July 2017

The movement Mélenchon aims to build is a nationalist, pro-war movement that would subordinate the working class to the strategic interests of French imperialism.

UK public meetings:

Grenfell Fire—Social Murder: A crime against the working class

21 July 2017

The Socialist Equality Party urges all workers and youth, including survivors of the Grenfell fire and local residents, to attend our public meetings and discuss the central issues involved in this capitalist crime against the working class.

Protesters at Kensington and Chelsea council meeting: “This has been a massive crime and they all seem to be getting away with it”

By our reporters, 21 July 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to a number of those protesting outside the meeting.

Angry Grenfell survivors and residents berate London police and council officials

By Robert Stevens, 20 July 2017

Local residents and survivors of the Grenfell Tower inferno denounced police and the Kensington and Chelsea Council as “liars” working for “rich folks.”

The SPD’s “Germany Plan”—social democracy shifts further to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 19 July 2017

Behind all the party’s talk of “securing the future”, “innovation”, “civil society” and “securing peace”, the SPD is preparing new spending cuts and the expansion of German militarism.

French National Assembly approves enabling act to rewrite labor law

By Francis Dubois, 18 July 2017

The legislature has opened the way for the government of President Emmanuel Macron to massively increase the exploitation of the French working class.

Germany and France to jointly develop new fighter jet

By Johannes Stern, 18 July 2017

The newly-proposed arms projects—including fighter jets, tanks and drones—should be taken as a warning by workers and young people throughout Europe.

After Hamburg G20 protests: SPD, Left Party and Greens prepare law-and-order election campaign

By Johannes Stern, 17 July 2017

In the wake of the protests and violent state repression during the G20 summit in Hamburg, the Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens are showing their true colours as parties of bourgeois order.

Thames Water workers speak:

Privatisation contributed to Grenfell Tower inferno

By Paul Mitchell, 14 July 2017

A former Thames Water worker told the WSWS that the company is seeking to deflect inquiries into a policy of reducing water pressure to cut down leakage from water mains.

Fire guts London’s Camden Lock Market

By Chris Marsden, 11 July 2017

The fire raged for three hours and destroyed around 30 percent of the first, second, and third floors.

After Hamburg protests, German government plans crackdown on left-wing views

By Andre Damon, 11 July 2017

High-ranking members of the German government have called for the drawing up of a list of “left-wing extremists” throughout Europe and a permanent ban on their entry into Germany.

G20 protest participants speak out against police crackdown

By our reporters, 10 July 2017

Demonstrators described how police attacked peaceful protests at this weekend’s G20 summit in Hamburg with water cannons, batons and tear gas.

Resignations at UK Shelter housing charity, after Grenfell exposes role of “Third Sector”

By Julie Hyland, 10 July 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire has laid bare the impact of decades of free market policies, deregulation and cuts in public spending initiated by Thatcher and continued by every subsequent government.

Camden residents: “You cannot trust them now because of Grenfell. It’s never going to be the same again”

By Robert Stevens, 10 July 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to tenants in the Blashford tower block about the Grenfell fire and the situation they face.

Germany’s foreign policy shift 2.0: A call for German imperialism to “get going”

By Johannes Stern, 6 July 2017

In advance of the G20 summit in Hamburg, and three months prior to Germany’s federal election, a new frenzy of nationalism and militarism is gripping the ruling elite.

German Christian Democrats’ election programme calls for increased state powers

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 July 2017

On Monday, the leaders of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union government parties presented their election programme in Berlin.

London residents on the Grenfell fire: “All they want to do is maximise their profits”

By our reporters, 6 July 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to London residents on Bramley Road, near Grenfell Tower.

Macron speaks to assembled houses of French parliament in Versailles

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2017

Macron called for military escalation overseas and broad-ranging changes to basic institutions of French political and social life, to be worked out with the trade unions.

German foreign minister goes on the offensive in the Middle East

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2017

Just days before the G20 summit in Hamburg, and in the midst of the Qatar crisis, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel traveled to the Arabian Peninsula.

G20 summit in Hamburg: A city in a state of siege

By Sven Heymanns, 4 July 2017

The planned measures in Hamburg are not just to protect the political elite attending the G20, but are deliberate preparations for a civil war scenario.

“There are people who died in there—and they’re not telling us who they are.”

Anger grows over Grenfell Tower inferno

By our reporters, 4 July 2017

Residents of the Lancaster West housing estate near Grenfell Tower talked to the World Socialist Web Site about the June 14 fire in London.

“People died because they used cheap cladding. It’s like war between rich and poor”

Anti-austerity protestors speak on the Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 3 July 2017

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed some of those participating in Saturday’s anti-austerity demonstration. Dominating the thoughts of those who attended was the Grenfell Tower inferno and its implications.

Two weeks after London’s Grenfell Tower inferno, real death toll still concealed by Tory government

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2017

As with the victims of their policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere, those killed in the Grenfell Tower fire are looked upon by the ruling class as “collateral damage.”

What drove Darren Osborne to commit the London anti-Muslim terrorist attack?

By Richard Tyler, 29 June 2017

The acres of press coverage of this disturbing attack do not provide any serious explanation as to why a man with no evident background of racism would suddenly commit such a heinous crime.

On-the-spot report from London:

Residents in Camden speak about Grenfell fire and their evacuation due to fire risk

By our reporters, 27 June 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to residents evacuated from tower blocks on the Chalcots Estate in London by Labour Party-run Camden council over the weekend.

The political implications of the Grenfell Tower fire

By Chris Marsden, 27 June 2017

The staggering loss of life epitomises the devastation capitalism has wrought on generations of working people. It is the outcome of a vast and ongoing transfer of society’s wealth from the poor to the rich.

Hundreds of thousands in UK face same fire risk as Grenfell Tower victims

By Robert Stevens, 26 June 2017

Of the UK’s 4,000 tower blocks, 600 have been selected for testing, due to the use of unsafe building materials.

German SPD conference: Schulz attacks Merkel from the right

By Johannes Stern, 26 June 2017

At its party congress in Dortmund, the SPD presented itself as the party of social cuts, militarism and the intelligence services.

Austrian Social Democrats open to coalition with right-wing extremist Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann, 26 June 2017

The SPÖ governor of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser, declared: “We are in a situation where the wind is not blowing from the left, but coming from the right.”

The SPD in Germany competes for the legacy of conservative Finance Minister Schäuble

By Peter Schwarz, 23 June 2017

The SPD’s tax plan picks up from and continues the ruthless austerity policies introduced by current CDU finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

After Grenfell Tower fire:

May government admits hundreds more UK tower blocks potentially clad in combustible material

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2017

With the final death toll from the inferno still unknown, the Conservative government has called a public inquiry as part of efforts to conceal its complicity in the disaster.

Political lessons of the French elections

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2017

The election of Emmanuel Macron is the outcome of the reactionary policies of the organizations in the so-called French left that broke with Trotskyism.

Weakened May government sets out plans for hard UK exit from the European Union

By Julie Hyland, 22 June 2017

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May set out her government’s legislative agenda yesterday in the Queen’s Speech, which was widely acknowledged to be her first and last one.

Grenfell Tower fire victims and survivors treated with contempt by UK authorities

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2017

The government’s “Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund,” which totals a pitiful £5 million, stands in stark contrast to the £369 million worth of repairs to Buckingham Palace.

UK’s Daily Mail tries to scapegoat resident for Grenfell Tower inferno

By Margot Miller and Robert Stevens, 21 June 2017

Angry denunciations of the tabloid flooded in after it tried to pin the blame for the horrific fire that cost the lives of at least 79 people on an Ethiopian taxi driver.

Exit talks begin between UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 20 June 2017

Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis and Michel Bernier of the European Union launched negotiations Monday on the terms of Britain’s exit from the trade bloc.

“We cannot brush this under the table, some heads have to roll”

London residents speak on Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 20 June 2017

London residents and people living in housing nearby Grenfell Tower speak about the horrifying fire that has killed at least 79 residents, and the economic and political decisions that allowed it to happen.

France’s new pro-Macron legislature: The ruling class in office

By Francis Dubois, 20 June 2017

Despite claims that President Emmanuel Macron is renovating French politics, his party is a haven for business owners and France’s old political establishment.

London’s Grenfell Tower inferno: A crime against the working class

By Laura Tiernan, 15 June 2017

The catastrophic fire broke out shortly after midnight Wednesday, on the second floor of 24-storey council flats in Kensington, West London that were home to an estimated 500 people.

German law professor accuses Baberowski of right-wing extremism and historical revisionism

By Peter Schwarz, 15 June 2017

Despite right-wing historian Jörg Baberowski’s defeat in court, the Presidium of Humboldt University continues to defend him. Bremen-based law Professor Andreas Fischer-Lescano has therefore accused the university Presidium of being “an accomplice of right-wing scholarship.”

Britain’s general election: A new stage in the class struggle

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 10 June 2017

To those now inclined to accept the portrayal of Corbyn by pseudo-left groups in Britain as the natural leader of the working class, we say: Remember Alexis Tsipras and Syriza.

New Anti-capitalist Party (NPA) election meeting in Paris: The dead end of the pseudo-left

By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2017

Despite the war crisis and growing social anger among workers, NPA leader Alain Krivine insisted that internationalist opposition to capitalism would find no popular support.

IYSSE demands Humboldt University retract its defense of right-wing radical Jorg Baberowski

By the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 9 June 2017

The university leadership can no longer sustain the assertion that it is protecting the freedom of academic inquiry and defending a scholar “whose integrity is beyond doubt.”

Britain’s crisis election and the tasks facing the working class

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2017

Britain is being destabilised economically, politically and socially as world capitalism descends into its deepest crisis since the end of World War II.

London terror suspects were known to police

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2017

As evidence continued to mount that the attackers received some degree of state protection, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced Prime Minister Theresa May for having allowed “cuts in police numbers.”

Macron’s En Marche set to win large majority in French legislative elections

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2017

The newly-elected president intends for the assembly, controlled by his party, to serve as a rubber stamp for unprecedented attacks on social and democratic rights.

Official account of London terror attack unravels

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 5 June 2017

Within 24 hours of Saturday’s terror attack at London Bridge, the official narrative presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun to fall apart.

Socialist Equality Party stands candidates in German election: Against militarism and war! For socialism!

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party of Germany), 5 June 2017

At the centre of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP) election campaign is a socialist programme directed against war and capitalism and expressing the interests of the working class and youth all over the world.

In French legislative elections, Mélenchon moves closer to Macron

By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2017

The perspective for opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s agenda offered by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the Unsubmissive France movement, is collapsing.

Germany turns to Asia

By Johannes Stern, 1 June 2017

In the midst of a historic crisis in transatlantic relations, Berlin is working systematically to expand political and economic ties with Asia.

Green Party mayor demolishes refugee camp in Grenoble, France

By Athiyan Silva, 1 June 2017

More than one hundred CRS police rounded up and forcibly expelled refugees from the Valmy Refugee camp in southeast France.

German Professor Baberowski explains his far-right agenda

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2017

In an interview in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski complains of the “cultural hegemony of the left” and calls for the “removal of taboos” on far-right positions.

UK and US mount damage control operation over Manchester bombing

By Robert Stevens, 30 May 2017

Amid revelations that suicide bomber Salmand Abedi was closely monitored by British intelligence, MI5 has launched an investigation into its latest “intelligence failure.”

Gasoline and chemical truck drivers strike in France

By Francis Dubois, 30 May 2017

The unions are insisting that this strike should be limited to action in one industry and are seeking to avoid any serious interruption of industry and transport.

As Labour rises in UK polls, Blairite breakaway party plans gather pace

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2017

Ahead of the June 8 snap general election, former Labour Party leader Tony Blair and his supporters are brazenly advancing plans to establish a new right-wing political formation.

Macron prepares enabling act to slash contracts, labor rights in France

By Alex Lantier, 23 May 2017

The newly-elected president is preparing a historic assault on jobs, wages, and labor legislation to be rammed through by presidential decree in the face of public opposition.

Explosion kills, wounds dozens at pop concert in Manchester

By our reporters, 23 May 2017

The carnage and terror occurred barely 17 days before Britain votes in the snap June 8 national election.

Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia intensifies tensions with Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 23 May 2017

The European media has accused Trump of further inflaming the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites with his moves to forge a closer alliance with Saudi Arabia targeted against Iran.

Links established between neo-Nazi network and “Identity Movement” in the German army

By Christoph Vandreier, 23 May 2017

The latest reports confirm that the suspected terrorist cell is part of more widespread right-wing extremist networks in the German army.

French media, political parties hush up PS government’s coup plan

By Alex Lantier, 20 May 2017

Thursday’s edition of L’Obs magazine revealed that the outgoing Socialist Party government planned a coup d’état if National Front candidate Marine Le Pen had won the May 7 presidential elections.

French government prepared coup if Le Pen won presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 19 May 2017

According to L'Obs the plan aimed not to keep Le Pen out of office, but to crush anti-fascist protests, impose martial law, and force Le Pen to work with a social democratic government.

UK: Labour’s manifesto amended to stress commitment to militarism and war

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn’s infinite malleability is essential to the Labour “left” in providing the necessary window dressing to sell to the working class a party of big business, militarism and war.

“It’s sheer slavery”

Amazon warehouse worker in Manchester UK “enterprise zone” speaks of intolerable working conditions

By our reporters, 19 May 2017

Amazon’s warehousing operations have become a byword for ultra-high levels of exploitation of a largely minimum wage workforce, who carry out highly demanding physical work.

“A declaration of hostility towards the principles of humanity”

Professor Mario Kessler publishes comment criticizing views of right-wing professor Jörg Baberowski

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 May 2017

On Sunday, the Tagesspiegel published a reader’s comment by Professor Kessler, who wrote that Humboldt University professor Baberowski showed an “elemental lack of feeling” for the victims of the Nazis.

Macron names government to implement social counterrevolution in France

By Francis Dubois, 18 May 2017

Edouard Philippe, named to the post of prime minister May 15 by newly elected President Emmanuel Macron, presented his cabinet yesterday afternoon.

Macron delays announcement of French ministerial cabinet

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2017

The cabinet is to be announced Wednesday, with a delay of 24 hours, after verification of future ministers’ tax status and potential conflicts of interest.

UK: Labour’s shadow foreign secretary spells out Corbyn’s pro-war “journey”

By Laura Tiernan, 17 May 2017

The Labour shadow foreign secretary used her appearance Sunday on the BBC’s “Andrew Marr Show” to declare that party leader Jeremy Corbyn had repudiated his previous opposition to NATO.

VW trade union boss pockets €750,000 per year

By Dietmar Henning, 17 May 2017

It has just been revealed that the salary of Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the joint works council of the Volkswagen Group, totals around €750,000 per year.

French President Macron names right-wing PM, meets Merkel to plan austerity and war

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2017

Macron’s friendly meeting with Merkel shows that his election as president is part of a social counterrevolution being waged across Europe.

French auto parts workers at GM&S threaten to blow up plant to block closure

By Anthony Torres, 16 May 2017

The only way forward is a broad mobilization of workers to defend jobs at GM&S in a break with the union bureaucracies and in opposition to newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

UK National Union of Teachers sabotages struggle against funding cuts

By Tom Pearce, 16 May 2017

While the NUT continues to oppose action, other education unions, including the NASUWT, are equally concerned about preventing strikes.

Neo-Nazi network in German army larger than previously thought

By Johannes Stern, 15 May 2017

According to Der Spiegel, investigations are on-going into seven people allegedly involved in preparing terrorist attacks against high-profile German politicians.

What is in the UK Labour Party’s manifesto?

By Robert Stevens, 13 May 2017

Labour proposes to fund its spending by an increase in Corporation Tax, asking “large corporations to pay a little more while still keeping UK corporation tax among the lowest of the major economies.”

Mélenchon-Communist Party alliance for French legislative elections collapses

By Alex Lantier, 11 May 2017

The two main forces that together supported Mélenchon’s presidential bid will run as opponents in the legislative elections next month.

What way forward in the struggle against Macron?

By Alex Lantier, 9 May 2017

Macron’s actions have rapidly exposed the fraudulent claims of his media and political supporters that he would defend democracy and block the rise of neo-fascism.

Defence Minister Von der Leyen apologises for criticizing the German army

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 May 2017

Rather than hold the army leadership to account for having covered up a right-wing terrorist conspiracy, Germany’s defence minister has been forced to kowtow to the general staff after mildly criticising its actions.

May Day 2017

The class issues in the British election

By Chris Marsden, 5 May 2017

With trade and military war comes the attack on wages, working conditions and the destruction of essential services.

Dangerous developments in Germany

Neo-Nazi network in German army exposed

By Peter Schwarz, 4 May 2017

The arrest of a German army officer suspected of plotting the assassination of leftist politicians and high-ranking state officials has exposed the operations of neo-Nazi forces at the highest levels of the German military.

Call by Labour right for a “progressive alliance” in UK election falls flat

By Robert Stevens, 3 May 2017

Declaring that Britain’s exit from the EU is the “dominant… issue” in the upcoming election, Tony Blair called for a more “open position on Brexit across the party divide.”

May Day in France: Trade union calls to support Macron fall flat

By Francis Dubois, 2 May 2017

Workers and youth throughout France sense that the calls to “block” Le Pen from the political establishment are barely disguised appeals to vote for the former banker Macron.

German army officer arrested for planning terror attack

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2017

The arrest of a 28-year-old German army officer suspected of planning a far-right terrorist attack shows that the Bundeswehr provides fertile ground for extreme right-wing elements.

May Day 2017

The perspective for the working class in the French presidential election

By Alex Lantier, 2 May 2017

The PES' campaign for an active boycott of the election is the revolutionary alternative to the impotent parliamentary maneuvers proposed by Mélenchon.

French right splits as sections back neo-fascist Le Pen

By Kumaran Ira, 1 May 2017

As the French two-party political system collapses, the National Front is developing overt ties with more traditional sections of the French right.

French youth protest Le Pen-Macron second round in presidential elections

By Alex Lantier, 28 April 2017

The critical issue facing youth protesting the elections is to turn to the working class, in defiance of the media’s reactionary pro-Macron propaganda.

Blairites declare UK Labour party unelectable

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 28 April 2017

Tony Blair refused to endorse Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in an interview with Rupert Murdoch’s Sky TV Thursday, saying that Tory Prime Minister Theresa May would win the election.

British ruling elite regard Macron victory in France as a “mixed blessing”

By Julie Hyland, 27 April 2017

Britain’s right-wing media are concerned that Macron will be unable to enforce his agenda under conditions of widespread political alienation and hostility to the ruling elite.