Western Europe

Five confirmed dead, 40 injured in terror attack in London

By Chris Marsden, 23 March 2017

The ruling elite in Britain and internationally were quick to make political capital from the appalling event.

UK: Bournemouth Intermediate Care Services axes staff

By Ajanta Silva, 22 March 2017

The discharging of staff in Bournemouth is a sign that further decimation of services are on the horizon in 44 areas throughout England.

Dutch Prime Minister Rutte wins out against far-right challenger

By Peter Schwarz, 17 March 2017

Wilders’ poorer than expected result does not signal an end to the sharp shift to the right in European politics.

Not guilty verdict for Merseyrail guard Martin Zee deals blow to state witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2017

Dragging Zee into court was a politically motivated move, taken as rail companies seek to impose Driver Only Operated trains.

German Left Party joins right-wing campaign against Turkey

By Ulrich Rippert, 16 March 2017

The German Left Party has heartily welcomed the undemocratic ban imposed on Turkish politicians by the Dutch government.

European court rules in favour of headscarf ban at workplaces

By Peter Schwarz, 16 March 2017

The ruling serves to strengthen the Islamophobic and xenophobic tendencies that are growing throughout Europe.

Top British state schools exclude working-class children

By Alice Summers, 16 March 2017

Studies show that social class is the defining factor in a child’s educational achievement.

Notes on London housing crisis

Inflated prices and a dire shortage of new housing in London

By Allison Smith, 16 March 2017

In Westminster, 7,794 residents live in temporary accommodation and one in 25 residents is homeless.

UK rail conductors strike at three companies to defend jobs and safety conditions

By Robert Stevens, 13 March 2017

Claims by the government and rail companies that removing conductors and eventually drivers will have no impact on public safety have been proven false by several recent incidents.

European Central Bank maintains a balancing act

By Nick Beams, 10 March 2017

The ECB retained its negative base interest rate, placing it on a divergent path from the US Federal Reserve.

UK Labour leader Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor McDonnell offer unity talks with right-wingers Blair and Mandelson

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 March 2017

Mandelson told an event organised by the Jewish Chronicle that he “works every single day to bring an end to (Corbyn’s) tenure in office.”

“They want to cut thousands of jobs.”

PSA purchases Opel-Vauxhall from General Motors

By Marianne Arens, 8 March 2017

The works council and IG Metall union are covering up the danger facing the jobs and living standards of workers after the takeover of Opel and Vauxhall by the PSA Group.

UK: Up to 250,000 protest attacks on National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 6 March 2017

Speakers on the main stage, including trade union officials and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, offered no strategy to fight the onslaught against the NHS.

The Torch Light protest in Manchester: A cynical cover by Labour for complicity in austerity cuts

By Dennis Moore and Robert Stevens, 1 March 2017

In Manchester, the Labour council has enforced £340 million of cuts since 2010, resulting in a 40 percent reduction of the workforce and the gutting of public services.

Southern railway workers in UK strike in the face of union sabotage

By Michael Barnes, 28 February 2017

Southern Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) conductors and drivers carried out a 24-hour strike to oppose job-cutting demands that endanger passengers.

German ICFI section adopts new name

By Socialist Equality Party (Germany), 28 February 2017

On February 18-19, 2017, the German section of the ICFI held a congress that unanimously resolved to change the party’s name from Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Party for Social Equality) to Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party).

Hostility to immigrants dominates major parties in Dutch election

By Dietmar Henning and Martin Kreickenbaum, 27 February 2017

According to recent polls, the liberal-social democratic governing coalition in the Netherlands will be punished for its drastic austerity policies on March 15.

German army announces major expansion as tanks roll into Eastern Europe

By Johannes Stern, 24 February 2017

Seventy-five years after the end of WWII, the German ruling class is again preparing to commit terrible crimes in pursuit of its global geostrategic and economic interests.

What is behind the German media's hype over the SPD's Martin Schulz?

By Ulrich Rippert, 24 February 2017

With a mixture of moralizing phrases and EU demagogy, Schulz seeks to mobilize the SPD and trade union apparatuses to carry out the interests of German imperialism.

Behind the UK government attack on “health tourism”

By Richard Tyler, 24 February 2017

The government announced it is seeking to recover £500 million a year from overseas visitors for health treatment.

Meeting on UK undercover policing highlights need for an independent inquiry

By Paul Mitchell, 23 February 2017

The ongoing Undercover Policing Inquiry, chaired by Lord Justice Pitchford, is aimed at whitewashing, not exposing, widespread illegal infiltration of state intelligence agencies into left-wing movements.

Left Front, Socialist Party pursue alliance in French presidential elections

By Anthony Torres, 21 February 2017

With the Socialist Party deeply unpopular under President François Hollande, the Left Front is seeking an alliance with it without daring to endorse its policies.

Student representative body denounces right-wing positions of professors at Berlin’s Humboldt University

By our correspondents, 20 February 2017

The Assembly of Student Representative Councils at Humboldt University has taken a stand against militarism and anti-immigrant chauvinism, and in support of freedom of opinion.

2017 French elections: Why is the NPA criticizing the Left Front’s populism?

By Kumaran Ira, 16 February 2017

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's repudiation of the working class as a political force exposes the entire nationalist, pseudo-left milieu to which the New Anti-capitalist Party belongs.

German Chancellor Merkel promotes harsher deportation policies

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 15 February 2017

Last Thursday, the chancellor met with the minister presidents of Germany’s states to implement a new plan for deporting refugees.

Conservative Fillon campaign faces collapse in French presidential elections

By Alex Lantier, 14 February 2017

The wife of François Fillon, the right wing Les Républicains’ candidate, received about €900,000 at no-show government jobs.

Social Democrat Steinmeier is elected president of Germany

By Johannes Stern, 14 February 2017

The presidency is being transformed once again into a centre of political power to further the return of German militarism.

Scotland: Thousands protest in Edinburgh against Trump’s attacks on migrants

By Steve James, 13 February 2017

Scotland Against Trump put forward no perspective to mobilise the working class against the most right-wing, anti-democratic government ever elected in US history.

French ex-president Sarkozy indicted over 2012 campaign finances

By Stéphane Hugues, 10 February 2017

The indictment of Sarkozy is part of the escalating wave of scandals and legal infighting engulfing his party in the 2017 French presidential campaign.

UK: Spending cuts deepen crisis in NHS mental health services

By Jean Gibney, 9 February 2017

Government cuts to mental health services in Britain have produced a situation where there is enormous demand with little capacity to meet the need.

Macron advocates austerity, law-and-order and militarism in French elections

By Kumaran Ira, 8 February 2017

Calling himself “neither left nor right,” Macron is running a presidential campaign proposing deep austerity to restore French business competitiveness.

UK: A conductor’s appeal to Southern GTR drivers

Vote “no” in the “referendum” on Driver Only trains

8 February 2017

The Socialist Equality Party (UK) has received the following letter from a train conductor.

Germany: Growing support for defense of Bremen University students against right-wing professor Jörg Baberowski

By our correspondents, 6 February 2017

On February 2, about 100 students at the University of Bremen attended a meeting in support of the General Student Committee, which is the target of legal action by Baberowski.

UK Labour Party split threatened over Brexit

By Paul Mitchell, 31 January 2017

Political divisions have been brought to the peak of intensity by Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to cultivate relations with the US administration of Donald Trump.

SPD leader Gabriel succeeds Steinmeier as German foreign minister

By Johannes Stern, 31 January 2017

Sigmar Gabriel will pursue the turn to an aggressive foreign policy even more energetically than his predecessor.

Rolls-Royce board escape serious punishment for “truly vast” bribery and corruption

By Simon Whelan, 30 January 2017

Rolls-Royce ultimately got the exceptionally lenient treatment from the British state that they had lobbied long and hard to gain.

Germany carries out second expulsion of Afghan refugees

By Anna Rombach, 30 January 2017

Twenty-six Afghan refugees were deported last Monday from Rhein-Main airport to Kabul in a joint operation by federal and state governments.

French presidential candidate François Fillon calls for alliance with Germany against US

By Alice Laurençon, 25 January 2017

The purpose of Fillon’s meetings in Berlin was to prepare a policy of countering, with military power if necessary, hostile moves from Washington.

Was the Berlin Christmas market attacker an undercover agent?

By Dietmar Henning, 25 January 2017

A recent report by the Federal Criminal Office raises the question of whether Anis Amri worked as an intelligence agent.

UK government crisis erupts over Trident nuclear missile failure

By Paul Mitchell, 24 January 2017

The Conservative government imposed a news blackout after a missile was fired from a newly refurbished nuclear submarine from its position off the Florida coast.

Divisions in UK ruling elite widen over post-Brexit orientation to Trump

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has made Trump’s election the cornerstone of her post-Brexit strategy, adapting to a yet-more open embrace of Trump by the anti-EU right-wing of her party.

French prime minister beaten into second place in Socialist Party presidential primary

By Alex Lantier, 23 January 2017

French President François Hollande’s government suffered another humiliating setback last night in the presidential primary of his Socialist Party.

Socialist Party officials back banker Macron in French presidential elections

By Alice Laurençon, 23 January 2017

Forty-six PS officials in the Lyon region signed a manifesto on January 17 calling for a boycott of the presidential primaries of their own party.

Verdi union strangles bus drivers’ strike in Hesse, Germany

By Marianne Arens, 23 January 2017

With the two-week strike by bus drivers gaining popular support, the public service sector union Verdi agreed to arbitration and to enforce “industrial peace.”

Berlin: Humboldt University IYSSE holds final election campaign meeting

For a socialist movement against war and militarism!

By our correspondents, 20 January 2017

The final meeting of the IYSSE took place at Berlin’s Humboldt University on Monday as part of the campaign for the elections to the student parliament.

German Constitutional Court rejects ban on fascist NPD

By Peter Schwarz, 19 January 2017

The court justified its decision by arguing that while the party was anti-constitutional and shared an ideological kinship with Nazism, it was not significant enough to seriously jeopardize democracy.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May pledges hard Brexit, threatens trade war

By Chris Marsden, 18 January 2017

May’s aggressive posture is bound up with efforts to forge an economic and political alliance with the incoming administration of Donald Trump in the United States.

In interview with British and German press

Trump places question mark over EU, NATO and free trade

By Peter Schwarz, 17 January 2017

Leading German politicians have responded to Trump’s remarks by asserting Germany’s own economic and geopolitical claims.

Pro-Corbyn Momentum group seeks affiliation to Labour Party

By Richard Tyler, 17 January 2017

Any pretence Momentum maintained that it was a radical rank-and-file group, nominally independent of the Labour Party, has been destroyed.

Millions face dire consequences of rundown of Britain’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 16 January 2017

More than 20 hospitals have raised alerts that they can no longer provide basic services to the public, as the British Red Cross said the NHS faces a “humanitarian crisis.”

Jeremy Corbyn: The abortive rebranding of a “left muddlehead”

By Paul Mitchell, 12 January 2017

Corbyn’s speech was a signal that he is prepared to make the political shifts demanded of him by the party’s right wing, including the adoption of an anti-immigration agenda.

Brexit deepens existential crisis of UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 10 January 2017

The row over what relationship the UK will have with the European Union takes place under conditions where its very survival is threatened.

UK rail union TSSA and pro-Corbyn Momentum stoke up anti-European sentiment

By Paul Mitchell, 10 January 2017

A video posted by the pro-Corbyn Momentum organization seeks to portray the population of Europe as benefitting from the privatization if the UK’s rail network.

Wakefield school cleaning workers sacked after three-month strike in UK

By Barry Mason, 6 January 2017

Unison, with over 1.2 million members and an annual income of more than £200 million, has proved unwilling and incapable of defending the jobs of three embattled cleaners.

UK: Jeremy Corbyn re-launched as populist leader

By Robert Stevens, 4 January 2017

Corbyn’s New Year message confirms his role as frontman for a party dedicated to waging war on the working class and against opponents of British imperialism throughout the world.

“New Year’s Eve in Cologne”: The scapegoating of Muslims and refugees deepens

By Lena Sokoll, 3 January 2017

In Cologne as well as in other cities in Germany, police have now been supplied with sub-machine guns to conduct armed patrolling of cities.

UK: Appalling warehouse working conditions exposed at JD Sports

By Joe Mount, 3 January 2017

A succession of governments have created the conditions for the legal, uninhibited exploitation of workers, removing restrictions on business and cutting spending on welfare benefits.

1,000 former GM Opel workers facing joblessness in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 3 January 2017

Instead of the new jobs promised by the IG Metall union, Opel workers face precarious employment, temporary work and welfare.

European powers criticize Trump’s threats against China

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2016

A month before Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president, tensions are already emerging with the European powers over his “America first” program.

Huge increase in hospital admissions for malnutrition in Britain

By Jean Gibney, 17 December 2016

Three million people are at risk of malnutrition, with 7,366 of these admitted to hospital with the condition between August 2014 and July 2015.

Significant rise in UK homelessness

By Joe Mount, 16 December 2016

London, with a population of 8.6 million, is worst affected with 2 percent of people facing housing insecurity.

Opposition mounts to German military advertising campaign

By Stefan Steele, 15 December 2016

Germans now confront advertising placards all across the country praising the army (Bundeswehr) and calling on people to do their “duty.”

Unions back pension attacks at Tata Steel UK

By Danny Richardson, 15 December 2016

Tata and the unions are working to abolish the British Steel Pension Scheme that Tata had been seeking to eliminate ever since it bought its UK steel plants in 2007.

New French Prime Minister Cazeneuve prolongs state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 15 December 2016

Basic democratic rights will continue to be suspended in France until July 2017, after next year’s presidential elections in May 2017.

Julian Assange statement exposes bogus rape allegation

By Steve James, 13 December 2016

Assange not only exposes the bogus rape allegations made against him, but presents a devastating review of the US-led campaign to ensure his arrest pending deportation.

Nearly 4 million children living in poverty in the UK

By Barry Mason, 13 December 2016

In the constituency of Birmingham Ladywood, in the UK’s second largest city, the child poverty rate is 47.3 percent.

Supreme Court Brexit hearing begins amid growing divisions in UK ruling circles

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2016

The case stems from the major constitutional and political crisis sparked by the narrow June 23 referendum vote to exit the EU.

Germany: Successful IYSSE meeting on Trump’s election held in Frankfurt

By our correspondents, 5 December 2016

What are the causes and consequences of Trump’s election? This question was at the centre of the well-attended IYSSE meeting in Frankfurt.

Jörg Baberowski’s falsification of history

By Christoph Vandreier, 5 December 2016

Historians like Humboldt University's Jörg Baberowski are labouring to rewrite and falsify history in order to justify new wars and discredit opposition to them.

European Union Commission plans multi-billion weapons fund

By Christoph Vandreier, 2 December 2016

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as US president, the European powers are pushing ahead rapidly with plans for military rearmament.

France: Fillon wins presidential primary of right-wing parties

By Alex Lantier, 28 November 2016

Fillon’s victory as the candidate of The Republicans signifies a sharp shift to the right toward intensified austerity, nationalism and militarism.

Tony Blair heads new pro-European Union movement

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 2016

Support for a second referendum on the UK’s European Union membership has only minority support in Parliament but cuts across existing party divisions.

Incoming Berlin senate plans more deportations

By Carola Kleinert, 26 November 2016

The Left Party, the Greens and Social Democrats want to organize mass deportations more efficiently through their preferred method of “voluntary” repatriation.

German establishment criticizes Trump’s protectionist economic policy

By Peter Schwarz, 25 November 2016

The German establishment is alarmed that Donald Trump’s “America first” policy could plunge the world economy into the kind of trade war witnessed in the 1930s.

French right’s presidential primary highlights shift far to the right

By Alex Lantier and Alice Laurençon, 25 November 2016

François Fillon and Alain Juppé, who will run Sunday in the second round of the French right’s presidential primary, held one last debate on Thursday night.

Incoming Berlin senate plans more deportations under a new guise

By Carola Kleinert, 25 November 2016

The Left Party, the Greens and Social Democrats want to organize mass deportations more efficiently through their preferred method of “voluntary” repatriation.

France’s Jean-Pierre Chevènement hails US President-elect Trump

By Kumaran Ira, 22 November 2016

The former leader of the Republican and Citizen Movement is trying to assemble a political coalition, including the neo-fascist National Front, to pursue nationalist policies.

UK: Labour’s Corbyn competes with Prime Minister May for alliance with big business

By Chris Marsden, 22 November 2016

Corbyn is presenting Labour as the best means to secure the interests of big business in a post-Brexit Britain, as against a divided Tory government.

British parliament passes “Snoopers’ Charter,” expanding spying powers

By Trevor Johnson, 22 November 2016

The new laws are an unprecedented attack on democratic rights, giving the state the power to gather information on millions, and to process, profile and store the results.

German Left Party backs European army

By Verena Nees, 22 November 2016

The Left Party has responded to Donald Trump’s election victory by shifting further to the right on domestic and foreign policy.

German city builds four-metre-high wall in front of refugee shelter

By Anna Rombach, 22 November 2016

Criticism of the wall has been directed not only against the Munich politicians responsible, but also the reactionary policies of the grand coalition government in Berlin.

Fillon, Juppé win first round of French right’s presidential primary

By Alice Laurençon, 21 November 2016

The media presented the Les Républicains primary as determining the candidate who will most likely run against Marine Le Pen of the neo-fascist National Front in the second round of the presidential elections next year.

Guardian columnist Will Hutton rants against the Brexit “mob”

By Paul Mitchell, 21 November 2016

Hutton’s defence of a political and economic system that is committed to austerity only legitimises UKIP’s demagogic posturing as the voice of the “people” against “the elites.”

Berlin IYSSE meeting on Trump election provokes intense discussion

By our correspondents, 21 November 2016

The large attendance and lively discussion at the meeting indicate that a new generation of young workers and students is being radicalized.

Volkswagen plans 30,000 job cuts

By Dietmar Henning, 19 November 2016

VW and its works council agreed to the destruction of more than one in seven of the company’s current 200,000 staff worldwide as part of the so-called Pact for the Future.

Trial of fascist accused of murdering UK Labour MP Jo Cox begins

By Richard Tyler, 19 November 2016

Cox was shot and stabbed multiple times in broad daylight on the way to her MPs surgery.

Uber UK verdict highlights super-exploitation through “self-employment”

By Thomas Scripps, 19 November 2016

Since its founding seven years ago, Uber has extended its reach to 66 countries and 507 cities worldwide, with over 1 million drivers.

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.

UK government accelerates privatisation of National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 17 November 2016

Since the Health and Social Care Act was introduced in 2013, private firms have won National Health Service clinical contracts worth £5.5 billion.

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.

Leading SPD politician to become German president

By Peter Schwarz, 16 November 2016

Steinmeier, like no other German politician, embodies a policy of welfare cuts and militarism.

UK: May government pins its hopes on Trump presidency

By Robert Stevens, 16 November 2016

Placing its fortunes in the hands of a reviled and unstable figure such as Trump is a measure of the May government’s political desperation.

Oppose right-wing ideology at Humboldt University: An open letter to Professor Thomas Sandkühler

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 16 November 2016

The IYSSE at Humboldt University in Berlin is protesting against the attempt to suppress legitimate criticism of the right-wing historian Jörg Baberowski.

Trump’s victory, Brexit and Paul Mason’s call for a new “progressive alliance”

By Chris Marsden, 16 November 2016

Mason and others within Britain’s pseudo-left and liberal commentariat seek to dress up a strategic reorientation of imperialist policy in a progressive cloak.

Swedish authorities finally question Julian Assange after six years

By Robert Stevens, 15 November 2016

The Swedish authorities are blatantly flouting international law in their vindictive pursuit of Assange.

Build the Socialist Equality Party (France)!

15 November 2016

This statement was adopted as the historical and political basis for the founding of the Parti de l’égalité socialiste, the French section of the ICFI.

The International Committee of the Fourth International founds its French section

By our reporter, 15 November 2016

The International Committee of the Fourth International has recognized the Parti de l'égalité socialiste as its French section.

Hamburg student committee protests appearance by Professor Jörg Baberowski

By Johannes Stern, 14 November 2016

Growing numbers of students are no longer prepared to accept the transformation of their universities into centres of war propaganda and militarism.

Socialist Equality Party (UK) 2016 Congress resolutions

For a new socialist movement against militarism, austerity and war

By Socialist Equality Party (UK), 14 November 2016

Presented here is an edited version of the first resolution adopted by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) Third National Congress, held October 28-31 in Sheffield.

France’s New Anti-Capitalist Party covers up its support for Libya war

By Kumaran Ira, 10 November 2016

As the Libyan catastrophe produced by the 2011 NATO war exposes the NPA’s bankruptcy, it is trying to bury its own record of supporting imperialist war.