Western Europe

Tory-media witch-hunt claims Labour’s Corbyn was a spy

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2018

This latest offensive by the Tory Party and media follows threats by senior military figures that Corbyn must not be allowed to form a government.

Macron launches campaign to privatise French railways

By Kumaran Ira, 20 February 2018

The report calls for the privatisation of the French National Railways, aiming to eliminate basic social rights of the working class to finance Macron’s militarist policies.

Amazon set to open new depot in Sheffield—“low pay capital of the UK”

By Danny Richardson, 20 February 2018

Sheffield and its surrounding area was previously a major steel producing region with Amazon building its “Fulfilment Centres” in the South Yorkshire area on shuttered steel plants.

Munich Security Conference threatens war on all fronts

By Chris Marsden, 19 February 2018

Washington led the pack in bellicosity towards Syria and North Korea, tied to allegations of Russian and Chinese culpability.

German defence minister delivers war-mongering speech at Munich Security Conference

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2018

A rearmament offensive is being prepared, comparable only to that of Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

A tool of imperialism: Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France calls for military buildup

By Alex Lantier, 19 February 2018

As Paris threatens to bomb Syria, and Washington threatens Russia and China, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is stampeding behind calls to build a European war machine.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Failed by the State co-director discusses smear campaign against his documentary

By our reporter, 19 February 2018

After a lively discussion on issues raised by the film, the Grenfell Fire Forum passed a resolution opposing the attack on it by the corporate media.

War clouds gather over Munich Security Conference

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2018

The central issue being discussed by the high-ranking attendees at the conference is how the assembled great powers, and the Europeans in particular, can rearm to prepare for war.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

#MeToo campaign turns on French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot

By Francis Dubois, 15 February 2018

The media hysteria that the French government initially helped stir up around #MeToo is now turning against the government itself.

Germany: The coalition agreement and the return of militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2018

Important sections of the coalition pact between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed last week bear the imprint of the top military brass.

UK Prime Minister May calls for fight to “defeat socialism”

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2018

May spoke almost 40 years after Thatcher vowed to “roll back the tide of socialism,” and more than 25 years since the liquidation of the Soviet Union was hailed as proof of the triumph of capitalism.

Failed by the State co-director Daniel Renwick: “Every day I meet people who have been politicised and have a deeper consciousness”

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Daniel Renwick about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Oppose the right-wing campaign against Grenfell fire documentary Failed by the State

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The attack on the documentary is part of a broader offensive by the ruling elite and its media, which are attempting to portray all expressions of political and social dissent as “fake news” being spread by the Putin regime in Russia.

German grand coalition planning major military build-up

By Peter Schwarz, 14 February 2018

An article in IP magazine, published by the German Council for Foreign Relations, gives a glimpse of the foreign policy debates going on behind the scenes.

Germany: The resignation of Martin Schulz

By Peter Schwarz, 12 February 2018

The rapid rise and fall of Schulz cannot be explained simply on the basis of personal rivalries. At stake are major political issues.

New NATO headquarters planned in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2018

With a new NATO headquarters, Germany would be even more strongly involved in NATO preparations for war against Russia.

French media endorse plan for anti-worker Grand Coalition government in Germany

By Alex Lantier, 12 February 2018

The Grand Coalition deal and the new Berlin-Paris axis are both based on the most right-wing program since fascist parties ruled Europe.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors vote with Blairites against scrapping Haringey Council’s social cleansing project

By Paul Mitchell, 10 February 2018

Labour councillors, backed by Momentum, refused to back a motion that would have brought an end to the UK’s most infamous handover of council assets.

YouTube censors video opposing far-right Alternative for Germany

By Johannes Stern, 10 February 2018

The video by the left-wing, socialist channel “Political Analysis” was evidently censored following appeals by far-right circles to YouTube.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober: The social cleansing agenda of a Blairite “martyr”

By Julie Hyland, 8 February 2018

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober has received the support of over 70 leaders of Labour councils nationally who are all enforcing Tory spending cuts.

Germany’s Grand Coalition for austerity and war

By Johannes Stern, 6 February 2018

In the final stretch of coalition negotiations, SPD leader Martin Schulz announced an agreement between his party and the conservative CDU/CSU on European policy.

Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide

By Marianne Arens, 6 February 2018

The extension of the operation is part of the plans of the grand coalition between the SPD and Christian Democrats to further strengthen police powers and coordinate security policy on a European basis.

May’s China visit highlights UK’s post-Brexit dilemma

By Jean Shaoul, 6 February 2018

The US tied May’s hands, leading to her refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding officially endorsing China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Post-Grenfell Tower fire report confirms systemic corporate flouting of health and safety standards

By Trevor Johnson, 6 February 2018

Even on essential safety issues like fire prevention, the Hackitt report considers it too great an imposition on landlords to demand, in law, that they carry out basic improvements such as fitting sprinkler systems in tower blocks.

German industrial workers shut down auto sector as strikes spread

By our reporters, 2 February 2018

Workers in the automotive and electrical industries are striking for a third consecutive day for higher wages and the voluntary reduction of the workweek.

Social cleansing in Haringey: Labour right reject Corbyn’s pleas for “unity”

By Julie Hyland, 2 February 2018

Haringey’s Labour-run council is mounting one of the largest privatisation and social cleansing operations in London

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

UK Labour: Corbyn seeks accommodation with Blairites and big business

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2018

The policy of the Labour right wing is to extract maximum concessions from Corbyn—especially regarding Labour’s stance on Brexit.

UK Defence Secretary accuses Russia of planning to kill “thousands and thousands and thousands” of Britons

By Robert Stevens, 27 January 2018

Williamson’s comments come just days after the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces declared that Britain must actively prepare for war with Russia.

Julian Assange challenges warrant for his arrest as doctors confirm worsening of his health

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2018

The clinicians, with a combined four decades of experience, said Assange's "continued confinement" is "a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

German, French parliaments prepare new alliance, 55 years after Elysée treaty

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2018

The resolution commits Berlin and Paris to a major arms build-up and deep austerity to enable them to carry out military operations independent of Washington.

Catalan nationalists struggle to form government

By Paul Mitchell, 25 January 2018

Spain’s Popular Party government is threatening to re-impose Article 155 and direct rule of the autonomous region by Madrid.

UK, France boost military, intelligence ties at Sandhurst summit

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 20 January 2018

The summit aimed to boost UK-French cooperation despite the crisis in NATO caused by the election of Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the European Union.

IYSSE secures re-election to student parliament at Berlin’s Humboldt University

By the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 20 January 2018

After a successful election campaign, the IYSSE is re-entering Humboldt University’s student parliament with two representatives.

UK: Office for Students spearheads privatisation and policing of universities

By Thomas Scripps, 20 January 2018

Accompanied by lifting the cap on tuition fees and selling off of student debt to private holders, the Office for Students is set to complete the basic framework for the wholesale privatisation of higher education.

German newspaper Die Zeit and SPD back #MeToo witch-hunt

By Verena Nees, 19 January 2018

It is no accident that the German #MeToo campaign is being led by a newspaper close to the SPD, which has adopted the issue in the wake of its disastrous result in last autumn’s federal election.

Carillion’s collapse in UK and the East Coast bailout: What would ending the “Private Financial Initiative rip-off” entail?

By Jean Shaoul, 18 January 2018

In the wake of the collapse of construction giant Carillion, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demagogically declared it was time “to end the rip-off privatisation policies.”

Another bonanza year for highest paid UK CEOs

By Dennis Moore, 18 January 2018

The median average pay of the top FTSE 100 CEO's is £3.45 million a year, 120 times the average pay of a worker.

Families and survivors hold seven-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 17 January 2018

Some 1,500 people, including survivors and the families of those who died in last year’s Grenfell Tower fire, staged their monthly Silent March on January 14.

UK: Election of pro-Corbyn slate to Labour’s National Executive Committee underscores left shift in working class

By Chris Marsden, 16 January 2018

Corbyn is now in control of his cabinet and, following various reshuffles, has a majority of the party membership and now the NEC.

UK: Carillion collapse threatens jobs and pensions, exposing plunder of social assets

By Julie Hyland, 16 January 2018

There are reports of banks shifting Carillion off their balance sheets over the last months in anticipation of its inevitable folding.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

For new elections and a socialist offensive against the grand coalition in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 15 January 2018

Opposition within the population to the grand coalition’s anti-working class and militarist policies is enormous.

Virgin Care and other private companies seize another £3.1 billion of NHS contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 15 January 2018

By running down National Health Service-run provision across the country, the Tories have opened up new avenues for private companies to cherry pick lucrative areas.

German conservatives and Social Democrats agree to coalition talks

By Peter Schwarz, 13 January 2018

The 28-page document on the results of the exploratory talks conceals a deeply reactionary right-wing programme behind unctuous rhetoric about an “awakening,” “democracy,” “peace” and “justice.”

German industrial workers continue strikes

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 January 2018

The IG Metall trade union is increasingly concerned by the unrest and radical atmosphere in the plants, but has indicated its readiness to compromise and reach a sell-out deal.

Fraud of official inquiry into Grenfell fire exposed by forced withdrawal of project management adviser

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2018

The scandal over KPMG serves once again to dispel any illusions that the official Grenfell inquiry has anything to do with establishing the truth or holding the guilty to account.

160,000 industrial workers strike in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 11 January 2018

Amid widespread anger over social inequality and corporate job-cutting, there is a growing determination to fight for improvements in wages and working conditions.

France’s Socialist Party attacks Catherine Deneuve for opposing #MeToo witch-hunt

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2018

The courageous column published by 100 women in Le Monde criticizing the #MeToo campaign has provoked a venomous response from the French state machine.

French chemical industry unions back contract violating minimum wage laws

By Alex Lantier, 8 January 2018

Backed by the European Union, President Emmanuel Macron is using his labor decrees to try to scrap basic social rights won by the working class.

German foreign minister demands aggressive assertion of great power interests

By Christoph Vandreier, 8 January 2018

Gabriel’s rhetoric, in his interview with Spiegel Online, is aimed at initiating a further escalation of German militarism and freeing Berlin from any restrictions.

Volkswagen plans to dismiss all temporary contract workers in German plants

By Dietmar Henning, 8 January 2018

VW’s mass firing of temporary contract workers is the prelude to sweeping job cuts and attacks on the gains of all autoworkers.

UK rail workers continue strikes against Driver Only Operated train plans

By Michael Barnes, 8 January 2018

As dangerous incidents begin to escalate, the rail companies and the Tory government refuse to retreat in their war against conductors’ jobs.

UK workers confront rising job losses in 2018

By Tony Robson, 8 January 2018

At no point have Unite, GMB, the retail workers union, USDAW, or any other, even mooted a fight in defence of a single job.

Britain’s National Health Service is being deliberately brought to the brink of collapse

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2018

NHS employees now often refer to the conditions they face at work as a “battlefield” or “war zone.”

German conservatives and Social Democrats prepare formation of far-right government

By Peter Schwarz, 6 January 2018

There is a crisis over the formation of the government because the Christian Democrats, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats are preparing a sharp shift to the right, which finds no support among the population.

Incoming German government plans massive military rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 3 January 2018

A recent paper by the Bavarian Christian Social Union makes clear what the real questions are about forming the next government.

Germany: Demands grow for Merkel’s resignation

By Peter Schwarz, 30 December 2017

The longer negotiations on a new ruling coalition continue, the more likely leading business, political and media figures will press for a rapid change at the top of the government.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.

Macron turns France’s labor decrees on auto workers

By Alex Lantier, 29 December 2017

The announcement of mass layoffs by Europe’s second-largest automaker is part of a relentless international assault on workers' jobs, working conditions and social rights.

Political turmoil in Spain following Catalan election

By Paul Mitchell, 23 December 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is under pressure from some quarters to consider negotiations, but there is no indication of a climbdown on his part.

Massive job cuts at Opel and Vauxhall

By Marianne Arens, 23 December 2017

The management board, works council and IG Metall union have agreed on a drastic reduction in staff and labour costs at Opel to make the company more profitable.

Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 23 December 2017

The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group accidentally disclosed a backdoor payment of £328,000 to Virgin Care, owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson.

Engineering workers occupy three BiFab yards in Scotland

By Darren Paxton and Sandy Campbell, 23 December 2017

Although workers effectively took control of the yards, the GMB and Unite trade unions were at pains to insist the action was a “work-in.”

Social inequality and Germany’s government crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 23 December 2017

Social inequality has reached a scale that is no longer compatible with democratic forms of rule.

UK: Deputy Conservative leader Damian Green forced to resign by manufactured sex scandal

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2017

The contrived campaign at Westminster over sexual impropriety has caused the suicide of one leading Welsh Labour member and the sudden death of a Labour Party staffer—also believed to be a suicide.

German police publicly name and shame G20 protesters

By Peter Schwarz, 22 December 2017

In an unlawful act, the police and state prosecutor have published online the photos of hundreds of demonstrators five months after the G20 protests.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller, 22 December 2017

Haringey Labour Council will commence the demolition of 1,000 council homes and the building of luxury accommodation that only the wealthiest can afford, in one of the largest acts of social cleansing in the capital.

German Social Democratic Party follows the path of far-right Alternative for Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 December 2017

Ex-SPD leader and acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is calling for his party to adopt the right-wing nationalist policies of Alternative for Germany.

Far-right party enters Austrian government

By Peter Schwarz, 19 December 2017

Politicians with close ties to the neo-Nazi scene and ultra-right circles now wield power in Austria.

Families and survivors hold six-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2017

The marchers carried photographs of those who had perished in the Grenfell fire, and held large green heart-shaped banners and placards with slogans including “Justice for Grenfell” and “We demand the truth.”

Right-wing extremists enter government in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 18 December 2017

In a country where the ruling class resorted to dictatorship in the early 1930s, and largely backed the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the shadow of the past has returned.

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

By Johannes Stern, 16 December 2017

Despite the ongoing government crisis, all the German bourgeois parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.

Amazon conducts total surveillance of workers in new German plant

By Marianne Arens, 16 December 2017

“One speaks of robots becoming more and more like humans, at Amazon it’s the other way round: humans become robots.”

French conservative leadership election signals move towards far right

By Anthony Torres, 16 December 2017

Laurent Wauquiez won The Republicans (LR) party presidency by attacking Muslims and gay marriage, prompting speculation that LR will seek neo-fascist alliances.

Germany: SPD and Christian Democrats initiate exploratory talks on new government

By Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

The leaderships of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats met yesterday for the first talks on forming a new government.

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

German Left Party supports SPD foreign minister’s great power politics

By Johannes Stern, 13 December 2017

Dietmar Bartsch, the Left Party’s parliamentary leader, has followed Social Democrat Foreign Minister Gabriel in advocating an “assertive role” for Germany in the world.

General Electric follows Siemens in announcing mass layoffs

By Gustav Kemper, 12 December 2017

The American conglomerate General Electric announced the layoff of 12,000 workers last week, including 4,500 in Europe.

Grenfell Fire forum discusses upcoming six month anniversary

By our reporter, 12 December 2017

Six months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, more than half of the households that require rehousing remain in temporary accommodation, including many children.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

Germany: Protests against the deportation of refugees

By our correspondents, 9 December 2017

Refugees from Afghanistan were herded onto a plane and flown from the German airport in Frankfurt-Main to Kabul, despite the efforts of several hundred demonstrators.

UK government accelerates plans to ration and privatise National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017

In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.

UK government rocked by Trump’s fascistic twitter postings

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2017

Following Trump’s unprecedented public attack on the Prime Minister, the alliance between the two countries has never been shakier.

At Abidjan summit, EU and France intensify neo-colonial scramble for Africa

By Francis Dubois, 2 December 2017

Faced with the disastrous results of the imperialist wars in Libya and the Sahel, the European Union is proposing to intensify its neo-colonialist and military interventions.

One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England

By Dennis Moore, 2 December 2017

A new study by the homeless charity Shelter shows widespread and pervasive homelessness across the UK, with an additional 13,000 without accommodation in the last year alone.

Campaign builds for grand coalition in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 2 December 2017

A new installment of the grand coalition would pursue a much more aggressive right-wing agenda than the previous governments.

German political establishment and big business call for grand coalition government

By Johannes Stern, 27 November 2017

The SPD fears that new elections and political uncertainty could destabilise conditions in Europe and undermine the global interests of German imperialism.

Protesting workers at bankrupt Air Berlin denounce Merkel government

By Gustav Kemper, 27 November 2017

More than a thousand employees of the insolvent airline gathered Wednesday in front of Berlin Central Station for a demonstration against imminent mass redundancies.

Bus workers in northwest England escalate strikes for pay parity

By John Newham, 27 November 2017

As more disputes erupt, the unions are doing everything to contain the situation and oppose any united offensive by transport workers.

Germany’s Social Democrats prepare for grand coalition with Merkel

By Peter Schwarz, 25 November 2017

A third installment of the grand coalition will will adopt an even more authoritarian and ruthless course from its predecessors.

German SPD leader Martin Schulz: A false friend of Siemens workers

By Peter Schwarz, 24 November 2017

Despite Schulz’s rhetorical denunciations of planned job cuts at Siemens, the SPD has for years been at the forefront of attacks against workers’ jobs, wages, and living standards.

The Socialist Equality Party in Germany demands new elections

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 23 November 2017

Under present conditions, this is the only way in which the working class can intervene into political events, bring their interests to bear and combat the far right’s political offensive.

Christian Democratic student association calls for the banning of the IYSSE at German universities

By Christoph Vandreier, 22 November 2017

The denial of working group status for the IYSSE in Leipzig sets a precedent to deprive socialist student organizations of standing as university groups across the country, an attack on basic democratic rights.

Grenfell Tower “independent” task force produces whitewash report

By Steve James, 18 November 2017

The report avoids any reference to the fire’s origins in national and local policy decisions, including the deregulation and privatisation of fire safety and building control, as well as fire service cuts.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.