Europe

Saarland state election serves as test run for the next German government

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 25 March 2017

The state election is being used to bolster the campaign for a federal government composed of the SPD and the Left Party.

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.

The Dutch elections and the danger of fascism

By Peter Schwarz, 15 March 2017

The fascistic Geert Wilders has set the tone for the entire spectrum of Dutch politics, from the conservative government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to the ex-Maoist Socialist Party.

Socialist Party advocates nationalist and xenophobic programme in Dutch elections

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 15 March 2017

The ex-Maoist Socialist Party demands that Dutch workers be given preferential treatment over immigrants and calls for limits on the entry of migrants into the EU.

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.

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.

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.

The election of Trump and the crisis of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 10 February 2017

All of the tensions, conflicts and contradictions that the Treaty of Rome, laying the foundations of the European Union, was supposed to have overcome 60 years ago are emerging once again.

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.

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.

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.

EU summit marks escalation of conflict between Europe and US

By Johannes Stern, 4 February 2017

At the EU summit in Malta, several European heads of state, including the German chancellor and the French president, sharply criticized the policies of the Trump administration.

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.

German officials demand aggressive response to Trump’s inaugural address

By Johannes Stern, 24 January 2017

German politicians, business leaders and the media are increasingly realizing that the new US president regards Europe, and above all Germany, as economic and political rivals.

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.

Amid anti-Russia media campaign

First permanent deployment of US troops on Russian border since Cold War

By Andre Damon, 16 January 2017

Some 4,000 US troops, together with tanks, artillery and armored vehicles, arrived in Poland over the weekend, further escalating tensions with Russia ahead of the inauguration of Trump.

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.

Devastating HIV epidemic hits Russia

By Clara Weiss, 10 January 2017

A quarter century after the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, an HIV epidemic, closely bound up with massive heroin consumption, is raging in Russia.

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.

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.

“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.

More than 5,000 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean in 2016

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 31 December 2016

The dramatic rise was a direct result of the European Union’s brutal deterrence policy—in particular the reinforcement of the EU’s external borders.

The Berlin terror attack: Is a section of the state trying to destabilize the German government?

By Johannes Stern, 29 December 2016

In light of the facts that have emerged and the manner in which the attack is being used, as well as German history, it would be politically naive to rule out the involvement of sections of the state.

German intelligence agent drove alleged perpetrator in Christmas market attack to Berlin

By Peter Schwarz, 28 December 2016

One week after the attack, there is a chorus of demands for the elimination of basic democratic rights and the erection of new barriers to refugees.

Police break up opposition-led blockade of Polish parliament

By Clara Weiss, 19 December 2016

With this latest stand-off, the constitutional crisis in Poland that began over a year ago following PiS’ accession to government has reached a turning point.

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.

New accusations of Russian state-sponsored doping

By Andrea Peters, 13 December 2016

Authorities have responded to new allegations of doping to demand the indefinite exclusion of Russian athletes from international sports competitions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.