Europe

EU summit endorses Spain’s threat of police-military occupation of Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 21 October 2017

EU heads of state applauded Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy’s moves to impose dictatorial rule in Catalonia because they are preparing similar attacks on the working class across Europe.

Spanish Socialist Party demands new elections in Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 21 October 2017

The Spanish Socialist Party is working closely with Spain’s right-wing government to extra-legally oust the current regional government in Catalonia.

Investigative journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia murdered in Malta

By Richard Tyler, 21 October 2017

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

Right-wing, four-party government formed in the Netherlands

By Derek Bell, 21 October 2017

Mark Rutte of the VVD remains prime minister, but in coalition with three other right-wing parties rather than the Social Democrats, whose vote collapsed.

Post-Grenfell: More than £400 million needed to make London residential buildings safe

By Tom Pearce, 20 October 2017

London has 32 boroughs, of which just 21 answered a survey on the cost of planned remedial safety work.

200,000 protest jailing of Catalonian nationalist leaders in Barcelona

By Paul Mitchell, 19 October 2017

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

Power struggle in leadership of Germany’s Left Party

By Peter Schwarz, 19 October 2017

The Left Party is responding to the federal election and the rise of the Alternative for Germany by shifting sharply to the right, triggering internal divisions.

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras embraces Trump

By Alex Lantier, 19 October 2017

The statement of Tsipras that he shares “common values” with Trump exposes not only Syriza, but all of the middle-class “left” parties internationally that promoted it.

Jailing of separatist leaders sparks protest demonstrations in Catalonia

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 18 October 2017

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

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

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 17 October 2017

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

Hurricane Ophelia’s tail hits Ireland and UK

By Margot Miller, 17 October 2017

Three lives were reported lost and winds of up to 109 mph left 360,000 homes and businesses without power in the Republic of Ireland.

In latest victory for the far right, neo-fascists gain in Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2017

The ability of far-right parties to obtain a broader hearing for anti-immigrant and racist policies is the result of the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent within the political establishment.

Deadline looms for Catalonia to confirm or deny independence declaration

By Alejandro López, 16 October 2017

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

French president Macron and ex-left Cohn-Bendit advocate a militarily strong Europe at Frankfurt Book Fair

By Marianne Arens, 14 October 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron is striving for a heavily armed Europe capable of pursuing its own imperialist strategy around the world, while suppressing opposition at home.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

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

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

By Paul Mitchell, 12 October 2017

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

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

By Alex Lantier, 11 October 2017

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

Germany’s conservative parties shift further to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 11 October 2017

The Christian Democratic Union and its partner, the Christian Social Union, have agreed on a common line of approach for a future government coalition to include the Free Democratic Party and the Greens.

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

By Alejandro López, 10 October 2017

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

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

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

By Alex Lantier, 10 October 2017

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

Madrid prepares to deploy troops in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 7 October 2017

Spain’s political establishment is openly talking of invoking Article 116 of the Spanish constitution, laying the basis for the imposition of martial law.

German government backs Spain’s violent crackdown on Catalonia

By Peter Schwarz, 7 October 2017

The German government has backed Madrid’s suppression of the Catalonian independence referendum because it, too, is preparing to crack down on social and political opposition at home.

Tory party on verge of leadership contest after disastrous conference performance by May

By Robert Stevens, 7 October 2017

Theresa May only remains in place to keep the party together and avoid an eruption of unrestrained factional warfare.

Spain prepares military crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 6 October 2017

The European Union is supporting Madrid's plans for a bloody military-police intervention in Catalonia and to impose a state of emergency across Spain.

Amid Catalan crisis, Madrid prepares military rule across Spain

By Alejandro López, 6 October 2017

Voices in the Spanish press are calling for imposing various states of emergency that would suspend basic democratic rights and hand power to the army.

Siemens and Alstom rail train units merge as corporations prepare for trade war

By Gustav Kemper, 6 October 2017

The merger of the two companies, with 62,000 employees and an annual turnover of around 15 billion euros, creates the world’s second-largest railway technology company.

Huge increase in UK firefighters with mental health problems

By Dennis Moore, 6 October 2017

Many of the firefighters who tackled the Grenfell fire suffered mental health problems following that terrible event.

Spanish government sends troops to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 5 October 2017

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

After Madrid’s violent crackdown:

An independent class strategy for the Spanish and Catalan working class!

By Keith Jones, 5 October 2017

A struggle to rally workers and youth to an internationalist orientation can only be waged in uncompromising opposition to the violence unleashed by the Madrid government.

UK: Corbyn ally John McDonnell declares Labour’s mission is to “stabilise capitalism”

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2017

Despite the “socialist” rhetoric they may spout, the pseudo-left and Stalinist groups are all in fundamental agreement with McDonnell—the job at hand is to defend capitalism.

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

By Chris Marsden, 4 October 2017

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

Spanish king demands new crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2017

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

Hundreds of thousands protest Madrid’s repression in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 4 October 2017

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

German Left Party’s Lafontaine launches AfD-style tirade against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 4 October 2017

The Left Party is using the AfD’s electoral success to justify adopting its xenophobic programme.

German Green Party opts for coalition with conservative and neo-liberal parties

By Peter Schwarz, 4 October 2017

A Green Party conference agreed to start negotiations on a coalition government with the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and the Free Democratic Party.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

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

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 3 October 2017

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

Germany’s Social Democrats prepare to suppress popular opposition

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 3 October 2017

The Social Democratic Party is taking on the task of suppressing opposition to militarism, the strengthening of the state apparatus and social cutbacks.

Monarch Airlines collapse causes air travel chaos

By Steve James, 3 October 2017

Monarch is the third major European airline to go under this year.

People’s Assembly stage tame protest outside Conservative Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2017

The pseudo-left groups are desperate to conceal the fact that the many local Labour authorities have imposed austerity on behalf of the government for years.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Wide-ranging discussion and resolution passed opposing Google censorship

By Paul Mitchell, 3 October 2017

Over 20 people, half of whom were local residents, attended the first meeting of the Grenfell Fire Forum last Saturday at the Maxilla Social Club in North Kensington, London.

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

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 2 October 2017

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

German army build-up follows federal election

By Tino Jacobson, 30 September 2017

The latest acquisitions are part of a comprehensive armaments program over coming years whose dimensions recall the massive rearming of the Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

Parsons Green bomb seized on to call for greater internet censorship

By Steve James, 30 September 2017

The ruling elite are calling for powers to exclude whole sections of the population from internet use, as and when politically convenient.

Oppose the state crackdown on the Catalan independence referendum!

For working class unity! No to separatism in Spain!

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

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

After German elections establishment parties call for further military build-up

By Johannes Stern, 29 September 2017

The ruling class has responded to the right-wing extremist AfD’s electoral success with intensified calls for a military build-up and the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus.

German election: Where the far-right AfD won—and why

By Sven Heymanns, 29 September 2017

The entry of the Alternative for Germany into Germany's parliament last Sunday was cause for great concern, fear and anger for many, both in Germany and beyond.

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

By Paul Mitchell, 29 September 2017

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

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

By Alejandro López, 29 September 2017

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

German parties move further to the right after AfD’s electoral success

By Johannes Stern, 26 September 2017

The same parties that are politically responsible for the rise of the AfD are exploiting the right-wing extremists’ electoral success to shift the political climate even further to the right.

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

By James Lerner, 26 September 2017

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

The rise of the AfD and the rightward lurch of official politics in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 25 September 2017

For the first time since the fall of the Nazis, a right-wing extremist party is entering Germany’s national parliament.

Iraqi Kurdish referendum stokes Mideast war tensions

By Jean Shaoul and Jordan Shilton, 25 September 2017

Washington has long served as a patron of the Kurdish Regional Government but opposed the referendum fearing it would create greater regional instability.

Turkey threatens war over Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum

By Halil Celik, 25 September 2017

Turkey, Iran, and Iraq have all made clear that they view the Iraqi Kurdish independence referendum as a dire threat to their territorial integrity.

In Paris, Mélenchon calls on trade unions to control opposition to austerity

By Anthony Torres and Kumaran Ira, 25 September 2017

On Saturday, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement held its national rally in the Place de la République in Paris.

Sigmar Gabriel’s UN address: German great power ambitions in pacifist garb

By Johannes Stern, 23 September 2017

Phrases about “peace,” “human rights” and “global justice” are rhetorical window-dressing for Germany’s renewed turn to imperialist “Realpolitik.”

French President Macron signs labor decrees, trampling on social opposition

By Anthony Torres, 23 September 2017

Showing contempt for mass popular opposition and growing strikes and protests, France’s president signed decrees destroying the country’s Labor Code yesterday.

Barcelona dockworkers boycott Spanish police ships sent against Catalan referendum

By Alejandro López, 22 September 2017

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

UK wields military and security cooperation as a weapon in Brexit negotiations

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2017

The British government’s position paper on the terms of its exit from the EU stresses the UK’s role as the second military power in NATO, to underline the implicit threat that it will withdraw military and defence co-operation with the bloc.

How Germany is supporting Burma’s ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya

By Johannes Stern, 22 September 2017

Burma’s notorious army chief Min Aung Hlaing was welcomed with military honours to Berlin in April.

Spanish police raid Catalan government buildings, arrest officials

By Paul Mitchell, 21 September 2017

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

Dangerous developments in Germany: AfD leader praises the Nazi Wehrmacht

By Johannes Stern, 21 September 2017

Just days before the federal election, a leading member of the far-right Alternative for Germany has called for Germany's Nazi past to be seen in a positive light.

The war danger and the significance of the election campaign of the Socialist Equality Party of Germany

By the Socialist Equality Party (Germany), 21 September 2017

The incoming government’s policies have long been decided: an unprecedented intensification of militarism, the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus and social cuts.

French unions try to strangle workers’ opposition to Macron

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 19 September 2017

The unions, whose strike calls are carefully prepared beforehand with the government, are terrified of being outflanked on their left by an eruption of workers’ struggles.

Survivors and local residents speak out on Grenfell Tower Inquiry opening

By our reporters, 19 September 2017

Inquiry Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick claimed that he was “impartial” and had therefore rejected submissions to appoint a local resident to act as an assessor.

Millions of the UK’s poorest families driven into deeper poverty

By Dennis Moore, 19 September 2017

The government’s overall agenda, dressed up as welfare “reform,” is underpinned by slashing welfare spending and encouraging people to move from benefits into work.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Spain threatens potential military takeover of Catalonia as referendum looms

By Alejandro López, 18 September 2017

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

Greece: Syriza touts for investors and fêtes Macron

By Katerina Selin, 18 September 2017

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

Lakanal House: Prelude to the Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 2

By Paul Armstrong, 18 September 2017

In the aftermath of the Lakanal House fire, the Labour-controlled council promised £62 million for improved fire safety and maintenance, but residents are still living in death traps.

World Socialist Web Site readers in Britain oppose Google’s censorship campaign

By our reporter, 18 September 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of the hundreds of people in Britain on why they have signed the petition to Google demanding that the corporation stop its censorship of the Internet and end their blacklist of the WSWS.

Germany: Trial of neo-Nazi terror group whitewashes role of intelligence services

By Dietmar Henning, 16 September 2017

It is evident that, despite the attention to detail in the case of the five accused, the aim of the NSU trial was to conceal the role played by the secret services.

German conservative newspaper threatens Poland with territorial demands

By Peter Schwarz, 16 September 2017

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung warned the Polish government that its western border would no longer be recognised if it continues to insist upon reparations.

Truckers announce strike against attack on Labour Code in France

By Kumaran Ira, 16 September 2017

The French government has already stressed that it has no intention of modifying its position, despite growing opposition in the working class.

Lakanal House: Prelude to the Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 1

By Paul Armstrong, 16 September 2017

Recommendations from a coroner’s inquest into the Lakanal House tower block fire, handed down in 2013, were ignored by the Conservative government, local council authorities and the London Fire Brigade.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the case for socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 15 September 2017

The refusal of Sir Martin Moore-Bick to answer questions at the official opening of the government inquiry into the Grenfell Tower inferno epitomises the class arrogance and indifference of the powers-that-be towards working people.

NATO launches war games in advance of Russian exercise

By Bill Van Auken, 13 September 2017

The dueling military exercises are unfolding as relations between Washington and Moscow are more tense than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

Hundreds of thousands march against Macron’s austerity measures in France

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 September 2017

The demonstrations point to the mounting opposition among French workers and youth to the government’s plans to carry out a social counterrevolution by executive fiat.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

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

By Paul Mitchell, 12 September 2017

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

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

By Alex Lantier, 12 September 2017

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

UK: Tony Blair calls for anti-immigration policies to stop Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2017

The former Labour prime minister called for EU nationals without work in the UK to be barred from renting homes, opening bank accounts and receiving health care.

Plans for major military build-up after Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 12 September 2017

The military build-up has not featured in the election campaign because all parties agree that it must be massively expanded after the election.

Germany’s federal election campaign and the danger of global nuclear war

By Johannes Stern, 9 September 2017

The media and political parties have long sought to keep the issues of war and militarism out of the election campaign, but reality is now catching up with them.

UK: May government finalises Grenfell Tower Inquiry cover-up

By Robert Stevens, 9 September 2017

The inquiry has no intention of achieving real justice for the victims of Grenfell—nor remedying the dangers faced by thousands of other tenants across the country.

ECB makes first move to wind back quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2017

The class agenda of the ECB emerged when president Mario Draghi called for the further elimination of job protection as he backed reforms by the Macron presidency in France.

Royal College of Nursing union holds rally in London

No answers to attacks on public health care

By Ajanta Silva and Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2017

The “Summer of Action” was largely restricted to appeals to MPs and photo opportunities for RCN bureaucrats and union officials making occasional media appearances.

British soldiers arrested for membership in banned fascist group

By Steve James, 7 September 2017

Four soldiers in the British Army were arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism as members of the outlawed fascist group National Action.

London residents speak on Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 6 September 2017

“As long as the rich people, special interests and the establishment are ruling, then there will always be a cover-up.”

German Left Party and Greens demand expansion of police powers

By Peter Schwarz, 6 September 2017

Like Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz in Sunday’s television debate, representatives of the smaller parties advocated a massive build-up of the domestic state apparatus.

Candidates denounce refugees, demand state build-up at German election debate

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2017

Merkel and Schulz agreed on virtually every issue and appealed for a crackdown on refugees, more police, and a more aggressive German and European foreign policy.

No progress in UK- European Union talks over Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2017

The European Union insists there can be no progress to discussion on future relations without Britain settling its “divorce” bill first.

Macron’s labor decrees in France: A new stage in the international social counter-revolution

By Alex Lantier, 5 September 2017

By unilaterally rewriting the French Labor Code, Macron is setting into motion a confrontation with the working class with international and revolutionary implications.

Britain’s pseudo-left promote Labour councils enforcing savage cuts

By Laura Tiernan, 4 September 2017

Theresa May’s Tory government, like the Cameron government before it, has relied on local Labour councils to slash millions of pounds from public spending.

Germany: Policeman and lawyer conspire to murder left-wing politicians

By Sven Heymanns, 30 August 2017

Despite the serious nature of the allegations, the prosecutor's office has failed to issue a warrant for the arrest of the two accused.

Unions help Caterpillar restructure with closure of Belgian operations

By Ross Mitchell, 30 August 2017

The Caterpillar plant in Gosselies was the biggest industrial site in Wallonia, Belgium’s southern, primarily French-speaking region.

Massive fire in Rostov, Russia destroys 123 houses

By Clara Weiss, 29 August 2017

Residents said they believe the fire was allowed to burn out of control with the aim of driving out impoverished residents in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Polish government demands war reparations from Germany

By Clara Weiss, 22 August 2017

Especially since the inauguration of US president Donald Trump, the relations between Warsaw and Berlin have considerably deteriorated.

Trump, Charlottesville and Jorg Baberowski

By Johannes Stern, 22 August 2017

The same German media outlets and politicians who denounce Donald Trump for his support for the extreme right defend academic Jorg Baberowski for making even more egregious statements.