Southern Europe

No new proposals from IMF on European debt crisis

By Barry Grey, 26 September 2011

The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Washington DC concluded Sunday with no agreement on specific measures to avert a default by Greece and the threat of a new financial meltdown and global depression.

European powers discuss possible bankruptcy of Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 24 September 2011

Neither the austerity measures nor the latest tranche of the “rescue packet” will resolve the crisis gripping Greece, which faces looming bankruptcy.

Slovenian government ousted by vote of no confidence

By Markus Salzmann, 24 September 2011

After months of continual parliamentary crisis, the Slovenian minority government led by Premier Borut Pahor was ousted from office following a vote of no confidence on Tuesday.

Greek workers strike, protest against brutal austerity measures

By David Walsh, 23 September 2011

Tens of thousands of Greek public transport workers, teachers, civil servants and air traffic controllers walked off the job Thursday to protest the latest round of austerity measures announced by the PASOK government.

Spanish teachers and students protest education cuts

By Alejandro López, 22 September 2011

This week, teachers and students across Spain are protesting against education cuts.

The carve-up of Greece

By Barry Grey, 20 September 2011

The European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, acting in behalf of the international banks, are demanding a new round of austerity measures against the Greek working class.

Credit rating agencies threaten to downgrade Spain

By Paul Mitchell, 20 September 2011

Fitch Ratings warned last week that Spain’s credit rating could be downgraded because the country’s regions have fallen behind schedule on deficit-reduction targets, economic growth had been poor and public funds to rescue banks had been larger than forecast.

European finance ministers delay loan, press Greece for deeper cuts

By Barry Grey, 17 September 2011

European Union finance ministers delayed a decision on disbursing an 8 billion euro loan needed to avert a default by Greece next month and rejected proposals by US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to expand the EU's bailout fund.

Greek workers plunged into social misery

By Robert Stevens, 15 September 2011

With Greece verging on default, the PASOK government is escalating its austerity programme against an already pauperised population.

Italy moves to secure its share of the booty in Libya

By Marianne Arens, 14 September 2011

Italian business and political circles take for granted their right to decide on the future of the oil and gas wealth of the country’s former colony, Libya.

European markets, banks staggered as Greece slides toward default

By Barry Grey, 13 September 2011

The crisis of the common European currency and the region’s banking system intensified Monday amid mounting fears that Greece could soon default.

Riot police battle austerity protesters in Greece

By Patrick Martin, 12 September 2011

The fighting took place as the Greek prime minister gave his annual address on economic policy.

Spanish parliament passes constitutional amendment capping public deficit

By Alejandro López, 10 September 2011

The Spanish Constitution has been amended with a new article limiting the public deficit.

One-day national strike in Italy against austerity measures

By Marc Wells, 7 September 2011

Hundreds of thousands of workers went on strike Tuesday and took to the streets to protest against the assault on their social rights.

Italian ex-leftists and the new austerity measures

By Marc Wells, 29 August 2011

The response of the Italian ex-leftists organized in Sinistra Critica to the government’s austerity measures reveals their essential approval for the social cuts, their class collaboration and nationalism.

Spain’s opportunist United Left forms “broad front”

By Paul Mitchell, 29 August 2011

The United Left (IU) has formed a so-called broad front in order to oppose the necessary creation of a socialist party of the Spanish working class.

Slovenia government on verge of collapse

By Markus Salzmann, 24 August 2011

The Slovenian government led by Premier Borut Pahor faces collapse following unpopular austerity measures and allegations of corruption.

Pope steps up right-wing crusade in Spain

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 23 August 2011

Pope Benedict XVI visited Spain last week to attend the World Youth Day 2011, held in Madrid.

Spanish mayor desecrates mausoleum of fascist victims

By Alejandro López, 17 August 2011

The right-wing Popular Party mayor of Poyales del Hoyo has desecrated a mausoleum containing the remains of 10 victims executed by the fascists during the Spanish Civil War.

Austerity measures spell social catastrophe in Greece

By Katerina Selin, 13 August 2011

A look at the social situation in Greece reveals the thoroughly inhuman character of the austerity measures demanded by the banks, EU and IMF.

Tensions remain high after clashes on Kosovo-Serbia border

By Ante Dotto, 9 August 2011

Tensions remain high after violent clashes broke out again at the end of last month on the Kosovo-Serbia border.

Protests continue as the police leave Madrid’s Puerta del Sol

By Alejandro López, 8 August 2011

Protests by indignados (angry ones) of the 15-M movement have continued since last Tuesday, when 300 police forcibly evicted the 90 people remaining in Madrid’s main square, Puerta del Sol.

Italy prepares new cuts after stock market panic

By Marc Wells, 8 August 2011

The Italian government is preparing further social austerity measures in response to the Thursday stock market crash and demands from investors for more anti-worker cuts.

Spain: Major attack on living standards will follow November election

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 5 August 2011

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has announced a snap general election four months earlier than scheduled, on November 20.

Protests held against police eviction of “indignados” from Madrid’s Puerta del Sol

By Alejandro López, 4 August 2011

On Tuesday police forcibly evicted the remaining indignado protesters from the Puerta del Sol square in Madrid.

The calling of early elections in Spain

By Peter Schwarz, 3 August 2011

Under growing pressure from the financial markets, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Louis Zapatero has announced early elections for November 20, four months before the March 2012 deadline.

Why is the Spanish media promoting Esther Vivas of the Anti-Capitalist Left?

By Alejandro López, 1 August 2011

Esther Vivas, leader and spokeswoman of the Anti-capitalist Left (Izquierda Anticapitalista, IA) is receiving an extraordinary degree of media attention.

Italy: Centre-left opposition supports austerity measures

By Marianne Arens, 27 July 2011

Significant sections of big business are now pushing for an early change of government.

Hunger strikes spread in Montenegro

By Ante Dotto, 27 July 2011

Since the beginning of the year many people have gone on hunger strikes throughout Montenegro, the smallest of the states emerging after the breakup of Yugoslavia, with a population of around 620,000.

SEP holds meeting in Berlin

Greece and the euro crisis

By a correspondent, 20 July 2011

At a meeting in Berlin last Saturday the chairman of the German Socialist Equality Party described the threat of the default by Greece as an expression of the global crisis of capitalism.

EU concludes negotiations over Croatia’s accession

By Markus Salzmann, 18 July 2011

The push by the Kosor government and Brussels for Croatia’s entry into the European Union is designed to make it a low-wage country for exploitation by major European businesses.

Berlusconi doubles cuts in Italian austerity program

By Marianne Arens, 15 July 2011

Under intense pressure from the financial markets, the government of Silvio Berlusconi announced on Tuesday that new austerity measures were to be enforced more quickly and ruthlessly than previously planned.

Financial markets target Italy

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 July 2011

On Monday the finance ministers of the 17 Euro-zone countries met at a hastily convened emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the spread of the euro crisis to Italy.

SYRIZA leader offers his services to the European political elite

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 July 2011

At a meeting in Berlin, the chairman of SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left) made an urgent appeal to the European political and financial elite to restructure their loans to Greece to avoid social unrest.

Default looms as Portugal’s bonds downgraded to “junk” status

By Paul Mitchell, 8 July 2011

The downgrading of Portuguese bonds to junk status has provoked bitter recriminations from European Union leaders, who fear for the stability of the entire continent.

The political lessons of Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 July 2011

The new package of austerity measures passed last week in Greece will have devastating consequences for the Greek and international working class.

Banks secure own interests at Greece’s expense

By Stefan Steinberg, 2 July 2011

The French plan to roll over Greek debt was timed to send the right signals to the financial markets while influencing the debate in the Greek parliament on a new round of austerity measures.

Greek austerity package: Social counterrevolution in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 30 June 2011

The vote in the Greek Parliament approving another package of austerity measures marks a political watershed for the whole of Europe.

Spanish unions, “left” parties facilitate anti-worker reform of collective bargaining

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 30 June 2011

There is massive opposition to the changes to workers bargaining rights approved by the Spanish Congress last week.

Greek parliament discusses new austerity in face of mass opposition

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 June 2011

The Greek government, in close cooperation with European politicians, bankers and the International Monetary Fund, is working frantically this week to push through parliament massive austerity measures overwhelmingly opposed by the Greek working class.

Germany contemplates “nuclear option” for Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 June 2011

Leading German industrialists and economists are arguing that Greece should either withdraw or be thrown out of the eurozone in order to avoid a breakup of the European Union.

Montenegro: Five years after independence

By Ante Dotto, 28 June 2011

Five years after nominal independence, the social and political situation in Montenegro belies the claim that the break-up of Yugoslavia into “independent” states represented anything progressive.

Twenty years after the dissolution of Yugoslavia: Slovenia’s government in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 27 June 2011

Slovenia’s conservative opposition parties are poised to oust the current government, in order to subject the country to the social devastation demanded by the EU and IMF.

Carmaker Citroën-Peugeot to close plants in France and Spain

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 June 2011

Leaked internal documents reveal that PSA, the French Citroën-Peugeot car manufacturer, intends to close three of its plants.

Greece: The Syntagma Square movement—no real democracy

By Peter Schwarz, 24 June 2011

The call for “no politics” is itself a political program, and one of the vilest sort. It is exclusively directed against a genuine, leftist perspective dedicated to the political independence of the working class.

Papandreou wins confidence vote in Greece

By our correspondents in Athens, 23 June 2011

In the early hours of Wednesday morning the newly reshuffled cabinet of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a no-confidence vote by a slim majority.

The role of the ex-left in Spain’s los indignados protests

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2011

The ending of the occupation of Madrid’s main Puerta del Sol square after more than three weeks provides an occasion to address the “autonomy/no politics” perspective advanced by its leadership.

Greece: The dictatorship of finance capital

By Nick Beams, 22 June 2011

The diktat handed down by the International Monetary Fund demanding the imposition of even harsher austerity measure before the release of the €12 billion final tranche of the current Greek bailout package marks a sharp turn in the unfolding European financial crisis.

Italian referendums inflict another defeat on Berlusconi

By Marianne Arens, 22 June 2011

The latest referendums in Italy in mid-June inflicted another political defeat on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Greece faces new austerity package

By our correspondents in Athens, 21 June 2011

The hectic political manoeuvres in Brussels and Athens in recent days aim to impose a new round of bank bailouts and social cuts on the devastated Greek population.

Mass protests against government cuts in Spain

By Alejandro López, 21 June 2011

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against austerity measures in 50 cities across Spain on Sunday.

More evidence of provocations, repression of Barcelona protests

By Alejandro López, 20 June 2011

More evidence is emerging of the use of undercover provocateurs in the vicious police attack on a demonstration in Barcelona last Wednesday.

Global markets plummet as Greek political crisis deepens

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 June 2011

Commentators agree that any compromise between Berlin and Paris would only provide a temporary breathing space to Greece and postpone what is increasingly regarded as the inevitable outcome—a sovereign default resulting in a new European and international finance crisis.

Protests continue against budget cuts by Catalán parliament in Spain

By Alejandro López, 17 June 2011

Last Wednesday up to 3,000 protestors gathered in front of the Catalán parliament in Barcelona.

Greek prime minister proposes government of national unity as protests spread

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 June 2011

Yesterday the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed a pact with the country’s conservative opposition party, New Democracy, to form a national unity government to continue making unpopular social cuts.

Which way forward for the working class in Greece?

By Stefan Steinberg, 15 June 2011

A one-day strike called by Greece’s trade unions against the latest social cuts demanded by the PASOK government poses pressing questions of political perspective to all class-conscious workers.

Greek government announces new cuts amid mass opposition

By Stefan Steinberg and Alex Lantier, 13 June 2011

The Greek government has announced major new spending cuts, amid rising occupations of city squares and strikes against social cuts.

Portugal and the collapse of European social democracy

By Chris Marsden, 10 June 2011

The defeat of Portugal’s Socialist Party government in the June 5 election has brought forth a plethora of articles on the rout suffered by Europe’s social democratic parties.

European Union officials demand brutal austerity in Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 June 2011

In their totality the cutbacks demanded by the EU at the behest of the banks amount to a social counterrevolution.

Socialist Party routed in Portuguese general election

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2011

Portugal’s general election has ended in defeat for the ruling Socialist Party (SP) of Jose Sócrates and victory for the centre-right opposition Social Democrats (PSD).

Serbian government threatens protesting farmers and armament workers

By Ante Dotto, 6 June 2011

Social discontent and anger is palpable in Serbia, as protests grow among farmers and sections of workers in defence of their jobs.

European Union, IMF move toward second bailout of Greece

By Andre Damon, 4 June 2011

International financial officials signaled Friday that more bailout money would be forthcoming for Greece next month, after the Greek government pledged to implement billions of euros in cuts and privatizations.

Portugal’s ruling elite plans social offensive after election

By Paul Mitchell, 4 June 2011

The ruling elite in Portugal are planning a social counter-revolution following the general election on Sunday June 5.

Greek government to announce billions more in austerity measures

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2011

The Greek Government is preparing to announce another €6.4 billion in austerity measures today after Moody's, the debt rating agency, cut the country's credit rating three notches.

Spain’s 15-M protests and the politics of “autonomy”

By Robert Stevens, 3 June 2011

Protesters in Madrid’s Puerta Del Sol square have insisted to World Socialist Web Site reporters that the demonstrations by “los indignados” have “no leadership” and are organised by “autonomous” collectives, commissions and assemblies.

The assault on the Greek working class

By Peter Schwarz, 2 June 2011

In Greece—and in a similar manner in Portugal, Ireland and Spain—the ruling class is carrying out a counterrevolutionary offensive against the working class.

Mladic extradited to the Hague

By Chris Marsden and Markus Salzmann, 1 June 2011

The former chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb Army in the Republica Srpska during the 1992-95 civil war was extradited to the Netherlands on Tuesday, where he will stand trial at the Hague for war crimes.

Berlusconi suffers defeat in Italian elections

By Marianne Arens, 1 June 2011

The Italian government coalition of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi suffered a bitter defeat in local elections, losing the mayor’s office in Milan.

Banks demand savage austerity measures in Greece

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 May 2011

The European financial elite is dispensing all pretence of basic democratic norms as it demands a new round of brutal austerity and privatisations.

Spanish anti-austerity protests spread to more cities

By our reporters, 31 May 2011

On Sunday evening thousands of protesters voted to continue the occupation of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square, in the “tent city” established in the immediate aftermath of the May 15 mass demonstration.

Spain’s M-15 protests continue

By our reporters, 30 May 2011

The occupation of Spain’s main Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid continued over the weekend, and protests are set to carry on next week.

“If things carry on like this, there won’t be work for any of us,” say Spain’s indignados

By our reporters, 30 May 2011

WSWS reporters speak to Madrid’s “angry ones”.

Police beat anti-austerity protesters in Barcelona, Spain

By our reporters, 28 May 2011

Spanish police yesterday fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with truncheons in a vicious attempt to clear demonstraters from the Plaza de Cataluna square in Barcelona.

What way forward for Spain’s “angry ones”?

By Chris Marsden, 27 May 2011

The mass demonstrations in Spain that began on May 15 testify to the huge anger over the austerity measures imposed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) government.

Spain: Local and regional elections show mass dissatisfaction

By Alejandro López, 25 May 2011

The ruling PSOE has suffered its worst defeat in local and regional elections in history.

Protests continue in Spain as ruling Socialist Party suffers electoral defeat

By Paul Mitchell, 23 May 2011

Tens of thousands protestors continue to occupy Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and other centres in numerous cities and towns across Spain, despite a government ban.

Tens of thousands protest throughout Spain, defying government ban

By Alejandro López, 21 May 2011

Tens of thousands more protestors continue to occupy Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, as well as the main squares in another 162 towns and cities.

Protestors occupy city squares in Spain after mass demonstrations Sunday

By Alejandro López, 20 May 2011

Tens of thousands are continuing to protest in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and other cities across Spain after last Sunday’s mass demonstrations.

Italy’s role in the war on Libya

By Marianne Arens, 14 May 2011

Italian fighter jets take off regularly from the Birgi Trapani air force base in Sicily and from the aircraft carrier Garibaldi, to drop their deadly cargo over the former Italian colony.

Creation of “bad bank” heightens prospect of Spanish bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 14 May 2011

Reports that the Bank of Spain is considering the creation of a national “bad bank” to suck up the huge toxic debts of the country’s banks has heightened the prospect of a bailout by European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Protesters, police clash in Athens demonstration

By Stefan Steinberg, 13 May 2011

Two protesters were seriously injured by police, dozens more injured and over twenty arrested as police moved in violently to quell protests in the Greek capital on Wednesday.

Greek crisis triggers fierce conflicts in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2011

Rumours about the possible withdrawal of Greece from the euro, and a secret meeting of European finance ministers, have triggered fierce conflicts within the European Union.

Europe one year after the bailout of Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 10 May 2011

One year after the bailout of Greece, Europe stands on the brink of disintegration, with attacks on the working class intensifying and conflicts mounting between the continent's leading powers.

Italian unions deal another blow to Fiat autoworkers

By Marc Wells, 7 May 2011

In a May 2-3 vote, Fiat workers at the historic Bertone plant voted for a company plan supported by unions to invest €550 million and restructure labor relations along the lines of previous contracts at Pomigliano D’Arco and Mirafiori.

Draconian austerity measures a condition of Portuguese bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 6 May 2011

Early indications are that a terrible assault on the living standards of the working class is being launched in a society where unemployment is already at a record high 11 percent.

Spain: Telefónica slashes jobs and offers multimillion bonuses to its chief executives

By Alejandro López and Vicky Short, 2 May 2011

On April 13 the executive president of Telefónica, Guillermo Ansaldo, announced at Investors’ Day in London the slashing of 20 percent of its staff over the next three years.

Croatian conviction casts light on US responsibility for war crimes

By Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2011

Last week, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the Hague found two Croatian military leaders, General Ante Gotovina and Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Markac, guilty of war crimes and sentenced them to 24 years and 18 years imprisonment.

Plan to restructure Greek debt reveals deep rifts in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 April 2011

After months of speculation and denials by the Greek prime minister and leading international finance chiefs, the Athens daily Eleftherotypia reported Monday that the Greek government has issued a request to the IMF and the EU to restructure Greece’s public debt.

Italy plans to step up its participation in the war against Libya

By Marianne Arens, 20 April 2011

As the bombing of Libya enters its fourth week, Italy is looking for ways to participate more actively in the war.

France blocks train carrying Tunisian refugees from Italy

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 April 2011

Last Sunday French border police blocked rail traffic between France and Italy to prevent Tunisian immigrants from entering France via Italy.

Spain: Catalan Greens vote for war with Libya

By Alejandro Lopéz and Paul Mitchell, 19 April 2011

The Catalan Greens, Iniciativa per CatalunyaVerds (ICV), voted in favour of the war in Libya supported by the ruling Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) in Congress last month.

Zapatero asks for funds while claiming Spain needs no bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 15 April 2011

This week Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero visited the Far East pleading for funds.

Rising social protests in the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 15 April 2011

Political and social unrest has increased in the Balkan region during the past weeks and months.

Class issues in the Portuguese bailout

By Alex Lantier, 14 April 2011

The Portuguese bailout is a reactionary, anti-democratic charade aimed at blocking a political challenge by the working class to austerity policies.

France re-establishes border controls with Italy amid dispute over African migrants

By Kumaran Ira, 11 April 2011

Last week, France took the unprecedented move of restoring border controls with Italy on April 7, after Rome granted temporary visas to thousands of African migrants.

Portugal’s bailout: European banking crisis deepens

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2011

The aim of the Portuguese bailout, expected to total at least €80 billion, is to prop up the European banks by imposing major cuts to the living standards and social conditions of the working class.

Portugal: Massive austerity measures to follow bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 9 April 2011

The European Union is demanding massive austerity measures in return for a multi-billion euro bailout requested by the Portuguese government on Thursday.

Fiat deal being used to gut collective bargaining rights throughout Italy

By Marc Wells and Alex Lantier, 9 April 2011

After imposing massive concessions contracts at automaker Fiat’s plants in Pomigliano D’Arco and Mirafiori, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is emerging as the leader of a campaign to force cuts and attacks on collective bargaining throughout the Italian economy.

Portugal requests EU-IMF bailout

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 April 2011

In a new escalation of the euro crisis, Portugal became the third European country to ask the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for a loan.

Portugal edges towards bailout as borrowing rate hits record high

By Paul Mitchell, 31 March 2011

Portugal edged closer to seeking a financial bailout this week, as the cost of government borrowing hit record highs.