Western Europe

Germany: Automaker Opel cuts company pensions

By Marianne Arens, 9 July 2020

W ith the help of the IG Metall union, management is passing on the costs of the coronavirus pandemic, e-mobility and digitalization to the workers.

After police killing of Badreddin Abadlla Adam

More evidence of ill-treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow hotels

By Steve James, 9 July 2020

Two weeks after the police killing of 28-year-old Sudanese man Badreddin Abadlla Adam, asylum seekers in Glasgow continue to face appalling conditions.

British government’s token arts rescue package: A “back-to-work” agenda amid an ongoing catastrophe

By Paul Bond, 9 July 2020

The limited financial assistance provided is based on the Johnson government’s claim that the pandemic is on the wane and that theatre, dance and music venues will soon be able to get back to relying on revenue from the paying public.

Naming new French prime minister, Macron coordinates austerity with unions

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2020

Jean Castex is being brought in to coordinate with the unions the draconian austerity policies that Macron and the banks will impose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spain participated in failed 2019 US coup in Venezuela

By Alejandro López, 4 July 2020

New information emerging about the coup exposes Spain’s ruling “left populist” party, Podemos, as a tool of imperialism’s bloody foreign policy in Latin America.

French unions collaborate with employers to impose mass layoffs as COVID-19 crisis deepens

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2020

As an international wave of layoffs and plant closures comes in France, the trade unions are working closely with the Macron government and employers to suppress workers’ opposition to this assault.

UK pubs reopen in “Super Saturday”: A criminal act

By Thomas Scripps, 4 July 2020

The inevitable deadly consequences of the Johnson government’s latest move will be fully revealed in the weeks and months to come.

Tories resurrect cynical “Clap for Carers” on 72nd anniversary of the NHS

By Rory Woods, 4 July 2020

Sunday’s event insults the memory of hundreds of health and social care workers who died of COVID-19 trying to save the lives of others.

German defence minister plans more effective organization of army’s far-right elite force

By Peter Schwarz, 4 July 2020

After new details came to light about the far-right terrorist networks inside the Special Forces Command, the German defence minister announced the restructuring of the army’s 1,600-strong elite unit.

Germany’s motto for the EU Council presidency: For militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2020

The German government’s motto for the EU Council presidency is “Gemeinsam. Europa wieder stark machen” (“Together. Making Europe strong again”)—Berlin’s counterpart to Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

WHO warns of “very significant” coronavirus resurgence in Europe

By Will Morrow, 27 June 2020

The resurgence is driven by governments’ reopening policy, whose aim is the full resumption of corporate profit-making, regardless of the threat to workers.

British government suppressed daily pandemic death toll by thousands

By Simon Whelan, 27 June 2020

The government suppressed the extent of COVID-19 fatalities because its policies created the conditions for tens of thousands of needless deaths.

British Airways workers denounce company “offer” to slash pay and conditions

By John Newham and Laura Tiernan, 27 June 2020

BA workers must break free of the corporatist grip of the unions and fight for rank-and-file committees to organise joint action with airline workers across the globe.

UK government refuses support to unemployed migrant workers facing destitution during pandemic

By Harvey Singh, 27 June 2020

Although exact figures are difficult to obtain, it is estimated that up to 250,000 children could directly be threatened with poverty due to the “no recourse to public funds” status of their parents.

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer uses bogus anti-Semitism accusation to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey

By Robert Stevens, 27 June 2020

The move demonstrates that no criticisms of the Israeli government will be allowed in the Labour Party and that Starmer will deal decisively with what remains of the Corbynites.

The Salisbury Poisonings: Skripal drama framed as anti-Russian propaganda

By Thomas Scripps, 27 June 2020

The BBC’s three-part The Salisbury Poisonings uses drama as state propaganda and is designed to reignite the Skripal affair that dominated UK politics in 2018.

Global outrage over violent police arrest of 50-year-old French nurse Farida

By Will Morrow, 20 June 2020

The response of the French ruling class to health care workers’ demands for increased resources to combat the pandemic in decent and safe conditions is naked repression.

Around 250 workers infected with COVID-19 in three UK food processing plants

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2020

The outbreaks underscore the criminality of the government’s decision to enforce a mass return to work and the lack of basic work safety in plants that have been operating during the pandemic.

Hundreds of new COVID-19 infections in German meat industry

By Marianne Arens, 20 June 2020

More than two-thirds of the meat packers at the Tönnies abattoir in Rheda-Wiedenbrück have been infected with COVID-19, with 730 positive initial test results out of 1,050 tested.

130,000 jobs at risk in the German auto industry

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting and Peter Schwarz, 20 June 2020

Although German auto companies received a lion’s share of the government’s €130 billion stimulus package, and are collecting billions more via the short-time working scheme, the industry plans to axe more than 100,000 jobs.

Air France-KLM prepares to slash at least 6,000 jobs

By Anthony Torres, 20 June 2020

After receiving a €7 billion public bailout, the French-Dutch airline is preparing to slash between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

OECD warns of deep recession in Britain and Europe due to pandemic

By Steve James, 20 June 2020

The OECD envisages no “return to normal” in the world economy, predicting instead mass unemployment and instability.

Doctors head legal challenge to UK government on health care deaths and PPE

By Rory Woods, 20 June 2020

At least 181 health workers and 131 social care workers have died while working on the frontline.

Financier of 1994 Rwandan genocide Félicien Kabuga arrested in Paris

By Jacques Valentin, 20 June 2020

Kabuga, who financed and helped equip the genocidal Interahamwe militias, had been located by police in 2007 but was still living quietly in the Paris suburbs.

Johnson government mounts offensive against mass opposition to police violence and racism

By Thomas Scripps, 20 June 2020

Home Secretary Priti Patel is linked with a Facebook group providing a platform for the far-right thugs who attacked Black Lives Matter protesters.

COVID-19 killing the working class in Britain at more than twice the rate of the wealthiest

By Simon Whelan, 18 June 2020

The pandemic is exacerbating the effects of already growing socioeconomic and urban inequalities.

UK: Marcus Rashford campaign forces Johnson government climbdown over summer free school meals

By Tania Kent and Harvey Thompson, 18 June 2020

The announcement followed a public campaign by 22-year-old Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford.

German Navy prepares for worldwide military missions

By Tino Jacobson and Johannes Stern, 18 June 2020

The ruling elite is making no secret of the imperialist goals associated with the rearmament of the German Navy.

Fascist network uncovered in German Army’s Special Forces unit

By Gregor Link, 18 June 2020

”Right-wing extremist tendencies” are “tolerated” in the KSK and “sometimes consciously covered up,” wrote Der Spiegel based on a soldier’s letter.

Macron unleashes riot police against French health care protests

By Will Morrow, 17 June 2020

The Macron administration organized a violent assault on health care workers who just weeks earlier were self-servingly hailed for their sacrifice during the pandemic.

French state hands €15 billion bailout to Airbus and Air France

By Kumaran Ira, 17 June 2020

While aerospace firms are receiving massive financial support from the state, they are preparing restructuring plans to slash jobs, wages and benefits.

UK government encourages fascist provocation to justify police crackdown

By Thomas Scripps, 15 June 2020

The stage has been set for a law-and-order campaign, directed against anti-police violence protests involving hundreds of thousands of people.

Tens of thousands protest in Paris against police killings of George Floyd and Adama Traoré

By Will Morrow, 15 June 2020

Tens of thousands filled the Place de la République in central Paris on Saturday afternoon to protest police violence and demand justice for the killings.

Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party organise police violence against peaceful demonstrators

By Gregor Link, 15 June 2020

The police attacks are part of an effort to criminalise anti-capitalist tendencies.

German unions compete to offer greater cuts at Lufthansa

By Gustav Kemper, 15 June 2020

The union leaders falsely claim employees are “ stakeholders ” in the private company, but to the owners they are mere “ unit costs ” to be sacrificed to shore up profits.

Three years since the Grenfell fire: Collaboration with Grenfell Tower Inquiry must end!

By Robert Stevens, 15 June 2020

Hundreds of thousands of people still go to bed every night in unsafe buildings, with thousands in the “high-risk” category.

Report finds European lockdowns saved millions of lives, ending it threatens millions

By Thomas Scripps, 11 June 2020

The report is an indictment of governments’ initial delays in implementing public health measures and a warning of the terrible consequences of the return to business as usual.

Homeless thrown back onto the streets as UK lockdown ends

By Dennis Moore, 11 June 2020

The Tories feel free to abandon the pose of concern for the fate of the homeless and dump then back where they came from.

Transport for London refuses FOI requests into bus and transport COVID-19 deaths

By Laura Tiernan, 11 June 2020

The involvement of Deputy Mayor of London for Transport Heidi Alexander is proof of a cover-up reaching into the office of Labour’s Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

UK: After the clapping stops—The way forward for NHS workers

By Rory Woods and Chris Marsden, 6 June 2020

Things came to a head last week because it has become impossible for the government to maintain the charade of unity behind “our carers.”

Collaborations with Grenfell Tower Inquiry must end after corporate witnesses granted legal immunity

By Alice Summers, 6 June 2020

The attorney general announced that any statements given to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry by companies cannot be used as evidence against them in a future prosecution.

UK: Prime Minister’s Questions reveals Labour’s complicity in Tory back-to-school campaign

By Thomas Scripps, 6 June 2020

Every capitalist party in the world is working on behalf of the corporations to impose a reckless return to “the new normal.”

UK: Official figures inflate COVID-19 testing rate by more than a million

By Alice Summers, 30 May 2020

The Johnson government is again seeking to cover up criminal inaction that has led to tens of thousands of deaths.

German and French trade unions back Merkel and Macron’s recovery programme

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2020

Trade union support for the recovery programme is a signal to Paris and Berlin that they can rely on the unflinching support on the unions in combating rivals on the global market and implementing attacks on the working class.

Workers in Germany report on corona virus infection risk in workplaces

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 May 2020

Workers highlight the lack of safety measures in public transit and factories.

No to the reopening of schools! Build action committees to safeguard children and teachers!

Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 30 May 2020

The “phased” return of school children is a criminal policy that places children, teachers, families, and communities open to the risk of serious illness and death.

The Accident unambiguously indicts the corporate elite

By Joanne Laurier, 30 May 2020

The British television miniseries, The Accident, tells the story of a decayed former mining and steel town in Wales, in which a factory under construction collapses, resulting in a horrendous tragedy.

Three UK meat processing workers die of COVID-19

By Barry Mason, 23 May 2020

The three died in different sections of Cranswick Convenience Foods factory in Wombwell, Barnsley.

UK local councils face financial collapse due to pandemic

By Dennis Moore, 23 May 2020

Social care spending could face a shortfall of £3.5 billion, placing up to 225,000 adult social care places at risk in the coming year.

As hundreds across Europe die daily from coronavirus

European Union pushes reopening of beach resorts and hotels for summer holiday season

By Jordan Shilton, 23 May 2020

Piling one lie on another, the EU Commission claimed its guidelines would restore “transport services across the EU while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers.”

Representatives from Germany’s parliamentary parties support far-right protests against coronavirus policies

By Christoph Vandreier, 23 May 2020

The far-right demonstrations in Germany are being used to drum up support for the dangerous policy of easing coronavirus pandemic restrictions and intimidate all opposition.

Widespread opposition to unsafe reopening of schools and day-care facilities in Germany

By Andy Niklaus and Ulrich Rippert, 23 May 2020

Social distancing has been abandoned in schools and no safety measures such as face masks are being provided.

Coronavirus crisis exposes devastating conditions in the German meat processing industry

By Marianne Arens, 16 May 2020

German slaughterhouses have become coronavirus hotspots, with hundreds of workers, most of them sub-contracted from Eastern Europe, infected with the virus.

UK government ties Transport for London bailout to “back to work” drive

By Jean Shaoul, 16 May 2020

TfL, which runs the London Underground, bus and rail services, faced bankruptcy, threatening the Johnson government’s efforts to restore corporate profits.

Overwhelming opposition to reopening of UK schools amid worsening COVID-19 pandemic

By Tania Kent and Harvey Thompson, 16 May 2020

The closure of schools is a key measure recommended by medical experts internationally to reduce the infection and death rate from the coronavirus.

One dead and more than 600 Irish meat processing workers infected with coronavirus

By Robert Stevens, 16 May 2020

There are 23,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland and 1,518 deaths—one of the highest death ratios in the world. In Northern Ireland, 4,317 people have tested positive, with 469 deaths.

Strikes and workers’ protests mount against “back to work” campaign

By Shannon Jones, 9 May 2020

The incompetence and callous disregard for human life by the capitalist authorities in country after country is fueling an upsurge in the class struggle.

Macron government ending coronavirus lockdown beginning this Monday

By Alex Lantier, 9 May 2020

The government’s reckless decision, in line with similar measures underway across Europe and the US, puts countless lives at risk.

French Senate votes to give officials legal indemnity over coronavirus infections

By Jacques Valentin, 9 May 2020

The provisions cover the entire period since the state declared a national health emergency in March, and apply to elected representatives, ministers, civil servants and employers.

Germany reopens schools, endangering thousands of lives

By Marianne Arens, 9 May 2020

Schools are being reopened in nearly all federal states and the risky measure is meeting with growing opposition from teachers.

British government forced to partially backtrack on ending lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 9 May 2020

The opposition among millions of workers and throughout the population was expressed in Thursday’s top trending hashtags #KeepTheLockdown and #extendthelockdown.

Homeless face desperation on London streets amid lockdown

By Charles Hixson, 9 May 2020

Those remaining on London’s streets face increased deprivation, as normal sources of food from distributors and food kitchens have gone.

NHS staff condemn UK health worker deaths and government herd immunity strategy

By our reporters, 9 May 2020

The UK has registered the highest number of fatalities in Europe from the virus, including at least 200 health and social care workers.

“The Fight for Our Lives” online rally

British pseudo-left and Stalinists unite in defence of Labour and the unions

By Thomas Scripps, 9 May 2020

What is meant by “unity” and “solidarity” is in fact an effort to subordinate workers to Labour and the unions by concealing their rotten dealings with employers and the government.

Euro zone economy contracts at record pace

By Nick Beams, 2 May 2020

The European Central Bank has taken the same road as the US Fed, committing itself to pump still more money across the board into the financial markets.

German government accelerates its deadly back-to-work initiative

By Johannes Stern, 2 May 2020

Despite the continuing spread of the COVID-19 internationally, the German government is accelerating its lifting of the limited restrictions imposed to prevent transmission of the virus.

Nearly 300 meat-processing workers infected by coronavirus at German slaughterhouse

By Marianne Arens, 2 May 2020

While almost 300 workers at a Baden-Württemberg slaughterhouse have COVID-19, the plant remains open.

Germany: Daimler trains managers to kick out workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 2 May 2020

Daimler department heads and other managers are being trained to put pressure on individual workers to “implement the job cuts as smoothly as possible.”

Germany’s Lufthansa: Billions in state aid and mass layoffs

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2020

The airline unions are appealing to Chancellor Merkel for state intervention.

UK: Delays to medical treatment during pandemic will cost thousands of lives

By Jean Gibney, 2 May 2020

Reports claim that deaths due to the disruption of cancer services alone are likely to outnumber deaths from the coronavirus itself over the next five years.

Communication Workers Union folds 48 hours after Royal Mail threatens 20,000 jobs

By Thomas Scripps, 2 May 2020

Having initially warned of strike action against the ending of Saturday deliveries, the CWU organised a shameless retreat.

German government endangers the health and lives of millions with return to work and schools

By Johannes Stern, 25 April 2020

A number of state governments—including the Social Democrat/Left Party/Green government in Berlin—forced thousands of students back to school earlier this week to sit their final exams.

Macron government uses more lies to push May 11 return to work

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2020

The government is downplaying the disastrous impact that an end to confinement will have on the spread of COVID-19.

Scottish National Party spearheads UK-wide return to work campaign

By Robert Stevens, 25 April 2020

First Minister Sturgeon’s supposed “progressive” credentials, backed in Scotland, England and Wales by Labour and the trade unions, offer an avenue for big business and banks to engineer a political shift towards a return to work.

COVID-19 pandemic pushes UK charity sector into crisis

By Ben Trent, 25 April 2020

Charities set to lose up to £4 billion over a 12-week period because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK: Millions of pounds donated to the National Health Service as coronavirus crisis continues

By Alice Summers, 25 April 2020

A fundraising page for the NHS, set up by 99-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore, received overwhelming public support, raising more than £28 million in two weeks.

European governments plot return to work in midst of pandemic

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2020

As plans were being hatched over how to impose a return to work, over 4,000 new pandemic deaths were reported in Europe on Friday, bringing the total for the continent to over 70,000.

German hospitals become COVID-19 hotspots for health care workers

By Markus Salzmann, 11 April 2020

According to the Robert Koch Institute, more than 2,300 doctors and nurses have been infected with coronavirus in Germany.

UK: Heathrow Airport demands workers to take pay cut or face dismissal

By Alice Summers, 11 April 2020

With significantly reduced air traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, Heathrow Airport told thousands of workers that they must accept a 15 percent wage reduction, or they will lose their jobs.

New Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer pledges stepped-up “anti-Semitism” witch-hunt

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2020

Even prior to his election, Starmer was at pains to reposition himself to be acceptable to the Zionist and Blairite right.

A year since the arrest of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2020

Assange’s arrest was an historic crime, setting a precedent for escalating attacks on press freedom and the democratic rights of the working class.

Mounting opposition among German health care, industrial workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2020

The German government has implemented a bailout program for major companies and banks, but health care and industrial workers are forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

Coronavirus crisis: Hunger and malnutrition spread in Germany

By Carola Kleinert and Andy Niklaus, 4 April 2020

Research indicates some 13 million people in Germany are living in poverty or confront hunger, malnutrition and social misery due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK corporations scramble for coronavirus bailout funds

By Paul Bond, 4 April 2020

The £350 billion bailout is an unprecedented financial handout to UK corporations, conducted without even the rubber stamp of a parliamentary vote.

Working-class Londoners risk their lives fighting COVID-19 as the city’s billionaires decamp

By Michael Barnes, 4 April 2020

While the super-rich complain of being bored in their gated mansions, masses of workers in London have lost their jobs or are forced to work in unsafe conditions.

UK: Elderly will be left to die as coronavirus plunges care sector into crisis

By Stephen Alexander, 4 April 2020

It is estimated that up to a fifth of all COVID-19 deaths in the UK have occurred in care homes, hospices, and individual households.

Ireland woefully unprepared for COVID-19 onslaught

By Dermot Byrne, 4 April 2020

The European Centre for Disease Control warns that the intensive care system in Irish hospitals will not be able to cope with rising numbers of coronavirus patients in critical condition.

Nearly three years after the Grenfell Tower inferno, flammable cladding still widely used in UK

By Alice Summers, 4 April 2020

High Pressure Laminate cladding, thought to be used on thousands of buildings across the country, has been shown to be as highly flammable as the cladding used on Grenfell Tower.

Pandemic death toll in Europe rises to 19,000 as savaged health care systems are overwhelmed

By Thomas Scripps and Alice Summers, 28 March 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is preying on Europe’s 500 million-plus population whose health care services have been decimated by years of government austerity and private sector looting.

Coronavirus in Europe: Overworked hospitals become death traps

By Gregor Link, 28 March 2020

The criminal inactivity of European governments has led to a murderous and vicious circle of overwork, infection and work absences in hospitals throughout the continent.

UK government buried 2016 report exposing catastrophic NHS failings during flu pandemic

By Steve James, 28 March 2020

Exercise Cygnus has been buried for years for fear it would give rise to demands for an end to health care cuts.

UK health care assistant: “There’s a fear that if we are tested for COVID-19, most of us will come back positive and the NHS will collapse”

By our reporter, 28 March 2020

A senior health care assistant spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about his experiences at work during the coronavirus pandemic.

European Union summit on coronavirus ends in acrimony

By Peter Schwarz, 28 March 2020

The 27 European Union heads of government met via video conference on Thursday evening to discuss the coronavirus crisis.

Over 620 deaths in Italy on Friday as coronavirus fatalities surge in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 21 March 2020

Italy, Spain, Belgium and the UK all recorded their largest single-day death tolls in the global coronavirus pandemic on Friday.

UK government closes schools under sustained public pressure

By Tom Pearce, 21 March 2020

Although most pupils are being sent home, some schools, with reduced staffing, will have to remain open to ensure “key workers” are able to continue working.

UK Royal Mail workers oppose union citing coronavirus to justify strike vote sellout

By Thomas Scripps, 21 March 2020

Workers have used social media to condemn the union’s refusal to call strikes after a second national ballot recorded a huge mandate for action.

Growing demands for Assange’s release as first coronavirus case confirmed in British prisons

By Oscar Grenfell, 21 March 2020

The British authorities are willfully placing Assange’s life at risk, even though he has been convicted of no crime.

London postal workers take strike action over coronavirus concerns

By our reporter, 14 March 2020

Workers have accused Royal Mail management of inaction over concerns that they are being exposed unnecessarily to the virus.

Grenfell fire inquiry reveals more criminality by firms involved in refurbishment

By Charles Hixson, 14 March 2020

If those personally involved in events that led to the fire cannot ultimately be prosecuted, then neither can the corporations they represented.

The response of the ruling elite to the coronavirus pandemic: Malign neglect

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 14 March 2020

Governments around the world are making a deliberate decision to minimize their response to the pandemic, threatening the lives of millions of people.