Western Europe

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital

By Robert Stevens and Paul Bond, 21 May 2018

The entire narrative concocted by the British government has fallen apart, seam by seam.

Britain’s royal wedding: Recasting the monarchy in the age of identity politics

By Paul Mitchell, 19 May 2018

Markle’s feminism and racial identity provide the basis for the ultimate post-modernist makeover of the monarchy.

UK: Tories seek to defuse anger over Grenfell fire ahead of official public inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 18 May 2018

The claim by the government, backed by Labour, that adding two panel members to the Grenfell fire inquiry will prevent a whitewash is false.

Striking workers and students in France denounce war, Gaza massacre

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2018

Rail workers and students protesting selective admissions at universities denounced French bombings in Syria and the Israeli army’s massacre of unarmed Palestinians.

Military coup against a Corbyn Labour government discussed by Daily Telegraph

By Robert Stevens, 15 May 2018

That a military coup is again under serious consideration puts paid to the illusions assiduously cultivated by Corbyn and his apologists that a Labour government led by him will inaugurate a new period of reforms.

German militarization and Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal

By Johannes Stern, 15 May 2018

Following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, the German bourgeoisie is intensifying its campaign for militarism, rearmament, and war.

French students blockade universities in struggle against selective admissions

By Guillaume Garnier, 15 May 2018

After the March 22 protest of rail and public workers against the privatisation of railways, students launched a movement to blockade universities across France.

The fraud of Mélenchon’s call for a Franco-Russian alliance against war

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 15 May 2018

Workers cannot rely on an alliance of capitalist powers proposed by pro-war politicians like Jean-Luc Mélenchon to stave off the growing danger of global conflict over Iran.

The death of reformism: Corbyn and the “broad left”

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2018

The following speech was delivered by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, for the past 20 years.

Jeremy Corbyn silent on persecution of Julian Assange

By Laura Tiernan, 9 May 2018

It is more than two years since a United Nations human rights panel ruled that Assange’s persecution by the Swedish and British governments amounts to “arbitrary detention” and a violation of international law.

German defence minister calls for faster increase in military spending

By Johannes Stern, 9 May 2018

Since the government’s initial budget was announced last week, there has been an aggressive campaign in politics and the media with the aim of upgrading the German military much faster and more comperehensively.

Defying the trade unions, Air France workers vote to reject contract

By Alex Lantier, 8 May 2018

Workers defied not only threats from Air France and the government, but also from the union bureaucrats, who demanded that they approve the contract.

The struggle against militarism and the far right in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 8 May 2018

The following speech was delivered to the May Day rally by Peter Schwarz, Secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International for the past 32 years, and a leading member of the German section of the ICFI.

Belgian prime minister smears filmmaker Ken Loach as “anti-Semitic”

By Paul Bond, 4 May 2018

The pro-austerity premier’s slur demonstrates how baseless charges of anti-Semitism are being used to attack any form of social protest or comment.

Germany: Grand coalition government discusses war budget

By Johannes Stern, 3 May 2018

While there is supposedly no money for social programmes, jobs, pensions and medical care, defence spending next year alone is set to rise by at least three billion euros.

Food factories closing across Britain

By Steve James, 3 May 2018

The looming mass layoffs expose the bankruptcy of all the mainstream parties and trade unions claiming to speak for the factory workers.

German army rehearses for civil war

By Gregor Link, 2 May 2018

The deployment of the Bundeswehr domestically and the networking of civilian agencies with the police and military are part of a comprehensive rearmament offensive.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic Legacy”

Part two

By Paul Bond, 1 May 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, represents a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

French immigration bill attacks right to asylum

By Athiyan Silva, 1 May 2018

The neo-fascist National Front voted for provisions of the bill, marking the first time a French government has passed legislative measures with FN support.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic legacy”

Part one

By Paul Bond, 30 April 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, has left a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

“Old Europe” comes to Washington

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 28 April 2018

Fifteen years ago, the European powers opposed the US-British invasion of Iraq. Now they are scrambling to serve as junior partners in the new carve-up of the Middle East.

UK universities being integrated into military-security apparatus

By Thomas Scripps, 28 April 2018

In addition to commercial relations with the military-industrial complex, universities are working closely with the armed forces to provide education and recruitment opportunities.

German Chancellor Merkel and Donald Trump hold tense meeting in Washington

By Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2018

While the meeting appeared superficially friendly, Trump made no concessions on the fundamental issues discussed.

UK: Brexit divisions threaten government defeat

By Chris Marsden, 28 April 2018

The prime minister is under pressure from both sides of her party to clarify her position on the customs union, the mechanism allowing goods to be transported tariff-free between European Union member states.

London residents speak out on Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 24 April 2018

Ten months since the inferno that killed at least 72 people at a housing tower in London, no one has been held accountable.

UK: Report by building research firm reveals scale of criminality that led to Grenfell fire

By Barry Mason, 20 April 2018

No one has been brought to justice for last June’s fire, but a report by a building research body makes clear there is ample evidence to allow for immediate arrests and charging to proceed.

Nearly 30,000 single-parent families made homeless in England in 2017

By Dennis Moore, 20 April 2018

Last year, one third of single parents were affected by welfare cuts, while 39 percent are struggling in low-paid, often insecure work.

UK government’s racist targeting of Caribbean migrants provokes backlash

By Robert Stevens and Thomas Scripps, 19 April 2018

The tightening of immigration legislation was in line with a policy of creating, in Prime Minister May’s words, a “really hostile environment” for “illegal” immigrants.

Germany’s pro-war Left Party postures as a “party of peace”

By Johannes Stern, 19 April 2018

The Left Party in Germany is trying to portray itself as an opponent of war in order to prevent a powerful anti-war movement from developing.

University and College Union sells out UK lecturers strike

By Robert Stevens, 18 April 2018

It was to demobilise opposition to its rotten deal with the employers that the UCU cut the number of universities due to walk out this week, before suspending strike action altogether

UK: Labour right lines up with government over Syria bombing

By Chris Marsden, 17 April 2018

Yesterday May faced widespread criticism, but largely for having failed to recall Parliament rather than any substantive opposition to the illegal action taken by the US, France and the UK.

EU foreign ministers push for regime change in Damascus following Syria attack

By Peter Schwarz, 17 April 2018

Although the attack on Syria was in clear violation of international law, the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg explicitly endorsed it.

UK: Demands grow for May government to hold debate on Syria attack

By Robert Stevens, 16 April 2018

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is due to make a formal statement to parliament today on the Syria airstrikes, but no vote is to take place.

Demonstration against rent increases in Berlin draws 25,000

By our reporters, 16 April 2018

The large numbers participating in the demonstration, which was originally only expected to attract 4,000, illustrates the depth of the anger over unaffordable rents.

US and imperialist allies launch strikes against Syria

By The World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 14 April 2018

All of the governments participating in this new onslaught are crisis-ridden and lack any electoral legitimacy.

War fever grips German media

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2018

Die Welt demanded the “eradication of the Assad regime” and the deployment of “hundreds of thousands of soldiers” to Syria to “in the worst case scenario, fight Russians and Iranians.”

Spanish government promotes militarism in schools

By Alejandro López, 14 April 2018

The reactionary syllabus includes the need to respect the army, the police, the flag, the anthem and the King and to uphold the unity of Spain.

New pro-EU party planned to oppose Corbyn and Labour

By Julie Hyland, 13 April 2018

The project intends to “borrow” ideas from “both left and right,” promoting divisive identity politics—based on race, gender and sexual orientation—while championing “wealth creation and tighter immigration controls.”

UK higher education and university staff oppose union sellout ahead of ballot result

By Thomas Scripps, 11 April 2018

There is strong resistance to the University and College Union’s attempted sell-out of the pension dispute by university staff who oppose the bureaucracy’s lying claims.

Students protest against Macron as strikes against austerity mount in France

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 11 April 2018

All over the country, students are occupying campuses and holding general assemblies and demonstrations.

Strikes mount as National Assembly opens debate on French rail privatization

By Alex Lantier, 10 April 2018

Air France workers are taking strike action today over wage demands, after rail workers mounted a fourth day of rotating strikes yesterday.

UK’s Open University to be decimated, as more jobs are eliminated

By Simon Whelan, 10 April 2018

Hundreds of jobs are threatened in the largest restructuring and redundancy programme in university history.

New Anti-capitalist Party seeks to strangle French rail strikes

By Alex Lantier, 10 April 2018

Fifty years after the 1968 general strike, the Pabloite NPA insists workers should take orders from organizations it admits support the attacks on rail workers.

Spain responds to German court decision on Puigdemont with threats of stepped-up repression

By Alejandro López, 9 April 2018

The court’s decision is a setback for Madrid, which was confident Puigdemont would be returned to Spain and the possibility of 30 years in jail, with the German government’s tacit agreement.

As the unions continue talks with the government

French rail workers, students resume strike action against Macron

By Kumaran Ira, 9 April 2018

The trade unions are coordinating with the Macron government to contain the rail workers’ strike movement against the planned privatisation of the French National Railways.

Bogus anti-Semitism campaign against Corbyn and Labour reveals its Zionist agenda

By Jean Shaoul, 9 April 2018

The furore over Jewdas confirms that the three-year-long campaign accusing Corbyn of tolerating anti-Semitism is part of an effort to discredit the entire left.

Isle of Wight Council continues to cut services

By Paul Bond, 9 April 2018

Every aspect of social provision on the island stands as an indictment of the capitalist system.

Charities work with UK Home Office to deport rough sleepers

By Tom Pearce, 6 April 2018

In 2017, the rough sleeping rate in London showed an 18 percent rise since 2016, with 59 percent of rough sleepers in the capital being non-UK nationals.

The right-wing politics of the British “Labour anti-Semitism” smear campaign

By Jean Shaoul, 5 April 2018

The tendencies and prominent leaders involved make clear that strident accusations of anti-Semitism are aimed at shifting British politics sharply to the right.

The lies of the imperialist powers over the Skripal affair unravel

By Robert Stevens, 5 April 2018

Not since Nazi Germany has the world witnessed such a shameless falsification of events as the provocation concocted around the poisoning in England of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter.

UK security review exposes militarist agenda behind Russian Novichok allegations

By Thomas Scripps, 5 April 2018

Prime Minister May defined the Fusion Strategy as the “use of all our capabilities” to “project our global influence.”

Major strikes in France challenge Macron’s right-wing reforms

By Peter Schwarz and Eric London, 3 April 2018

The railway workers’ strike, which began Monday evening, is the biggest test of strength to date between President Emmanuel Macron and the French working class.

Vote “No” to University and College Union sellout of UK lecturers pension strike

By Robert Stevens, 29 March 2018

The University and College Union’s Higher Education Committee voted to put an inferior pensions’ offer from Universities UK to a ballot, in the face of lecturer’s opposition.

UK: Grenfell fire inquiry withholds vital evidence from the bereaved and survivors

By Paul Mitchell, 28 March 2018

Lawyers for the bereaved, survivors and local residents will be prevented from raising issues of a “social, economic and political nature.”

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference and that’s how those in power view many in our society”

Grenfell fire: An interview with North Kensington resident Joe Delaney

By Robert Stevens, 21 March 2018

In this interview, local resident Joe Delaney speaks about his initial involvement in tenants housing issues in North Kensington and the Grenfell Action Group, his thoughts on the Grenfell fire and the official public inquiry.

European Union seeks tariff exemptions as US sets out demands

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2018

Talks in Washington with the Trump administration will determine whether the EU proceeds with threatened measures in retaliation against the US imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium.

London, NATO step up war threats against Russia over Skripal poisoning

By Alex Lantier, 19 March 2018

NATO authorities issued a barrage of political and military threats at Russia, a nuclear-armed power, without providing any evidence for their allegations.

Witch-hunt of Corbyn aims to silence popular opposition to anti-Russia offensive

By Chris Marsden, 19 March 2018

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s cautioning against a “rush to judgement” in the alleged poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal has prompted frenzied media denunciations.

Northern Ireland: Loyalist killer was a police agent

By Steve James, 19 March 2018

Gary Haggarty was working as a British agent when he killed five people on what the government still insists is the “British soil” of Northern Ireland.

Questions mount about UK allegations over "novichok" poison in Skripal case

By Alex Lantier, 19 March 2018

Scientists have repeatedly questioned the existence of the ‘novichok’ poison which London is claiming, without providing evidence, that Russia used to poison Skripal.

The role of the UCU Left in the effort to shut down the UK lecturers strike

By Robert Stevens, 17 March 2018

From its formation, the UCU Left pledged to work with the right wing within the UCU leadership, and has served to suppress opposition and bolster the authority of the unions.

UK: Lecturers and students speak on struggle to fight savage pension cuts

By our reporters, 17 March 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to striking lecturers and students on picket lines and at rallies Thursday and Friday in London and Glasgow.

New German foreign minister threatens Russia and intensifies militarism

By Johannes Stern, 17 March 2018

In his inaugural address, the new foreign minister stressed that the third grand coalition under Angela Merkel would accelerate Germany’s return to an aggressive foreign policy.

The UK lecturers strike and the struggle against marketisation

Former student sues university for cost of her education

By Thomas Scripps, 16 March 2018

The collective endeavour of learning is being replaced by a purely financial and adversarial relationship between universities and students and the academic workforce.

As tensions escalate, UK expels 23 Russian diplomats

By Chris Marsden, 15 March 2018

May is leading an international offensive to reinforce demands for action against Russia, up to and including a military response, working in close collaboration with the US.

French ruling elite brays for war in Syria amid US-UK threats against Russia

By Alex Lantier, 15 March 2018

As Paris moves to restore the draft, the major NATO powers are creating conditions for major wars in which large draftee armies could be deployed.

UK lecturers resume strike following rebellion against UCU sellout agreement

By Robert Stevens, 15 March 2018

From the beginning of the dispute, the SEP has insisted that the UCU is not an organisation fighting in the interests of workers. It is a tool of management and, as with all the unions, cannot be reformed through rank and file pressure.

Germany: Merkel’s re-election and the fight against militarism, welfare cuts and dictatorship

By Johannes Stern, 15 March 2018

With the re-election of Angela Merkel, the most right-wing German government has taken office since the fall of the Third Reich.

UK university lecturers revolt against union sell-out agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

Thousands protested nationally and hundreds of lecturers lobbied outside the union’s headquarters in London Tuesday to demand rejection of a deal reached the previous evening.

“I’m delighted with the voices of solidarity from West Virginia”

Students and lecturers at the University of Aberdeen speak about the issues in the strike

By our reporters, 14 March 2018

Members of the IYSSE spoke to students and striking lecturers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland about the issues in the lecturers’ struggle.

UK seeks international support for anti-Russia measures

By Chris Marsden, 14 March 2018

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is engaged in a high-stakes effort to turn the tide internationally towards stepped-up conflict with Russia, up to and including a military confrontation.

Great power politics, militarism, increased deportations: The right-wing programme of Germany’s grand coalition

By Peter Schwarz, 14 March 2018

The ruling class of Germany is reacting to the crisis of the European Union by returning to the criminal methods it used in the past.

“It’s certainly not going to shut me up”

Grenfell fire: Joe Delaney answers right-wing media witch-hunt

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2018

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to north Kensington resident Joe Delaney about the recent attack on him by the Sunday Times.

68th Berlin International Film Festival—Part 1

The 2018 Berlinale and the #MeToo campaign

By Stefan Steinberg and Verena Nees, 14 March 2018

The 68th Berlin Film Festival, whose 2018 edition ended February 25, is the world’s largest film festival open to the public.

UK: More than a million welfare benefit sanctions imposed against disabled people

By Dennis Moore, 13 March 2018

In 2015, the UK government withheld £132 million from claimants in the form of sanctions.

An Open letter from the International Youth and Students for Social Equality to the editors of German daily Tageszeitung

12 March 2018

The following letter was sent by the IYSSE to the editors of the German daily Tageszeitung, after it published a defence of right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski and defamed his critics.

Corbyn opposes Momentum leader Jon Lansman’s bid for Labour’s general secretary post

By Julie Hyland, 9 March 2018

Far from marking a breach in the bureaucratic apparatus, the contest between two supporters of leader Jeremy Corbyn underscores the anti-democratic, right-wing character of Labour.

German Green Party-aligned newspaper defends far-right Professor Baberowski

International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE), 6 March 2018

The Tageszeitung, a daily close to the German Green Party, dedicated its weekend edition to a frontal attack on the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE).

German Social Democratic Party votes to form grand coalition

By Johannes Stern, 5 March 2018

The SPD has cleared the way with their vote for the most right-wing government in Germany since the downfall of the Nazis.

European Union demands Google, Facebook step up Internet censorship

By Kumaran Ira, 5 March 2018

The EU’s call for the automatic removal of online content is part of an international attempt to censor social opposition to austerity and war.

EU threatens retaliation to Trump’s trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 3 March 2018

Trump’s announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium has triggered international criticism, including from US allies that will be among the hardest hit.

French neo-fascist Marine Le Pen indicted for tweeting pictures of IS killings

By Francis Dubois, 3 March 2018

The indictment of two National Front deputies for posting pictures on Twitter is an act of political censorship threatening basic democratic rights.

Skoda workers in the Czech Republic prepare to strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 March 2018

The strike preparations at Skoda are part of a growing radicalisation of workers in Eastern Europe, who are no longer willing to accept conditions of extreme exploitation.

German defence minister confirms grand coalition’s rearmament plans

By Johannes Stern, 1 March 2018

Ursula von der Leyen made clear in a recent interview what the central tasks of Germany’s incoming government will be: a major rearmament programme and the waging of war.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slithers toward sellout

By Chris Marsden, 1 March 2018

Corbyn’s speech expresses the role that would be played by any future Labour government, under conditions where a deepening Tory crisis could hasten a general election.

UK lecturers and students speak out during second week of strikes over pensions

By our reporters, 28 February 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to lecturers, other university staff and students at picket lines and rallies around the UK on Monday and Tuesday.

French President Macron turns his labor decrees against rail workers

By Alex Lantier, 28 February 2018

On Monday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to end the French rail workers' statute and privatize the French National Railways.

German Left Party leader backs new attack on immigrants

By Christoph Vandreier, 28 February 2018

Sahra Wagenknecht defended the decision of Essen Tafel to restrict its food handouts to German citizens only.

Right-wing media launch witch-hunt against Grenfell activist Joe Delaney

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 28 February 2018

The accusation should be met with contempt by the thousands of residents who know Delaney, and all those in the UK and internationally who have solidarized with the Grenfell victims.

UK local authorities escalate anti-homelessness policies

By Barry Mason, 27 February 2018

Living on the streets is a very precarious existence, reducing life expectancy to 47 years compared to 81 years for the average person in the UK.

Parti de l'égalité socialiste holds meeting in Paris against militarism and austerity

By our reporters, 27 February 2018

The meeting exposed the militaristic plans underlying attempts to form a Grand Coalition government in Germany working closely with President Emmanuel Macron.

German Left Party voices support for military rearmament and war

By Johannes Stern, 26 February 2018

Left Party representative Stefan Liebich greeted the war speech of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) at the Munich Security Conference.

London tower block leaseholders oppose having to pay cladding repair bill

By our reporters, 26 February 2018

The owners of the Citiscape apartments in south London, Proxima GR Properties, are trying to force leaseholders to pay at least £2 million for replacing unsafe cladding.

“We will not eat until we are free”

UK: Hunger strikers at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre

By Laura Tiernan, 26 February 2018

The mainly women detainees are demanding an end to indefinite detention, describing “systematic torture” by the Home Office and the private security firm, Serco.

UK lecturers stage second day of national strikes

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2018

In contrast to the stand by lecturers and students, the University and College Union has insisted that the strikes give way as soon as possible to resumed negotiations.

Lecturers and students stage united protests in Sheffield and Southampton

By our reporters, 24 February 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to lecturers and students at universities around the UK.

Tuition fees review will escalate marketisation of higher education in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 24 February 2018

At the center of discussions is the introduction of market-based pricing for degree courses, based on likely graduate earnings.

German Chancellor promotes rearmament and war in speech to parliament

By Johannes Stern, 24 February 2018

Merkel made clear that the incoming grand coalition will implement a massive military build-up, a new round of social austerity and adopt the far-right’s policies on refugees.

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

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2018

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

Macron launches campaign to privatise French railways

By Kumaran Ira, 20 February 2018

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