Western Europe


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 activist 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.

Amazon set to open new depot in Sheffield—“low pay capital of the UK”

By Danny Richardson, 20 February 2018

Sheffield and its surrounding area was previously a major steel producing region with Amazon building its “Fulfilment Centres” in the South Yorkshire area on shuttered steel plants.

Munich Security Conference threatens war on all fronts

By Chris Marsden, 19 February 2018

Washington led the pack in bellicosity towards Syria and North Korea, tied to allegations of Russian and Chinese culpability.

German defence minister delivers war-mongering speech at Munich Security Conference

By Johannes Stern, 19 February 2018

A rearmament offensive is being prepared, comparable only to that of Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

A tool of imperialism: Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France calls for military buildup

By Alex Lantier, 19 February 2018

As Paris threatens to bomb Syria, and Washington threatens Russia and China, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is stampeding behind calls to build a European war machine.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Failed by the State co-director discusses smear campaign against his documentary

By our reporter, 19 February 2018

After a lively discussion on issues raised by the film, the Grenfell Fire Forum passed a resolution opposing the attack on it by the corporate media.

War clouds gather over Munich Security Conference

By Peter Schwarz, 16 February 2018

The central issue being discussed by the high-ranking attendees at the conference is how the assembled great powers, and the Europeans in particular, can rearm to prepare for war.

Squalor, violence and death: The deterioration of UK prisons

By Peter Reydt, 16 February 2018

Year after year, there are reports documenting the fact that UK prisons are hellholes unfit to hold human beings.

#MeToo campaign turns on French Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot

By Francis Dubois, 15 February 2018

The media hysteria that the French government initially helped stir up around #MeToo is now turning against the government itself.

Germany: The coalition agreement and the return of militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2018

Important sections of the coalition pact between the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats agreed last week bear the imprint of the top military brass.

UK Prime Minister May calls for fight to “defeat socialism”

By Julie Hyland, 15 February 2018

May spoke almost 40 years after Thatcher vowed to “roll back the tide of socialism,” and more than 25 years since the liquidation of the Soviet Union was hailed as proof of the triumph of capitalism.

Failed by the State co-director Daniel Renwick: “Every day I meet people who have been politicised and have a deeper consciousness”

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed Daniel Renwick about the making of Failed by the State, a documentary on the Grenfell fire, and the attack launched against it by the Daily Beast and right-wing newspapers in Britain.

Oppose the right-wing campaign against Grenfell fire documentary Failed by the State

By Robert Stevens, 15 February 2018

The attack on the documentary is part of a broader offensive by the ruling elite and its media, which are attempting to portray all expressions of political and social dissent as “fake news” being spread by the Putin regime in Russia.

German grand coalition planning major military build-up

By Peter Schwarz, 14 February 2018

An article in IP magazine, published by the German Council for Foreign Relations, gives a glimpse of the foreign policy debates going on behind the scenes.

Germany: The resignation of Martin Schulz

By Peter Schwarz, 12 February 2018

The rapid rise and fall of Schulz cannot be explained simply on the basis of personal rivalries. At stake are major political issues.

New NATO headquarters planned in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2018

With a new NATO headquarters, Germany would be even more strongly involved in NATO preparations for war against Russia.

French media endorse plan for anti-worker Grand Coalition government in Germany

By Alex Lantier, 12 February 2018

The Grand Coalition deal and the new Berlin-Paris axis are both based on the most right-wing program since fascist parties ruled Europe.

UK National Health Service “haemorrhaging nurses” as 33,000 leave in one year

By Benjamin Trent, 12 February 2018

Such is the crisis that the Royal College of Nursing estimates there are now 40,000 vacant nursing positions in the health service.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors vote with Blairites against scrapping Haringey Council’s social cleansing project

By Paul Mitchell, 10 February 2018

Labour councillors, backed by Momentum, refused to back a motion that would have brought an end to the UK’s most infamous handover of council assets.

YouTube censors video opposing far-right Alternative for Germany

By Johannes Stern, 10 February 2018

The video by the left-wing, socialist channel “Political Analysis” was evidently censored following appeals by far-right circles to YouTube.

German parties reach agreement on grand coalition for war and austerity

By Johannes Stern, 8 February 2018

A new grand coalition between the Social Democrats and conservative parties will launch a massive military build-up, initiate a new round of austerity and carry out police-state measures.

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober: The social cleansing agenda of a Blairite “martyr”

By Julie Hyland, 8 February 2018

Haringey Council leader Claire Kober has received the support of over 70 leaders of Labour councils nationally who are all enforcing Tory spending cuts.

Germany’s Grand Coalition for austerity and war

By Johannes Stern, 6 February 2018

In the final stretch of coalition negotiations, SPD leader Martin Schulz announced an agreement between his party and the conservative CDU/CSU on European policy.

Hamburg police searching for G20 protesters Europe-wide

By Marianne Arens, 6 February 2018

The extension of the operation is part of the plans of the grand coalition between the SPD and Christian Democrats to further strengthen police powers and coordinate security policy on a European basis.

May’s China visit highlights UK’s post-Brexit dilemma

By Jean Shaoul, 6 February 2018

The US tied May’s hands, leading to her refusal to sign a memorandum of understanding officially endorsing China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Post-Grenfell Tower fire report confirms systemic corporate flouting of health and safety standards

By Trevor Johnson, 6 February 2018

Even on essential safety issues like fire prevention, the Hackitt report considers it too great an imposition on landlords to demand, in law, that they carry out basic improvements such as fitting sprinkler systems in tower blocks.

German industrial workers shut down auto sector as strikes spread

By our reporters, 2 February 2018

Workers in the automotive and electrical industries are striking for a third consecutive day for higher wages and the voluntary reduction of the workweek.

Social cleansing in Haringey: Labour right reject Corbyn’s pleas for “unity”

By Julie Hyland, 2 February 2018

Haringey’s Labour-run council is mounting one of the largest privatisation and social cleansing operations in London

UK: Conservative government backs efforts to overturn parole of rapist John Worboys

By John Newham and Robert Stevens, 1 February 2018

The moves to challenge the Parole Board’s January 4 decision have implications for legal norms and due process.

UK Labour: Corbyn seeks accommodation with Blairites and big business

By Chris Marsden, 29 January 2018

The policy of the Labour right wing is to extract maximum concessions from Corbyn—especially regarding Labour’s stance on Brexit.

UK Defence Secretary accuses Russia of planning to kill “thousands and thousands and thousands” of Britons

By Robert Stevens, 27 January 2018

Williamson’s comments come just days after the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces declared that Britain must actively prepare for war with Russia.

Julian Assange challenges warrant for his arrest as doctors confirm worsening of his health

By Margot Miller, 27 January 2018

The clinicians, with a combined four decades of experience, said Assange's "continued confinement" is "a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”

German, French parliaments prepare new alliance, 55 years after Elysée treaty

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2018

The resolution commits Berlin and Paris to a major arms build-up and deep austerity to enable them to carry out military operations independent of Washington.

Catalan nationalists struggle to form government

By Paul Mitchell, 25 January 2018

Spain’s Popular Party government is threatening to re-impose Article 155 and direct rule of the autonomous region by Madrid.

UK, France boost military, intelligence ties at Sandhurst summit

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 20 January 2018

The summit aimed to boost UK-French cooperation despite the crisis in NATO caused by the election of Donald Trump and Britain’s exit from the European Union.

IYSSE secures re-election to student parliament at Berlin’s Humboldt University

By the IYSSE at Humboldt University, 20 January 2018

After a successful election campaign, the IYSSE is re-entering Humboldt University’s student parliament with two representatives.

UK: Office for Students spearheads privatisation and policing of universities

By Thomas Scripps, 20 January 2018

Accompanied by lifting the cap on tuition fees and selling off of student debt to private holders, the Office for Students is set to complete the basic framework for the wholesale privatisation of higher education.

German newspaper Die Zeit and SPD back #MeToo witch-hunt

By Verena Nees, 19 January 2018

It is no accident that the German #MeToo campaign is being led by a newspaper close to the SPD, which has adopted the issue in the wake of its disastrous result in last autumn’s federal election.

Carillion’s collapse in UK and the East Coast bailout: What would ending the “Private Financial Initiative rip-off” entail?

By Jean Shaoul, 18 January 2018

In the wake of the collapse of construction giant Carillion, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demagogically declared it was time “to end the rip-off privatisation policies.”

Another bonanza year for highest paid UK CEOs

By Dennis Moore, 18 January 2018

The median average pay of the top FTSE 100 CEO's is £3.45 million a year, 120 times the average pay of a worker.

Families and survivors hold seven-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 17 January 2018

Some 1,500 people, including survivors and the families of those who died in last year’s Grenfell Tower fire, staged their monthly Silent March on January 14.

UK: Election of pro-Corbyn slate to Labour’s National Executive Committee underscores left shift in working class

By Chris Marsden, 16 January 2018

Corbyn is now in control of his cabinet and, following various reshuffles, has a majority of the party membership and now the NEC.

UK: Carillion collapse threatens jobs and pensions, exposing plunder of social assets

By Julie Hyland, 16 January 2018

There are reports of banks shifting Carillion off their balance sheets over the last months in anticipation of its inevitable folding.

UK National Archives: Key government files “missing,” and documents on Europe withheld

By Richard Tyler, 15 January 2018

The missing files are thought to include thousands of government papers dealing with critical chapters of recent history that can prove to be a major political embarrassment.

For new elections and a socialist offensive against the grand coalition in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 15 January 2018

Opposition within the population to the grand coalition’s anti-working class and militarist policies is enormous.

Virgin Care and other private companies seize another £3.1 billion of NHS contracts

By Ajanta Silva, 15 January 2018

By running down National Health Service-run provision across the country, the Tories have opened up new avenues for private companies to cherry pick lucrative areas.

German conservatives and Social Democrats agree to coalition talks

By Peter Schwarz, 13 January 2018

The 28-page document on the results of the exploratory talks conceals a deeply reactionary right-wing programme behind unctuous rhetoric about an “awakening,” “democracy,” “peace” and “justice.”

German industrial workers continue strikes

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 January 2018

The IG Metall trade union is increasingly concerned by the unrest and radical atmosphere in the plants, but has indicated its readiness to compromise and reach a sell-out deal.

Fraud of official inquiry into Grenfell fire exposed by forced withdrawal of project management adviser

By Robert Stevens, 13 January 2018

The scandal over KPMG serves once again to dispel any illusions that the official Grenfell inquiry has anything to do with establishing the truth or holding the guilty to account.

160,000 industrial workers strike in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 11 January 2018

Amid widespread anger over social inequality and corporate job-cutting, there is a growing determination to fight for improvements in wages and working conditions.

France’s Socialist Party attacks Catherine Deneuve for opposing #MeToo witch-hunt

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2018

The courageous column published by 100 women in Le Monde criticizing the #MeToo campaign has provoked a venomous response from the French state machine.

French chemical industry unions back contract violating minimum wage laws

By Alex Lantier, 8 January 2018

Backed by the European Union, President Emmanuel Macron is using his labor decrees to try to scrap basic social rights won by the working class.

German foreign minister demands aggressive assertion of great power interests

By Christoph Vandreier, 8 January 2018

Gabriel’s rhetoric, in his interview with Spiegel Online, is aimed at initiating a further escalation of German militarism and freeing Berlin from any restrictions.

Volkswagen plans to dismiss all temporary contract workers in German plants

By Dietmar Henning, 8 January 2018

VW’s mass firing of temporary contract workers is the prelude to sweeping job cuts and attacks on the gains of all autoworkers.

UK rail workers continue strikes against Driver Only Operated train plans

By Michael Barnes, 8 January 2018

As dangerous incidents begin to escalate, the rail companies and the Tory government refuse to retreat in their war against conductors’ jobs.

UK workers confront rising job losses in 2018

By Tony Robson, 8 January 2018

At no point have Unite, GMB, the retail workers union, USDAW, or any other, even mooted a fight in defence of a single job.

Britain’s National Health Service is being deliberately brought to the brink of collapse

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2018

NHS employees now often refer to the conditions they face at work as a “battlefield” or “war zone.”

German conservatives and Social Democrats prepare formation of far-right government

By Peter Schwarz, 6 January 2018

There is a crisis over the formation of the government because the Christian Democrats, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats are preparing a sharp shift to the right, which finds no support among the population.

Incoming German government plans massive military rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 3 January 2018

A recent paper by the Bavarian Christian Social Union makes clear what the real questions are about forming the next government.

Germany: Demands grow for Merkel’s resignation

By Peter Schwarz, 30 December 2017

The longer negotiations on a new ruling coalition continue, the more likely leading business, political and media figures will press for a rapid change at the top of the government.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.