European Economy

IMF to meet amid worsening stagnation and rising geo-economic tensions

By Nick Beams, 12 April 2016

As global growth continues to slow, there are rising concerns that the negative interest rate policies of major central banks are worsening the situation.

Defend jobs in the steel industry!

For international workers’ unity, not national unity with the corporations!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) and Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Germany), 9 April 2016

The only way to fight the destruction of tens of thousands of steel jobs in the UK and Germany is a struggle for the international unity of the working class.

European steel workers face massive attacks on jobs and pensions

By Dietmar Henning, 8 April 2016

The proposed merger of Tata Steel and the steel division of Thyssen Krupp would be accompanied by an assault on jobs and pensions in the European steel industry.

German report confirms poor die younger

By Dietmar Henning, 4 April 2016

The link between income and “years lived in good health” is even clearer than the link between income and life expectancy.

Forty thousand jobs threatened as Tata Steel announces end of UK operations

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2016

Neither Labour leader Corbyn nor the trade union bureaucracy proposes any struggle by steel workers in defence of their jobs.

Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to slash 2,100 rail freight transport jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 29 March 2016

Works councillors and union functionaries have already indicated they are prepared to cooperate in implementing the cuts, the first step to a further wave consolidations.

Living standards fall and discontent rises in Russia

By Vladimir Volkov, 18 March 2016

In a sign of the population’s intense economic distress, retail trade levels in Russia have fallen to their lowest level in 40 years.

Central banks confront unintended consequences

By Nick Beams, 15 March 2016

Markets are awaiting decisions by the Bank of Japan and the US Fed on monetary policies as concerns grow over negative interest rates.

European Central Bank cuts rates and pours more money into financial markets

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2016

The ECB’s latest measures will do nothing to boost the real economy, but only lead to further financial speculation and increase the danger of a currency war.

Report on German poverty refutes propaganda of social recovery

By Stefan Steele, 5 March 2016

Almost one in six in Germany were registered as poor in 2014.

Bombardier adds to Northern Ireland manufacturing jobs massacre

By Harvey Thompson, 1 March 2016

The corporation announced that 1,080 jobs would go at its plant in Belfast, Ireland, which makes the wings for its new C-Series plane.

G-20 summit rules out coordinated stimulus

By Nick Beams, 29 February 2016

Despite calls for fiscal stimulus by the International Monetary Fund, the only area in which the major economic powers are increasing their spending is on the military.

Perplexity and divisions mark G-20 meeting

By Nick Beams, 26 February 2016

The G-20 meeting in Shanghai is riven by the widening divisions between the major capitalist powers as the crisis of the global economy intensifies.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank in crisis

By Gustav Kemper, 23 February 2016

Fears of collapse and panic sell-offs on the stock market have halved Deutsche Bank’s value over the course of a year to €20 billion.

European Steel unions demand trade war in Brussels

By Dietmar Henning, 20 February 2016

The European trade unions, led by Germany’s IG Metall, demonstrated last Monday in Brussels for trade war measures against Russia and China.

OECD downgrades global growth forecast

By Nick Beams, 19 February 2016

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said global growth has “practically flat-lined” and financial instability risks are on the rise.

Stock market panic risks new financial crisis

By Andre Damon, 12 February 2016

The global sell-off expresses growing fears that the trillions pumped into the financial system since 2008 have done nothing to improve its underlying health, and may have sown the seeds for a crash on an even greater scale.

A new stage in the global economic breakdown

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2016

The growing financial crisis in China, marked by capital flight and mounting concerns over debt levels, is accompanied by increasing doubts about the stability of the entire global banking system.

Global manufacturing continues to fall

By Nick Beams, 2 February 2016

The Chinese steel industry recorded a loss of more than $9 billion for 2015, in the clearest expression of China’s economic slowdown.

Global slowdown to deepen attacks on jobs

By Nick Beams, 25 January 2016

Stock markets recovered some of their losses at the end of the last week, but the underlying trend in the world economy is slower growth and outright recession.

The political significance of the global economic turmoil

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2016

The turmoil on global markets is an expression of the breakdown of the mechanisms and structures that have sustained world capitalism over the past quarter-century.

Major companies announce job cuts across Europe

By Kumaran Ira, 19 January 2016

The assault on the European working class comes amid mounting signs that the world economy is nearing another major crisis.

Wave of selling hits US markets

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2016

The sharp downturn in US markets has come amid a series of statements by banking officials that the conditions for a new financial crisis are rapidly developing.

Global markets continue to fall

By Nick Beams, 9 January 2016

The impact of events in China points to the worsening situation facing major Western corporations.

Stock markets continue to plunge amidst growing signs of economic crisis

By Andre Damon, 8 January 2016

The continued sell-off points to growing fears of a divergence between stock market values, which have been rising for nearly six years, and the slowdown of the world economy.

Global financial turmoil continues on fears of slower growth

By Nick Beams, 7 January 2016

The fall in oil prices to their lowest level in 11 years points to deepening recessionary trends that increase the risk of defaults in high-risk, high-yield bonds.

Syriza presents plan for drastic pension cuts

By Kumaran Ira, 7 January 2016

Based on Syriza’s record in government, workers must assume that its assurances that it is seeking to protect pensions as much as possible are outright lies.

IMF head warns of slow growth and economic “shocks” in 2016

By Barry Grey, 31 December 2015

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde wrote that global economic growth next year would be “disappointing” and the outlook for the medium term had also deteriorated.

A New Year’s sense of foreboding over the global economy

By Nick Beams, 30 December 2015

Economic developments in 2015 were dominated by intensifying recessionary trends throughout the world economy.

WTO buries Doha Round: Another rupture in the post-war order

By Nick Beams, 22 December 2015

The decision to end the Doha Round signifies the end of the multilateralism that formed a crucial foundation of post-World War II economic expansion.

A new tipping point in the global economic crisis

By Nick Beams, 10 December 2015

Corporate defaults are on the rise, not only in the energy sector hit by falling prices, but across the board.

Expansion of Russian-German Nord Stream pipeline exacerbates tensions within the European Union

By Clara Weiss, 9 December 2015

At the end of November, several Eastern European members of the EU urged the European Commission to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

BIS warns of sudden end to “uneasy” financial calm

By Nick Beams, 8 December 2015

Junk bonds are heading for their first losses since the global financial crisis, indicating the present stock market boom may be living on borrowed time.

UK government outlines unprecedented public spending cuts

By Julie Hyland, 26 November 2015

In just 10 years, from 2010 through 2020, government spending as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall by 10 percent, with disastrous consequences for millions of people.

Global markets cheer dismal economic figures

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2015

Global stock markets are surging as negative economic news makes interest rate cuts by central banks more likely.

Deutsche Bank to cut up to 35,000 jobs

By Marianne Arens, 2 November 2015

The Ver.di trade union is cooperating with the Deutsche Bank management to lay off tens of thousands of workers.

Social crisis dominates municipal elections in Ukraine

By Markus Salzmann, 2 November 2015

Nearly 21 months after the coup that overthrew President Viktor Yanukovych the country is in social and economic free-fall.

Perplexity and gloom dominate IMF-World Bank meeting

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2015

A report issued on the eve of the IMF-World Bank meeting said that emerging market economies had over-borrowed by $3 trillion over the past decade.

Organizers promote economic nationalism at Berlin demonstration against transatlantic trade agreement

By our reporters, 12 October 2015

While many demonstrators sought to express opposition to inequality and war, the demonstration's organizers advanced a right-wing agenda of economic nationalism.

Syriza budget implements dictates of European banks

By Christoph Dreier, 6 October 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that austerity was the “only way” out of the country’s crisis, declaring, “we have to tighten our belts.”

Global recessionary trends intensify

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2015

The crisis of mining giant Glencore, whose shares plunged by 30 percent this week, is only one expression of the slump gripping the global economy.

Thousands more jobs to go across all sectors in UK

By Margot Miller, 19 September 2015

Local authorities in the UK face more devastating cuts, after already having their budgets slashed to pay for the bailout of the super-rich following the 2008 economic crisis.

Seven years since the Wall Street crash

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2015

Seven years after the eruption of the crisis, financial parasitism has reached unprecedented heights while the global economy stagnates.

Global Ponzi scheme threatens to implode

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2015

The global stock market selloff reflects the inability of governments and central banks to address the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist system that led to the Wall Street crash of 2008–2009.

Global markets plunge amid signs of deepening slump

By Andre Damon, 21 August 2015

US stocks fell by the largest amount since February 2014, as fears of a world economic slowdown mixed with concerns over global exchange rate instability and geopolitical conflict.

World capitalism “toboggans toward catastrophe”

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2015

Seven years after the Wall Street crash, fears are growing within ruling circles internationally that the world capitalist economy is descending into depression.

German financial supervisor implicates Deutsche Bank in Libor manipulation

By Sven Heymanns, 28 July 2015

Anshu Jain, who recently resigned as co-chair of Deutsche Bank, was involved much more deeply in the manipulation of Libor than previously known.

A landslide “no” to EU austerity in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 6 July 2015

Yesterday’s “no” vote in Greece is a massive popular repudiation of the EU and the austerity agenda it has pursued across Europe since the 2008 economic crisis.

“Syriza disregarded the wishes of the Greek population”

Workers speak out against austerity in Greece

By Robert Stevens and Christoph Dreier, 1 July 2015

Workers interviewed by a WSWS reporting team in Athens, Greece, spoke out against austerity and attacks on democratic rights.

As global markets plummet

Bank closures impose deepening misery on Greek people

By Alex Lantier, 30 June 2015

Retirees were unable to obtain their pension benefits as a weeklong bank holiday began amid warnings of fuel and medicine shortages.

Syriza’s fraudulent capital controls

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2015

Billions of euros have been taken out of Greece by wealthy individuals and corporations in order to make a financial killing if the country goes back to the drachma.

Greek collapse, global turbulence loom as Syriza imposes capital controls

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2015

The decision followed Sunday’s announcement by the European Central Bank that it would not increase its emergency funding for Greek banks.

Greek crisis comes to a head

By Alex Lantier, 29 June 2015

The decision of European financial authorities to terminate the bailout of Greece and limit the flow of credit to banks has brought the country to the brink of an economic and financial meltdown.

OECD report documents growth of financial parasitism

By Nick Beams, 29 June 2015

Financial parasitism is leading to the destruction of the productive forces upon which the livelihoods of the world working class depend.

Thousands of jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 27 June 2015

Following the loss of 90,000 public-sector jobs in the last parliament, a further 100,000 jobs are set to go over the next five years.

Political issues in the Greek debt crisis

By Alex Lantier, 26 June 2015

Having built its entire policy around denying the possibility of socialist revolution, Syriza is proposing ever deeper attacks on the working class under the EU’s direction.

After Syriza’s concessions, EU demands more austerity at Greek debt summit

By Alex Lantier, 23 June 2015

While approving Syriza’s capitulation to its demands for deep cuts in pensions and health care, the EU called for further austerity measures as a precondition for a deal on Greek debt.

Syriza offers last-ditch concessions prior to EU summit on Greek debt

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2015

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras heads to the summit under the threat of a deliberately imposed economic catastrophe and expulsion from the eurozone.

EU threatens to push Greece into bankruptcy after collapse of debt talks

By Alex Lantier, 17 June 2015

Even as he denounced the EU, Greek Prime Minister Tsipras signaled that he is still seeking a deal on the basis of imposing more austerity on the Greek population.

IMF and ECB walk out of Greek debt talks with Syriza

By Robert Stevens, 13 June 2015

The talks centre on new austerity measures to be carried out by Syriza.

Mass layoffs in French nuclear energy industry threaten 6,000 jobs worldwide

By Anthony Torres, 10 June 2015

Electricité de France, which is acquiring nuclear energy firm Areva and threatening mass layoffs, is sitting on cash reserves of tens of billions of euros.

OECD cuts global growth forecast amid growing financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 5 June 2015

The downgrade follows what the OECD called the worst quarter for global economic growth since the 2008 financial crash.

In Brussels talks, Greece moves closer to austerity deal with EU

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 4 June 2015

The Syriza-led government is trying to work out the details of its capitulation to the austerity program demanded by the European Union and the banks.

Surprise move by European Central Bank to speed up debt purchases

By Nick Beams, 20 May 2015

The accelerated ECB purchase of sovereign debt is another indication of increasing nervousness in global financial markets.

Siemens announces massive job cuts worldwide

By Dietmar Henning, 12 May 2015

The new job cuts were agreed upon between the trade union, works council and management.

Bond market sell-off signals mounting financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 8 May 2015

In the last two weeks an estimated $2 trillion has been wiped off share and bond markets.

Spain: Rebound in employment based on wage cuts and increased job insecurity

By James Lerner, 5 May 2015

More than 3.5 million jobs had been eliminated in Spain between 2008 and 2013.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 April 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

IMF head Christine Lagarde praises UK for austerity measures

By Richard Tyler, 20 April 2015

Warnings by the IMF undermine claims by the Labour Party that it would achieve a balanced budget by 2020, should it win power on May 7.

Banking group HGAA stokes conflict between Vienna and Munich

By Markus Salzmann, 18 April 2015

The decision of the Austrian government to no longer pay the debts of banking group HGAA has provoked conflicts in Bavaria.

IMF loans $17 billion to Ukraine to repay banks, loot economy

By Alex Lantier, 13 March 2015

The International Monetary Fund formally signed off yesterday on a $17.5 billion, four-year loan to the far-right regime in Kiev.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

13 March 2015

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Danish government expands surveillance powers following Copenhagen shootings

By Jordan Shilton, 3 March 2015

Plans were already well advanced prior to the Copenhagen shootings to further undermine democratic rights, with only the appropriate pretext being required.

Stock markets rise after Greece signs new austerity agreement

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2015

The financial aristocracy celebrated the Syriza government’s abject capitulation to the European Union’s demands for renewed austerity.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis’ mission to save capitalism

By Chris Marsden, 21 February 2015

Varoufakis’ essay on becoming an “erratic Marxist” is a damning exposure of the political role of the new Syriza-led government in Greece and the social layer that it represents.

A comment from a reader: The peculiar socialism of Syriza

21 February 2015

The World Socialist Web Site received this comment from a reader in Greece on the nature of the new Syriza-led government.

Schäuble’s arrogance towards Greece and the class divide in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2015

Schäuble's arrogant attack on Greece is primarily directed at opposition to austerity in the working class in Germany and across Europe.

Siemens unveils another round of job cuts in Germany and worldwide

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 14 February 2015

The German electronics firm is cutting 7,800 jobs globally, 3,300 of them in Germany, with the collaboration of the IG Metall trade union.

Greece’s Syriza government pledges to serve the EU

By Christoph Dreier, 13 February 2015

In the talks with the EU, the Syriza government is preparing to implement new austerity measures and "respect the European rules."

IMF announces new $17 billion loan agreement for Ukraine

By Niles Williamson, 13 February 2015

The latest multi-billion dollar loan agreement is a prelude to further attacks on the living standards of the working class throughout Ukraine.

Syriza capitulates to the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 7 February 2015

Syriza leaders are traveling across Europe to assure governments they can rely on the party to push through “deep reforms."

Germany demands Greek austerity as Syriza pledges “frenzy of reasonableness”

By Robert Stevens, 6 February 2015

At a press conference with his German counterpart, Greece’s new finance minister pleaded with the European powers to “use us to implement the European programme.”

EU foreign ministers toughen sanctions against Russia

By Johannes Stern, 30 January 2015

In the first foreign policy action of the new Syriza government, Greece agreed to new measures to step up the US-EU economic war against Moscow.

Germany moves into deflation as global bond prices point to deepening slump

By Nick Beams, 30 January 2015

The potential consequences of falling consumer prices and money flooding into bond markets threaten to outweigh even those of the 2008 financial crisis.

The election in Greece and the political tasks of the working class

By Peter Schwarz, 24 January 2015

Despite its left-wing facade, Syriza is a bourgeois party that rests on affluent layers of the middle class.

Financial markets celebrate European Central Bank launch of €1 trillion quantitative easing program

By Nick Beams, 23 January 2015

The measure will have little or no impact on the real economy. Rather, it is aimed at making available further supplies of ultra-cheap cash for financial speculation.

Workers, youth in Athens discuss upcoming election

By our reporters, 22 January 2015

Tens of thousands of Greeks now rely on food handouts and soup kitchens as a consequence of devastating austerity measures.

European Central Bank appears set to introduce quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2015

European stock markets rose to seven-year highs this week in anticipation that the ECB will decide tomorrow to start purchasing sovereign bonds.

Closure of coal mines in Poland threatens 5,000 jobs

By Markus Salzmann, 17 January 2015

Miners are resisting the Polish government’s plans to restructure the coal industry and lay off thousands of workers.

Financial markets rocked by decision to abandon ceiling on Swiss franc

By Nick Beams, 16 January 2015

The decision by Swiss authorities to end the franc’s fixed relationship to the euro has led to one of the most rapid currency appreciations in history.

Oil prices and bond yields continue their decline

By Nick Beams, 14 January 2015

Oil prices on Tuesday sank further toward their levels of 2009, while bond yields hit zero in Japan.

The economic and political implications of deflation

By Nick Beams, 10 January 2015

The announcement that Europe has gone into deflation underscores the deepening breakdown of the global capitalist economy.

Euro zone officially tips into deflation

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 January 2015

More than six years since the 2008 financial crash, Europe is beset by economic stagnation.

Thousands of UK apprentices paid below minimum wage

By Joe Mount, 9 January 2015

A significant number of young apprentices receive below the minimum wage, work unpaid overtime and have no written contract of employment.

Sharp market falls over euro and oil price slump

By Nick Beams, 6 January 2015

The main factor in the fall in US markets appears to have been the further sharp decline in oil prices.

Lithuania adopts the euro

By Markus Salzmann, 5 January 2015

Lithuania is the third and last Baltic state to introduce the euro.

European Central Bank president’s interview sends euro to four-year low

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2015

ECB President Mario Draghi has taken another step to full quantitative easing amid increasing deflationary pressures.

UK: Thousands of City Link delivery workers sacked on New Year’s Eve

By Julie Hyland, 3 January 2015

City Link is the latest in a number of private equity-backed companies that have gone bankrupt over the last few years.

French pseudo-left seeks to block opposition to Socialist Party’s austerity agenda

By Kumaran Ira, 29 December 2014

The New Anti-capitalist Party and the Left Party are insisting that all opposition be controlled by France’s union bureaucracy.

Ireland opens parliamentary inquiry into banking crisis

By Jordan Shilton, 27 December 2014

Even at this early stage, it is clear that nothing will be done to uncover the criminal practices of those who crashed the economy through financial speculation.