Europe

German trade union federation defends Hartz IV

By Ulrich Rippert, 3 December 2018

The SPD is concerned only with cosmetics and a possible change of name, because Hartz IV is now associated with mass poverty, state harassment, cheap wages and social inequality.

Resolution of the SEP (UK) Fourth National Congress

The resurgence of the class struggle and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party (UK): Part One

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 3 December 2018

This resolution was unanimously adopted by the Fourth National Congress of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, which was held October 27-30, 2018. It is being published in three parts. This is the first part.

Ukraine: Poroshenko declares martial law to crack down on political and social opposition

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 1 December 2018

The army has been put on high alert and the presence of police has been substantially increased in major cities.

Merkel backs Ukrainian provocations against Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 1 December 2018

Chancellor Angela Merkel has sharply attacked Russia at the German-Ukrainian Economic Forum, declaring that Putin is fully responsible for the present conflict.

Catalonia rocked by a week of strikes against austerity

By Alejandro López, 1 December 2018

For years the regional bourgeoisie has relentlessly promoted Catalan nationalism to bury the socio-economic concerns of workers and youth, both Spanish and Catalan.

I object—Ian Hislop’s search for dissent: An exhibition that eradicates socialist ideas and revolutionary action

At the British Museum, London

By Paul Mitchell, 1 December 2018

Would-be satirist Ian Hislop had access to one of the world’s most magnificent collections, in the British Museum, but ends up producing an exercise in political, social and artistic emptiness.

UK: Cammell Laird shipyard workers strike against redundancies, Iran sugar and steel strike continues against pay arrears, South Africa’s Sibanye gold miners reject company/union pay deal

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

1 December 2018

Workers at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead, England have launched a series of strikes over redundancies while workers at the Tappeh Sugar Cane mill in Iran are continuing a walkout and gold miners in South Africa are continuing a series of job actions marked by employer violence.

UK Intelligence and Security Committee admits Manchester bomb attack should have been prevented

By Thomas Scripps, 30 November 2018

The evidence points to Abedi having been viewed as an intelligence asset, allowed free rein to participate in jihadist formations aligned with British imperialism.

Ukraine’s provocation in the Azov Sea

By Clara Weiss and Andre Damon, 29 November 2018

The Ukrainian military, with the support of high-level figures within the US state, has instigated a major international crisis ahead of this week’s G20 summit.

Rejecting Macron’s speech, fuel tax protesters call new demonstrations in France

By Alex Lantier, 28 November 2018

French President Macron’s decision to give a speech addressing the protesters only made clear that he firmly intends to pursue his right-wing policies and has nothing to offer.

Slanders depicting “Yellow Vest” protesters as violent neo-fascists collapse

By our reporter, 28 November 2018

None of those arrested at the demonstrations in Paris were wanted on charges associated with either far-right or anarchist groups.

Guardian newspaper spearheads new accusations against Assange and WikiLeaks

By James Cogan, 28 November 2018

The newspaper has the nerve to declare that it serves to “give a voice to those less heard, challenge the powerful, and hold them to account.”

From the Nazis to the AfD: Big business finances the far-right

By Peter Schwarz, 28 November 2018

The rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) was made possible by huge contributions from billionaire August von Finck, whose father financed Hitler and made a fortune by “Aryanising” Jewish property.

British PM May attacked from all sides ahead of parliament Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 28 November 2018

As it stands there is no parliamentary arithmetic under which May can get the Brexit deal passed.

Greek workers protest social attacks by Syriza government

By John Vassilopoulos, 27 November 2018

Strikes and protests in Greece are part of a wider upsurge of the class struggle throughout Europe.

No to Macron’s maneuvers to strangle the Yellow Vest protests in France

By Alex Lantier, 27 November 2018

The talks Macron is slated to offer today to the Yellow Vest protesters are a trap for a movement that requires a turn to the working class and a revolutionary strategy.

French riot police assault mass protests in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 26 November 2018

The French Interior Ministry claimed that 106,000 people participated in over a thousand protests across France, including 8,000 demonstrators on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

EU summit backs Brexit withdrawal declaration

By Peter Schwarz, 26 November 2018

The 26-page political declaration, which has no legal force, outlines future relations in trade, fisheries, travel, security and financial services.

French president bans fuel tax protest in Paris as strikes expand

By Alex Lantier, 24 November 2018

As the government of French President Emanuel Macron moved to ban protests against its fuel tax increase, strikes and demonstrations in support of the protest movement spread across France yesterday.

Left Party in Germany supports the French president’s call for a European army

By Johannes Stern, 24 November 2018

The fact that Emmanuel Macron’s appeal has been applauded by the Left Party speaks volumes about the pro-imperialist and anti-worker character of the organisation.

Black Friday strikes hit Amazon in Europe

By our reporters, 24 November 2018

Amazon workers launched strikes and protests in Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and the UK.

European Jewish Association slanders left and urges dialogue with far-right

By Jean Shaoul, 24 November 2018

Central place at the two-day event in Brussels, November 6-7, was given to a session slandering UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters as an “existential threat” to Jews.

No to driver only operated services at West Midland Trains! For a national mobilisation of rail workers

By Michael Barnes, 24 November 2018

Drivers at West Midlands Trains are resisting a coordinated effort by the private train operator Abellio and rail unions to impose Driver Only trains in 2020.

French government spokesman explains Macron’s policies by quoting anti-Semite Maurras

By Francois Dubois, 23 November 2018

The most likely explanation for Griveaux’s statement is that Maurras, the head of Action Francaise and supporter of the Nazis, is intensively read and discussed within the government.

New head of German intelligence intends to strengthen the powers of the agency

By Johannes Stern, 23 November 2018

The appointment of Thomas Haldenwang as Maassen’s successor as head of the BfV confirms that Germany’s ruling grand coalition will continue to back the right-wing extremist course of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

Corbyn auditions for government before big business and intelligence agencies

By Robert Stevens, 23 November 2018

Corbyn appeared before the Confederation of British Industry on Monday to deliver what was billed as his main policy speech on Brexit.

Tens of thousands of retail jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 23 November 2018

The list of closures in the retail industry reads like a cull, with 85,000 jobs already lost this year.

No to the draft in France and Europe!

By Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 23 November 2018

Faced with plans to reintroduce military service across Europe, the decisive question is the construction of an anti-war movement in the international working class.

European elections 2019

No to the EU, social inequality, fascism and war! For socialism and the unity of the European working class!

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (SGP), 23 November 2018

On October 20–21, a Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) Congress voted for the party to participate in the European elections of 26 May 2019.

Scottish teachers overwhelmingly reject pay offer

By our reporter, 23 November 2018

The Scottish government, local authorities, teaching and local government unions are desperate to avoid strikes, and above all to prevent a united offensive by teachers and council workers.

Spain’s Socialist Party government junks “anti-austerity” budget agreed with Podemos

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 22 November 2018

The PSOE is kept in power with the support of Podemos, Catalan, and other regional nationalist parties.

Budget dispute between Italy and EU escalates

By Peter Schwarz, 22 November 2018

If the financial markets impose further interest-rate increases on Italian government bonds, it could lead to a chain reaction of bank bankruptcies across the whole of Europe.

Thousands of Austrian metal workers on strike

By Markus Salzmann, 21 November 2018

Metal workers are striking for higher wages and against the tightening of labour laws by the right-wing government.

UN says millions in Britain deliberately plunged into “great misery”

By Robert Stevens, 21 November 2018

UN special rapporteur: “We are witnessing the gradual disappearance of the postwar British welfare state.”

City of London Corporation reneges on its social housing pledge

By Charles Hixson, 21 November 2018

Only 900 units, less than a quarter of the City’s council home building project, are set to be completed by 2025.

Amid mass protests, France announces return to universal military service

By Alex Lantier, 20 November 2018

After hundreds of thousands protested anti-worker tax hikes this weekend, the French government announced plans to begin drafting youth as early as next summer.

“Macron is the president of the rich”: “Yellow Vest” protesters speak out

By our reporters, 20 November 2018

Participants in the “Yellow Vest” protests across France, which continued yesterday in a number of regions, talked to the WSWS about why they are demonstrating.

UK: Left groups targeted for decades-long police infiltration

By Alice Summers, 20 November 2018

The long-term police operations against left-wing organisations are an anti-democratic and morally degraded attack and reveal a serious and present threat to the entire working class.

France shaken by mass protests

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2018

There were cries of “Macron resign” from protesters holding signs saying “No to the president of the rich.”

The only answer to Brexit is the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 19 November 2018

Every faction of Britain’s ruling elite—whether pro- or anti-EU membership or urging some form of continued relations—is viciously opposed to the interests of the working class.

Britain: Reading University flags article on “ethics of revolution” under anti-terror policy

By Tom Scripps, 17 November 2018

The banning of Norman Geras’ essay under anti-terrorism legislation is a police state measure that has, for the first time, targeted an article discussing socialism and revolution.

Netherlands: 10,000 protest pro-corporate government policies

By Harm Zonderland, 17 November 2018

The demonstration was one of the largest since the government of Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) came to power last year.

French riot police attack protests against deadly Marseille building collapse

By Anthony Torres, 17 November 2018

The clashes express the immense social anger over the deaths of eight people in the building collapse on the Rue d’Aubagne.

Scotland: Michelin plans closure of Dundee plant with loss of 845 jobs

Rank-and file organisations needed to organise fight-back

By Steve James, 17 November 2018

French-based transnational Michelin’s decision to close its Dundee tyre manufacturing plant poses workers with the challenge of creating new organisations of struggle.

A terrorist network inside the German Army

By Peter Schwarz, 17 November 2018

The right-wing extremist conspiracy inside the Bundeswehr (Armed Forces) is tolerated, covered up and supported by the highest authorities inside the state and politics.

Some of the main provisions of the draft EU-UK proposed Brexit deal

By our reporter, 16 November 2018

The 585-page document includes a legal guarantee to ensure the Irish border remains open after Brexit, with the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU until a broader EU-UK trade deal can be finalised.

Brexit deal threatens survival of May government

By Robert Stevens, 16 November 2018

Prime Minister May has been brought face to face with the full implications of the growing antagonisms between the US and Europe.

German chancellor calls for a “real European army”

By Johannes Stern, 16 November 2018

Merkel’s call for a “real European army” in Strasbourg underscores the reactionary traditions evoked by the ruling elites in Germany and Europe.

French “Yellow Vest” protesters prepare road blockades against fuel tax hike

By Anthony Torres, 16 November 2018

Fear is growing in official circles that tomorrow’s nationwide road blockades could develop into an explosion of mass social anger against French President Macron.

At least 200 soldiers in German Army neo-Nazi terror network

By Christopher Lehmann and Johannes Stern, 15 November 2018

The latest revelations suggest that at least 200 active duty and retired soldiers are involved in a neo-Nazi terror network that planned to assassinate political opponents.

French teachers mobilize against Macron’s attacks on education

By Anthony Torres, 15 November 2018

Monday’s strike was the first day of action called by the education unions since 2011.

Grenfell Tower Inquiry hears harrowing witness statements

By Paul Bond, 15 November 2018

Grenfell Tower residents confirm that cost-cutting on cladding and the authorities’ refusal to consult with them on refurbishment were key factors in the fire.

Bitter US-European tensions mark centenary of World War I armistice in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 12 November 2018

Heads of state from 70 countries gathered in Paris to mark the centenary of the end of World War I under the shadow of rising conflicts between the great powers.

050 Anti-Trump demos in France

12 November 2018

070 German grand coalition

12 November 2018

UK: SNP-led Glasgow City Council uses gender politics and threats of blacklisting to isolate equal pay struggle

By Stephen Alexander, 12 November 2018

To obscure the class issues, the major parties, together with the unions and the media, have presented the Glasgow equal pay dispute in terms of “institutionalized” gender discrimination.

Sheffield Labour Students cancels anti-war meeting, citing police investigation of anti-Semitism allegations

By Laura Tiernan, 12 November 2018

The broader political purpose of the banning of Chris Williamson is aimed at silencing anti-war sentiment among students, young people and the entire working class.

Ukrainian politician dies after fascist acid attack

By Jason Melanovski, 12 November 2018

The brutal killing of Handziuk and the ongoing cover-up are a stark exposure of the reactionary nature of the regime brought to power in the US-backed coup in 2014.

The armistice of November 11, 1918 and the lessons for today

By Nick Beams, 12 November 2018

The silencing of the guns 100 years ago was not the end of the bloodshed and carnage but was simply the conclusion of the first phase of what was to become a thirty-year international war between the major capitalist powers.

UK: SEP assistant national secretary Julie Hyland addresses social sciences conference on fake news, censorship and war

By our reporters, 10 November 2018

The conference examined ways in which the media has historically been used to condition public opinion in favour of war.

UK government’s crocodile tears over burning of Grenfell Tower effigy backfire

By Robert Stevens, 10 November 2018

Social consciousness has changed as a result of the Grenfell fire. After the callous treatment of the survivors, many saw through the sympathetic posturing of the ruling elite.

French President Macron hails fascist dictator Philippe Pétain

By Alex Lantier, 10 November 2018

Macron’s attempt to rehabilitate Pétain is an unabashed appeal to the far right, which he is cultivating as a base of support amid rising opposition among workers.

“100 years of social partnership”—a sinister celebration of trade unions, employers’ associations and the state in Germany

By Wolfgang Weber, 10 November 2018

On October 16, the German Trade Unions and Employer Associations celebrated the centenary of the Stinnes-Legien-Agreement, which laid the foundation for the suppression of the German Revolution of 1918/19.

Tube workers’ strike brings much of London to a halt

By Peter Austin, 9 November 2018

The tube strikes express the anger of workers after a decade of budget cuts, reductions in real wages, longer work weeks and an increase in working weekends as agreed by the unions.

220 Petain

9 November 2018

Nigerian unions call off general strike over minimum wage

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

9 November 2018

Nigeria’s three main labour federations called off a general strike set for November 6 and announced that they had reached an undisclosed settlement with the government over a rise in the country’s minimum wage.

EU responds to US midterm elections with calls for military build-up

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2018

European ruling circles have concluded that US-European conflicts reflect a deeper crisis than they first believed.

Residents oppose official cover-up of Grenfell fire toxic contamination

By Barry Mason, 8 November 2018

Despite evidence of toxicity in soil samples found around the site of the June 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, the authorities have failed to act to protect public health.

The case of Hans-Georg Maassen and the struggle against police-state repression in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 8 November 2018

The latest revelations surrounding the dismissal of the long-time president of the German secret service, Hans-Georg Maassen, confirms that the German domestic intelligence agency has been run by a right-wing extremist since 2012.

Hans-Georg Maassen: A right-wing extremist at the head of the German secret service

By Peter Schwarz, 7 November 2018

Recent developments have made clear that Germany’s secret service has been run by a right-wing extremist for the past six and a half years.

Germany: Der Spiegel idealises far-right leader Björn Höcke

By Peter Schwarz, 7 November 2018

The German weekly Der Spiegel has published a flattering portrait of Björn Höcke in its issue of October 27.

Royal College of Nursing leadership in UK seeks re-election in defiance of no confidence vote

By Ajanta Silva, 7 November 2018

These are the same people who deliberately sold a rotten pay offer and were the subject of members’ outrage when the real details of the deal came to light.

UK students face rising debts, poor wages and further marketisation of higher education

By Thomas Scripps, 7 November 2018

Graduates’ pay figures are an expression of the declining wages and conditions of the working class.

Europe and America clash over Washington’s economic war on Iran

By Keith Jones, 5 November 2018

Washington’s imposition of sweeping new sanctions on Iran—aimed at strangling its economy and precipitating regime change—is roiling world geopolitics.

German Social Democrats demand right-wing replacement for Merkel

By Peter Schwarz, 5 November 2018

Leading figures in the Social Democratic Party have called for a right-wing candidate to become the new leader of their coalition partner, the Christian Democratic Union.

UK: Police launch investigation into alleged anti-Semitism in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2018

The pro-Zionist fanatics have only been able to pursue their campaign to remove Labour leader Corbyn because of his refusal to oppose them.

Catalan separatists indicted for rebellion, facing jail for up to 25 years

By Alejandro López, 5 November 2018

The trials, organised under the Socialist Party-led government, are expected to begin in early 2019.

Massive increase in police violence across UK

By Alice Summers, 3 November 2018

Since last year, police firearms operations have risen by nearly 20 percent nationally, with some areas seeing an increase of 53 percent.

Ireland votes to remove blasphemy from the constitution and re-elects Michael D. Higgins as president

By Dermot Byrne and Steve James, 3 November 2018

The collapse of Sinn Fein and the Labour Party, and their eclipse by the right-winger Casey, underscores the urgent need for a genuine socialist party of the working class in Ireland.

France to send aircraft carrier to South China Sea to threaten China

By Anthony Torres, 2 November 2018

Amid growing tensions between the major powers, France’s nuclear-armed aircraft carrier is set to travel next year to the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea.

100,000 people living in unsafe UK tower blocks

By Barry Mason, 2 November 2018

Building surveyor expert Arnold Tarling, who has examined Large Panel System blocks across London, believes they have fundamental structural flaws.

BlackRock boss Merz applies to head Germany’s ruling CDU

By Peter Schwarz, 1 November 2018

The German ruling elite is using the grand coalition government’s election defeats in Bavaria and Hesse to push for a sharp shift to the right.

Protests and strikes signal mounting hostility toward Italian government

By Allison Smith, 1 November 2018

A protest against deteriorating conditions in Rome followed on the heels of a 24-hour “Black Friday” general strike by public sector workers.

UK budget: Labour makes clear big business will dictate Corbyn government policies

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2018

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell met with representatives of the financial elite Wednesday to assure them a Labour government would serve their interests.

With Merkel’s withdrawal, German grand coalition accelerates lurch to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 31 October 2018

The German Chancellor has made clear that despite mounting popular opposition, the grand coalition will intensify military rearmament, the police-state buildup and its ties to the extreme right.

UK: NHS subsidiary companies—tools for tax exemption and privatisation

By Ben Trent, 31 October 2018

Large swathes of NHS provision have been sold off to the private sector, driving down the pay, terms and conditions of workers and hugely reducing the quality of services.

State elections in Hesse mark further defeat for Germany’s grand coalition

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 October 2018

The election result is an expression of the growing hostility towards the grand coalition and its right-wing policies of militarism, state repression and social austerity.

The Unexplained Wealth Order legislation and London’s financial aristocracy

By Thomas Scripps, 30 October 2018

The move will not in any way alter London’s status as a playground for the super-rich and haven for illegal wealth.

Tens of thousands of teachers demonstrate in Glasgow for better pay

By Robert Stevens, 29 October 2018

The demonstration was far larger than the EIS anticipated and shows the desire of teachers to fight back against pay cuts.

Tamil family fight UK plans to deport their seriously ill father

By Simon Whelan, 27 October 2018

Authorities sought to deport Sangarapillai Balachandran, who had been headhunted by a British company due to a severe shortage of civil engineers with his specific skills.

European Union steps up Internet censorship in the name of opposing “disinformation”

By Johannes Stern, 26 October 2018

The EU summit threatened with sanctions and penalties any party that diverges from the prescribed political line in the 2019 European election campaign.

UK: May fends off challenge by hard-Brexiteers

By Robert Stevens, 26 October 2018

That May, who supported Remain in the 2016 referendum, was able to seize the day reflects a pronounced shift in ruling circles, who cannot countenance a hard Brexit.

“Trident Juncture” manoeuvres begin: NATO rehearses for war against Russia

By Philipp Frisch, 25 October 2018

The month-long manoeuvres in Norway heighten the danger of war between NATO and Russia.

French flooding deaths expose legacy of austerity

By Olivier Laurent, 25 October 2018

Fourteen people were killed and 75 injured in floods that ravaged the Aude region of southern France last week.

Thousands strike in Glasgow for equal pay

“The council seem to think they can do what they want and get away with it”

By our reporters, 25 October 2018

Workers maintained picket lines at many of the city’s schools, museums, cleansing depots and libraries.

Trump says US will withdraw from Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces treaty

By Alex Lantier, 22 October 2018

As it targets Russia, China and other major powers, Washington is scrapping the entire framework of nuclear arms control that emerged from the Cold War.

Julian Assange takes legal action against Ecuadorian government

By James Cogan, 22 October 2018

WikiLeaks lawyers will challenge Ecuador’s threat to evict Assange from its London embassy if he does not accept anti-democratic conditions for continuing asylum.

People’s Vote campaign ups ante against hard Brexit with large London protest

By Robert Stevens, 22 October 2018

The campaign in support of a second referendum on British membership of the EU is a cross-party initiative with significant support and funding from the political and corporate elite.

A color revolution in the making: Vladimir Kara-Murza and Keith Gessen at Columbia University

By Clara Weiss, 22 October 2018

The event at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute was a stark testimony to the advanced preparations for a US-backed color revolution in Russia.

European Union and Rome fight over Italian budget

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2018

In the conflict over the Italian budget, the EU Commission takes the side of the banks, stock exchanges and credit agencies, while the government pursues a course of militarism and attacks on immigrants and workers.