Western Europe

UK: Corbyn, Brexit and the so-called progressive alliance

By Julie Hyland, 31 August 2016

There are increasing efforts to link up the Labour Party, the Greens and the various nationalist blocs in Wales and Scotland on the basis of a pro-EU program.

PSG election campaign: Anger at the government’s new civil defence guidelines

By our correspondents, 31 August 2016

Berliners discuss the growing war danger and social conditions in the capital with supporters of the Socialist Equality Party.

UK household debt, excluding mortgages, tops a third of a trillion pounds

By Liz Smith, 30 August 2016

In 2015, there were an estimated 13.2 million “debtor households” in the UK, containing 31 million people.

Chakrabarti report refutes claims of rampant anti-Semitism in British Labour Party

By Jean Shaoul, 26 August 2016

Far from calming tensions, the findings have added to the already “toxic atmosphere” inside the Labour Party.

Stop the German government’s preparations for war!

By Socialist Equality Party of Germany, 25 August 2016

The “Civil Defence Concept” presented by German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Wednesday proposes a range of measures to prepare the population for war.

Britain: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn outlines policies for “wealth creation”

By Robert Stevens and Julie Hyland, 24 August 2016

Corbyn routinely proclaims that he is for a “new politics,” but this amounts to only a handful of limited measures that do nothing to challenge the stranglehold of the super-rich over society.

UK junior doctors defiance of government contract curtailed by BMA

By Tony Robson, 24 August 2016

The Conservative government intends to enforce a revised contract—which has already caused five nationwide strikes and was overwhelmingly rejected in July—on junior doctors.

German interior minister supports partial ban on the burqa

By Johannes Stern, 24 August 2016

The campaign in Germany for domestic repression and war is assuming ever more openly racist forms.

German population told to stockpile food in case of war

By Sven Heymanns, 24 August 2016

Germany’s new civil defence plan underscores how the issue of war has returned to daily life 75 years after the catastrophe of World War II.

Volkswagen production halt affects almost 30,000 workers

By Dietmar Henning, 24 August 2016

The hard-line position of company headquarters toward suppliers is part of a massive attack on workers.

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy

By Alex Lantier, 23 August 2016

Amid the escalating crisis unleashed by the Brexit vote, the remaining major EU powers barely succeeded in papering over the divisions between them.

Britain: Labour’s anti-Corbyn plotters plan rival parliamentary grouping

By Julie Hyland, 23 August 2016

The Labour Co-op plan is being put forward as a way that the party right wing can avoid moving straight to a breakaway grouping, where they might struggle to muster any support.

UK: Strike action at historic low, and unions work to keep it that way

By Simon Whelan, 23 August 2016

The virtual disappearance of strikes during a period when workers’ jobs, wages, and conditions have been under unparalleled attack is a damning indictment of the trade unions.

Trade unions work to suppress German hospital strikes

By Markus Salzmann, 23 August 2016

With some difficulty, the trade unions managed to suppress the justifiable anger over poor working conditions and inadequate pay at hospitals.

German report criticizing Turkey highlights growing tensions within NATO

By Johannes Stern, 19 August 2016

Relations within NATO have reached new lows, four weeks after the failed military coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The pseudo-left and identity politics: RIO solidarizes itself with “Gina-Lisa” and promotes law and order

By Johannes Stern, 19 August 2016

As opposition to social inequality and war continues to grow, pseudo-left organizations are using identity politics to advocate increased state powers.

Thyssen-Krupp Steel works council meeting prepares job cuts in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 18 August 2016

Around 250 works council officials from Thyssen Krupp’s steel division met at a conference last Friday in Duisburg.

Spain faces third general election in one year

By James Lerner, 18 August 2016

The Socialist Party (PSOE) is being called on by the media and other political parties to abstain in order to allow a minority Popular Party (PP) government to be formed.

German media steps up anti-Russian agitation

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 August 2016

Over the past week, virtually every leading newspaper in Germany has published articles denouncing Russia for its intervention in Syria, Ukraine, or both.

UK inquest reveals brutality of immigrant detainee’s death

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2016

Prior to the 43-year-old man’s death, he was attached by his wrists to a two-metre closet chain.

UK: Dorset health services to be slashed to reduce deficit

By Ajanta Silva, 16 August 2016

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group claims it is facing a £200 million deficit by 2021.

Lufthansa sets a course for confrontation with pilots

By Marianne Arens, 16 August 2016

The breaking off of talks between the pilots’ union and management heralds a new phase in the dispute.

Corbyn and McDonnell plead with UK Labour Party right wing for “unity”

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 25 July 2016

The aim of the Blairites is not merely to depose Corbyn, but to thwart the growing anti-capitalist sentiment and yearning for fundamental social change among millions of people.

UK: National Health Service cardiac units to be cut

By Margot Miller, 25 July 2016

The cuts will reduce from 13 to 10 the number of units in the country dealing with congenital heart disease—a condition that mainly affects children.

The Munich shooting spree and the Americanization of German society

By Christoph Vandreier and Peter Schwarz, 25 July 2016

The massive police operation in Munich, as well as the reaction of many media outlets and politicians, showsthat the tragic event is being used to justify a new law-and-order campaign.

France’s permanent state of emergency

By Alex Lantier, 21 July 2016

Amid a deep crisis of bourgeois democracy and seething social tensions across Europe, the ruling elite aims to transition from democratic to dictatorial forms of rule.

Former British prime minister warns of revolution

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2016

Brown couches his comments in terms of the danger of right-wing populist forces, but his real fear is the development of a socialist movement of the working class.

German parliament expands law on sexual crimes

By Christoph Vandreier, 19 July 2016

The aim is to exploit an emotionally charged issue to strengthen the state and scapegoat refugees.

UK trade unions fail to mobilise for anti-austerity demonstration

By Paul Mitchell, 19 July 2016

The most striking feature of the London demo was the absence of trade union leaders and Labour “lefts.”

After Nice attack, French government calls up military reserves

By Alex Lantier, 18 July 2016

Well before the political character of the mass killing in Nice has been clearly established, the French government is pushing for military escalation inside and outside France.

German Left Party and Greens: Warmongering after the attack in Nice

By Johannes Stern, 18 July 2016

Seizing on the murderous attack in southern France, two leading members of the German Left and Green parties demanded an intensified military intervention in Syria and Iraq.

What the coup against Jeremy Corbyn reveals about the Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 18 July 2016

Labour was, from its birth, dedicated to the defence of capitalism against the threat of international socialism.

“No more war, ever!”: PSG presents posters for Berlin state election

Partei für Soziale Gleichheit, 18 July 2016

The PSG’s election campaign connects the struggle against social cuts and war with the struggle against their source—capitalism.

UK Guardian’s Owen Jones offers apologia for anti-Corbyn coup

By Julie Hyland, 16 July 2016

Jones’ criticism of the right-wing Labourites is not with their coup against Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn per se, but rather its timing.

Dozens murdered in possible terrorist attack in Nice, France

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 July 2016

French President Francois Hollande invoked the horrific attack to justify expansion of the “state of emergency” for another three months.

German militarism on display at NATO summit

By Johannes Stern, 13 July 2016

Two years after German officials announced plans to remilitarise the country, media outlets are warning of preparations for “total war.”

Theresa May wins Conservative leadership contest and will be new UK prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 12 July 2016

The ruthless dispatch of contender Andrea Leadsom, in order to secure the favoured candidate of the ruling elite as prime minister, is testament to the dire crisis facing the British bourgeoisie.

Angela Eagle chosen to front anti-Corbyn coup in UK Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 12 July 2016

The campaign to remove UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by 172 MPs pits the Parliamentary Labour Party against the vast majority of Labour Party supporters.

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon ignored in Europe

By Steve James, 12 July 2016

While the Brexit crisis centres on British relations with the EU, the unanticipated debacle is also threatening to destabilise relations between and within all the EU’s component countries.

Leadership contest launched, raising prospect of split in UK Labour Party

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 11 July 2016

Nothing is being ruled out by the Parliamentary Labour Party, including the possibility that Labour leader Corbyn will not be allowed to stand in a leadership contest.

European Union working with African despots to deter refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 July 2016

At their latest meeting in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, EU interior ministers agreed on speedier deportation of refugees and closer cooperation with African dictatorships.

German arms exports almost doubled in 2015

By Johannes Stern, 8 July 2016

In all probability, German arms exports will increase again this year.

French parliamentary report on terror attacks calls for new police powers

By Alex Lantier, 8 July 2016

The report, which evades the role of the imperialist war in Syria in creating the Islamist networks that carried out the attacks, is awash with contradictions and evasions.

Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens preparing coalition in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 7 July 2016

Despite its proponents’ left phrase-mongering, the proposed coalition would aim to secure German hegemony in Europe.

UK Conservative leadership doubles down on Brexit as pound resumes plunge

By Julie Hyland, 6 July 2016

The pound fell to a 31-year low against the dollar following news that economic growth in the UK slowed to less than 0.2 percent in the second quarter.

Britain’s right-wing media call for creation of new pro-European Union party

By Robert Stevens, 6 July 2016

Leading commentators in the financial press view the founding of a new party as a means of reversing a strategic setback for the dominant sections of British capital.

UK: Forty-two years after Birmingham pub bombings, inquest to be reopened

By Trevor Johnson, 6 July 2016

The inquest is into the bombings themselves and their victims, rather than the frame-up of six innocent men.

Brexit and the return of European militarism

By Johannes Stern, 5 July 2016

The European Union has reacted to the outcome of the referendum on UK membership of the European Union by calling for the militarization of the continent.

Union boss offers to broker “peace” deal with Labour’s anti-Corbyn plotters

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2016

A frantic last-ditch effort is being made to force the resignation of UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn so as to avoid a fresh leadership contest.

UK teachers hold one-day strike against education bill

By Tania Kent, 5 July 2016

The strike by National Union of Teachers members takes place amid the drive for the complete privatisation of state education.

Brexit vote heightens tensions in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 1 July 2016

Last week’s vote by the United Kingdom has been met by an intensified drive by Germany to exert dominance over the European continent.

The anti-Corbyn coup and calls for a second referendum on Brexit

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 1 July 2016

The strategic interests of the ruling elite in Britain and the US—especially as regards NATO and its military provocations against Russia—require that the referendum result be rescinded.

EU maintains hard line toward UK over Brexit

By Johannes Stern, 30 June 2016

While officially expressing dismay over the result of the Brexit referendum, EU leaders now see it as an opportunity to turn the EU into an aggressive military power.

UK Labour right wing mounts leadership challenge against Corbyn

By Chris Marsden, 30 June 2016

The coup against Corbyn is considered vital to the ability of the British ruling class to safeguard its interests globally.

Thousands turn up for cancelled “Remain in EU” rallies throughout the UK

By our reporters, 30 June 2016

The purpose of those addressing the rally was to exploit the frustration and anger of young people at the referendum result and its consequences.

IG Metall trade union backs Volkswagen board

By Dietmar Henning, 28 June 2016

IG Metall sprang to the support of management, which is exploiting the emission scandal to impose the biggest ever attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

The way forward after the Brexit referendum

By Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 June 2016

The only certainty in the aftermath of the Leave vote is that the assault on the working class will be intensified, as the ruling elite demand greater sacrifices in the “national interest.”

Brexit vote intensifies conflicts within European Union

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2016

The process of European integration begun just after World War II, intended to build political institutions that would make a new world war impossible, is unraveling.

Leeds bus workers strike over pay

By Barbara Slaughter, 18 June 2016

Earlier this month, 250 workers employed by First Bus Leeds voted unanimously to reject management’s paltry pay offer and begin a campaign of strike action.

The EU referendum and the murder of British MP Jo Cox

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2016

The murder of Cox has starkly revealed the fascistic character of the forces being whipped up around this week’s referendum on British membership in the EU, particularly by the Leave campaign.

Fears of UK exit from the EU fuel global panic

By Robert Stevens, 17 June 2016

The release of polls showing a likely “leave” result in the referendum on membership in the EU has fueled a stock sell-off and prompted worried statements by central banks.

Britain’s Labour Party helps Conservative government pass Snoopers’ Charter

By Trevor Johnson, 15 June 2016

The UK’s security and spying agencies are being rewarded for their criminality with new and almost unlimited powers.

Pseudo-lefts appointed to leadership of Germany’s Left Party

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 June 2016

Within Germany, the Left Party is increasingly viewed as a right-wing, bourgeois party, which spouts left sounding phrases, but is no different in practice than the established parties.

Bond yields fall as fears rise over global economic growth

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2016

As the pile of negative yielding government debt passes the $10 trillion mark, it has been described as a “supernova that will explode one day.”

Strikes against austerity in France and Belgium defy union pressure for sellout

By Alex Lantier, 9 June 2016

Garbage workers took strike action in several cities across France, joining rail, port and oil workers in France and rail workers in Belgium.

Cameron/Farage debate on EU dominated by anti-immigrant rhetoric

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2016

Tuesday night’s TV debate between Prime Minister David Cameron and UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage centred on who could more aggressively scapegoat migrants.

Right-wing Polish government revives effort to extradite Roman Polanski

By Alan Gilman, 9 June 2016

The new attempt by the Polish government to extradite Polanski is the latest chapter in the US government’s vindictive pursuit of the filmmaker.

One in seven children in Germany relies on social welfare

By Marianne Arens, 7 June 2016

Almost a decade and a half after the “Agenda 2010” reforms, more than 1.5 million children under the age of 15 rely on Hartz IV welfare.

Hundreds more refugees die in the Mediterranean

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 6 June 2016

Within eight days, many more than 1,200 refugees have drowned during their voyage to Europe.

UK Labour leader Corbyn stakes his future on vote to remain in EU

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2016

Corbyn is towing the line dictated by the dominant sections of British imperialism, which see membership of the EU as essential for securing Britain’s economic interests.

German government tightens anti-terror laws

By Johannes Stern, 6 June 2016

Throughout Europe, the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris are being used as a pretext for constructing a police state, just as happened in the US following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Striking rail workers speak out on movement against French labor law

By Alex Lantier and V. Gnana, 6 June 2016

WSWS reporters spoke to striking rail workers and students mobilized in solidarity with their strike at railway stations across Paris.

A dozen dead, tens of thousands displaced as floods hit Germany and France

By our reporter, 4 June 2016

Floods claimed between 12 and 18 lives, according to initial reports, and it is feared that the death toll could climb higher.

Scotland’s RISE electoral coalition descends into crisis

By Steve James, 4 June 2016

RISE is led by an aspiring middle class layer of academics and commentators seeking to build their careers through the creation of a new Scottish capitalist state

British pensioners over 75 increasingly likely to live in poverty

By Trevor Johnson, 4 June 2016

Just under a quarter of single pensioners are living in poverty.

Strikes in France elicit support from German workers

By Verena Nees, 3 June 2016

Sympathy from workers and young people, anger and resentment in the media—this is how Germany is reacting to the strikes in France.

German Left Party congress carries out further shift to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 3 June 2016

Regardless of the standard trite phrases about social justice, the Left Party set a political course at its party congress for participation in government at the federal level.

Anti-migrant propaganda dominates UK Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 3 June 2016

Both the Remain and Leave campaigns for the June 23 referendum on UK membership of the European Union are pushing anti-migrant measures.

Strike wave against labor law spreads in France

By Kumaran Ira, 2 June 2016

As the trade union bureaucracy prepares to sell out an escalating strike wave, opposition to the Socialist Party’s “El Khomri” labor reform is mounting in the working class.

The return of the “grand narrative”

By Andre Damon, 1 June 2016

The resurgence of the class struggle is undermining the intellectual charlatanry that underpinned the ideological dominance of various forms of anti-Marxism over the past half-century.

Belgian public sector goes on strike in run-up to French rail walkout

By Ross Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2016

Workers are mobilising across national borders in Europe against the reactionary austerity policies that the entire European Union has imposed since the 2008 crash.

Divisions over Europe tear through UK Conservative Party

By Robert Stevens, 31 May 2016

Several leading Tory euro-sceptics made unprecedented attacks on Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend.

Right-wing German academic Jörg Baberowski demands more repression against refugees

By Christoph Vandreier, 31 May 2016

At the Phil.Cologne congress, the Humboldt University professor declared that “men in Germany” were helpless against refugees because they had forgotten how to fight.

CGT union tries to block general strike against French labor law

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2016

On the BFM-Politique show, CGT General Secretary Philippe Martinez said he was in back-channel talks with the government over its unpopular labor law.

Amid strikes, French President Hollande pledges to impose labor law

By Alex Lantier, 28 May 2016

Hollande is manoeuvring to use the trade union bureaucracy to contain social anger among workers against his reactionary labor law reform.

The El Khomri law in France and the Schröder-Blair Paper

By Peter Schwarz, 28 May 2016

Over the past decade and a half, the social democratic parties, working with the trade unions, have led the drive to impose austerity on the working class.

Strike wave against austerity spreads in France, Belgium

By Kumaran Ira, 26 May 2016

Police repression of anti-austerity protests in France and Belgium is enraging workers and driving broader layers of the working class into struggle.

French Socialist Party’s labor reform boosts far-right National Front

By Francis Dubois, 26 May 2016

The far-right party can only profit from the Socialist Party’s ruthless austerity policy due to the reactionary role of the pseudo-left organisations.

Military and security figures take opposing sides in UK referendum on European Union

By Chris Marsden, 26 May 2016

The various military officials and spy chiefs backing either side in the Brexit campaign are all committed to defending British and US imperialism, particularly in the conflict with Russia.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung lobbies for militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 26 May 2016

The mouthpiece of the Frankfurt banks has provided a platform for former general Wolf Poulet to advocate an aggressive German war policy.

Mobilize European workers to defend French strikers!

By Alex Lantier, 26 May 2016

The most powerful ally of workers struggling against pro-austerity governments in France, Belgium and Greece is the European and international working class.

The Brexit referendum, socialism and the European working class

By Julie Hyland, 26 May 2016

The following is a speech delivered to public meetings by Julie Hyland, assistant national secretary of the SEP, on the Party’s campaign for an active boycott of the referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union.

Meeting in Sheffield on June 7

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum!—Socialism versus left nationalism

26 May 2016

The Socialist Equality Party is holding a series of public meetings in cities across the UK in May and June as part of its campaign for an active boycott of the June 23 referendum.

International finance capital and the strikes in France

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2016

The aim of the “structural reforms” demanded by the IMF and the financial elites is the destruction of all the social gains of the European working class won in the past seven decades.

Julian Assange challenges anti-democratic “no platform” campaign

By Laura Tiernan, 24 May 2016

The Sheffield meeting was a victory over efforts to silence Assange and close down debate on fundamental issues surrounding the escalation of militarism and war.

Close race in Austrian presidential election

By Markus Salzmann, 23 May 2016

After the casting of 4.4 million votes, the two candidates are separated by only 3,000, according to projected results.

Oil workers mobilise against French labour law

By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2016

The Socialist Party is sending riot police to break up refinery strikes as they cause fuel shortages across France.

French government backs neo-fascist protest against opposition to labor law

By Alex Lantier, 19 May 2016

Wednesday’s protest, organised by a police union close to the neo-fascist National Front, was aimed at intimidating broad popular opposition to the Socialist Party's labor reform.

Queen’s Speech 2016: UK Conservatives continue agenda of austerity and repression

By Robert Stevens, 19 May 2016

The government’s legislative programme for the next year includes new powers for the state under the guise of tackling “extremism” and the abolition of the Human Rights Act.

Ireland’s Fine Gael forms minority government after pact with Fianna Fail

By Dermot Quinn, 16 May 2016

After weeks of negotiations, Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has been elected prime minister.