Western Europe

Workers and youth in Amiens speak out against French labour reform

By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 April 2016

A WSWS team spoke to protesting youth who unanimously criticised the strategy of the trade and student unions as insufficient to struggle against the labour reform.

IYSSE meetings in Germany oppose militarism and war

By our correspondents, 29 April 2016

The IYSSE held public meetings in Bochum, Frankfurt and Berlin to discuss the return of German militarism and the danger of a third world war.

Belgian police arrest six suspects in March 22 Brussels attacks

By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2016

Mohamed Abrini’s accomplices were all known to intelligence services, as were their aliases and their movements, but they were not arrested.

Belgian air traffic controllers launch wildcat strike at Brussels airport

By Robert Stevens, 14 April 2016

The working class throughout Belgium and Europe must come to the defense of the striking air traffic controllers, who have taken a courageous stand against attacks on retirement.

German undercover agent employed National Socialist Underground terrorists

By Dietmar Henning, 14 April 2016

A construction company belonging to an undercover government agent employed the National Socialist Underground terrorist Uwe Mundlos after his disappearance.

French police attack demonstrators protesting anti-worker labor law reform

By Alex Lantier and Stéphane Hugues, 11 April 2016

The decision of the trade unions and their political allies not to call workers on strike alongside protesting students left the PS government free to assault the demonstrators.

The working class in France mobilizes against austerity

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2016

The attempt to promote hysteria over terrorism to suppress popular opposition is failing in the face of a growing radicalization of workers and youth.

UK Tata Steel operation at centre of escalating trade war

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

The Labour Party and the trade unions have responded to the planned closure of Tata Steel’s UK plants with demands for protectionism and trade war.

French workers, youth defy state of emergency to protest austerity policies

By Anthony Torres, 1 April 2016

As many as 1.2 million people participated in demonstrations Thursday across France against the draconian anti-working class policies of the Socialist Party government.

UK Junior doctors dispute at a crossroads

Statement by NHS Fightback

29 March 2016

The imposition of a draconian contract on 55,000 junior doctors is a test case for restructuring employment conditions for the entire workforce of the National Health Service.

French students speak out against austerity and state of emergency

By Kumaran Ira and Anthony Torres, 25 March 2016

Students protesting the French labour reform expressed their opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity measures, state of emergency and imperialist wars.

UK dockers strike suspended by Unite union

By Steve James, 25 March 2016

From the start, Unite made clear that it sought nothing more than good relations with Forth Ports to carry forward their shared interests.

The Belgium bombing: Why the dots are not connected

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 25 March 2016

The extent of state intelligence foreknowledge in the Brussels attack explodes the official narrative that intelligence agencies failed to “connect the dots.”

German Left Party leader’s plea for nationalism and the free market economy

By Peter Schwarz, 25 March 2016

In her book Wealth without Greed (Reichtum ohne Gier), the leading Left Party politician advocates a strong, protectionist, ethnically and linguistically homogeneous national state.

Belgian authorities had “precise intelligence warnings” of Brussels bombings

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 24 March 2016

Claims that the attacks in Brussels that killed 34 people occurred because Belgian and allied intelligence agencies somehow failed to “connect the dots” are not credible.

Electoral success of AfD strengthens far-right forces in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 24 March 2016

Seventy years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, Germany’s ruling elite is responding to the global economic crisis and the growing war drive by building a right-wing movement.

The terror bombings in Brussels

By Alex Lantier, 23 March 2016

This horrific attack targeted innocent people in no way responsible for the imperialist wars that have devastated the Middle East.

French Socialist Party whips up law-and-order hysteria after Abdeslam arrest

By Kumaran Ira, 21 March 2016

As it cultivates Islamist forces in a war for regime change in Syria, France is citing the danger of terror attacks as a pretext to escalate attacks on democratic rights.

Berlin senate speeds up deportations of refugees

By Carola Kleinert, 21 March 2016

The new refugee passport system serves above all to sort asylum seekers according to their national origin, religion and usefulness and to make faster deportations possible.

Workers, students march against French labor law reform

By Alex Lantier, 14 March 2016

The brutal police crackdown in Lyon underscores that, under cover of the state of emergency, the Socialist Party aims to illegalize constitutionally protected protests.

The refugee crisis and the polarization of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 March 2016

Large sections of the population look on the brutal conditions of refugees with horror and disgust, but the official political debate takes place within a narrow spectrum ranging from the right to the ultra-right.

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.

Right-wing “Remain” and “Leave” campaigns begin for UK referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 22 February 2016

What is on offer in the June 23rd referendum is a choice between supporting one of two reactionary camps that articulate opposed strategies for the British bourgeoisie.

German defence ministry spent billions on wars abroad

By Johannes Stern, 22 February 2016

The German armed forces has spent at least €17.2 billion on foreign deployments since 1992, Spiegel Online reported.

Hundreds demonstrate in Berlin against harsher asylum law

By our correspondents, 22 February 2016

Many young people and refugees joined a demonstration in Berlin last Tuesday to protest against the tightening up of asylum laws.

Germany: Trial opens against SS guard at Auschwitz

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 22 February 2016

Reinhold Hanning, former SS guard at the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, is accused of 170,000 counts of accessory to murder.

French labor law reform sets stage for historic attack on workers’ rights

By Francis Dubois, 22 February 2016

The impact of this reform is being compared to that of epoch-making attacks like the Hartz IV reforms in Germany or the breaking of the PATCO union in the US.

Closure of Balkan refugee route deepens rifts in the EU

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 February 2016

Diplomatic tensions between the EU member states are intensifying in the run-up to the meeting of heads of state and governments this week.

In wake of VW scandal European Parliament relaxes emissions regulations

By Jan Peters and Dietmar Henning, 16 February 2016

Last autumn, it was revealed that Volkswagen manipulated the emissions readings in 11 million diesel vehicles and hundreds of thousands of petrol models.

What is behind Varoufakis’s “Democracy Movement to Rescue Europe?”

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2016

Behind Varoufakis’s defence of the European Union is the defence of the sinecures and privileges of the well-off layers for whom Varoufakis speaks.

Human Rights Watch report exposes French state of emergency

By Stéphane Hugues, 9 February 2016

The report points to systematic, arbitrary denials of basic democratic rights by police and the targeting of people of Muslim descent.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

Mass one-day strike hits Syriza’s austerity measures in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 5 February 2016

Just over one year after it came to power, Syriza, the party that was hailed by pseudo-left groups internationally, is an object of hatred and contempt.

UK Prime Minister Cameron signals early referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden, 4 February 2016

The proposed agreement between Cameron and European Council President Donald Tusk is a refutation of those who depict the EU as the guardian of a more progressive agenda.

German government steps up attacks on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 February 2016

Germany’s grand coalition government is adopting ever more drastic measures against refugees and paving the way for far-right forces in the process.

German economics minister seeks to smooth relations with Poland

By Clara Weiss, 4 February 2016

The Nord Stream pipeline, which supplies gas from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea, is one of the most important issues of dispute between Berlin and Warsaw.

Austrian municipalities impose ban on refugees using swimming pools

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2016

The ban on refugees in two Austrian cities, unless they are accompanied by an “escort,” recalls the darkest chapters in Austrian history.

Former British Prime Minister Blair joins call for a European army

By Jordan Shilton, 2 February 2016

In calling for the creation of a European military force, Blair wrote that the European powers had to be capable of projecting their interests on the global stage.

Divisions mount in German government over refugee policy

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 February 2016

The swing to the right by the entire German political establishment has unleashed violent tensions within the government.

Google’s UK tax deal leaves major corporations with nothing to fear

By Simon Whelan, 29 January 2016

Technology giant Google’s pathetically small British tax payment confirms once again that major corporations operate virtually unhindered by national governments.

Ten thousand jobs in danger at Volkswagen

By Dietmar Henning, 29 January 2016

VW has signaled through the corporate press that it is planning mass layoffs, wage cuts and a drastic worsening of working conditions.

Over a thousand jobs to go at Welsh steel plants

By Danny Richardson, 28 January 2016

There is no suggestion of opposition from either the trade unions or the Labour Party.

Prominent German journalist beats the drum for nationalism and war

By Christoph Dreier, 27 January 2016

German media outlets are seeking to outdo each other in stirring up hatred against refugees, calling for a strong state and for more military missions.

Prime Minister Valls pledges permanent state of emergency in France

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 26 January 2016

As if in a slow-motion military coup, the ruling elite is moving to transform political life in France, creating an authoritarian political regime.

Austria closes its borders to refugees

By Marianne Arens, 26 January 2016

As Europe is firmly in the grip of winter, one government after another is closing its borders.

Berlin town hall meeting protests discrimination against refugees

By Verena Nees, 26 January 2016

Many of those attending the mass meeting were appalled at the treatment of refugees, confined in airport hangars and other mass accommodation.

Victorian-era diseases making a comeback in the UK

By Alice Summers, 26 January 2016

Hospital admissions for cholera have quadrupled over the last four years

What is behind the growing criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 January 2016

The chancellor, whose position seemed unassailable a few months ago, could now prematurely lose office as she comes under attack from sections of the political establishment.

Calls for “primary of the left” offer political cover to French ruling party

By Francis Dubois, 21 January 2016

A part of the bourgeoisie fears that the appeals to the far right from the ruling Socialist Party could discredit its policies of austerity and war.

Hundreds of Neo-Nazis riot in Leipzig, Germany

By Christoph Dreier, 13 January 2016

Monday’s right-wing riot in Leipzig took place amid a racist anti-Muslim campaign promoted by German political parties and the media.

New Year’s message for refugees in Berlin: It will get worse!

By Verena Nees, 13 January 2016

The onset of winter has worsened conditions for the approximately 40,000 refugees in Berlin.

German media and politicians demand increased state powers in response to Cologne assaults

By Dietmar Henning, 11 January 2016

Alleged sexual assaults by refugees in Cologne are being used as a pretense for pumping out racist agitation and cracking down on refugees.

The refugee tragedy and the European Union: The balance sheet for 2015

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 January 2016

The mistreatment of refugees fleeing to Europe has assumed proportions that would have been unthinkable twelve months ago.

Thousands of student nurses, midwives and junior doctors demonstrate in London

By Ajanta Silva, 11 January 2016

The Conservative government has announced plans to scrap bursaries and introduce student fees.

One year after Charlie Hebdo attack

Police gun down youth in poor Paris neighborhood

By Stéphane Hugues, 8 January 2016

Witnesses speaking to the media flatly contradicted official accounts of the shooting and said that police gunned down an unarmed man without warning.

French government considers deprivation of nationality as possible sentence to all citizens

By Alex Lantier, 6 January 2016

The Socialist Party is increasingly taking up positions associated with the extreme right and the traditions of 20th century European fascism.

Student accommodation costs rocket in UK

By Thomas Scripps, 6 January 2016

Investors are responding to the profits available due to the increased enrolment of foreign students in British universities and the expansion of privately rented halls.

Germany: Poverty of welfare recipients increases

By Dietmar Henning, 6 January 2016

The real value of already low welfare payments under Germany’s Hartz IV welfare benefits system has continued to fall.

German Luftwaffe joins the Syrian war

By Johannes Stern, 6 January 2016

The entry of the Luftwaffe into the Syrian war, backed by some 1,200 German soldiers and a frigate, opens a new and ominous chapter in the resurgence of German militarism.

Mass police raids in French state of emergency find no terror networks

By Anthony Torres, 23 December 2015

Mass searches and house arrests are part of the preparation for the imposition of a permanent state of emergency by the Socialist Party government.

After Paris attacks, New Anti-capitalist Party backs police state rule and war

By Alex Lantier, 11 December 2015

The NPA is not denouncing war or the threat of police dictatorship in France, but insinuating that opposition to imperialist war is support for terrorism.

Calls grow for deployment of German ground troops in Syria

By Johannes Stern, 8 December 2015

A report in Der Spiegel makes clear that far-reaching plans to escalate the German intervention in Syria are being prepared behind the backs of the population.

Greek parliament approves austerity budget for 2016

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 December 2015

Aware of the massive popular opposition to austerity, Tsipras has sought to win the support of the right-wing opposition for an all-party offensive to enforce his program.

Neo-fascist National Front leads first round of French regional elections

By Kumaran Ira, 7 December 2015

In elections held under a state of emergency after the November 13 attacks in Paris, the National Front made broad gains in six of France’s 13 regions.

The state of emergency and the collapse of French democracy

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2015

Hollande’s proposed amendments to the French Constitution provide the legal basis for transforming France into a presidential dictatorship.

Paris suburb of Saint Denis under military lockdown as gun battle plays out

By Stéphane Hugues, 19 November 2015

Residents in the center of Saint Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, were woken up at 4:30 a.m. in the morning by an enormous explosion and heavy gunfire.

French government’s bill on state of emergency threatens democratic rights

By Anthony Torres, 19 November 2015

The modification of the French Constitution paves the way for security forces to ban strikes, demonstrations or any public meetings that displease the authorities.

German government exploits cancellation of football match to expand state powers

By Christoph Dreier, 19 November 2015

The interior ministry is using an alleged planned terrorist attack in Hannover to provoke hysteria and press ahead with the strengthening of the state.

Twenty-five years since the reunification of Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 5 October 2015

On October 3, 1990 the German Democratic Republic was disbanded 41 years after its foundation and incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany.

Varoufakis documents Syriza's political treachery

By Robert Stevens, 24 August 2015

Varoufakis’ documentation of the reactionary, anti-socialist perspective of Syriza exposes the lies of the Left Platform and pseudo-left groups the world over.

German parliament votes by a large majority for Greek austerity plan

By Peter Schwarz, 20 August 2015

The surrender by the Syriza government in Greece has clearly strengthened the Merkel government in Germany and the drive for austerity policies throughout Europe.

European parliaments move to back austerity measures for Greece

By Peter Schwarz, 19 August 2015

There is no serious opposition in a single European parliament to the brutal cuts being imposed on Greece, which mean untold misery for millions of workers and youth.

Calls for deployment of German army to deal with refugees

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 4 August 2015

A leading Social Democrat has called for the army to operate German refugee reception centres.

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.

German secret service involved in NSU far-right terrorist attacks

By Dietmar Henning, 18 June 2015

Evidence linking the state with murders committed by far-right terrorists continues to mount.

G7 leaders escalate war threats against Russia

By Thomas Gaist, 9 June 2015

Government heads issued new threats against Russia a day after British officials announced that US nuclear weapons may once again be stationed on British soil.

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.

The Danish roots of the Copenhagen terror attack

By Jordan Shilton, 23 February 2015

Omar El-Hussein’s terrorist attack was a reactionary and demoralised response to growing anti-immigrant chauvinism, militarism and social inequality in Denmark.

Thousands march against water charges in Dublin and other Irish cities

By our reporters, 2 February 2015

The water charges are supported by the Dublin government as part of the multi-billion euro bailout programme concluded with the Troika in 2010.

German Chancellor Merkel backs police state measures and militarism

By Johannes Stern, 19 January 2015

The German ruling elite is using the Charlie Hebdo affair to advance an agenda it has long been preparing: the dismantling of democratic rights and Germany’s return to an aggressive foreign policy.

French neo-fascist National Front defends CIA torture

By Alex Lantier, 13 December 2014

The neo-fascists decided to overlook their anti-American rhetoric and leap to the defense of CIA torturers.

Mass protest strike against austerity staggers new Belgian government

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2014

Over 100,000 workers from Belgium’s Flemish- and French-speaking regions marched in one of Belgium’s biggest protests since the 1960-1961 general strike.

French Socialist Party plans to scrap post-World War II job security rules

By Kumaran Ira, 28 October 2014

Valls is proposing to eliminate long-term job contracts in order to boost French competitiveness by allowing businesses to hire and fire at will.

From pseudo-left to New Right: The trajectory of France’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 18 October 2014

Terrified by the global capitalist crisis, Mélenchon is denouncing socialism and building ties with the periphery of the neo-fascist National Front.

European Union threatens to veto France’s 2015 budget

By Stéphane Hugues and Alex Lantier, 14 October 2014

The French ruling class is considering even more ferocious austerity measures in response to the demands of the banks and the European Commission.

Germany: Left Party bangs the drum for military action against the Islamic State

By Johannes Stern, 10 October 2014

Fourteen leading Left Party politicians have issued a statement titled "Save Kobani!"

UK unions begin to demobilise their own pathetic protest strike

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2014

Strikes were called to give undeserved credibility to the Trades Union Congress’s (TUC) October 18 “Britain Needs a Pay Rise” march and rally in London.

UK Tories outline next phase of their war on working class

By Robert Stevens, 1 October 2014

The Conservative Party’s plan to freeze welfare benefits will leave low-income families with children between £350 and £500 a year worse off.

Britain’s parliament votes for war in Iraq, and also Syria

By Robert Stevens, 27 September 2014

Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament there was “no legal barrier” to Britain extending parliament’s approval for bombing Iraq to cover similar action in Syria.

Britain prepares to join US-led war in Iraq and Syria

By Paul Mitchell, 26 September 2014

Both the Conservatives and Labour Parties back British involvement in the US-led war, which is aimed at reasserting military dominance in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

Lufthansa insists on pension cuts for pilots

By Dietmar Henning, 26 September 2014

At talks Monday there was no indication of a deal as Lufthansa refuses to budge from its original plans to cut pilots’ retirement provisions.

Germany sends troops to Iraq

By Wolfgang Weber, 30 August 2014

The German intervention in Iraq is part of the new militarist foreign policy announced by the government at the start of the year.

Der Spiegel calls for military build-up in Germany

By Sven Heymann, 30 August 2014

Without saying it openly, the Spiegel authors suggest that the simplest solution to lagging military recruitment would be to reintroduce conscription.

Germany’s Left Party suppresses opposition to militarism

By Ulrich Rippert, 9 August 2014

The Left Party is using the war in Gaza as an opportunity to place itself unconditionally behind the German government’s foreign policy.

German commission undermines parliametary approval requirement for military operations

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 9 August 2014

Largely unnoticed by the public, a commission of former defence politicians as well as military experts has been working to repeal the requirement that military operations abroad obtain parliamentary approval.

What lies behind the warmongering by Der Spiegel?

By Christoph Dreier, 8 August 2014

Germany’s leading news magazine, Der Spiegel, is demanding a confrontation with Russia.

German government demands departure of US spy chief

By Peter Schwarz, 11 July 2014

The exposure of a second US spy in Germany in five days has unleashed a major scandal.

Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy denies influence peddling charges

By Kumaran Ira, 5 July 2014

After being detained and indicted for corruption and influence peddling, Sarkozy denied the charges in an interview on Europe1 radio and TF1 television Wednesday.

German parliament agrees to minimum wage

By Dietmar Henning, 5 July 2014

The main purpose of the new German minimum wage is to silence critics of the country’s low-wage sector.

UK police make one million stop and searches of young people

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2014

Only 10 percent of searches lead to an arrest and black people are six times more likely to be stopped than whites.