Western Europe

German army to be equipped with drones

By Christoph Dreier, 5 July 2014

On Wednesday, German defence minister Ursula Von der Leyen announced to parliament that the army is to be equipped with drones capable of carrying weapons.

Workers speak out against privatization of French railways

By Anthony Torres, 19 June 2014

Approximately 1,000 demonstrators gathered in Paris on June 17 to protest the Socialist Party government’s planned privatization of the French railways.

Irish Labour Party members hold ballot for new leader

By Dermot Quinn and Jordan Shilton, 19 June 2014

The contest was triggered last month by the resignation of Deputy Prime Minister and Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore.

UK schools witchhunted by government to foster anti-Muslim sentiment

By Robert Stevens, 12 June 2014

The witchhunt began in November when an anonymous letter, now widely accepted to have been a hoax, was sent to the media.

British NHS patients left without medications by private contractor

By Tony Robson, 12 June 2014

The recent Healthcare at Home debacle underscores the danger to public health resulting from the privatisation of the UK’s National Health Service.

Spanish King Juan Carlos abdicates amid growing unpopularity of the monarchy

By Alejandro López, 4 June 2014

The new king Felipe will be crowned on June 18 as Spain faces the worst economic crisis since the 1930s.

Shooting of Spanish politician used to justify Internet crackdown

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 29 May 2014

The Spanish government’s response to intensifying social despair and anger is to “cleanse” the Internet.

Police attack immigrant camp in Calais, France

By Pierre Mabut, 29 May 2014

Stepped-up attacks on immigrants are the Socialist Party government’s response to the victory of the French neo-fascists in last week’s European elections.

The fraud of the official campaign against the United Kingdom Independence Party

By Jordan Shilton, 9 May 2014

The hypocritical, cross-party campaign is being organised by Migration Matters Trust, a coalition of politicians, business representatives and trade unions that calls for a public debate on immigration.

French government set to impose wage cuts demanded by the banks

By Pierre Mabut, 8 May 2014

French President Hollande is under increasing pressure from the European Commisssion and the banks to cut wages and create a flexible labour market.

ICFI meeting in Paris on May 11 for the European elections

No to war against Russia! No to austerity! Support the ICFI in the European elections!

8 May 2014

RMT union sabotages London Underground strike

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2014

Just hours before the second 72-hour walkout was due to begin, the RMT union announced it had “suspended” the action against job losses on the London Underground.

Irish government creates police unit to target social welfare claimants

By Dermott Quinn, 3 May 2014

The government’s 2014 budget aims to slash social spending by €2.5 billion.

Family doctor services “under severe threat of extinction” in Britain

By Mark Blackwood, 24 April 2014

The Royal College of General Practitioners warned that general practice care is being destroyed by health care cuts.

French intelligence collects all data of France Telecom/Orange

By Anthony Torres, 17 April 2014

French intelligence services are collecting all the data of Orange’s customers with no restrictions, oversight, or legal foundation.

SEP holds first European election meeting in North West England constituency

By Paul Mitchell, 17 April 2014

SEP National Secretary Chris Marsden told the first European election meeting, “Our programme has stood the test of time. We ask you not just to vote for us, but to join and help build the SEP.”

Manchester meeting: “It’s like a blindfold being taken off”

By our reporters, 17 April 2014

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to several members of the audience at the SEP European election meeting in the North West England constituency.

German government planning major military build-up

By Johannes Stern, 11 April 2014

The German government is using the mounting conflict between NATO and Russia to massively rearm the army.

France’s new government: A political turning point for Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 5 April 2014

The appointment of Manuel Valls as France’s prime minister on a pro-austerity, law-and-order platform exemplifies the rightward shift in European politics.

French government vows deep attacks on the working class

By Kumaran Ira, 3 April 2014

Socialist Party officials called for shock therapy against the working class as ministers of the new cabinet of Prime Minister Manuel Valls were named.

Spanish government abolishes prosecutions under universal jurisdiction laws

By Alejandro López, 13 March 2014

As the result of a new Spanish law, dozens of investigations will be dropped into crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide and torture.

Germany’s Angela Merkel feted by the UK to little effect

By Julie Hyland, 4 March 2014

The German chancellor allotted just six hours to her visit, stopping off on the way back to Berlin from Israel, where she had spent two days with her entire cabinet.

NSA listens in on the German chancellor’s contacts

By Konrad Kreft, 1 March 2014

After President Obama’s promise not to listen in on Angela Merkel’s phone calls, the NSA has stepped up its operations against everybody she speaks to.

Child pornography scandal rocks Germany’s grand coalition government

By Ulrich Rippert, 22 February 2014

The scandal surrounding German deputy Sebastian Edathy is linked to his previous criticism of German intelligence agencies.

British government attempts to stamp out student protests

By Zach Reed, 14 February 2014

Students protesting against the attacks on education have been met with police assaults, arrests and suspension.

National schools inspectorate to be overhauled by UK government

By Jo March, 14 February 2014

A brutal inspection regime has been used by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition to force schools to become academies as a step towards privatisation.

As Detroit water department faces threats

Water privatization in England: 25 years on

By Jean Shaoul, 14 February 2014

The history of the privatization of the water system in Britain 25 years ago exposes the claims that “free enterprise” can improve the functioning of a publicly owned and operated water system.

Initiative to restrict immigration passed in Swiss referendum vote

By Marianne Arens, 11 February 2014

The initiative commits the government to renegotiate the agreement on freedom of movement with the EU within three years.

French automaker PSA plans to slash jobs at Poissy, shift production to Asia

By Stéphane Hugues, 11 February 2014

PSA is intensifying the exploitation of its work force, relying on speedup and job cuts in Europe while preparing a major production shift towards Asia.

Workers ignore token union protest against French Socialist Party’s cuts

By Pierre Mabut, 11 February 2014

The unions denounce opposition to social cuts from the left as aiding fascism, even as they negotiate austerity measures with the Socialist Party government.

Democratic rights under attack in Scotland

By Steve James, 6 February 2014

Last year there were 700,000 police stops and searches in Scotland.

Popular support for Spain’s monarchy plummets

By Alejandro López, 30 January 2014

With over half of the Spanish people now favouring the abdication of Spanish king Juan Carlos, the legitimacy of a pillar of capitalist rule is crumbling.

Skyrocketing energy prices increase Britain’s winter death rate

By Zach Reed, 10 December 2013

An estimated 31,100 “excess” deaths occurred in Britain last winter—a rise of almost a third.

German IG Metall union supports grand coalition government

By Dietmar Henning, 5 December 2013

The IG Metall union has given its clear support to the formation of a grand coalition between the Social Democrats and the conservative parties.

German universities threatened with spending cuts

By Phillip Frische, 5 December 2013

Millions of euros are to be cut at several universities, mainly in the states of the former East Germany.

Britain’s Co-op Bank teeters on the brink

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2013

The Conservative-led UK government has sought to extract every ounce of political capital out of the Co-op Bank affair at Labour’s expense.

Left Party supports budget cuts in German city of Duisburg

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 29 November 2013

The Left Party fraction in the Duisburg city council supported the budgetary restructuring plan 2014 and the drastic spending cuts bound up with it.

Irish pensioners protest in Dublin

By Dermot Quinn, 26 October 2013

The Irish coalition government’s savage austerity programme is having a devastating impact on pensioners

UK unions promote Labour at health care march in Manchester

By Robert Stevens, 1 October 2013

Around 50,000 people protested cuts to the UK’s National Health Service in Manchester Saturday in a march called by the Trades Union Congress.

German EVG rail union takes on management role to deal with transport chaos

By Helmut Arens, 19 August 2013

The German rail company Deutsche Bahn has responded to the transportation crisis by further integrating the EVG union into company management.

European intelligence agencies carry out massive Internet spying

By Peter Schwarz, 6 July 2013

According to a report in the French daily Le Monde, the French foreign intelligence service, DGSE, spies on “all of our communications”.

Mass austerity to be outlined in UK government spending review

By Robert Stevens, 24 June 2013

This week’s spending review by the UK government will slash local authority budgets by a further 10 percent.

UK local authorities plan more than a billion pounds in cuts

By Robert Stevens, 15 December 2012

Local authority councils throughout the UK are planning more than a billion pounds in further cuts to be imposed next year and years beyond.

SPD leader calls for a strong German state

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 December 2012

Last weekend, a special conference of the Social Democratic Party elected right-winger Peer Steinbrück as its leading candidate for the federal election due next year.

The royal pregnancy phone hoax

By Julie Hyland, 13 December 2012

The monarchy is the human embodiment of a social order based on wealth, privilege and class oppression.

Leading German newspaper’s conference hears call for dismantling democracy

By Wolfgang Weber, 13 December 2012

At a conference organized by the prominent newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung Cologne law professor Otto Depenheuer advocated the dismantling of democracy in Germany.

Lobbyists collude with UK government on National Health Service privatisation

By Tony Robson, 13 December 2012

A leaked document exposes how intense lobbying shaped government health policy during a fraudulent public “listening exercise” on the Health and Social Care Bill.

GM-Opel plant in Germany to be shut down

By Dietmar Henning, 12 December 2012

GM-Opel has announced the closure of the plant in Bochum, Germany, by 2016.

UK Autumn budget: Austerity without end for workers

By Julie Hyland, 8 December 2012

Chancellor George Osborne has added a further £5 billion cuts targeting welfare to the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition’s austerity package of £155 billion.

UK by-elections reveal hostility to government

By Dave Hyland, 7 December 2012

Six by-elections in England have underscored the hostility of broad layers of working people to the bourgeois political setup.

The American establishment and the British royal pregnancy

By David Walsh, 7 December 2012

The announcement that Kate Middleton, wife of Britain’s Prince William and Duchess of Cambridge, is expecting a baby has produced unseemly squeals of delight from the American media and establishment generally.

The SYRIZA model

By Cristoph Dreier, 7 December 2012

A class gulf separates workers from the affluent political operators who gathered at the Left Party youth congress in Cologne, Germany and took Greece’s pro-austerity SYRIZA party as a model.

Leveson whitewash of Murdoch’s UK media empire

By Julie Hyland, 6 December 2012

The Leveson report on British press standards is a cover-up of the criminality in the political and media establishment and the police that underlies the Murdoch phone-hacking scandal.

German Left Party student association moves further to the right

By Christoph Dreier, 6 December 2012

There was no mention of socialism at the recent congress of the Left Party student association.

Austrian billionaire Stronach launches new right-wing party

By Markus Salzmann, 6 December 2012

Given the increasing economic and social tensions in Austria, Frank Stronach stridently represents the interests of the financial elite and receives the support of business circles.

German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau faces bankruptcy

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 5 December 2012

The demise of the Frankfurter Rundschau is a consequence of the hardening of its right-wing political line, which alienated its readership.

Florange steelworkers betrayed by French government, unions

By Pierre Mabut, 4 December 2012

The Socialist Party (PS) government capitulated to steelmaker ArcelorMittal, putting the 629 jobs at the blast furnaces at Florange in eastern France in the balance.

UK health unions mount feeble protest against attacks on National Health Service

By Mark Blackwood, 4 December 2012

Saturday’s “We are One NHS” demonstration, jointly organised by the National Health Service unions, including Unite, Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the GMB, was a dispirited affair with an extremely low turnout.

Socialist Equality Party/SouthWest NHS Fightback

A reply to Unite Head of Health Rachael Maskell

By our correspondent, 4 December 2012

The SEP/SouthWest NHS Fightback replies to a Unite union official.

German Left Party moves further to the right

By Christoph Dreier and Peter Schwarz, 3 December 2012

The Left Party is offering to support the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Greens in the formation of a government.

Fifth German secret service resignation in NSU far-right terror scandal

By Bernd Reinhardt, 3 December 2012

The November 14 resignation of Claudia Schmid was the fifth resignation by a secret service chief over the cover-up of state links to the far right in Germany.

Social catastrophe faces UK working poor

By Julie Hyland, 3 December 2012

A new study examines the disastrous impact of current government policy, especially regarding welfare reform.

Leveson report whitewashes collusion in media’s criminal activity

By Robert Stevens, 1 December 2012

The Leveson inquiry meant to address the criminal practices of the Murdoch media empire has instead produced a cover-up of epic proportions.

France: Gaullist Union for a Popular Movement on verge of split

By Antoine Lerougetel, 1 December 2012

The Gaullist Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) moved toward a split last week when François Fillon announced the formation of a separate parliamentary group in the National Assembly.

Brandenburg teachers protest state education policies

By Ernst Wolff, 30 November 2012

Teachers in Brandenburg staged a protest against the education policies of the state’s administration—a coalition of the Social Democratic Party and Left Party.

Comet failure highlights UK retail jobs crisis

By Julie Hyland, 30 November 2012

Comet’s 6,600 workers could all be laid off by Christmas and the entire business closed. The UK electrical retailer had 236 stores when it went into administration at the start of the month. Some 1,000 workers have been laid off so far, with 41 stores closed and redundancies at its Hertfordshire HQ and its Somerset call centre.

Germany: Fire at workshop for the disabled kills 14

By Marianne Arens, 29 November 2012

One of the worst such disasters to take place in Germany in years, the fire killed 14 workers.

German Pirate Party sets sail to the right

By Christoph Dreier, 29 November 2012

The program of the Pirate Party includes not only a clear commitment to the market economy, but also the ideological justification for austerity policies.

Rotherham by-election in Britain

By Dave Hyland, 29 November 2012

Today’s by-election for the parliamentary seat of Rotherham Central in South Yorkshire is being used to shift official politics further to the right.

National Union of Students organises token London protest

By Zach Reed, 29 November 2012

Students marched through London on November 21 in protest against the trebling of tuition fees to £9,000 and cuts to education.

Britain: Soup kitchens become part of mainstream welfare provision

By Mark Blackwood, 28 November 2012

Since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, there has been a huge expansion in the UK of soup kitchens, known euphemistically as food banks, as a result of growing poverty.

Massive job losses in UK’s National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 26 November 2012

The ongoing offensive against the National Health Service (NHS) has led to 28,500 health workers losing their jobs since the Conservative Party/Liberal Democrat coalition came to power in 2010.

German defence minister promotes militarism

By Martin Novak and Peter Schwarz, 26 November 2012

The cynicism of Germany’s ruling class was demonstrated by the German defence minister’s choice of a war memorial church as the venue for delivering militaristic propaganda.

UK unions and Socialist Party isolate striking Mid Yorkshire NHS workers

By Mark Blackwood and Paul Mitchell, 24 November 2012

The Socialist Party is helping public sector unions Unison and Unite isolate 300 National Health Service clerical and administrative workers employed by Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust.

Germany’s Green Party backs the European Union

By Michael Regens, 24 November 2012

The German Greens expressly support the European Union and the austerity measures of the Troika, which have led to a social catastrophe in Greece.

Moody’s downgrades French debt rating, presses for austerity in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 23 November 2012

On November 19, the credit rating agency Moody’s downgraded France’s sovereign debt by one notch from Aaa, the top rating, to Aa1.

UK: NHS Trust quits South West Pay Consortium after unions agree cuts

By Eric Gold, 23 November 2012

The withdrawal of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from the South West Pay Consortium is not the victory proclaimed by the unions.

French President Hollande’s prime-time speech promises austerity, war

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 22 November 2012

On November 13 the French president gave a televised address and interview to some 400 journalists assembled at the Elysée palace.

Former leading member of Tamil nationalist LTTE assassinated in Paris

By K. Nesan, 22 November 2012

On November 8 a leader of the pro-LTTE Tamil Coordinating Committee was assassinated in Paris.

France’s conservative UMP faces split after leadership race

By Alex Lantier, 22 November 2012

The UMP faces a possible split after a contested vote Sunday for the party presidency and rising tensions over its ties to neo-fascist forces.

German federal prosecutor brings charges against neo-Nazi terrorist

By Dietmar Henning, 20 November 2012

On November 8 the German chief federal prosecutor’s office announced charges against the neo-Nazi terrorist Beate Zschäpe.

Germany’s long-standing thalidomide scandal

By Werner Albrecht and Konrad Kreft, 19 November 2012

It has taken the Grünenthal company 50 years to apologise for its role in subjecting thousands of people around the world to the disastrous effects of thalidomide poisoning.

French Socialist Party’s Aubry charged over asbestos poisoning

By Pierre Mabut, 17 November 2012

Former French cabinet minister Martine Aubry was charged with manslaughter November 6 in the public health scandal over the use of asbestos by French industry.

German-based Siemens announces austerity programme

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 16 November 2012

Siemens’s latest cost-cutting plans show how shareholder profits are boosted by destroying jobs and winding down production.

French Greens, Stalinists staggered by President Hollande’s unpopularity

By Kumaran Ira, 14 November 2012

France’s Stalinists and Greens are issuing criticisms of their ally, the ruling Socialist Party, as it collapses in the polls due to its austerity policies.

Belgium: 20,000 protest against closure of Ford plant in Genk

By our reporters, 13 November 2012

The closure will throw 4,600 workers at the factory and more than 5,000 employees in related industries out of work.

Scandal forces UK Labour MP Denis MacShane to resign

By Dave Hyland, 13 November 2012

Rotherham Member of Parliament Denis MacShane was forced to resign after a damning report detailed his abuse of parliamentary expenses.

Man detained in Somalia is stripped of UK citizenship for refusing to spy on Muslims

By Jean Shaoul, 10 November 2012

The British government has stripped Mahdi Hashi, a 23-year-old British national who also held Somali nationality, of his UK citizenship.

French NPA offers “anti-imperialist” rationale for imperialist intervention in Syria

By Johannes Stern, 10 November 2012

The NPA’s cynical “anti-imperialist” criticisms of Le Monde’s calls for war with Syria show that it shares the pro-war views of figures that the NPA itself calls imperialists.

Defence of the National Health Service demands a new socialist strategy

By our reporter, 10 November 2012

The SEP held a public meeting in Manchester to explain why action committees must be developed to protect health care.

French CGT union chooses new leader

By Anthony Torres, 9 November 2012

On November 6 the CGT's national “parliament” accepted the candidacy of Thierry Lepaon to replace Bernard Thibault at the head of the CGT.

UK backs down on accused hacker Gary McKinnon’s extradition to US

By Simon Whelan, 9 November 2012

Accused hacker Gary McKinnon’s extradition to the United States was halted on the grounds of his fragile mental health and a high suicide risk.

Massive cuts to emergency health care in northwest London

By Richard Duckworth and Paul Stuart, 8 November 2012

Four out of nine A&E departments catering to nearly 2 million people in northwest London face closure as part of £20 billion in cuts to the NHS.

UK: Rotherham the scene of second state-organised provocation

By Dave Hyland, 8 November 2012

Rotherham in South Yorkshire was the scene of a provocation by police and fascists for the second time in a month.

France’s Merah affair: New questions emerge on Toulouse killings

By Francis Dubois, 8 November 2012

Statements by intelligence officials in Toulouse raise new questions about the French government’s responsibility in killings committed by Mohamed Merah.

En Lucha’s Andy Durgan: Historical distortions to justify political betrayal of Spanish workers

Part two

By Dave Hyland, 8 November 2012

This is the second of a three-part article on the distortions of the lessons of Spanish history by En Luncha’s Andy Durgan.

French social democrats adopt new cuts after accepting pro-austerity Gallois report

By Antoine Lerougetel, 7 November 2012

The Socialist Party (PS) government of President François Hollande announced tens of billions of new budget cuts yesterday.

En Lucha’s Andy Durgan: Historical distortions to justify political betrayal of Spanish workers

Part one

By Dave Hyland, 7 November 2012

This is the first of a three-part article on the distortions of the lessons of Spanish history by En Lucha’s Andy Durgan.

Dutch grand coalition agrees on austerity programme

By Elizabeth Zimmermann, 6 November 2012

The new Dutch coalition is based on a harsh austerity programme of €15 billion in cuts.

London Fire Brigade proposes closing a quarter of its stations

By Jerome Stern and Paul Bond, 6 November 2012

London mayor Boris Johnson announced last month that the London Fire and Rescue Service must save £65 million over the next two years.