Europe

Ford workers at Bridgend in Wales facing 1,000 job losses

By Barry Mason, 21 January 2019

The trade unions act as management partners and are doing nothing to oppose the job losses.

Macron offers “great national debate” as trap for French yellow vest protesters

By Anthony Torres, 21 January 2019

In a letter to the French people, Macron offered a choice of which social programs to cut.

070 Macron and yellow vests

19 January 2019

Factional warfare hots up after collapse of May’s European Union Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2019

Led by the Blairite wing of the Labour, Pro-Remain politicians calculated that the decks would now be cleared for them to campaign for a second “People’s Vote” to overturn the 2016 referendum.

German SPD politician justifies murder of Rosa Luxemburg

By Peter Schwarz, 18 January 2019

Although the SPD continues to officially deny its complicity in the murder of Luxemburg and Liebknecht, Wolfgang Thierse, former president of the federal parliament, has now declared: We would do it again.

UK: Blairites spearhead campaign to commit Labour to remaining in the European Union

By Thomas Scripps, 18 January 2019

The Blairites are opposed to a general election and aim to block Brexit without letting what is nominally their own party under Corbyn anywhere near power.

Scottish lecturers expand strike for pay claim

By our correspondents, 18 January 2019

Lecturers are demanding a 2.5 percent increase, which merely covers for inflation, against an offer from the employers group Colleges Scotland of 0.9 percent.

France’s Lutte ouvrière group defends unions against “yellow vest” protests

By Anthony Torres, 18 January 2019

The “yellow vest” movement has unmasked the class gulf separating the workers from the union bureaucracies and organizations such as the pseudo-left Lutte ouvrière .

Gdańsk mayor and opposition politician Paweł Adamowicz brutally assassinated

By Clara Weiss, 17 January 2019

Political responsibility for the assassination lies squarely with the ruling right-wing Law and Justice Party (PiS), which has promoted far-right forces and sentiments for years.

UK parliament votes down Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 16 January 2019

In response to the resounding rejection of May’s proposal, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called a vote of no confidence for Wednesday.

Spain’s far-right Vox party backs right-wing coalition government in Andalusia

By Alejandro López, 14 January 2019

This is the first time a far-right party promoting the legacy of fascist dictator Francisco Franco helped form a government since the Francoite dictatorship fell 40 years ago.

France’s mass “yellow vest” protests continue to grow in 2019

By Alex Lantier, 14 January 2019

Demonstrations this Saturday grew significantly compared with last week, amid rising anger at French President Emmanuel Macron.

Jaguar Land Rover announces nearly 5,000 UK job losses in global restructuring

By Robert Stevens, 12 January 2019

Last October, JLR posted losses of £90 million and has seen a collapse in sales by nearly 50 percent in its main and most profitable market, China.

Security personnel at German airports continue protest strikes

By K. Nesan and Marianne Arens, 12 January 2019

The work stoppages make clear the enormous anger of security staff and their willingness to fight.

Was the hack of German politicians data supported by the state?

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 January 2019

Out of all the parties represented in parliament, only politicians from one remained unaffected by the hack: the far-right AfD.

The struggle against austerity and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 12 January 2019

The SEP insists that the answer to austerity in the UK is not the election of a pro-capitalist Labour government, but the unification of the working class across the continent in the struggle for socialism.

Ford to lay off thousands, close plants across Europe

By Will Morrow, 11 January 2019

The company’s statement bluntly spells out the role to be played by the unions—which it correctly labels its “trade union partners”—in suppressing opposition among workers.

Macron launches fraudulent “national debate” on “yellow vest” protests

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2019

The debate is an attempt to strangle mounting opposition while continuing reactionary policies of austerity and militarism under cover of a few empty phrases.

French government witch-hunts ex-boxer who punched riot police in “yellow vest” protest

By Will Moreau, 11 January 2019

The outpouring of popular support for Dettinger has triggered a hysterical campaign by the Macron government against the ex-boxer and those supporting him.

Syriza government enforces new budget cuts in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 11 January 2019

Syriza is enforcing another austerity budget that reduces even further the social position of an already devastated working class.

Germany deports more refugees to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 11 January 2019

On Monday night, a further 36 refugees were deported to Kabul, including a number who had lived and worked for years in Germany and had no idea they were at risk.

Nearly 600 homeless died on UK streets in 2017

“We’re living in the Dark Ages—how can there be so much wealth and so much misery?”

By our reporters, 11 January 2019

Over the holiday period, WSWS reporters spoke to homeless people, charities and volunteers dealing with the escalating homeless crisis in the UK.

Socialist Equality Party takes legal action against surveillance by German secret service

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 10 January 2019

Dr. Peer Stolle, the lawyer for the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, has submitted formal notice in writing to the German Federal Agency for the Protection of the Constitution, which is published here.

Report: Police gave neo-Nazi rioters free rein in Chemnitz, Germany

By Martin Nowak, 10 January 2019

An internal police report makes clear that although the police were well informed about the activities of the far right in Chemnitz, they did nothing to stop them.

Further protests against Orbán government in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 9 January 2019

On Saturday, in freezing temperatures, about 10,000 people demonstrated again in Budapest against the right-wing government of Prime Minister Victor Orbán.

Growing “yellow vest” protests defy French police repression

By Anthony Torres, 7 January 2019

The protest Saturday, the first day of action of French “yellow vest” protesters in 2019, mobilized substantially larger forces than the last protests of 2018.

German media demand accelerated rearmament

By Peter Schwarz, 7 January 2019

Editorials in leading German publications are marked by a mixture of fear and aggression as the new year begins.

UK Integrity Initiative heavily involved in Skripal affair

By Robert Stevens, 7 January 2019

Leaked documents indicate that the moves against Russia over the Skripal affair were scripted well in advance.

Scuffles in German city of Amberg exploited to incite right-wing campaign

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 5 January 2019

Politicians from Bavaria and Berlin have been lining up to outdo each other with proposals for more restrictive asylum laws.

Protests against poverty, housing evictions and repossessions spread across Ireland

By Steve James, 5 January 2019

Figures released by the Department of Housing last July showed that nearly 10,000 people in Ireland are living in emergency accommodation. Housing campaigners suggest the real figure is double that.

French police arrest “yellow vest” spokesman Eric Drouet

By Anthony Torres, 4 January 2019

The ruling elite is sending a signal that it aims to criminalize and persecute all expressions of genuine political opposition.

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

By James Cogan, 4 January 2019

Not a word about Rudy Giuliani’s Fox News interview has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

British government dispatches Royal Navy to stop cross-Channel refugee boats

By Paul Mitchell, 4 January 2019

A right-wing anti-immigration campaign is being manufactured around the minuscule number of desperate souls—539 in total—who tried to cross the Channel in 2018.

US intelligence think tank conducted “false flag” operation impersonating Russian election interference

By Will Morrow, 31 December 2018

New Knowledge sought to influence the 2017 Alabama election and make it appear that Russia was intervening to back the Republican candidate.

UK: Cross-party moves escalate to prevent Brexit and secure second referendum

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2018

Amid an unprecedented crisis of rule, Corbyn’s major concern is to preserve the unity of the Labour Party on the basis that only a Labour government can rescue British imperialism.

German AfD parliamentarian joins weapons drill of far-right group in South Africa

By Johannes Stern, 31 December 2018

Petr Bystron, an AfD member of the Bundestag, took part in shooting exercises of the far-right paramilitary “Suidlanders” during an official parliamentary trip to South Africa.

French “yellow vest” protests expose anti-worker role of New Anticapitalist Party

By Alex Lantier, 31 December 2018

The NPA reacted to the protests by first denouncing them as fascist and then demanding that the trade union bureaucracy assert control over the movement and restore order.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 2

By Thomas Scripps, 31 December 2018

This is the second and concluding part of a series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

UK: Investigation into Grenfell fire will “take years, not months,” police say

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 29 December 2018

With the police investigation now to take years, there is plenty of scope for the criminals responsible for Grenfell to kick things even further into the long grass.

Academics and students oppose Cambridge University appointment of eugenicist Noah Carl—Part 1

By Thomas Scripps, 29 December 2018

This is the first of a two-part series on the political significance of the appointment by Cambridge University of eugenicist Noah Carl as a research fellow.

France’s “yellow vest” protests and the fraud of Mélenchon’s “citizens revolution”

By Alex Lantier, 29 December 2018

With his calls for “yellow vest” protesters to carry out a “citizens revolution,” Mélenchon is trying to confuse, strangle and shut down the movement.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

Fight by rail guards at UK rail franchises continues

28 December 2018

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

Germany’s Der Spiegel spreads fake news

By Peter Schwarz, 27 December 2018

Der Spiegel has responded to the revelation that it spread invented "news" with an admission of guilt, self-pity and attempts to shift the blame.

UK: Denial of access to justice following Legal Aid cuts

By Dennis Moore, 27 December 2018

The lack of Legal Aid and access to representation in the courts has resulted in a fivefold increase of people representing themselves.

Labour’s London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to demolish 8,000 council homes

By Charles Hixson, 27 December 2018

Khan’s policies mean that 31,000 residents in at least 8,000 homes will face demolition on 118 estates in the coming decade.

French “yellow vest” protesters mount pre-Christmas protest against Macron

By Alex Lantier, 24 December 2018

On Saturday, tens of thousands of “yellow vests” demonstrated in cities and on highways across France, amid a growing strike wave in nearby Spain and Portugal.

Demands surge for Britain to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

By James Cogan, 22 December 2018

John Pilger told an online vigil: “Julian is a touchstone for opposition to so much of what is happening in our world right now—the rise of fascism, the threat of nuclear war.”

Protests in Portugal and Catalonia met with police repression amid rising wave of strikes

By Paul Mitchell, 22 December 2018

To stem rising social anger, the government in Portugal secured an agreement from Facebook to close down the Yellow Vest protest organisers’ website and drafted in 20,000 security police.

UK: Half of Royal College of Nursing leadership re-elected after being forced out

By Ajanta Silva, 22 December 2018

The re-elected union functionaries played a crucial role in selling a rotten pay deal to their members earlier this year, after conspiring with other unions and the government.

Her photos shed light on history: The outstanding work of photographer Maria Austria (1915-75)

By Verena Nees, 22 December 2018

Her work deserves to be exhibited in one of Germany’s or Austria’s major museums, not least because she is the source of the only photographic record of the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family before deportation to Auschwitz.

UK workers’ wages slashed by as much as a third in last decade

By Barry Mason, 20 December 2018

After a decade of relentless austerity, Britain is one of only two advanced economies—the other being Italy—where real wages are still lower than a decade ago.

A closer look at American “democracy”

By Barry Grey, 20 December 2018

The population is given the opportunity every two or four years to go to the polls and vote for one or the other corporate-controlled party. This is what is called “democracy.”

Neo-Nazi network in the German police force

By Peter Schwarz, 20 December 2018

The ruling class is promoting and covering up for extreme right-wing forces in the police.

20 December 2018

Fascist cell uncovered in German police force

By Marianne Arens, 19 December 2018

Evidence has emerged that a neo-fascist cell active in the German police has threatened immigrant families and their children.

Troops to be deployed in case of no-deal Brexit

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 19 December 2018

May’s Conservative government has announced that 3,500 soldiers are on standby to deal with economic disruption and confront social unrest in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

General practitioners abandoning Britain’s National Health Service

By Ben Trent, 19 December 2018

A poll by the General Medical Council’s regulating body concluded there was a high risk of doctors leaving the profession “in unprecedented numbers.”

Fifth French “yellow vest” protest opposes Macron government

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2018

The media and official parties are pressing the “yellow vests” to accept the legalizing of citizen-initiated referendums as a concession that would justify ending the protests.

Grenfell fire: Local resident and Grenfell Action Group member, Joe Delaney, gives harrowing account to inquiry of night of fire

By Barry Mason, 17 December 2018

Delaney has a long record of fighting for decent and safe housing in the area and seeking justice for the victims and survivors of the Grenfell inferno, which has earned him the respect of the entire local community.

Student parliament condemns right-wing attack on IYSSE meeting at Humboldt University in Berlin

By our reporters, 17 December 2018

The student parliament unanimously passed a resolution defending the International Youth and Students for Social Equality against attempts by the right-wing extremist Alternative for Germany to disrupt its meetings.

Corbyn, Brexit and the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 December 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast himself as a guarantor of national stability, denouncing the inability of May and the Conservatives to “end the chaos.”

French state prepares crackdown for fifth Saturday of “yellow vest” protests

By Will Morrow, 15 December 2018

The Paris police prefect announced that the response would be “about the same” as last Saturday, which saw mass arrests of over 1,700 people.

Number of UK households in energy debt increases by 300,000, owing nearly £400 million

By Dennis Moore, 15 December 2018

Up to 3,000 people die each year in the UK because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Germany: Ford announces massive job cuts at its Saarlouis plant

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 December 2018

At a factory meeting last Monday, local Ford management announced that production of the company’s C-Max model is to be discontinued with the loss of 1,600 jobs.

Julian Assange denounces his illegal detention in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 December 2018

The WikiLeaks publisher, whose health appears to be deteriorating, made the comments at a hearing against the Ecuadorian government’s “Special Protocol,” aimed at forcing him into British and US custody.

Unions call off general strike in Catalonia

By Carlos Hernández and Paul Mitchell, 14 December 2018

Union leaders made clear they called off the strike because of the political and social crisis that threatens the rule of the minority Socialist Party government.

Second phase of Grenfell inquiry delayed for a year

By Alice Summers, 14 December 2018

The delay leaves the corporations and governmental bodies that are responsible for the fire able to continue to evade justice.

Britain's NHS denies life-saving treatment to migrants

By Kelly Taylor, 14 December 2018

A 71-year-old Jamaican woman, Elfreda Spencer, died of sepsis this year after being denied chemotherapy because she could not afford to pay the upfront cost of her treatment.

Israel rolls out the welcome mat for Europe’s neo-fascists

By Bill Van Auken, 14 December 2018

Netanyahu’s hailing of Italy’s far-right Interior Minister Salvini as a “great friend of Israel” demonstrates the affinity between the Zionist state and neo-fascism.

Ex-1968 student leader Cohn-Bendit denounces French “yellow vest” protests

By Alex Lantier, 14 December 2018

The eruption of a political movement in the working class has provoked a rabidly hostile reaction from the middle-class anti-Marxist “left” milieu.

Mass shooting in Strasbourg kills 3, wounds 12 before “yellow vest” protest

By Alex Lantier, 13 December 2018

The French ruling elite is already seizing upon the attack to trample democratic rights with demands that “yellow vest” protesters abandon their protests against Macron.

UK: May staggers on as more than a third of Tory MPs oppose her

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2018

The vote against her by her hard-Brexit wing, combined with the loss of support from the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, confirms that May’s days are numbered.

German daily accuses Macron of surrender to “yellow mob”

By Peter Schwarz, 13 December 2018

The German business press reacted indignantly to French President Macron’s attempt to appease the “yellow vest” protest movement with social concessions.

German army to acquire new tank battalion

By Johannes Stern, 13 December 2018

The expansion of its tank divisions is part of Germany’s comprehensive plans for the upgrading of all of its military forces.

Hundreds of residential tower blocks around UK still clad in flammable material

By Margot Miller, 13 December 2018

In Salford, flammable cladding has been partially removed from some of the nine local authority-owned blocks—up to the fourth floor, and only completely from one block.

UK government’s role in anti-Corbyn campaign exposed

By Robert Stevens, 11 December 2018

The Integrity Initiative (II), funded by the UK, US governments and NATO, has played a central role in the campaign against the Labour Party leader.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko tours Washington to garner support for presidential bid

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 11 December 2018

The ultimate goal of Tymoshenko’s visit to Washington was to promise to continue with the United States’ militarization of the country and the Black Sea.

Which way forward for France’s “yellow vest” protests?

By Alex Lantier, 10 December 2018

The critical question is the independent organization of the working class, in France and internationally, in the preparation of a European general strike.

The “yellow vests”: A movement of workers against social inequality

By our reporters, 10 December 2018

In this video, workers participating in France’s “yellow vests” demonstrations explain their demands and appeal for international support.

No to the persecution of Eric Drouet

By Kumaran Ira, 10 December 2018

Macron tries to intimidate the “yellow vests” by persecuting one of the founders of the movement.

German workers express solidarity with “yellow vest” protests in France

By our reporters, 10 December 2018

German workers who spoke with Socialist Equality Party (SGP) candidates, expressed sympathy with the mass protests of the “yellow vests” in France. Many share the same grievances and confront the same inequities.

Spain: Rightist parties mull government role for fascist Vox in Andalusia

By Paul Mitchell, 10 December 2018

The Spanish bourgeoisie is raising the profile of Vox, leading up to the Andalusian elections, with the country's establishment newspapers posting multiple articles—at least one a day—on the fascist party.

German Christian Democrats select Merkel’s favoured candidate as party leader

By Peter Schwarz and Ulrich Rippert, 10 December 2018

The change in the leadership of Germany’s main governing party takes place in the midst of a new eruption of class struggle in Europe.

Huffington Post renews smear campaign against UK Professor Piers Robinson

By Julie Hyland, 10 December 2018

Robinson is being attacked for his research on Syria, including probing questions regarding the predatory imperialist aims of the “war on terror,” which is verboten for the official state propagandists in Britain and the US.

France’s “yellow vest” protesters brave repression and mass arrests

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 9 December 2018

The French president’s attempts to staunch the protests through a combination of phony concessions and state violence have clearly failed.

French government threatens bloody crackdown on “yellow vest” protest

By Alex Lantier and Francis Dubois, 8 December 2018

Amid rising popular support for demonstrations against austerity and inequality, French officials are warning they will stop at nothing to halt the protests.

Still no justice as phase one of Grenfell Tower fire inquiry closes

By Paul Bond, 8 December 2018

The inquiry was never intended to bring the guilty to justice and is being overseen and directed by the very capitalist state apparatus and its political representatives that are responsible for turning Grenfell Tower into a death trap.

UK: University and College Union seeks to demobilise pay dispute

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 8 December 2018

The UCU, past masters at isolating and demobilising struggles over pay and job losses, finally authorised a token pay strike at the end of November—at just six institutions.

The German Christian Democrats elect a new leader

By Peter Schwarz, 7 December 2018

The three candidates will compete to see who can shift the Chancellor’s previous policy furthest to the right.

UK: Labour Students leadership and Zionists extend witch-hunt of Chris Williamson MP

By Thomas Scripps, 7 December 2018

The cancellation of the Sheffield meeting, at which Williamson was due to speak, became a launch pad for a nationwide offensive wherever the Blairites and Zionists have influence within student groups.

National Health Service workers among increasing users of food banks in Britain

By Ben Trent, 7 December 2018

A survey of 21,000 health workers found that 49 percent had to seek financial help from friends and family the previous year.

The demonstrations in France and the global class struggle

By Alex Lantier, 7 December 2018

As they face Macron’s brutal crackdown, workers and students in France fighting austerity and inequality must turn to the international working class.

German Left Party denounces “Yellow Vest” protests

By Peter Schwarz, 7 December 2018

The Left Party is instinctively hostile to any social movement that is not controlled and held in check by the trade unions.

Mobilize the working class against Macron!

By Alex Lantier, 5 December 2018

The critical task facing protests against austerity and inequality in France is to expand the struggle more broadly into the French and international working class.

Britain’s highest paid CEO built fortune on online gambling

By Jean Shaoul, 5 December 2018

Last year, Denise Coates raked in an obscene £265 million, up from £199 million the year before, based on salary and perks, nearly 10,000 times more than the average UK salary.

French protests spark media demands for Facebook censorship

By Andre Damon, 5 December 2018

Sections of the press in France and the United States have seized upon the “yellow vest” demonstrations to directly demand the suppression of popular opposition on social media.

German prosecutor’s office raids Deutsche Bank

By Johannes Stern, 3 December 2018

The spokesperson for the investigating authority said that, due to the extent of material, an additional search of the bank’s offices was necessary.

The mass protests in France: A new stage in the international class struggle

By The World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board, 3 December 2018

This weekend’s anti-austerity demonstrations in France have shown the working class to be not just an oppressed class, but a revolutionary class.

G20 papers over differences as economic conflicts intensify

By Nick Beams, 3 December 2018

It is a measure of the state of relations between the world’s major economic powers that the summit was labelled a limited success because it avoided open conflict.

Bank of England warns “no-deal” Brexit would be worse than 2008 crash

Labour pledges to rescue British capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2018

The "worst case" scenario presumes there would be custom checks on the UK’s border for goods, with the UK unable to reach new trade deals with the EU or other countries until 2023.