Europe

Spanish government falls amid Catalan crisis

By Alejandro López, 16 February 2019

The major parties are set to run the most right-wing election campaign in Spain since the 1978 Transition to parliamentary rule, under cover of opposing Catalan separatism.

Germany: Public transport strike paralyzes Berlin

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

For much of Friday, all subways and trams in the capital stood still and most buses remained in their depots.

Nationwide public sector strike hits Portugal

By Will Morrow, 16 February 2019

Leading union officials have issued warnings to the government that its actions could trigger “uncontrollable” struggles by workers that they cannot prevent.

Munich Security Conference

German defence minister advocates German-European war policy

By Johannes Stern, 16 February 2019

Almost 75 years after the end of World War II, the imperialist powers are openly preparing for a new round of military conflicts.

Brexit divisions lead to intensified discussions on Conservative and Labour Party splits

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2019

Theresa May suffered a further defeat in Parliament over her Brexit policy, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was further undermined by a sizeable rebellion by the party’s Blairite right wing.

A reply to Britain’s Community Security Trust

By Chris Marsden, 16 February 2019

The following is a reply by Socialist Equality Party (UK) national secretary Chris Marsden to Mark Gardner, deputy chief executive & communications director at the pro-Zionist Community Security Trust.

Tens of thousands strike in Berlin against poor working conditions

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

Tens of thousands of public sector workers took part in a one-day strike in Berlin on Wednesday. More than 10,000 people marched to the Brandenburg Gate.

One-day national strike paralyzes Belgium

By Will Morrow, 14 February 2019

Large parts of Belgium were brought to a standstill yesterday, as tens of thousands of workers took part in a national 24-hour strike to demand wage increases.

Italy: Mass demonstration in Rome against right-wing government

By Marianne Arens, 14 February 2019

The march was supported by workers, retirees and school students who want to fight the government’s right-wing policies. But the union leaders, Democratic Party representatives and pseudo-left politicians lent the rally a pro-business orientation.

“Turning Point UK:” A far-right offensive on British campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 14 February 2019

A check of its leading personnel exposes TPUK as a top-down operation of the Tory right, with the substantial backing of Turning Point’s US-based parent organisation and its fascistic supporters.

New study reveals more details on deadly flammable cladding used on Grenfell Tower

By Alice Summers, 14 February 2019

The study showed that ACM cladding is 55 times more flammable than the least flammable panels, with the PIR insulation used behind it at Grenfell Tower giving off smoke that was 15 times more toxic than the less flammable alternatives.

The show trial of the Catalan nationalists and the far-right danger in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 14 February 2019

In line with official politics across Europe, the ruling class in Spain is moving to build a police state and defending the legacy of 20th century fascism.

National 24-hour strike goes forward in Belgium

By Will Morrow, 13 February 2019

As strikes and protests grow across Europe, anger is mounting among Belgian workers at low wages enforced by state-run talks between business and the unions.

Germany: Social Democrats modernise austerity

By Peter Schwarz, 13 February 2019

The SPD passed the “Hartz IV” laws 14 years ago, implementing welfare “reforms” and laying the foundations for a huge low-pay sector and widespread poverty.

British government’s “Project After” plan for post-Brexit economic crisis

By Steve James, 13 February 2019

The Financial Times reported on a secret economic planning group in the British government, tasked with planning for a deep post Brexit economic crisis.

British troops given free hand to shoot civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan

By Jean Shaoul, 13 February 2019

One soldier stationed in southern Iraq claimed he and fellow troops were told they were allowed to shoot anyone who acted suspiciously.

UK: Anti-Semitism witch-hunt provokes backlash in Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 12 February 2019

The opposition of Corbyn et al. to all attempts to expel the Labour right has once again handed the initiative to the Blairites, despite Labour’s membership in overwhelming numbers hating everything they say and do.

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

The CGT’s “national strike”: French unions seek to strangle the “yellow vest” protests

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

For the unions, the day of action was an opportunity for its base of officials and bureaucrats to meet with “yellow vest” protesters and seek to gain control of their movement.

German workers support rally against mass layoffs in Detroit

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

The WSWS received these messages of support for the February 9 demonstration from bus drivers, auto workers, and a tram mechanic.

Washington issues ultimatum to Venezuela over “humanitarian aid” ploy

By Bill Van Auken, 7 February 2019

Behind the cynical pretense of concern over Venezuela’s social crisis, the Pentagon and CIA are setting the stage for an armed confrontation on the country’s border.

French National Assembly passes police state “anti-riot” law targeting protests

By Will Morrow, 7 February 2019

Introduced in response to the “yellow vest” protests, the law marks a significant step in the transformation of France into a police state.

Berlin-based airline files for bankruptcy

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 February 2019

As in the case of the bankruptcy of Air Berlin, where Verdi and Lufthansa worked closely together, it is ultimately the workforce that will pay the costs of insolvency.

Stansted 15 anti-deportation protesters go free

By Robert Stevens, 7 February 2019

While avoiding jail sentences, the 15 were still found guilty and now have criminal records.

NHS 10-year plan: Recipe for further attacks on services and privatisation in UK

By Ajanta Silva, 7 February 2019

Under the banner of providing more choices, the government is ready to send more and more patients to private hospitals with the NHS footing the bill.

AfD deputy denounces a Holocaust commemoration in German parliament

By Christoph Vandreier, 7 February 2019

Seventy-four years after the liberation of Auschwitz, the crimes of the Nazi regime are being downplayed in the German Bundestag (parliament) without triggering any significant protest.

Paris steps up calls for coup in Venezuela

By Alex Lantier, 6 February 2019

Amid growing repression of “yellow vest” protests, it is critical for workers in France and across Europe to oppose attempts to impose a far-right regime in Venezuela.

UK: Employment growth at the expense of pay and job security

By Alice Summers, 6 February 2019

While employment rates have being steadily rising since the 2008 global financial crash, this increase has gone hand in glove with growing levels of job insecurity and stagnant pay.

One hundred years since the death of Franz Mehring

By Peter Schwarz, 6 February 2019

Mehring was one of the leading Marxist theoreticians of his time. Unlike other leading Social Democrats, who shifted to the right, he joined the Spartacus League during World War I.

European Parliament backs US-led coup in Venezuela

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro Lopez, 2 February 2019

The European powers’ support for a brazen US coup in Latin America underscores that they are no less ruthless in their assertion of their predatory imperialist interests.

John Pilger to speak at March 3 Sydney rally to defend Julian Assange

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 February 2019

As well as John Pilger, the Sydney rally will be addressed by SEP National Secretary James Cogan. Cogan will also be the main speaker at the demonstration in Melbourne on March 10.

Facebook’s censor Nick Clegg outlines plans for European elections

By Robert Stevens, 2 February 2019

Facebook will play a major role in determining what voices Europe’s population are allowed to hear.

German defence report sparks hysterical campaign for increased military spending

By Johannes Stern, 2 February 2019

The ruling class and its parties are pursing massive rearmament plans and preparing Germany for war.

Portugal’s strike wave intensifies

By Paul Mitchell, 2 February 2019

As the strike movement develops, the unions have sought to dissipate united opposition into regional and sectoral strikes directed at pleading with various ministers, parliament and the president to change course.

Berlin teachers and social workers strike for better working conditions

By our reporters, 31 January 2019

The unions have long worked with the parties that form the Berlin Senate to impose cuts.

UK: Corbyn allows vicious Tory Immigration Bill to pass

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 31 January 2019

Corbyn and his Labour Party are opposed to the free movement of European Union labour and support what Corbyn has termed “managed migration.”

Fascists march in Auschwitz

By Clara Weiss, 31 January 2019

The sight of a rabble of Nazi trash desecrating the memory of those who perished in Auschwitz is sickening and must be answered. But the response must be informed by an understanding of the inextricable link between capitalism, the crisis of bourgeois democracy and fascist reaction.

Stone indictment presents no evidence of links between WikiLeaks and Trump campaign

By James Cogan, 30 January 2019

WikiLeaks is a media organization that exercised the legally-protected rights of the press to published leaked information.

Germany and EU support US-engineered coup in Venezuela

By Peter Schwarz, 30 January 2019

Berlin and Brussels are backing the Venezuelan coup because they are pursuing their own imperialist interests in Latin America.

UK’s May fends off demands to delay Brexit or rule out “no deal”

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 30 January 2019

May’s pledge to try to extract more concessions from the EU ensured that the government won the day, although this could prove to be a pyrrhic and very short-lived victory.

40,000 Irish nurses to participate in series of one day strikes

By Dermot Byrne and David Byrne, 30 January 2019

Members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are to hold the first in a series of 24-hour strikes today over pay and conditions.

Russian Duma plans internet crackdown as 12,000 truckers strike

By Clara Weiss, 30 January 2019

The legislation is part of a global assault on free speech on the internet and a censorship campaign against independent news outlets.

Greek parliament votes in support of Macedonia name change

By Katerina Selin, 30 January 2019

The Prespa agreement is aimed at paving the way for Macedonia’s rapid integration into NATO and the European Union.

Autoworkers strike in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2019

Thousands of auto workers began a one-week strike on Thursday at an Audi plant in Györ, western Hungary.

Autoworkers strike in Hungary

By Markus Salzmann, 28 January 2019

Thousands of auto workers began a one-week strike on Thursday at an Audi plant in Györ, western Hungary.

An appeal from a UK rail worker for a joint fight of rail, bus and tram workers across Europe

By our correspondent, 28 January 2019

The WSWS has been sent this appeal from a UK rail worker to colleagues employed by state run Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). It calls for a joint fight against its privatised arm, Abellio, which is currently attacking jobs and working conditions across its private UK rail franchises.

Presidential campaign officially begins in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 28 January 2019

The Ukrainian presidential election is dominated by pro-imperialist, right-wing candidates who are hated and despised by the overwhelming majority of the population.

020 Hungary autoworkers strike

26 January 2019

Former leader Alex Salmond’s arrest threatens to tear Scottish National Party apart

By Steve James, 26 January 2019

Whatever the outcome of the legal case against Salmond, the SNP is being torn apart by factional infighting.

Spain: Podemos co-founder Íñigo Errejón splits from party

By Paul Mitchell, 26 January 2019

The rise of the far-right Vox party is a devastating indictment of Errejón and the “left populism” promoted by his mentor, Belgian academic Chantal Mouffe.

Fascist deputies disrupt Holocaust memorial in Germany

By Peter Schwarz and Andre Damon, 26 January 2019

On Wednesday, deputies from the neo-fascist Alternative for Germany walked out of a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in the state parliament of Bavaria.

Successful election result for IYSSE at Humboldt University in Berlin

By the IYSSE chapter at Humboldt University, 26 January 2019

The IYSSE increased its share of the vote by a third, from 3.75 percent to over 5 percent, and will be represented by three deputies in the student parliament.

Oppose French unions’ attempts to strangle the “yellow vest” protests!

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 26 January 2019

The Pabloite New Anticapitalist Party’s calls for the unions to take over the “yellow vest” protests amounts to an attempt to strangle growing opposition among workers.

German Ford workers: “The yellow vests are going about it the right way”

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 25 January 2019

Members of the Socialist Equality Party discussed with Ford workers in Cologne about the formation of action committees independent of the unions to initiate a campaign to defend jobs.

UK: Remain and Leave factions line up for battle prior to next Brexit vote

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2019

Theresa May is calculating that enough rebel Brexiteers in her ruling Conservative Party, who voted against her original deal, will support her to ensure no possibility of Brexit being overturned.

“People are still being deported and thrown into detention centres”

An interview with British “Stansted 15” defendant Melanie Strickland

By Margot Miller, 25 January 2019

Melanie Strickland is one of the anti-deportation campaigners found guilty of endangering safety at an airport in contravention of the 1990 Aviation and Maritime Security Act, part of Britain’s anti-terror laws.

100 years since the founding of the Bauhaus

Including an interview with Bauhaus student Wilf Franks

By Barbara Slaughter and Stefan Steinberg, 25 January 2019

This year marks the 100 anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus movement in Germany, which played a key role in the development of progressive art and culture in the twentieth century.

Scottish teachers balloted for strike action in pay dispute

By Darren Paxton, 23 January 2019

Teachers in Scotland are demanding a 10 percent pay increase, having rejected on several occasions the Scottish government’s offer of a paltry 3 percent.

Germany, France step up military, police alliance with Aachen treaty

By Alex Lantier, 23 January 2019

The treaty aims to build a German-French axis as the centre of a European Union rivaling America militarily and planning the repression of workers across Europe.

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for socialism

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2019

The answer to austerity is not a pro-capitalist Labour government dedicated to rebuilding “national unity” across the Brexit divide, but the unification of workers in Britain with the working class across the continent in the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe.

23 January 2019

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.