European Economy

Johnson’s Brexit deal faces UK parliamentary vote Saturday

By Robert Stevens, 18 October 2019

As news of the deal emerged Thursday morning, the hard Brexit supporting Jacob Rees-Mogg told parliament that on Saturday there would be a 90-minute debate to either approve a deal or to approve a no-deal exit.

Halt the jobs massacre in the UK auto industry: For a joint struggle at Honda, Nissan, Ford and Vauxhall

By Richard Tyler, 15 October 2019

The trade unions have deliberately isolated and separated the workforce at the Honda production plant and at the logistics facility, rather than seeking to mobilise a joint struggle.

New US tariffs escalate trade war with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2019

The Trump administration’s announcement of tariffs on $7.5 billion on EU goods is only the latest shot in a spiraling trade war that is dragging the global economy toward recession.

“Protecting the European way of life” and “a stronger Europe in the world”

New EU Commission to intensify militarism and attacks on refugees

By Will Morrow, 16 September 2019

The European bourgeoisie is shifting so far to the right that it is dispensing even with hypocritical “humanitarian” titles that it previously bestowed on its right-wing policies.

005 European Central Bank expands quantitive easing

13 September 2019

UK: “Operation Yellowhammer” details savage austerity and confirms plans for state repression post-Brexit

By Thomas Scripps, 13 September 2019

The document is dated 10 days after Johnson became prime minister, confirming that Yellowhammer is the expected outcome of a no-deal Brexit.

Trade war accelerates trend towards global recession

By Nick Beams, 5 September 2019

Manufacturing survey results from around the world point to a significant slowdown with no signs of increased activity in the coming months.

British lawmakers win vote to debate bill authorising Brexit delay

By Robert Stevens, 4 September 2019

MPs voted Tuesday evening to pursue the passage of a cross-party bill to prevent the Conservative government leaving the EU without a trade and customs deal.

Bank of England governor tells Jackson Hole conference: Existing financial system will not hold

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2019

Reporting on the meeting, the Financial Times noted that that “there was a sense that things would never be the same again.”

Record global dividend payouts fuel rising social inequality

By Will Morrow, 22 August 2019

The report demonstrates how the financial markets serve as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth up the income scale, from the working class to the corporate elite.

Financial turbulence continues as major economies move towards recession

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2019

The gyrations in financial markets and the growing signs of recession—threatening to set in motion a crisis even more severe than that of 2008—pose vital political issues before the working class in every country.

Wall Street plunges on fears of global recession

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2019

Amid growing concerns that low interest rates and “quantitative easing” will not be enough to stave off a new global downturn, there is a deep fear in ruling circles of mounting opposition in the working class.

UK growth contraction caps week of economic turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 August 2019

The British GDP data ended a week of deepening uncertainty in financial markets and growing fears of a recession in major areas of the global economy.

UK: By-election defeat for Conservatives but Labour almost wiped out

By Robert Stevens, 5 August 2019

The vote for the Labour Party in Brecon and Radnorshire collapsed, with its candidate coming fourth and only just retaining his deposit on a 5.3 percent share of the vote.

Study calls for closure of over half all health clinics in Germany

By Tino Jacobson and Markus Salzmann, 5 August 2019

With the argument that only the closure of clinics can achieve more staffing, better equipment and higher quality, the report calls for the closure of 800 of Germany’s 1,400 hospitals.

Layoffs mount as slump in world auto industry deepens

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2019

Continuing sales declines, led by China and India, are leading to massive job losses and attacks on autoworkers as transnational companies seek to maintain high levels of return.

Amid significant fall in investment

US economy slows in second quarter

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2019

Data on investment and industrial production show that pro-corporate tax cuts have not produced the resurgence in manufacturing and investment forecast by Trump.

Second heatwave of 2019 shatters temperature records in western Europe

By Will Morrow, 27 July 2019

A significant element of the heatwave commented on by climate scientists was that heat records were not only beaten but shattered by between two and four degrees.

European Central Bank signals return to monetary stimulus

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2019

In response to a question at his press conference following the European Central Bank meeting, President Mario Draghi said the outlook for European manufacturing was getting “worse and worse.”

Deutsche Bank to eliminate one in five jobs

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 17 July 2019

Employees are now paying the price for the bank’s criminal activities over the last 30 years.

Fed signals it will bow to Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 11 July 2019

Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony to Congress yesterday was warmly welcomed by the financial markets, with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index at one point surpassing 3,000, a new record.

Germany: Riva steelworkers in Trier and Horath on strike for four weeks

By Marianne Arens, 9 July 2019

Workers are fighting against the wage dumping of parent company Riva Stahl, which is trying to pit them against the rest of the workforce to force down wages.

Furniture retailer Conforama announces 1,900 job cuts in France in 2020

By Anthony Torres, 5 July 2019

Workers at several stores targeted for closure spontaneously walked off the job in protest at the deal worked out behind their backs by management and the unions.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank slashes 20,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 4 July 2019

The plans confirm that workers in the service and banking sectors, like their counterparts in industry, are paying for the preparations for trade war and military conflict.

Bank of England chief issues warnings on global economy

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2019

In a major speech, Mark Carney pointed to a “sea change,” defined as a “profound transformation,” in the global economy, with “worrying” portents.

France: What should be done with Arnault’s $100 billion?

By Will Morrow, 26 June 2019

The CEO and leading shareholder of French luxury fashion retail group LVMH became the third person in history to join the centi-billionaires club.

Left Party to enter state government in West Germany for the first time

By Peter Schwarz, 17 June 2019

Following the recent defeat of the SPD and Greens in Bremen, the Left Party is securing both parties a majority and joining the state government to continue their despised policies.

Austrian billionaire takes over leading German chain store

By Marianne Arens, 15 June 2019

The takeover by René Benko of the major German department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof will result in more branch closures and cuts to jobs and wages.

European Union threatens to sanction Italy over budget deficit

By Peter Schwarz, 14 June 2019

The dispute over Italy’s state debt has flared up once again following the European elections.

Markets fall on trade war and global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 24 May 2019

The Financial Times cited one fund manager who said it was “panic mode” and “people are realising that the economy could be a lot slower than we thought.”

British Steel collapse threatens 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 23 May 2019

British Steel’s insolvency threatens to be a virtual coup de grâce against a once powerful section of the working class that has been repeatedly betrayed by the trade unions.

Germany: Siemens hives off energy and power plant division

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 15 May 2019

Shareholders expect jobs and working conditions to be attacked and dismantled even faster than they have been in order to boost profit rates.

Half of all land in England owned by less than one percent of the population

By Margot Miller, 27 April 2019

The aristocracy and gentry still own 30 percent of the land, while 18 percent is owned by corporations and a staggering 17 percent is in the possession of oligarchs and bankers.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

International finance backs Socialist Party in Spain’s April 28 elections

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2019

European Union sources are warning of prolonged political instability and looking to the PSOE and Podemos for an answer.

George Galloway declares for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2019

Having spent over three years hailing Corbyn as the left rebirth of Labour, Galloway now parrots the claim that Farage’s politics articulate the views of the working class on what he insists is the main issue of the day—Brexit.

Bayer cuts 4,500 jobs in Germany

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 23 April 2019

Chemical giant Bayer AG is cutting 4,500 jobs in Germany, almost one in seven of its 32,000 positions in the country.

OECD report: Growth of social inequality fuels global political and economic crisis

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 April 2019

The findings of the report showed that among OECD countries, a growing number of middle-income earners perceive “that the current socioeconomic system is unfair.”

Two giant German banks plan merger

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 12 April 2019

The German government is pushing for the combination of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to establish a financial behemoth capable of competing with the US and China.

As trade tensions increase, IMF lowers forecasts for global growth

By Nick Beams, 11 April 2019

The IMF reported that industrial production and investment remained weak in many advanced and developing economies, and world trade had yet to recover.

Two giant German banks plan merger

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 11 April 2019

The German government is pushing for the combination of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to establish a financial behemoth capable of competing with the US and China.

UK local councils sell off billions of pounds in public assets due to austerity

By Joe Mount, 5 April 2019

Since 2014, over 12,000 publicly-owned assets with a total value of over £9.1 billion have been sold off, including libraries, health clinics, youth centres and public spaces.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 April 2019

Gold miners have voted to continue their four-month strike after management rejected a deal proposed by mediators.

Amid auto layoffs and warnings of manufacturing “bloodbath”

IMF chief points to global growth deceleration

By Nick Beams, 4 April 2019

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde noted that while two years ago 75 percent of the global economy was experiencing an upswing, today 70 percent is in a slowdown.

Xi signs strategic EU-China deals amid growing EU-US tensions

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2019

Rome’s endorsement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the face of explicit US disapproval points to deep tensions between US and European imperialism.

Mounting warnings of a global recession

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2019

Bloomberg has reported that the amount of global bonds with negative yields has topped $10 trillion, an indication of the growing uncertainty in financial markets.

European Union leaders grant May extra time to pass Brexit deal in UK parliament

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2019

The EU has agreed a plan allowing a delay of Brexit to May 22 on condition that UK MPs approve the deal the EU agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May by the previous official exit date of March 29.

Fiction and reality: The Italian Five-Star Movement’s citizen income scheme

By Marianne Arens, 22 March 2019

The “reddito di cittadinanza” (citizen income) is a vanity project of the co-governing Five-Star Movement that will not change Italy’s stark social inequality.

Six million UK workers on low pay

By Barry Mason, 9 March 2019

Despite the Tory government’s perpetual rhetoric that “work pays,” reality shows being in work is no guarantee of escaping poverty.

European Central Bank announces major policy reversal

By Nick Beams, 8 March 2019

The decision by the ECB came as a result of what President Marion Draghi characterised as “substantial” downward revision of growth estimates for the region.

British retail sector continues shedding thousands of jobs

By Simon Whelan, 2 March 2019

Some 19,000 high street jobs have been lost or put at risk in the two months since Christmas.

Corporate tax cuts in UK save big business billions of pounds

By Barry Mason, 8 February 2019

According to an analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, previous cuts in corporation tax led to a reduction of around £16.5 billion a year in revenue, between 2010 and 2016.

Germany is preparing for economic war

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2019

The German government wants to promote the emergence of powerful monopolies that can counter their American and Chinese competitors “on an equal footing.”

UK’s largest supermarket Tesco to shed 9,000 jobs

By Margot Miller, 5 February 2019

The response of the trade unions to the job losses was predictably muted. No fight will be waged by them to save a single job.

Davos overshadowed by crisis and social upheaval

By Nick Beams, 25 January 2019

The decision to hand the keynote address to the newly installed fascistic president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, demonstrated the political orientation of the global elites at Davos.

Report to Davos meeting points to deepening contradictions of global capitalism

By Nick Beams, 18 January 2019

The gathering of global elites is very mindful of the mounting international class struggle, with “social anger” increasingly prevalent.

World Bank warns of “storm clouds” over global economy

By Nick Beams, 15 January 2019

The bank cut its June forecast for global growth of 3 percent this year to 2.9 percent and warned that “the risks are growing that growth could be even weaker than anticipated.”

Fight the Ford layoffs! Build rank-and-file committees to unite autoworkers across Europe!

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, Socialist Equality Party and Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 15 January 2019

The working class cannot accept the “right” of the corporations to shut plants down, decimate entire communities and destroy the lives of tens of thousands of workers.

Wall Street rules

By Andre Damon, 5 January 2019

The Federal Reserve, responding to Thursday’s stock market selloff, declared it was “listening” to the markets and ready to scrap its plans to raise interest rates.

The global slowdown: US trade war comes home

By Andre Damon, 4 January 2019

The economic warfare pursued by the Trump administration with the support of broad sections of the US political establishment is coming home to roost in the form of a global slowdown spreading to the United States.

Scotland: 300 laid off at Kaiam plant on Christmas Eve

By Steve James, 3 January 2019

Workers at optical electronics firm Kaiam in Livingston, Scotland, were laid off following the company’s collapse.

Hundreds die on UK streets as homelessness reaches record levels

By Margot Miller, 3 January 2019

Over the last five years, an estimated 2,627 homeless people have perished on the streets.

A wild week on Wall Street

By Nick Beams, 29 December 2018

This week registered the first gain for the financial markets in three weeks, but they remain on course to record the worst December since 1931.

Financial market fall accelerates on global growth fears

By Nick Beams, 18 December 2018

With all indexes now in “correction” territory, having fallen more than 10 percent since their highs, Wall Street is on track to record its biggest annual decline since 2008.

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.”

Turmoil on Wall Street continues

By Nick Beams, 11 December 2018

Concerns over global growth are a significant factor in the ongoing slide and volatility in US markets, with signs of a downturn reflected in the fall of commodity prices.

Parliamentary debate on Brexit deal begins after three defeats for May government

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2018

Whatever happens in the Brexit crisis, Britain is in the grip of a historic crisis of rule that threatens to unleash social upheavals.

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.

Tens of thousands of retail jobs lost in UK

By Margot Miller, 23 November 2018

The list of closures in the retail industry reads like a cull, with 85,000 jobs already lost this year.

Global conditions fuel Wall Street sell-off

By Nick Beams, 22 November 2018

The market has trended down since the start of October, led largely by high-tech stocks, but this week the falls broadened.

Budget dispute between Italy and EU escalates

By Peter Schwarz, 22 November 2018

If the financial markets impose further interest-rate increases on Italian government bonds, it could lead to a chain reaction of bank bankruptcies across the whole of Europe.

European Commission rejects Italy’s 2019 budget

By Alexandre Lantier and Marianne Arens, 24 October 2018

The EU’s first-ever decision to formally strike down the budget of a member state points to growing class and international tensions tearing the EU apart.

PSOE and Podemos jointly present Spanish budget to the European Union

By Alejandro López, 24 October 2018

Faced with growing strikes, the PSOE-Podemos government, in a cynical attempt to win support, is proposing wage increases in a budget it knows will be voted down.

European Union and Rome fight over Italian budget

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2018

In the conflict over the Italian budget, the EU Commission takes the side of the banks, stock exchanges and credit agencies, while the government pursues a course of militarism and attacks on immigrants and workers.

British PM addresses EU summit as “no deal” Brexit threatened

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2018

With the government in turmoil, Labour is advancing itself as a responsible representative of the British ruling elite.

Wall Street fall continues in day of swings

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2018

All major US indexes are now below their 200-day moving average, which is regarded as a key indicator of the market’s direction.

IMF chief warns of rising risks facing global economy

By Nick Beams, 2 October 2018

The IMF is set to downgrade its forecast for global growth amid rising trade tensions.

Federal Reserve lifts interest rates and indicates further hikes

By Nick Beams, 27 September 2018

For the first time since the Fed began its low-interest rate regime after the financial crisis of 2008, its base rate is above the level of inflation, indicating that wages are a key target.

Labour’s John McDonnell embraces Blairite “new economy” plan

By Laura Tiernan, 19 September 2018

Labour’s endorsement of the IPPR plan makes clear that, behind the talk about governing “for the many, not the few,” Corbyn and his allies are adopting trade war policies.

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 3 September 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

IMF pushes for more social cuts in Ukraine

By Jason Melanovski, 31 August 2018

Amid growing strikes of miners and other workers, the IMF is using the corruption of the Ukrainian oligarchy to push for social cuts.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

Rifts emerge in US-EU trade deal

By Nick Beams, 31 July 2018

The Trump administration is keeping a gun at the head of the EU over auto tariffs as it continues an investigation into whether to impose them on “national security” grounds.

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

OECD report details

A global economic “recovery” without wage increases

By Patrick Martin, 6 July 2018

A report by the grouping of 36 most economically developed countries found that the proliferation of low-wage, part-time jobs has held down wage growth for workers throughout the world.

European Union warns of global trade war if US auto tariffs go ahead

By Nick Beams, 2 July 2018

An EU submission to the US Commerce Department warns of major reprisals if the Trump administration goes ahead with auto tariffs.

After tariff measures against China

Trump threatens to escalate trade war with Europe

By Nick Beams, 23 June 2018

Central bankers at a meeting in Sintra, Portugal, voiced their concerns about the developing global trade war.

Deep divisions over US trade policies at G7 finance ministers meeting

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2018

The statement from the G7, agreed to by Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, pointed to the “negative impact of the unilateral trade actions of the United States.”

Backlash against US over tariffs

By Nick Beams, 2 June 2018

The European Union is pushing ahead with counter-measures against the US. It is expected to announce its final list of products to be targeted later this month.

Over 10,000 jobs at risk at Deutsche Bank

By Gustav Kemper, 31 May 2018

Germany’s crisis-ridden Deutsche Bank has already slashed 6,000 jobs and closed 188 branches in the past few years.

Naming of technocratic government plunges Italy into crisis of class rule

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2018

Financial markets are panicking and protests are being called, as bitter divisions inside the Italian bourgeoisie erupt to the surface.

European Central Bank points to slowing economic growth

By Nick Beams, 27 April 2018

The ECB appears to have adopted a “wait and see” approach on monetary policy in light of the latest eurozone slowdown.

US issues ultimatums to IMF on trade

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2018

Adopting the tone of an overlord, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanded that the IMF back Washington in its drive against what it claims are “unfair global trade practices.”

White House considers “national emergency” powers against Chinese investment

By Nick Beams, 21 April 2018

Under a 1977 law, president Trump could declare a national emergency in response to an “unusual and extraordinary threat” which would allow him to block transactions and even to seize assets.

IMF remains upbeat on global economy but trade conflicts sound a jarring note

By Nick Beams, 19 April 2018

The IMF chief economist said it seemed “paradoxical” that major economies were “flirting with trade war” at a time of economic expansion.

World economy in danger of being “torn apart”

By Nick Beams, 13 April 2018

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said that as a result of easy financial conditions, global debt—public and private—has reached an all-time high of $164 trillion.

The looming threat of global trade war

By Nick Beams, 29 March 2018

The volatility reflects the speculative character of the share market’s rise and the fears that a global trade war could puncture this bubble.

Russian economy stagnates as presidential election approaches

By Andrea Peters, 10 March 2018

Russians will head to the polls on March 18, as the Kremlin touts an economic recovery that leaves millions behind.

EU threatens retaliation to Trump’s trade war measures

By Peter Symonds, 3 March 2018

Trump’s announcement of global tariffs on steel and aluminium has triggered international criticism, including from US allies that will be among the hardest hit.