European Economy

Portuguese public sector workers strike

By Jordan Shilton, 14 November 2013

A strike of Portuguese public sector workers, in opposition to further austerity cuts of €3.9 billion, including wage cuts of up to 12 percent, received the support of 70 percent of the workforce.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron proclaims austerity cuts to be “permanent”

By Robert Stevens, 13 November 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron used the annual speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet to declare that the devastating austerity being imposed by his government will be “permanent.”

Vote of no confidence in Greek government fails

By Christoph Dreier, 13 November 2013

A vote of no confidence in the Greek government initiated by the largest opposition party, Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left), failed by a wide margin on Sunday.

Referendum in Switzerland to place upper limit on salaries

By Max Schneider, 11 November 2013

On November 24, Switzerland will hold a referendum on whether the wage gap between lowest and highest earners at a company should be limited to a ratio of 1 to 12.

Widespread child poverty in Germany

By Sybille Fuchs, 9 November 2013

Around 10 percent of German children live in families whose income lies below the poverty line.

Euro zone officials: No let-up in economic stagnation, mass unemployment

By Alex Lantier, 7 November 2013

Continuing stagnation and mass layoffs across the euro zone’s devastated economies constitute a condemnation of the economic irrationality of capitalism.

Mass protests in Portugal against new budget cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 6 November 2013

As unemployment and poverty grow, thousands protested against new austerity measures of the Portuguese government.

European unemployment hits new high

By Stefan Steinberg, 2 November 2013

According to new figures issued by the Eurostat data agency, unemployment across the 17-country euro zone hit a record 12.2 percent in September.

EU border agency Frontex guilty of massive breach of human rights

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 28 October 2013

The European Union has responded to the refugee crisis in Lampedusa by hermetically sealing its borders and expanding the police apparatus used to repel refugees.

Italian government adopts austerity budget

By Mariane Arens, 21 October 2013

The so-called stability law 2014 mandates spending cuts of close to €12 billion and tax cuts for business of €3.7 billion.

Lampedusa migrant deaths: The real face of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2013

From the outside, the EU is like a fortress before whose walls thousands of migrants lose their lives, while inside it resembles a prison, with rising poverty and exploitation.

Irish government unveils new austerity budget

By Jordan Shilton, 17 October 2013

The Fine Gael-Labour coalition has outlined new austerity measures, including €1.6 billion in spending cuts aimed at the most vulnerable.

Social conflicts intensifying in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 14 October 2013

The Greek government is increasingly resorting to authoritarian methods to enforce planned redundancies in the face of mounting working class resistance.

New reports warn of mass poverty and social decline in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 October 2013

The social crisis in Europe is being consciously exploited by the continent’s political elite to affect a major redistribution of wealth from the bottom of society to the top.

Foxconn imposes Chinese-style sweatshop conditions in Europe

By Denis Krassnin, 10 October 2013

Working conditions tantamount to modern slavery are being introduced into Europe by the notorious Foxconn corporation.

French austerity budget raises taxes on workers

By Olivier Laurent, 10 October 2013

The French austerity budget slashes social spending and increases taxes for workers while companies get tax breaks.

German firm Siemens intensifies job cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 9 October 2013

The announcement by Siemens’ management that 15,000 jobs will be axed worldwide is the prelude to further cuts.

Manoeuvres between Greece’s major parties accompany clampdown on Golden Dawn

By Robert Stevens, 7 October 2013

The arrest of fascist Golden Dawn party leaders was a long-planned operation, carried out amid escalating opposition to Greece’s coalition government.

An additional 25 million Europeans face poverty

By Barry Mason, 7 October 2013

Almost 1 in 10 working households in Europe now lives in poverty.

Germany: Orchestra musicians protest against job and pay cuts

By Sofia Staubach, 7 October 2013

In the past two decades, 37 of 168 orchestras in Germany have been closed, and 2,315 musicians’ jobs cut.

The return of the Euro crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 4 October 2013

The financial and political crisis in Europe has re-emerged with renewed intensity after the German federal elections.

Greek authorities release three fascist Golden Dawn deputies from custody

By Christoph Dreier, 4 October 2013

Yesterday, Greek authorities released three of the fascist Golden Dawn deputies arrested after the murder of anti-fascist hip-hop musician Pavlos Fyssas.

Italian government survives confidence vote

By Peter Schwarz, 3 October 2013

Rather than a “historic day for Italian democracy,” Wednesday’s confidence vote was a closing of ranks within the ruling class for a fresh assault on the working class.

Greek pseudo-lefts support state ban on fascist Golden Dawn

By Christoph Dreier, 2 October 2013

Fearing that workers will begin to take the struggle against the fascists into their own hands, the Greek government has arrested leading members of Golden Dawn to bolster the credibility of the state.

Crackdown on Golden Dawn in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 30 September 2013

On Saturday, 18 leading members of Golden Dawn, including the chairman of the party, Nikos Michaloliakos, were arrested.

New government crisis in Italy after resignation of five ministers

By Marianne Arens, 30 September 2013

The Italian government is set to collapse just five months after taking office.

Spanish government approves pension “reform” and freezes public-sector pay

By Alejandro López, 30 September 2013

The ability of the Popular Party government to impose new attacks on civil servants and pensions, is entirely due to the collaboration of the trade unions.

Political issues in the struggle against the threat of fascism and dictatorship in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 28 September 2013

Golden Dawn has been deliberately built up by the ruling class to spearhead the violent suppression of the working class.

Protests continue against social cuts and fascist terror in Greece

By Christoph Dreier and Katerina Selin, 25 September 2013

As new evidence of official support for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn group emerges, unions and pseudo-left parties are trying to politically subordinate protests to the state.

Spanish Socialist Party toes US line on Syria

By Alejandro López, 23 September 2013

The efforts by Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) to whip up support for US-led threats against Syria is aimed at distracting public attention from the social catastrophe for which it is responsible.

Protests shake Greece after fascist murder of musician Pavlos Fyssas

By Christoph Dreier, 20 September 2013

On Thursday thousands again took to the streets in Greece to protest social cuts and the fascist murder of musician Pavlos Fyssas.

Suicides rise sharply in Greece

By Katarina Selin, 20 September 2013

The increase in suicides in Greece highlights the social decline which has taken place under the diktat of the European Union.

JPMorgan receives wrist slap fine for hiding derivatives loss

By Andre Damon, 20 September 2013

JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, settled charges related to its multi-billion-dollar trading loss Thursday with four regulators, paying a total of $920 million in fines.

Greek workers demonstrate against mass sackings, fascist violence

By Katerina Selin and Christoph Dreier, 19 September 2013

Protests were held in all major Greek cities Wednesday against the austerity measures of the Greek government and the European Union.

Ireland: Homeless worker dies in a Dublin waste truck

By Steve James, 13 September 2013

The circumstances of Henryk Piotrowski’s life and brutal death express in a particularly cruel form the impact of the Irish and European ruling class’s austerity policies on the most vulnerable sections of working people.

Worsening malnutrition amongst Spanish children

By Alejandro López, 28 August 2013

Due to deepening austerity measures, over a quarter of the Spanish population under 16—some 2.3 million children—are now at risk of malnutrition.

European steel industry in deep crisis

By Sven Heymann, 20 August 2013

The European steel industry confronts overcapacity and shrinking markets.

The EU and the attack on European workers’ wages

By Julie Hyland, 15 August 2013

A new study by the UK’s House of Commons Library finds that European workers’ wages have fallen drastically since the Wall Street crash five years ago.

New management at German giant Siemens to introduce further cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 15 August 2013

Hit by the economic downturn, Siemens, Germany’s third largest industrial concern, has announced plans for further cuts.

Obama, Greek premier stress close military and intelligence ties

By Christoph Dreier, 12 August 2013

During Antonis Samaras’ trip to Washington last week, Obama made clear that the US is prepared to back military repression to deal with increasing social opposition in Greece.

Tens of thousands of Spanish shipbuilding jobs at risk

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 3 August 2013

Spanish shipbuilding workers face mass unemployment under an illegal scheme of shipyard owners.

Crisis deepens in the European auto industry

By Ludwig Weller, 2 August 2013

Auto experts expect up to 10 auto plants to shut down in Europe in the near future.

Greece and Detroit—a new stage in the social counterrevolution

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 July 2013

The slashing of public sector jobs in Greece is part of an international offensive by the financial markets to eliminate all the social gains of the working class.

Euro zone debt burden continues to rise

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 July 2013

Figures from the Eurostat statistics agency show that the debt burden across the euro zone continues to rise after three years of austerity.

Portugal’s “National Salvation” pact fails

By Paul Mitchell, 24 July 2013

In a televised speech, Portuguese President Cavaco Silva declared that the country was in a national emergency, but rejected new elections.

Demand grows for Spanish prime minister to resign

By Alejandro López, 23 July 2013

Secret hand-written ledgers covering the period 1990 to 2008 detail more than 30 donations to the ruling Popular Party that were illegal.

UK government set on deeper cuts to welfare

By Julie Hyland, 20 July 2013

The Conservative/Liberal coalition in Britain has laid out further attacks on welfare provision, while the opposition Labour Party calls for even deeper cuts.

Greek government bans demonstrations in central Athens

By Christoph Dreier, 19 July 2013

The Greek government has used the visit on Thursday by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to impose a blanket ban on demonstrations in central Athens.

Reports confirm deepening recession in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 July 2013

A series of reports confirm that austerity policies implemented since the financial crisis of 2008 are plunging Europe ever deeper into recession.

Spanish government imposes new tax hikes and austerity measures

By Alejandro López, 19 July 2013

Since the global economic crisis erupted in 2008 state revenue in Spain has slumped by nearly €200 billion.

Greek workers in fourth general strike of 2013

By Robert Stevens, 17 July 2013

Greek workers struck against the firing of thousands of public sector employees.

Germany’s Praktiker chain store declares bankruptcy

By Peter Schwarz, 16 July 2013

Home improvement chain store Praktiker announced last week it is going into liquidation.

European Union’s Nabucco pipeline project aborted

By Clara Weiss, 13 July 2013

The Nabucco pipeline project, which was to have transported gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe in order to bypass Russia, has been cancelled.

Strikes and protests against mass layoffs in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 11 July 2013

Greek municipal workers went on strike Monday in response to government plans to carry out further redundancies in the public services.

The infrastructure of a police state emerges in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 10 July 2013

Former NSA employee Edward Snowden has exposed the infrastructure of a police state whose surveillance powers far exceed those of former totalitarian dictatorships.

Russian government implements austerity as economy falters

By Andrea Peters, 10 July 2013

Russia’s minister of finance announced plans last week to address a $33 billion budget shortfall with cuts targeting the working class.

European Central Bank promises banks long-term cheap credit

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 July 2013

In a major break with traditional policy, the European Central Bank promised last week to provide cheap credit indefinitely to European banks.

Portuguese government continues austerity following ministerial resignations

By Paul Mitchell, 8 July 2013

The governing coalition faced crisis last week with the resignation of the Finance Minister and Foreign Minister.

Major slump in European auto industry

By Markus Salzmann, 6 July 2013

2013 will be the worst year for the auto industry in Western Europe in three decades. A recent study estimates that car sales will fall another 5 percent this year to below 12 million vehicles.

Looting of Greece continues under new government

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2013

A deal expected over the weekend between the “troika”and the Greek government will have further devastating austerity as its centerpiece.

German chancellor holds phony Jobs Summit

By Peter Schwarz, 4 July 2013

At Wednesday’s European Jobs Summit in Berlin, government heads agreed to use record high levels of youth unemployment as the pretext for further attacks on the remaining social protections and past social gains of European workers.

Mass sackings increase in Spain following labour reforms

By Franci Vier, 3 July 2013

Following the passage of trade union-agreed labour reforms, making it easier for companies to sack Spanish workers, mass sackings are on the increase.

British government planning privatisation of student loan debt

By Jordan Shilton, 3 July 2013

A secret internal government report has revealed the plans of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition to sell student loan debt to private investors.

The EU’s fraudulent “call to action” on youth unemployment

By Peter Schwarz, 29 June 2013

The European Union’s “Call to Action on Youth Unemployment” is a travesty that only underscores the fact that an entire generation has no future in a capitalist Europe.

UK chancellor announces a further £11.5 billion in cuts

By Robert Stevens, 29 June 2013

This week’s Spending Round by the British government continues its programme of mass austerity and puts in place permanent welfare and pay cuts.

Ireland: Bankers joke about their €7 billion bailout scam

By Steve James, 29 June 2013

The taped 2008 conversations of Irish bank executives at the now-defunct Anglo-Irish bank gives an insight into the criminal activities of the banking elite globally.

General strike in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 28 June 2013

Many Portuguese workers participated in a general strike Thursday, the fourth in two years against austerity.

Swiss tax deal with the US voted down

By Marianne Arens, 28 June 2013

Relations between Switzerland and the United States are worse than ever before due to the tax dispute between the US Justice Department and Swiss banks.

French pseudo-left works to defeat workers’ opposition to upcoming pension cuts

By Anthony Torres, 27 June 2013

The NPA is trying to bring the popular opposition to the Socialist Party’s austerity policies into the dead end of support for the Left Front and the union bureaucracy.

New Democracy and PASOK form new crisis-ridden government in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 27 June 2013

A crisis-ridden Greek government, composed of New Democracy and PASOK, announced a new cabinet following the resignation of the Democratic Left from the coalition.

Major attack on pensions being prepared in Spain

By Vicky Short, 26 June 2013

The Spanish trade unions and opposition Socialist Party are collaborating with the Popular Party government in the destruction of the pension rights of millions of workers.

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.

DIMAR party leaves Greek government amid protests over TV shutdown

By Christoph Dreier, 22 June 2013

DIMAR chairman Fotis Kouvelis announced that his party would leave the Greek government coalition yesterday, amid protests over the shutdown of public broadcaster ERT.

Bank of Spain calls for elimination of the minimum wage

By Alejandro López, 22 June 2013

The Bank of Spain has called for the elimination of the minimum wage, more flexibility in the labour market and other attacks on the working class.

Wave of suicides in Italy as social conditions deteriorate

By our correspondent, 21 June 2013

Suicides related to economic causes have increased 30 percent in the past four years, according to a recent report.

Workers in Britain suffer the greatest fall in wages since the 1930s

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2013

Wages, adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 15 percent in the UK over the last five years.

JPMorgan calls for authoritarian regimes in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 June 2013

The authors of the JPMorgan report are arguing for governments to adopt dictatorial-type powers to complete the process of social counterrevolution that is already well underway across Europe.

Irish government to impose austerity until 2020

By Jordan Shilton, 17 June 2013

Ireland’s trade unions are trying to force through an agreement that will reduce public sector jobs, cut overtime pay and lengthen working hours.

Greek government shuts public broadcast station

By Christoph Dreier, 13 June 2013

On Tuesday night, Greek police stopped transmission of the public broadcasting service, which is slated for restructuring and large-scale job cuts.

London police launch violent raid on anti-G8 protesters

By Robert Stevens, 13 June 2013

Mass arrests were made by police who smashed their way into a squat with chainsaws, axle-grinders, crowbars and climbing gear.

Alter-Summit in Athens: A pseudo-left response to growing social opposition in Europe

By Christoph Dreier, 11 June 2013

Trade unions and pseudo-left groups organized a so-called Alter-Summit in Athens, backing the European Union institutions that impose austerity throughout Europe.

Global stock sell-off amidst signs of deepening slump

By Andre Damon, 6 June 2013

The volatility in financial markets reflects the artificial and unsustainable character of the rise in asset prices in the midst of stagnation and slump in the real economy.

UN warns against social unrest in Europe

By Christoph Dreier, 4 June 2013

In the face of rising social inequality, growing unemployment and the absence of popular confidence in the region’s governments, the International Labour Organization (ILO) warned Monday about the prospect of social unrest in Europe,

More austerity in Europe in face of record unemployment

By Christoph Dreier, 1 June 2013

Though euro zone unemployment hit a two-year high in April, European governments are preparing further austerity measures.

The reality of Greece’s “recovery”

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2013

For the working class, there has been a drastic reversal in living standards, growing mass unemployment and savage cuts in social spending.

IMF to have power over Irish healthcare spending

By Jordan Shilton, 27 May 2013

According to a leaked document from the European Union (EU) commission, the government in Dublin will now have to report monthly on healthcare spending.

The European Commission, French President Hollande accelerate austerity

By Anthony Torres, 23 May 2013

While the French economy has entered into recession, the European Union and the French government are pressing to accelerate social attacks.

Protest opposes London-wide National Health Service cuts

By Paul Bond, 22 May 2013

The Save our NHS demonstration showed the bankruptcy of the Labour Party and trade unions campaign in defence of health care.

Six million suffer fuel poverty in UK

By Emily Wilson, 22 May 2013

The number of people in fuel poverty in England is expected to rise from 6 million today to 9 million by 2016.

Beppe Grillo agitates against immigrants

By Marianne Arens, 22 May 2013

On May 14, Beppe Grillo published a racist blog post appealing to far-right forces.

Slovenian government adopts another austerity programme

By Markus Salzmann, 21 May 2013

Seven weeks after taking power, Slovenia’s centre-left governing coalition adopted a new austerity programme and presented it to the EU commission.

Tens of thousands march in Rome against austerity

By Stefan Steinberg, 20 May 2013

Trade union leaders used a large demonstration in Rome on Saturday to cover their tracks in supporting the recently formed coalition government led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta.

The betrayal of the Greek teachers’ strike

By Chris Marsden, 18 May 2013

The decision by leaders of the OLME teachers union to abandon an agreed strike in the face of civil mobilisation orders has delivered a serious blow to the entire Greek working class.

Spanish government rejects unions’ pleas for anti-crisis pact

By Vicky Short, 18 May 2013

With 6.2 million out of work, the trade unions are appealing for unity with the right wing Popular Party government.

Sharp increase in US jobless benefit claims

By Andre Damon, 17 May 2013

Negative economic figures released this week point to continuing stagnation in the US amidst a worsening slump internationally.

OECD reports growing inequality worldwide

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 May 2013

The latest OECD report confirms that inequality in most industrialised nations has grown significantly since the world economic crisis broke out in 2007-8.

Austrian Social Democrats suffer massive losses in local elections

By Markus Salzmann, 17 May 2013

In regional elections in Salzburg, the Social Democrats and the Austrian Peoples’ Party recorded the largest loss of support since the Second World War.

Euro zone contracts for sixth consecutive quarter

By Andre Damon, 16 May 2013

The euro area economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, which was followed by further calls for austerity.

Attacks on Greek teachers intensify

By Christoph Dreier, 15 May 2013

The public service trade union federation, ADEDY, has made clear that it will not mobilize public employees to defend the teachers.

The rotten foundations of the Italian coalition government

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2013

An appellate court has handed down a four-year prison sentence for tax evasion to former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.