Southern Europe

Why is the Spanish media promoting Esther Vivas of the Anti-Capitalist Left?

By Alejandro López, 1 August 2011

Esther Vivas, leader and spokeswoman of the Anti-capitalist Left (Izquierda Anticapitalista, IA) is receiving an extraordinary degree of media attention.

Italy: Centre-left opposition supports austerity measures

By Marianne Arens, 27 July 2011

Significant sections of big business are now pushing for an early change of government.

Hunger strikes spread in Montenegro

By Ante Dotto, 27 July 2011

Since the beginning of the year many people have gone on hunger strikes throughout Montenegro, the smallest of the states emerging after the breakup of Yugoslavia, with a population of around 620,000.

SEP holds meeting in Berlin

Greece and the euro crisis

By a correspondent, 20 July 2011

At a meeting in Berlin last Saturday the chairman of the German Socialist Equality Party described the threat of the default by Greece as an expression of the global crisis of capitalism.

EU concludes negotiations over Croatia’s accession

By Markus Salzmann, 18 July 2011

The push by the Kosor government and Brussels for Croatia’s entry into the European Union is designed to make it a low-wage country for exploitation by major European businesses.

Berlusconi doubles cuts in Italian austerity program

By Marianne Arens, 15 July 2011

Under intense pressure from the financial markets, the government of Silvio Berlusconi announced on Tuesday that new austerity measures were to be enforced more quickly and ruthlessly than previously planned.

Financial markets target Italy

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 July 2011

On Monday the finance ministers of the 17 Euro-zone countries met at a hastily convened emergency meeting in Brussels to discuss the spread of the euro crisis to Italy.

SYRIZA leader offers his services to the European political elite

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 July 2011

At a meeting in Berlin, the chairman of SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left) made an urgent appeal to the European political and financial elite to restructure their loans to Greece to avoid social unrest.

Default looms as Portugal’s bonds downgraded to “junk” status

By Paul Mitchell, 8 July 2011

The downgrading of Portuguese bonds to junk status has provoked bitter recriminations from European Union leaders, who fear for the stability of the entire continent.

The political lessons of Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 July 2011

The new package of austerity measures passed last week in Greece will have devastating consequences for the Greek and international working class.

Banks secure own interests at Greece’s expense

By Stefan Steinberg, 2 July 2011

The French plan to roll over Greek debt was timed to send the right signals to the financial markets while influencing the debate in the Greek parliament on a new round of austerity measures.

Greek austerity package: Social counterrevolution in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 30 June 2011

The vote in the Greek Parliament approving another package of austerity measures marks a political watershed for the whole of Europe.

Spanish unions, “left” parties facilitate anti-worker reform of collective bargaining

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 30 June 2011

There is massive opposition to the changes to workers bargaining rights approved by the Spanish Congress last week.

Greek parliament discusses new austerity in face of mass opposition

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 June 2011

The Greek government, in close cooperation with European politicians, bankers and the International Monetary Fund, is working frantically this week to push through parliament massive austerity measures overwhelmingly opposed by the Greek working class.

Germany contemplates “nuclear option” for Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 June 2011

Leading German industrialists and economists are arguing that Greece should either withdraw or be thrown out of the eurozone in order to avoid a breakup of the European Union.

Montenegro: Five years after independence

By Ante Dotto, 28 June 2011

Five years after nominal independence, the social and political situation in Montenegro belies the claim that the break-up of Yugoslavia into “independent” states represented anything progressive.

Twenty years after the dissolution of Yugoslavia: Slovenia’s government in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 27 June 2011

Slovenia’s conservative opposition parties are poised to oust the current government, in order to subject the country to the social devastation demanded by the EU and IMF.

Carmaker Citroën-Peugeot to close plants in France and Spain

By Antoine Lerougetel, 27 June 2011

Leaked internal documents reveal that PSA, the French Citroën-Peugeot car manufacturer, intends to close three of its plants.

Greece: The Syntagma Square movement—no real democracy

By Peter Schwarz, 24 June 2011

The call for “no politics” is itself a political program, and one of the vilest sort. It is exclusively directed against a genuine, leftist perspective dedicated to the political independence of the working class.

Papandreou wins confidence vote in Greece

By our correspondents in Athens, 23 June 2011

In the early hours of Wednesday morning the newly reshuffled cabinet of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou won a no-confidence vote by a slim majority.

The role of the ex-left in Spain’s los indignados protests

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2011

The ending of the occupation of Madrid’s main Puerta del Sol square after more than three weeks provides an occasion to address the “autonomy/no politics” perspective advanced by its leadership.

Greece: The dictatorship of finance capital

By Nick Beams, 22 June 2011

The diktat handed down by the International Monetary Fund demanding the imposition of even harsher austerity measure before the release of the €12 billion final tranche of the current Greek bailout package marks a sharp turn in the unfolding European financial crisis.

Italian referendums inflict another defeat on Berlusconi

By Marianne Arens, 22 June 2011

The latest referendums in Italy in mid-June inflicted another political defeat on Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Greece faces new austerity package

By our correspondents in Athens, 21 June 2011

The hectic political manoeuvres in Brussels and Athens in recent days aim to impose a new round of bank bailouts and social cuts on the devastated Greek population.

Mass protests against government cuts in Spain

By Alejandro López, 21 June 2011

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against austerity measures in 50 cities across Spain on Sunday.

More evidence of provocations, repression of Barcelona protests

By Alejandro López, 20 June 2011

More evidence is emerging of the use of undercover provocateurs in the vicious police attack on a demonstration in Barcelona last Wednesday.

Global markets plummet as Greek political crisis deepens

By Stefan Steinberg, 17 June 2011

Commentators agree that any compromise between Berlin and Paris would only provide a temporary breathing space to Greece and postpone what is increasingly regarded as the inevitable outcome—a sovereign default resulting in a new European and international finance crisis.

Protests continue against budget cuts by Catalán parliament in Spain

By Alejandro López, 17 June 2011

Last Wednesday up to 3,000 protestors gathered in front of the Catalán parliament in Barcelona.

Greek prime minister proposes government of national unity as protests spread

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 June 2011

Yesterday the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed a pact with the country’s conservative opposition party, New Democracy, to form a national unity government to continue making unpopular social cuts.

Which way forward for the working class in Greece?

By Stefan Steinberg, 15 June 2011

A one-day strike called by Greece’s trade unions against the latest social cuts demanded by the PASOK government poses pressing questions of political perspective to all class-conscious workers.

Greek government announces new cuts amid mass opposition

By Stefan Steinberg and Alex Lantier, 13 June 2011

The Greek government has announced major new spending cuts, amid rising occupations of city squares and strikes against social cuts.

Portugal and the collapse of European social democracy

By Chris Marsden, 10 June 2011

The defeat of Portugal’s Socialist Party government in the June 5 election has brought forth a plethora of articles on the rout suffered by Europe’s social democratic parties.

European Union officials demand brutal austerity in Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 June 2011

In their totality the cutbacks demanded by the EU at the behest of the banks amount to a social counterrevolution.

Socialist Party routed in Portuguese general election

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2011

Portugal’s general election has ended in defeat for the ruling Socialist Party (SP) of Jose Sócrates and victory for the centre-right opposition Social Democrats (PSD).

Serbian government threatens protesting farmers and armament workers

By Ante Dotto, 6 June 2011

Social discontent and anger is palpable in Serbia, as protests grow among farmers and sections of workers in defence of their jobs.

European Union, IMF move toward second bailout of Greece

By Andre Damon, 4 June 2011

International financial officials signaled Friday that more bailout money would be forthcoming for Greece next month, after the Greek government pledged to implement billions of euros in cuts and privatizations.

Portugal’s ruling elite plans social offensive after election

By Paul Mitchell, 4 June 2011

The ruling elite in Portugal are planning a social counter-revolution following the general election on Sunday June 5.

Greek government to announce billions more in austerity measures

By Andre Damon, 3 June 2011

The Greek Government is preparing to announce another €6.4 billion in austerity measures today after Moody's, the debt rating agency, cut the country's credit rating three notches.

Spain’s 15-M protests and the politics of “autonomy”

By Robert Stevens, 3 June 2011

Protesters in Madrid’s Puerta Del Sol square have insisted to World Socialist Web Site reporters that the demonstrations by “los indignados” have “no leadership” and are organised by “autonomous” collectives, commissions and assemblies.

The assault on the Greek working class

By Peter Schwarz, 2 June 2011

In Greece—and in a similar manner in Portugal, Ireland and Spain—the ruling class is carrying out a counterrevolutionary offensive against the working class.

Mladic extradited to the Hague

By Chris Marsden and Markus Salzmann, 1 June 2011

The former chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb Army in the Republica Srpska during the 1992-95 civil war was extradited to the Netherlands on Tuesday, where he will stand trial at the Hague for war crimes.

Berlusconi suffers defeat in Italian elections

By Marianne Arens, 1 June 2011

The Italian government coalition of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi suffered a bitter defeat in local elections, losing the mayor’s office in Milan.

Banks demand savage austerity measures in Greece

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 May 2011

The European financial elite is dispensing all pretence of basic democratic norms as it demands a new round of brutal austerity and privatisations.

Spanish anti-austerity protests spread to more cities

By our reporters, 31 May 2011

On Sunday evening thousands of protesters voted to continue the occupation of Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square, in the “tent city” established in the immediate aftermath of the May 15 mass demonstration.

Spain’s M-15 protests continue

By our reporters, 30 May 2011

The occupation of Spain’s main Puerta del Sol Square in Madrid continued over the weekend, and protests are set to carry on next week.

“If things carry on like this, there won’t be work for any of us,” say Spain’s indignados

By our reporters, 30 May 2011

WSWS reporters speak to Madrid’s “angry ones”.

Police beat anti-austerity protesters in Barcelona, Spain

By our reporters, 28 May 2011

Spanish police yesterday fired rubber bullets and beat protesters with truncheons in a vicious attempt to clear demonstraters from the Plaza de Cataluna square in Barcelona.

What way forward for Spain’s “angry ones”?

By Chris Marsden, 27 May 2011

The mass demonstrations in Spain that began on May 15 testify to the huge anger over the austerity measures imposed by the Socialist Party (PSOE) government.

Spain: Local and regional elections show mass dissatisfaction

By Alejandro López, 25 May 2011

The ruling PSOE has suffered its worst defeat in local and regional elections in history.

Protests continue in Spain as ruling Socialist Party suffers electoral defeat

By Paul Mitchell, 23 May 2011

Tens of thousands protestors continue to occupy Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and other centres in numerous cities and towns across Spain, despite a government ban.

Tens of thousands protest throughout Spain, defying government ban

By Alejandro López, 21 May 2011

Tens of thousands more protestors continue to occupy Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, as well as the main squares in another 162 towns and cities.

Protestors occupy city squares in Spain after mass demonstrations Sunday

By Alejandro López, 20 May 2011

Tens of thousands are continuing to protest in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol and other cities across Spain after last Sunday’s mass demonstrations.

Italy’s role in the war on Libya

By Marianne Arens, 14 May 2011

Italian fighter jets take off regularly from the Birgi Trapani air force base in Sicily and from the aircraft carrier Garibaldi, to drop their deadly cargo over the former Italian colony.

Creation of “bad bank” heightens prospect of Spanish bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 14 May 2011

Reports that the Bank of Spain is considering the creation of a national “bad bank” to suck up the huge toxic debts of the country’s banks has heightened the prospect of a bailout by European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Protesters, police clash in Athens demonstration

By Stefan Steinberg, 13 May 2011

Two protesters were seriously injured by police, dozens more injured and over twenty arrested as police moved in violently to quell protests in the Greek capital on Wednesday.

Greek crisis triggers fierce conflicts in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2011

Rumours about the possible withdrawal of Greece from the euro, and a secret meeting of European finance ministers, have triggered fierce conflicts within the European Union.

Europe one year after the bailout of Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 10 May 2011

One year after the bailout of Greece, Europe stands on the brink of disintegration, with attacks on the working class intensifying and conflicts mounting between the continent's leading powers.

Italian unions deal another blow to Fiat autoworkers

By Marc Wells, 7 May 2011

In a May 2-3 vote, Fiat workers at the historic Bertone plant voted for a company plan supported by unions to invest €550 million and restructure labor relations along the lines of previous contracts at Pomigliano D’Arco and Mirafiori.

Draconian austerity measures a condition of Portuguese bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 6 May 2011

Early indications are that a terrible assault on the living standards of the working class is being launched in a society where unemployment is already at a record high 11 percent.

Spain: Telefónica slashes jobs and offers multimillion bonuses to its chief executives

By Alejandro López and Vicky Short, 2 May 2011

On April 13 the executive president of Telefónica, Guillermo Ansaldo, announced at Investors’ Day in London the slashing of 20 percent of its staff over the next three years.

Croatian conviction casts light on US responsibility for war crimes

By Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2011

Last week, the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia in the Hague found two Croatian military leaders, General Ante Gotovina and Assistant Interior Minister Mladen Markac, guilty of war crimes and sentenced them to 24 years and 18 years imprisonment.

Plan to restructure Greek debt reveals deep rifts in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 April 2011

After months of speculation and denials by the Greek prime minister and leading international finance chiefs, the Athens daily Eleftherotypia reported Monday that the Greek government has issued a request to the IMF and the EU to restructure Greece’s public debt.

Italy plans to step up its participation in the war against Libya

By Marianne Arens, 20 April 2011

As the bombing of Libya enters its fourth week, Italy is looking for ways to participate more actively in the war.

France blocks train carrying Tunisian refugees from Italy

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 April 2011

Last Sunday French border police blocked rail traffic between France and Italy to prevent Tunisian immigrants from entering France via Italy.

Spain: Catalan Greens vote for war with Libya

By Alejandro Lopéz and Paul Mitchell, 19 April 2011

The Catalan Greens, Iniciativa per CatalunyaVerds (ICV), voted in favour of the war in Libya supported by the ruling Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) in Congress last month.

Zapatero asks for funds while claiming Spain needs no bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 15 April 2011

This week Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero visited the Far East pleading for funds.

Rising social protests in the Balkans

By Markus Salzmann, 15 April 2011

Political and social unrest has increased in the Balkan region during the past weeks and months.

Class issues in the Portuguese bailout

By Alex Lantier, 14 April 2011

The Portuguese bailout is a reactionary, anti-democratic charade aimed at blocking a political challenge by the working class to austerity policies.

France re-establishes border controls with Italy amid dispute over African migrants

By Kumaran Ira, 11 April 2011

Last week, France took the unprecedented move of restoring border controls with Italy on April 7, after Rome granted temporary visas to thousands of African migrants.

Portugal’s bailout: European banking crisis deepens

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2011

The aim of the Portuguese bailout, expected to total at least €80 billion, is to prop up the European banks by imposing major cuts to the living standards and social conditions of the working class.

Portugal: Massive austerity measures to follow bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 9 April 2011

The European Union is demanding massive austerity measures in return for a multi-billion euro bailout requested by the Portuguese government on Thursday.

Fiat deal being used to gut collective bargaining rights throughout Italy

By Marc Wells and Alex Lantier, 9 April 2011

After imposing massive concessions contracts at automaker Fiat’s plants in Pomigliano D’Arco and Mirafiori, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is emerging as the leader of a campaign to force cuts and attacks on collective bargaining throughout the Italian economy.

Portugal requests EU-IMF bailout

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 April 2011

In a new escalation of the euro crisis, Portugal became the third European country to ask the European Union and the International Monetary Fund for a loan.

Portugal edges towards bailout as borrowing rate hits record high

By Paul Mitchell, 31 March 2011

Portugal edged closer to seeking a financial bailout this week, as the cost of government borrowing hit record highs.

Spain takes its place in the imperialist war against Libya

By Alejandro López, 30 March 2011

The Spanish parliament voted last week in favour of Spanish military intervention in Libya with 336 in favour, just 3 against and 1 abstention.

The Italian “left” and Libya

By Marc Wells, 29 March 2011

As European and US bombs fall on Libya, the so-called “left” in Italy is serving as nothing more than a fig leaf for Western imperialism as it seeks to keep full geopolitical and economic control of North Africa and the Middle East.

Portuguese Prime Minister resigns amid rising social protests

By Paul Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 24 March 2011

Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates resigned yesterday, amid rising strikes and protests and attempts by the ruling class to find a broader political coalition to force social cuts on the workers.

Spanish air traffic controller: “The unions, the political parties. No one supported us.”

By Paul Mitchell, 23 March 2011

Marcelino Victoria, a Spanish air traffic controller, contacted the World Socialist Web Site recently, thanking us for our support and agreed to talk to reporter Paul Mitchell.

Protests continue in Croatia

By Markus Salzmann, 22 March 2011

The people of Croatia have launched a wave of protests against drastically deteriorating social conditions, a savage austerity programme and corruption on the part of top-ranking politicians.

Italian youth unemployment reaches thirty percent

By Marianne Arens, 18 March 2011

Recently published statistics reveal the wide extent of social polarization in Italy.

Spain’s ex-radical groups apologise for unions’ acceptance of social pact

By Paul Stuart and Alejandro López, 16 March 2011

Last month, the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Workers Party—PSOE) government, the employers and the trade unions signed a “grand social pact” whose provisions include raising the official retirement age from 65 to 67 by 2013.

Spain’s fake left groups apologise for union agreement to social pact

By Paul Stuart and Alejandro López, 16 March 2011

Spain’s pseudo-left groups again demonstrate their role as apologists for the trade union bureaucracy, opposing any break by the working class with the main union federations.

Portugal: Hundreds of thousands demonstrate against youth unemployment

By Paul Mitchell, 15 March 2011

Hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated against youth unemployment in 11 cities across Portugal on Saturday. Noticeable by their absence were political parties and trade unions.

The resurgence of Italy’s imperialist ambitions in Libya

By Marc Wells, 10 March 2011

The Italian warship Libra docked in Benghazi, Libya, as the Italian ruling class calculates how to defend its imperialist interests in Libya.

A reply to a defender of Portugal’s Stalinist trade unions

5 March 2011

WSWS journalist Paul Mitchell replies to a letter sent by a reader from Portugal.

Italian municipalities crippled by financial speculation

By Marc Wells, 3 March 2011

A conflict between local municipalities and banks has sparked in Italian courts and in financial circles, revealing the precariousness of public finances and the collusion between Italy’s ruling elite and financial institutions.

Spain: Basque separatist party moves to renounce armed struggle

By Alejandro López, 1 March 2011

Leaders of the banned separatist group Batasuna, the political wing of ETA, have announced the formation of a new party, “Sortu” (Birth), to contest May elections.

Greek workers mount eighth general strike

By Robert Stevens, 24 February 2011

Workers in Greece took part in a general strike Wednesday to protest the austerity measures being imposed by the social democratic government of Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Italy’s Berlusconi indicted on prostitution, abuse-of-power charges

By Marc Wells and Alex Lantier, 18 February 2011

Judge Cristina Di Censo has indicted Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute and abuse of office.

Spain’s air traffic controllers union backs military policing of its members

By Vicky Short and Paul Stuart, 10 February 2011

On December 4, Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero’s social-democratic government passed a Royal Decree, imposing a “state of alarm” on 2,200 air traffic controllers.

Italian politicians fear spread of “Egyptian fever”

By Marianne Arens, 9 February 2011

The uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt are causing anxiety among Italian government and opposition politicians who fear “Egyptian fever” could spread to their side of the Mediterranean.

Spanish trade unions and Zapatero agree to pension cuts

By Alejandro López, 7 February 2011

Spanish workers understand that “social pact” and “reform” are synonymous with austerity measures and cuts.

Italian union calls eight-hour strike at Fiat

By Marianne Arens, 2 February 2011

In Italy, thousands of metal workers went on strike against the new contract with Fiat. The FIOM union called the walkout to let off steam and deflect attention from its own role in the betrayal.

Three killed in protests in Albania

By Markus Salzmann, 27 January 2011

The entire political establishment of Europe is terrified that the protests last week could spread beyond Albania’s borders to its highly politically unstable neighbours in the Balkans.

Berlusconi’s scandals and the proposed “left”-right coalition in Italy

By Marc Wells, 26 January 2011

The scandals involving Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi are being used to divert attention from the crisis engulfing Italy, and also to resolve conflicts within the ruling elite over how to pursue further attacks against the working population.

Spanish unions and middle class “left” back state repression of air traffic controllers

By Alejandro López and Paul Stuart, 22 January 2011

Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero’s government imposed a “state of alarm” on 2,200 air traffic controllers December 4, subjecting them to military discipline to force them back to work.

The Fiat vote in Turin: Unions push through historic attack on Italian workers

By Marc Wells, 19 January 2011

The new agreement throws back conditions of Italian auto workers more than 60 years.

Portugal under mounting pressure to accept financial bailout

By Paul Mitchell, 15 January 2011

Portugal is under mounting pressure from other euro zone countries to accept an international financial bailout.

Fiat workers in Turin confront management blackmail

By Marianne Arens, 12 January 2011

Fiat workers at Turin’s main plant are being blackmailed by management, and the trade unions at the factory are doing nothing to defend the workforce.

Italy: The Cesare Battisti case and the attack on democratic rights

By Marc Wells, 12 January 2011

The Italian political establishment has set off a frenzied campaign against the “terrorist” Cesare Battisti, a former political left activist, now a writer, accused of murdering four people in the 1970s.