Southern Europe

How the Greek Communist Party covers for Papandreou’s cuts

By Alex Lantier, 21 May 2010

The Greek Communist Party hides its collaboration with the political establishment and its agreement with the cuts, behind Greek nationalism and an unreconstructed defense of Stalinism.

Portugal’s Socialist Party government imposes new round of austerity

By Paul Mitchell, 18 May 2010

Portugal’s Socialist Party government has agreed with the opposition Social Democrats on further austerity measures to cut the deficit in half—from 9.4 percent of GDP to 4.6 percent by next year.

Economic crisis makes “very difficult” situation for Greek families worse

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 18 May 2010

WSWS reporters spoke to travelers at the Athens train station, who explained the impossible financial situations they face due to social cuts and the Greek debt crisis.

Greek debt crisis hits small businesses in Athens

By Alex Lantier, 18 May 2010

WSWS reporters talked with residents of Peristeri, a suburb of Athens with many small businesses, about how the Greek debt crisis is affecting them and the city’s industry.

SYRIZA rally: the reactionary politics of the middle class “left” in Greece

By Alex Lantier and John Vassilopoulos in Athens, 17 May 2010

WSWS reporters in Athens attended the May 14 rally of SYRIZA (the Coalition of the Radical Left), called to discuss the massive social cuts being carried out by Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Greek workers speak out against Papandreou’s cuts

By Alex Lantier, 15 May 2010

WSWS reporters interviewed workers in Perama, a working-class port city in the Athens suburbs, on the impact and political significance of the social cuts carried out by Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Euro aid package inaugurates offensive against working class

By Peter Schwarz, 13 May 2010

Last weekend, European leaders and finance ministers agreed to a rescue package for the euro which inaugurates the most comprehensive offensive against the working class since the end of World War II.

Greek government announces major pension cuts

By Robert Stevens and Alex Lantier, 13 May 2010

Sharp cuts in pensions are the latest in a series of austerity measures carried out by Prime Minister George Papendreou following the outbreak of the Greek debt crisis.

Greek workers protest pension cuts

By a WSWS reporting team in Athens, 13 May 2010

WSWS reporters attended a demonstration in Athens called against the massive pension cuts recently announced by the social-democratic government of Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou.

Stock markets surge on €750 billion European bailout

By Alex Lantier, 11 May 2010

Financial stocks surged as European authorities announced a new bailout, transferring massive public funds to the banks to stem fears of a collapse of the financial system if Greece or other European countries defaulted on their debts.

The international significance of the Greek general strike

By Alex Lantier, 10 May 2010

Mass opposition to Papandreou’s austerity policies has panicked financial markets and foreshadows international struggles against efforts to make workers pay for the economic crisis.

Fears over Greek crisis continue to drive down global markets

By Bill Van Auken, 8 May 2010

Despite the Greek parliament’s approval of drastic austerity measures, fears that the country’s economic crisis will deepen and spread to other nations continued to drive down international markets Friday.

Greek Parliament approves deep social cuts in face of mass opposition

Stock markets fall sharply on fears of unrest

By Joe Kishore and Alex Lantier, 7 May 2010

The Greek Parliament approved €30 billion in social cuts a day after a general strike to oppose the measures. Global stock markets fell sharply on investor fears that global social unrest will disrupt plans to make the working class pay for the economic crisis.

Greek workers strike against austerity measures

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 May 2010

Greek workers staged a general strike on Wednesday to protest massive austerity measures. Prime Minister George Papandreou seized on the death of three bank workers in a fire to press forward the attack on the working class.

On eve of general strike

European, world markets plunge on Greek debt fears

By Joe Kishore, 5 May 2010

The sovereign debt crisis in Greece is sending new tremors through world markets. A general strike has been called for Wednesday, as the trade unions in Greece struggle to contain mass opposition to austerity measures.

Europe-IMF bailout, social cuts announced in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 3 May 2010

Despite overwhelming popular opposition, the Greek government proposed a new round of social cuts yesterday in order to obtain a €110 billion joint Europe-IMF bailout and repay its creditors among major international banks.

Spain: Prime Minister pledges tough austerity measures “whatever the cost”

By Vicky Short, 1 May 2010

Spain’s Socialist Party (PSOE) Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero has pledged to implement austerity measures “whatever the cost”.

Greece, the euro crisis and the issues confronting the European working class

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 May 2010

The decision by the US rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Greek debt to junk status and its subsequent downgrading of Portugal and Spain augurs a new stage in the European and international financial crisis.

Greek government agrees to deeper cuts in return for expanded bailout

By Barry Grey, 30 April 2010

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met with trade union and business leaders Thursday to outline new austerity measures designed to more rapidly reduce the country’s budget deficit, in accordance with conditions for an expanded bailout laid down by the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Expanded Greek bailout discussed as credit crisis engulfs Europe

By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2010

German and IMF officials discussed a €135 billion bailout for Greece yesterday, as Spain’s credit rating was downgraded and fears grew that the sovereign debt crisis would spread throughout Europe.

World markets plunge as Greek credit downgraded to “junk” status

By Patrick O’Connor, 28 April 2010

Stock markets in Europe, the US, and other regions closed sharply lower yesterday after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded its sovereign credit rating of Greece to “junk” status and also lowered Portugal’s rating by two notches.

German chancellor steps up pressure on Greece

By Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2010

The German government is linking the provision of bailout funds for Greece to entirely new conditions, thereby delaying financial aid.

European officials demand new cuts following Greek bailout request

By Alex Lantier, 26 April 2010

European and IMF officials indicated they will demand further social cuts in Greece following Prime Minister Giorgios Papandreou’s request for a bailout.

The Greek crisis and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Alex Lantier, 24 April 2010

The de facto support by the trade unions and pseudo-left groups for the Papandreou government’s austerity policies underscores the need for a new political perspective and new leadership in the working class.

Greek public sector workers strike to oppose austerity measures

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 April 2010

A strike by tens of thousands of civil servants in opposition to austerity measures comes as the Greek government is in discussions with IMF and European officials on further attacks on workers.

Greek strikes, debt crisis intensify fears of economic collapse

By Alex Lantier, 21 April 2010

With financial markets pressuring Athens and Greek workers preparing for an April 22 strike, commentators are discussing the possibility of state bankruptcy, huge social cuts, and the end of the common European currency.

No agreement at Madrid summit on measures for Greek crisis

By Alex Lantier, 19 April 2010

The Ecofin summit of Eurozone finance ministers failed to reach agreement on international financial regulations and the Greek debt crisis.

Emergency bailout plan for Greece: A new stage in world economic crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 April 2010

The European emergency plan for Greece agreed at the weekend follows the unravelling of the deal agreed by EU heads of state just two weeks ago.

Franco-Italian summit makes strategic deals, calls for bailout of Greece

By Alex Lantier, 12 April 2010

France and Italy signed strategic energy and military deals at the April 9 summit, amid rising uncertainty about financial stability and strategic rivalries in Europe.

Greece moves to borrow from Wall Street

By Alex Lantier, 8 April 2010

Amid growing uncertainty over Greece’s financial position and fears that German opposition will undermine any EU-IMF bailout, Greece is moving to raise money in the United States.

Spanish airport strikers given two-year probationary sentences

By Paul Mitchell, 3 April 2010

Twenty-three Spanish airport workers who went on strike at Barcelona airport on July 28, 2006 and occupied the runways have been given two-year probationary sentences.

“Left Alliance” defeated in Italian regional elections

By Ulrich Rippert, 1 April 2010

Italian regional elections held on Sunday and Monday resulted in unexpected gains for the centre-right alliance led by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Greek trade unions line up behind government austerity measures

By Robert Stevens, 31 March 2010

The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the public-sector Civil Servants’ Confederation (ADEDY) are working to stifle opposition to the austerity package being imposed by the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) government.

European summit proposes bailout and austerity plan for Greece

By Alex Lantier, 27 March 2010

A two-day European Union summit in Brussels concluded yesterday, announcing plans for an as-needed bailout package for Greece and tougher sanctions against eurozone countries whose deficits exceed European guidelines.

Left Bloc offers its services to Portuguese capitalism

By Paul Mitchell, 27 March 2010

The petty-bourgeois political grouping, the Left Bloc (Bloco Esquerda), is offering its services to Portuguese capitalism as it faces renewed pressure from international financial institutions and speculators.

On eve of EU summit

Europe split over Greek crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 March 2010

European diplomats are working feverishly to reach some sort of compromise on the Greek debt crisis and prevent an economic and political debacle at the summit of EU heads of government meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday.

European Union wracked by divisions over Greek crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 March 2010

The Greek debt crisis has exposed deep fault lines within the European Union, above all within the core group of 16 countries which constitute the eurozone.

Greece: The pseudo-left and the trade unions

By Ulrich Rippert, 20 March 2010

The petty-bourgeois political groupings that present themselves as “left” in Greece are, through their efforts to subordinate the working class to the trade union apparatuses, demonstrating their crucial political role in facilitating the drive of the European and international financial elite to impose historic attacks on working people of every country.

Spanish airport strikers face imprisonment for sedition

By Vicky Short and Paul Mitchell, 20 March 2010

The charges brought against 27 Spanish airport workers, under an anti-terror law passed during Franco’s fascist dictatorship, represent a major offensive against democratic rights.

Divisions between the US and Europe widen over Greek bailout

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 March 2010

As the financial crisis enters a new stage, national antagonisms and egoisms are growing in Europe. At the same time, differences are deepening between the US and Europe over a range of finance and trade issues.

Greece: WSWS speaks to students in Athens

By our reporters, 19 March 2010

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke to students at Athens University and Athens Polytechnic. Some had participated in the recent strikes and protests against the austerity measures being implemented by the PASOK social democratic government of George Papandreou.

Greece: Fake left lines up behind union sabotage of anti-austerity struggle

By Robert Stevens and Marcus Salzmann, 18 March 2010

The mass movement of Greek workers against the €16 billion austerity package being imposed by PASOK is being run into the ground by the trade unions.

Greek workers insist “The economic crisis was not caused by us”

By our reporters, 18 March 2010

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team in Athens spoke to workers at several protests held in the city on Tuesday.

Greek trade unions close ranks behind PASOK austerity measures

By Robert Stevens and Marcus Salzmann, 17 March 2010

As the Greek government begins implementing its austerity measures, the two major trade unions federations, the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the public sector confederation (ADEDY), are systematically demobilising opposition to PASOK’s assault on the jobs, employment conditions and living standards of working people.

European finance ministers divided over Greek bailout

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 March 2010

While reluctant to admit in public that they are planning a bailout for Greece, behind the scenes EU finance heads are frantically scrambling to come up with a rescue package.

Greece: Millions join general strike against government austerity package

By Robert Stevens, 12 March 2010

Workers throughout Greece staged their second one-day strike within a month yesterday to protest the austerity measures being imposed by the PASOK social democratic government of Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Opposition deepens to austerity programme in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 11 March 2010

Opposition to the austerity measures being imposed by the Greek government has hardened in the run-up to today’s general strike.

Papandreou in Washington

Obama administration backs Greek austerity measures

By Barry Grey, 10 March 2010

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met Tuesday with President Obama in the White House in a bid to shore up political support for the PASOK government’s sweeping attacks on the jobs and living standards of Greek workers.

The German media’s chauvinist campaign against Greece

By Ulrich Rippert, 10 March 2010

The chauvinist campaign directed against Greece by sections of the international media, and particularly the German media, has assumed an increasingly strident tone since Greek workers took to the streets in large numbers to oppose the austerity program dictated by the European Union and the banks.

Papandreou in Paris

Sarkozy echos Germany’s hard line on Greek debt crisis

By Antoine Lerougetel, 9 March 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at the Elysée Palace on Sunday and echoed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in insisting that Greece deal with its debt crisis by imposing a brutal austerity program on the working class.

Amid angry protests in Greece

Papandreou pledges to impose austerity plan in meeting with German PM

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 March 2010

On Friday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and assured her that his government would impose the austerity measures demanded by the European banks and the European Union.

Finance capital and the Greek debt crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 March 2010

In addition to destabilizing entire currencies and states, the speculative activities of the banks are creating new financial bubbles and future crises that threaten to explode and overshadow the breakdown of 2008.

Portuguese public sector workers in 24-hour national strike

By Julie Hyland, 5 March 2010

A 24-hour strike by Portugal’s 500,000 public sector workers Thursday caused widespread disruption.

Greece: Papandreou announces deeper budget cuts

By Stefan Steinberg, 4 March 2010

The cuts package announced by the Greek government on Wednesday will have sweeping consequences for the incomes and living standards of the vast majority of the population.

500,000 Portuguese public sector workers set to strike

By Paul Mitchell, 4 March 2010

Portugal’s half a million public sector workers are expected to take part in Thursday’s one-day strike against the austerity programme being imposed by the Socialist Party government.

Mass protest by immigrants against Italian government’s racist policies

By Marianne Arens, 4 March 2010

Several tens of thousands of immigrants in 60 Italian cities engaged in strikes and demonstrations March 1 to protest against the racist policies of the Berlusconi government, and for equal rights for all.

New strikes called as more social cuts are prepared in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 3 March 2010

The Greek trade unions announced further strikes yesterday, in the face of demands from banks and European institutions for deeper social cuts to stave off a Greek government default.

Spain: Fascist Falange allowed to join prosecution of Judge Baltasar Garzón

By Vicky Short, 1 March 2010

The Spanish Supreme Court has allowed the fascist party, the Falange, to join a private prosecution brought against Judge Baltazar Garzón because of his attempts to investigate the crimes of the Franco dictatorship.

WSWS speaks with leader of GSSE union federation

The Greek trade unions: Partners in the government’s austerity program

By Markus Salzmann and Robert Stevens, 27 February 2010

As the crisis intensifies in Greece, the country’s trade unions are playing a crucial role in ensuring that the government of Prime Minister George Papandreou is able carry out its austerity program.

Spanish unions offer meek protests against pension reforms

By Paul Mitchell, Vicky Short and Tom Eley, 26 February 2010

Spanish unions organized demonstrations this week whose main aim was to defuse widespread anger against the pension reforms proposed by the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government.

Two million Greek workers strike against austerity measures

By our reporters in Athens, 25 February 2010

Some two million Greek workers participated in a general strike on Wednesday to oppose austerity measures announced by the social democratic PASOK government.

Workers and youth at Athens protest speak to the World Socialist Web Site

By our reporters, 25 February 2010

A number of workers and youth who participated in Wednesday’s Greek general strike and mass demonstrations in Athens spoke to a World Socialist Web Site reporting team about their understanding of the economic crisis and its impact.

The social situation in Greece

By Marcus Salzmann, 25 February 2010

In terms of wages and social standards, Greece ranks amongst the lowest-paid countries in Europe.

Greece: Strikes continue as EU demands more severe austerity measures

By Julie Hyland, 19 February 2010

A series of strikes are underway in Greece in advance of a planned general strike involving both the public and private sectors on February 24.

Socialism and the Greek debt crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 18 February 2010

Greece has become a test case for draconian attacks on the living standards of broad sections of the population throughout Europe.

European countries renew demands for social cuts in Greece

Debt crisis fuels expectations of social unrest

By Alex Lantier, 16 February 2010

In the first day of its two-day session, the Eurogroup meeting of European finance ministers in Brussels yesterday issued calls for more social cuts in Greece, as tensions rose between the major powers over whether to fund a bailout of the debt-stricken country.

European officials demand further cuts in Greece after bailout pledge

By Alex Lantier, 13 February 2010

The February 11 Franco-German pledge to bail out Greece threatened to unravel yesterday amid criticism from the Greek government, and as European officials demanded that Athens make further budget cuts.

EU leaders fail to calm fears of Greek sovereign default

By Chris Marsden, 12 February 2010

Yesterday’s pledge by the European Union that it will, if necessary, come to the aid of the embattled Greek economy was a vain attempt to calm rampant speculation in Greek government bonds and fears that the spread of financial contagion threatens the entire eurozone.

Greek public sector workers strike against austerity measures

By our reporters, 11 February 2010

Schools, universities, public offices and the airport in Athens were shut down by yesterday’s 24-hour strike.

Greece under European Union diktat

By Peter Schwarz, 11 February 2010

For the first time since the introduction of the euro as a common currency, the European Union has made a country subject to its diktat. The aim is to make the Greek working class pay for the debts of the Greek state.

Spain: Government and unions conspire to impose austerity measures

By Vicky Short, 10 February 2010

Prime José Luis Zapatero of the ruling Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) government has held secret meetings with the leaders of Spain’s trade unions to negotiate labour reforms and austerity measures behind the backs of the working class.

Government debt: a new stage in the global financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 9 February 2010

The tremors on global financial markets signal a new stage in the financial crisis brought on by fears of vast social struggles as governments attempt unprecedented cuts in jobs, wages and social services.

Portugal: Public sector workers protest pay freeze

By Paul Mitchell, 8 February 2010

Last Friday, tens of thousands of Portugal’s public sector workers demonstrated in Lisbon against a planned wage freeze.

Spanish Communist Party seeks to re-found United Left

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 8 February 2010

The Spanish Communist Party (PCE) is seeking to re-found the crisis-ridden United Left (Izquierda Unida), which it set up in 1986.

Sovereign debt fears trigger plunge in global markets

By Patrick O’Connor, 5 February 2010

Stock markets in the US, Europe and other regions plunged yesterday in response to growing fears over several countries’ sovereign debt.

Strikes as Greece imposes EU-backed austerity programme

By John Vassilopoulos, 4 February 2010

Strikes have broken out in opposition to the austerity measures being imposed by the Greek government.

Greek PM promises to “draw blood” to salvage economy

By Alex Messenger, 2 February 2010

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou launched a 48-hour “charm offensive” at Davos last week to reassure business leaders that his government will do whatever it takes to slash the budget deficit by three quarters.

Spain: Youth unemployment tops 40 percent

By Marcus Morgan, 25 January 2010

In Spain’s worst recession for more than 50 years, official figures for the end of 2009 show nearly 4 million people out of work.

Italian police incarcerate 1,300 migrant workers after Calabria protest

By Marianne Arens and Stefan Steinberg, 12 January 2010

Italian police responded to a protest of African workers in Calabria with the arrest of 1,300 immigrants and their transfer to detention centers

Greece: Social democratic government passes austerity budget

By Markus Salzmann, 30 December 2009

The ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) has pushed a drastic austerity budget through the Greek parliament.

Strikes and demonstrations in Greece against austerity measures

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 December 2009

A series of strikes and protests by public service workers took place in up to 60 cities and towns across Greece on Thursday.

Shock therapy for Greece

By Marius Heuser, 17 December 2009

Greek Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou on Monday outlined “painful” measures to be implemented as part of Greece’s forthcoming austerity program.

Greece verges on default

By John Vassilopoulos, 12 December 2009

Concerns over Greece’s solvency were renewed on Tuesday after Fitch Ratings downgraded Greece’s debt rating.

Greece: A warning for European workers

By Marius Heuser, 11 December 2009

In the wake of the Greek budget crisis, EU institutions are preparing to assume direct responsibility for the country's budget policy—all at the behest of the finance elite.

Police attack protesters in Greece

By Markus Salzmann, 8 December 2009

Police attacked demonstators, predominantly youth, who marched in Athens on Sunday against police violence. The protest was held to mark one year since the shooting of the 15-year-old student Alexis Grigoropoulos by a Greek policeman.

Former Spanish prime minister lays out his right-wing agenda

By Vicky Short, 5 December 2009

Last month Spain’s ex-Popular Party (PP) prime minister, José María Aznar, gave a lecture to the London School of Economics (LSE) outlining his proposed solutions for the economic crisis.

Thousands of jobs threatened in British Airways-Iberia merger

By Marcus Morgan, 2 December 2009

The jobs, wages and working conditions of thousands of airline workers are under threat due to proposals to merge the British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia airlines.

Deepening economic crisis in eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 27 November 2009

Recent reports indicate that the economies of many central and eastern European states are headed for new shocks.

Italian court convicts US agents in CIA rendition case

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 November 2009

In a landmark decision with global political repercussions, an Italian court has convicted in absentia 23 US agents for their role in the 2003 CIA kidnapping and "rendition" of an Italian citizen, Abu Omar.

Power struggle in Italy around Berlusconi

By Marianne Arens, 19 October 2009

A power struggle has developed within the Italian bourgeoisie in the past few weeks and calls for Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s resignation are becoming increasingly louder.

Prosecuted for saving the lives of refugees

The case of Cap Anamur president Elias Bierdel and his crew

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 October 2009

The scandalous treatment of Bierdel and his crew is a direct result of the criminal immigration policy adopted by the EU aimed at turning Europe into a fortress.

Bosnia faces collapse

By Paul Mitchell, 8 October 2009

A number of reports have pointed to the increasing threat of Bosnia and Herzegovina collapsing, and even about the possibility of war breaking out.

Amnesty International condemns Spain’s Incommunicado Detention Law

By Marcus Morgan, 7 October 2009

A report published last month by the human rights group Amnesty International criticised the Spanish legal system for breaches of international guidelines on the treatment of detainees held “incommunicado.”

Greece: New PASOK government to move quickly to impose austerity measures

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 October 2009

Following federal elections on Sunday, the Greek ruling class is banking on PASOK and the trade unions to enforce the pro-business and anti-welfare policies that Karamanlis and his New Democracy were unable to implement.

Spain: Unions and PSOE government prepare austerity measures

By Vicky Short, 30 September 2009

Spanish trade unions are collaborating with the Socialist Party government and employers in preparing a programme of austerity measures.

Spain: Judge Garzón faces prosecution for investigating Franco-era crimes

By Paul Mitchell, 22 September 2009

Investigative Judge Baltasar Garzón has appeared in court as a result of a prosecution brought by far-right organisations for investigating crimes committed during the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

Greece: Karamanlis calls for early elections

By John Vassilopoulos, 12 September 2009

Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis has called for an early general election to be held on October 5.

Italy: Xenophobic immigration policy leads to hundreds of deaths in the Mediterranean

By Marianne Arens, 27 August 2009

The Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi has led a contemptible months-long campaign against African refugees and is quite prepared to accept the deadly consequences of its policy.

Talks on labour relations in Spain break down

By Vicky Short, 18 August 2009

Negotiations between the trade unions and employers in Spain were halted at the end of last month, despite the efforts of the government, due to increasing social tensions.

Greece: “Leftist” SYRIZA alliance defends police months after suppression of mass demonstrations

By Markus Salzmann, 28 July 2009

A news agency in Athens recently reported that Alekos Alavanos, chairman of the parliamentary fraction of the SYRIZA alliance, has expressed his full support for the Greek police.