Western Europe

UK: Record £9.2 billion of NHS budget handed to private firms

By Ben Trent, 17 August 2019

A third of hip replacements carried out in the NHS are now done privately and community health and mental health provision have seen five years of continual gains by the private sector.

German Greens prepare for participation in government

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2019

Fourteen years after the failure of the first Social Democrat-Green Party government, the Greens are being considered as a viable party of government in Germany once again.

Nearly five million people in the UK live in “deep poverty”

By Dennis Moore, 17 August 2019

An army of 14.3 million people are in poverty with a third (4.5 million) in “deep poverty” and living on the breadline.

Britain to join US naval blockade of Iran

By Jean Shaoul, 7 August 2019

The decision signifies a further intensification of the drive to war against Iran.

Grenfell fire campaigner Amanda Beckles died by suicide

By Barry Mason, 7 August 2019

The coroner’s inquest heard that Amanda, a witness to the Grenfell Tower fire, had sought therapy after showing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and was struggling financially.

095 Police violence in Nantes

7 August 2019

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.

Growing evidence of government responsibility for blaze

Paris authorities cover up lead contamination in schools caused by Notre Dame fire

By Sam Dalton, 31 July 2019

Paris authorities are covering up the risk of lead poisoning after the Notre Dame fire, as new details of mismanagement before the disaster emerge.

UK: Far-right rampage in central Manchester, as police stand aside

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2019

Once inside the privately-owned Arndale shopping centre, the far-right mob turned one of its central atriums, Exchange Court, into the venue for a political rally.

European Union threatens Iran with naval mission to Persian Gulf

By Alex Lantier, 30 July 2019

Amid the US war drive against Iran, this mission is a reckless attempt by the European imperialists to grab a share of the resources of the oil-rich Persian Gulf region.

Germany: New defence minister demands more money, recognition for the armed forces

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 July 2019

The change at the top of the Defence Ministry is linked to an intense campaign for military rearmament.

Jeremy Corbyn and the coming to power of Boris Johnson

By Chris Marsden, 30 July 2019

Corbyn has acted as political midwife to a Johnson government, thanks to his suppression of all attempts by workers to wage a struggle against big business and its political defenders.

Public transport workers’ meeting Thursday to demand WikiLeaks founder’s freedom

London bus drivers show support for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 30 July 2019

Many London bus drivers, drawn from every corner of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, have first-hand experience of the US war crimes and government corruption exposed by WikiLeaks since 2006.

30 July 2019

War danger in Middle East exacerbates political crisis in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 22 July 2019

As Britain moves closer to war, the Iran crisis is being seized on by those advocating a drastic increase in the UK’s military budget.

One month since Steve Caniço’s disappearance in police raid in Nantes, France

Macron threatens: “Calm must be restored in the country”

By Will Morrow, 22 July 2019

Macron is using the latest crime by police to send a message that state forces can attack and kill working people with impunity.

Wild Rose and Yesterday: A Scottish singer seeks country music fame and a world without the Beatles

By Joanne Laurier, 22 July 2019

Two recent British-made films delve into the field of popular music. Works about such a subject can be a means of getting at social life from an unusual and unorthodox point of view.

22 July 2019

Iran seizes UK tanker in Strait of Hormuz as danger of Middle East war mounts

By Jordan Shilton, 20 July 2019

Chief responsibility for the growing war danger in the Persian Gulf rests squarely with US imperialism, which has relentlessly escalated its provocations against Iran.

UK intelligence agencies exonerated of responsibility in London Bridge terror attack

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 20 July 2019

The families of the victims presented evidence before the inquest showing that the attacks could and should have been prevented.

Scottish National Party supports the witch-hunting of Julian Assange

By Steve James, 20 July 2019

The statements of Scottish National Party representatives on the hounding and torture of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange make clear the party supports his jailing and extradition.

“The university and its teachers have a responsibility toward history”

An interview with veteran French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier about actress Lillian Gish and director D. W. Griffith

Bowling Green State University recently removed the famed actress’s name from its film theater

By David Walsh, 20 July 2019

French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier (Round Midnight, Coup de Torchon, Life and Nothing But, It All Starts Today, In the Electric Mist) is one of the most admirable figures in cinema over the past 45 years.

France: Delevoye report prepares the slashing of pensions by Macron

By Anthony Torres, 18 July 2019

Despite the growing opposition expressed in the “yellow vest” protests, the Macron government is accelerating its assault on the social rights of the working class.

UK: Bed shortages cause increasing reliance on emergency beds in NHS hospitals

By Ben Trent, 18 July 2019

Over the past 30 years, NHS bed capacity has been halved by Labour and Conservative governments.

Police launch mass arrests on Bastille Day in Paris

By Will Morrow and Alex Lantier, 15 July 2019

President Emmanuel Macron was booed and jeered as he drove in the motorcade down the Champs-Elysées on the traditional military parade Sunday morning.

Police crack down on undocumented workers occupying Paris Pantheon

By Alex Lantier, 13 July 2019

Late yesterday afternoon, approximately 700 undocumented immigrant workers held a peaceful demonstration and occupied Paris’ historic Panthéon building, demanding an immediate recognition of their right to reside in France.

BBC Panorama witch-hunts Corbyn and Labour Party on bogus anti-Semitism charges

By Richard Tyler, 13 July 2019

The programme was trial by media, providing a platform for politically hostile former Labour Party staff members to air their allegations against the Labour leader.

Royal Marines seize Iranian tanker under orders from US

By Chris Marsden, 6 July 2019

Britain’s seizure of an Iranian supertanker carrying 2 million barrels of oil is an act of piracy and a major escalation in tensions that threaten to spiral out of control.

Germany: Following the murder of politician Walter Lübcke—the call for a strong state

By Johannes Stern, 6 July 2019

The 2018 report by the secret service again describes the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei as “left-wing extremist” and an “object for surveillance.”

UK’s GCHQ spy centre seeks new powers to circumvent encryption

By Thomas Scripps, 6 July 2019

The new surveillance measures, known as a “ghost protocol,” would allow a government agent to “sit in” on ostensibly secure private conversations without other participants knowing.

Paris police use pepper spray against seated climate change protesters

By Will Morrow, 2 July 2019

Riot police strolled around the group, pepper spraying their faces from 20 centimeters away and ripping protective goggles off them, as onlookers filmed with their phones.

205 Yellow vests statement

2 July 2019

Labour MP Chris Williamson suspended as Corbyn again appeases his right wing

By Chris Marsden, 1 July 2019

Williamson was first suspended on February 27 at the behest of right-wing and Zionist groups and individuals, based on baseless accusations of anti-Semitism.

Lübcke’s murderer was part of vast underground German neo-Nazi terrorist network

By Johannes Stern, 28 June 2019

Stephen Ernst, the assassin of CDU politician Walter Lübcke, acted as part of a neo-Nazi network with close ties to the right-wing terrorist National Socialist Underground.

Two German fighter jets collide in midair during practice flight

By Marianne Arens, 28 June 2019

Following the collision of two fighter planes, which resulted in the death of one pilot, German media outlets expressed their outrage at the lack of patriotism in the response of the population.

Four men charged with murder based on bogus MH-17 investigation

By Clara Weiss, 24 June 2019

Charges against pro-Moscow separatists were laid based on an “investigation” influenced by the Ukrainian regime, that produced no proof of Russian involvement in downing flight MH-17.

Far-right German police arrested for hoarding ammunition

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 24 June 2019

Although the authorities were aware of the activities of police officers involved in far-right networks two years ago, the group was allowed to continue unhindered.

Britain at centre of international “corporate tax haven network”

By Simon Whelan, 24 June 2019

The Tax Justice Network reports that tax haven territories linked to Britain are responsible for approximately a third of the world’s corporate tax avoidance.

014 Latest revelations surrounding the murder of Lübcke

21 June 2019

The war on journalism is a war on the humanities

By Monika Eisenhauer, 21 June 2019

The World Socialist Web Site received this statement opposing the persecution of Julian Assange from Monika Eisenhauer, an independent historian and medievalist living in Germany.

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.

German police threaten climate change protesters

By Harold Hambacher, 17 June 2019

Police are treating youth concerned about climate change like criminals.

International Criminal Court filing on refugee policy charges EU with crimes against humanity

By Casey Gold, 11 June 2019

The request details how European officials consciously implemented policies that led to more than 14,000 refugee deaths in the Mediterranean in the last three years.

French state demands four months’ jail for “yellow vest” protester Eric Drouet

By Anthony Torres, 11 June 2019

The charges against Drouet are unfounded and underscore that a police state is being built in France.

German Interior Ministry attacks press freedom

By Gregor Link, 11 June 2019

Under the guise of the new secret service law, the uncovering of state crimes and preparations for dictatorship in Germany is now to be criminalized.

US Secretary of State Pompeo threatens “push-back” to prevent a Corbyn Labour government

By Robert Stevens, 11 June 2019

Moves to remove Corbyn from the political scene before he is ever allowed to take power are being actively discussed.

East London fire guts six-storey residential block on eve of Grenfell Tower inferno’s second anniversary

By Daniel O’Flynne, 11 June 2019

The Barking fire confirms the failure of the Conservative government, Labour-controlled authorities and private corporations to end the threat from substandard accommodation and the gutting of fire-safety regulations.

040 Yellow vest interviews

10 June 2019

Greens make gains in Ireland’s European and local elections

By Dermot Byrne, 10 June 2019

Irish results in the European elections showed setbacks for Sinn Fein and the pseudo-left groups.

Ford to close Bridgend engine plant in Wales, eliminating 1,700 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 8 June 2019

Workers at the plant were given no notice. They were sent home Thursday after receiving a letter saying they will lose their jobs in phases by September 25, 2020.

Despite decline in vote

Far-right Alternative for Germany wins European election in eastern Germany

By Martin Nowak, 8 June 2019

Voters in eastern Germany showed their strong opposition to the established political parties in the European elections held May 26.

Students at Dresden School of Art protest against the far-right AfD

By Martin Nowak, 8 June 2019

The trigger for the protests was the candidacy of library director Barbara Lenk for the AfD in a local election

Free Reis Morris! Grenfell Tower campaigner imprisoned while those guilty of social murder walk free

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 June 2019

Morris’s jailing is a vicious act of class justice aimed at suppressing opposition and protecting those responsible for 72 deaths in the Grenfell Tower inferno two years ago.

WikiLeaks warns US Justice Department preparing more charges against Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 June 2019

The threat of new charges against the persecuted journalist, already facing 170 years in prison, comes amid fresh fears about his health after his father reported a “short notice” medical appointment.

Austrian ruling class closes ranks following collapse of government

By Markus Salzmann and Peter Schwarz, 7 June 2019

Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen swore in a “government of experts” Monday to run government affairs until new parliamentary elections planned for this autumn.

Attend June 9 public meeting in Cambridge: UK Sociologist Noah Carl and the rise of the far right

7 June 2019

The meeting will discuss the issues raised by events at Cambridge University, providing a rebuttal of the claims made by Carl’s defenders and proposing a socialist perspective with which to take on the right-wing ideologues.

French Nutella workers strike, Tram and metro workers’ stoppage in Greek capital

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 June 2019

Workers at the Nutella factory in Normandy have been blockading the plant over demands for a wage increase while Greek tram workers stopped work Monday to protest the Syriza government’s attacks on public transportation.

“Yellow vest” protesters speak on the European elections

By our reporters, 3 June 2019

“I came today to support the people fighting against this government that I am against, and because I want a real democracy,” Jennifer, 31, told campaigners for the Parti de l’égalité socialiste (Socialist Equality Party, PES).

France illegally arming Libyan coastguards to stop refugees from Africa

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 1 June 2019

The policy has been condemned by multiple human rights organizations because of the prevalence of torture, rape, slavery and murder in the camps.

Germany: Left Party suffers massive vote loss in European elections

By Gregor Link, 1 June 2019

The Left Party is rightly perceived, not as an opposition to the reactionary policies of the German government, but as part of them.

UK Labour Party’s civil war blows up in aftermath of European election debacle

By Robert Stevens, 1 June 2019

In the absence of any genuine attempt to overcome the divisions sown in the working class by the 2016 referendum, the European elections became a de facto plebiscite on Brexit.

United Nations Special Rapporteur: Julian Assange is being tortured

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 June 2019

Yesterday’s statement by Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, stands as an indictment of all those who have persecuted Assange and sought to poison public opinion against him.

The European elections and the resurgence of the class struggle

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2019

The EU elections revealed the deep discrediting of the political establishment and its imperviousness to growing demands from the working class for political change.

Ruling conservatives, social democrats collapse in EU elections

By Alex Lantier, 27 May 2019

In Germany, France, Britain and other countries across Europe, these parties that once formed a duopoly dominating the parliament failed to win 50 percent of the vote combined.

“Yellow vest” protesters pay tribute at the Communards’ Wall in Paris

By Will Morrow, 27 May 2019

Hundreds marched through the Père Lachaise Cemetery to the site honoring the massacre of thousands of workers and their families 148 years ago.

Ford workers in Germany discuss impending job cuts with SGP candidate

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 27 May 2019

Dietmar Gaisenkersting, European election candidate of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, spoke to Ford workers about the need for a socialist program to coordinate an international fight back.

German Fridays for Future protesters discuss overthrowing capitalism

By our reporters, 27 May 2019

Tens of thousands of young people once again took to the streets across Germany on Friday to protest against climate change.

UK Prime Minister May to quit as Conservative leader June 7

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2019

May came to lead the country in 2016 as a hated figure and leaves it as a despised political failure.

German Social Democrats and “The Left” strengthen domestic security agency

By Markus Salzmann, 25 May 2019

In addition to an increase in domestic secret service staff, the state government wants to strengthen the use of police informers and limit parliamentary control.

Nationalism, militarism dominate final European election debate in France

By Will Morrow, 25 May 2019

Pro-European Union parties attacked the far-right National Rally (RN) on the basis that its turn away from a European army would weaken French imperialism’s ability to assert its interests.

UK climate change protests: Students speak out against treatment of Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Thousands of schoolchildren and students demonstrated around the UK Friday to protest government inaction on climate change.

Germany continues deportations to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 25 May 2019

Just days before the European elections, the charter flight to the war-torn country exposes the deadly practice carried out by both the federal and state governments.

Grenfell fire inquiry delayed for another six months

By Alice Summers, 25 May 2019

The criticisms of survivors and the bereaved point to the growing recognition of the inquiry’s fraudulent nature and disillusionment with the entire process.

SGP European election candidate Andreas Niklaus speaks to Berlin bus drivers

“A war must be prevented at all costs”

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Discussions revolved around the connection between the growing danger of a third world war, the policies of the federal government, and the cementing of austerity programmes

The bankruptcy of Lutte ouvrière’s European election campaign

By Alex Lantier, 25 May 2019

Despite growing social anger over the period since the 2002 elections, when it won 10 percent of the vote, the so-called “far left” expects to get only 1 percent.

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.

Corporate murder: Trial opens of France Télécom executives over worker suicides

By Will Morrow, 10 May 2019

To shrink a workforce legally protected from sacking, executives adopted a covert policy of psychological torture designed to coerce workers to quit or commit suicide.

Germany’s far-right AfD exploits famous artwork to promote Islamophobia

By Sybille Fuchs, 10 May 2019

The use of the painting and its interpretation by the AfD is an amalgam of historical falsification, outright lies and racist agitation, which can quite rightly be compared with the techniques used by the Nazis.

“Unequal Germany”—new study examines regional differences

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 10 May 2019

A key finding of the comprehensive study is that social and economic inequality has consolidated despite economic growth and employment growth in recent years.

“We need to save his life. That’s how serious it is”

Pamela Anderson and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief visit Julian Assange in prison

By Laura Tiernan, 8 May 2019

Anderson condemned the state persecution of her friend as a “misrule of law in operation.”

UK government seeks to deny legal aid to Shamima Begum

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2019

Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s British citizenship last year, leaving her and her new-born baby stranded in appalling conditions and stateless.

Germany: FDP Congress tacks to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 7 May 2019

The central message of the Congress was unmistakable: the Free Democrats advocate aggressive international expansion, more corporate deregulation and austerity for the working class.

UK: Renewed Brexit talks deepen splits in both Conservatives and Labour

By Robert Stevens, 7 May 2019

After the Tories lost more than 1,300 council seats last week and Labour also made smaller losses, May and Corbyn stressed that the electorate want Brexit to be implemented.

Britain: National Union of Journalists World Press Freedom Day event ignores Julian Assange

By Paul Mitchell, 7 May 2019

At the NUJ’s World Press Freedom Day event, there was not a single mention of Assange by any of the speakers on the platform, all of whom claimed to be champions of press freedom.

Thousands of jobs threatened at Bombardier plants in Belfast and Casablanca

By Steve James, 7 May 2019

Bombardier’s move is the next phase of a global restructuring necessitated by ferocious competition in the world airline industry.

The German ruling class fears the spectre of socialism

By Johannes Stern, 6 May 2019

What the ruling class fears is the growing social and political opposition of workers and young people, which is breaking out in Germany, Europe and around the world.

Macron government fabrication of “yellow vest” hospital attack in Paris collapses

By Will Morrow, 4 May 2019

The government’s crude fabrication was aimed at casting the “yellow vest” protests as criminal and morally reprehensible, and justifying police state violence.

UK: Defence minister’s sacking escalates Tory crisis amid rising UK/US tensions

By Robert Stevens, 4 May 2019

Williamson was sacked after an inquiry into who leaked the deliberations of a National Security Council meeting that approved Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s participation in the UK’s 5G data network.

Berlin: Meeting held at Humboldt University to defend Julian Assange

By our reporters, 4 May 2019

On Tuesday, several dozen students and workers gathered at Humboldt University in Berlin to protest the persecution of Julian Assange and discuss the political and historical background to the attack on the courageous journalist.

French Yellow vest protesters travel to London to defend Julian Assange

4 May 2019

Protesters travelled across the English Channel to demand freedom for the persecuted Wikileaks journalist, who was sentenced Wednesday to spend 50 weeks in Belmarsh Prison while he is threatened with rendition to the United States.

The Spanish elections and the struggle against authoritarian rule

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, Socialist Equality Party and Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 27 April 2019

A struggle against capitalist reaction can only proceed through the building of a new revolutionary leadership in the Spanish and international working class.

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.

Germany: SGP European election campaign wins support for Julian Assange in Stuttgart

By our reporters, 26 April 2019

Teams from the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) recently spoke with workers and youth in Stuttgart, inviting them to its April 27 election meeting and distributed WSWS material calling for freedom for Julian Assange.

Protest in London’s Parliament Square demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 25 April 2019

The lively demonstration organised by the Julian Assange Defence Campaign was supported by the Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site.

Grenfell fire survivors forced onto general housing waiting list

By Alice Summers, 25 April 2019

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced the ending of the programme to rehouse Grenfell survivors.

Police arrest over 1,000 climate change protesters in London

By Robert Stevens, 23 April 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has issued no statement condemning the mass arrest of peaceful protesters.

Privatisation of UK’s National Health Service escalates

By Ben Trent, 23 April 2019

An investigation found that over 1 million patients were forced to seek alternative treatment in the preceding five years due to the closure of nearly 450 GP surgeries.

UK home secretary demands climate change protesters face “full force of the law”

By Laura Tiernan, 20 April 2019

More than 682 climate change protesters have been arrested since Monday.

No to calls for “national unity” after the burning of Notre Dame in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 20 April 2019

The cathedral’s fate is an object lesson in the urgent need for workers to expropriate the irresponsible and parasitic financial aristocracy that dominates official public life.

European election: SGP holds its second campaign meeting in Frankfurt-Main

By our correspondents, 20 April 2019

In Frankfurt, SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert highlighted the importance of the International Committee of the Fourth International and its perspective of a United Socialist States of Europe.