Western Europe

German Social Democrats launch xenophobic campaign about child benefits

By Christopher Lehmann, 14 August 2018

On the “Tagesthemen” TV news program, the SPD mayor ranted against EU nationals who were allegedly flocking to Germany to fraudulently obtain social welfare payments.

Scotland: Protests force Serco to halt asylum seeker evictions

By Steve James, 14 August 2018

Serco wrote to Glasgow City Council of its intention to evict “former Asylum Seekers who do not wish to engage in voluntary return, and who the Home Office have determined have no legal right to remain in the UK.”

UK government warned of dangers of flammable cladding three years before Grenfell fire

By Tom Pearce, 14 August 2018

The warnings are further evidence of the vast criminality committed at Grenfell by the political and corporate elite.

Unsubmissive France summer school: Mélenchon invites the right wing

By Anthony Torres, 14 August 2018

Mélenchon’s attempts to ally with the political right must serve as a warning to workers that he plans to carry out a violently anti-worker policy.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

UK National Health Service pay deal fuels growing rebellion against unions

By Ajanta Silva, 13 August 2018

More than 1,000 health workers signed a petition calling for the current leadership of the Royal College of Nursing to stand down.

Ryanair faces largest pilots’ strike in its history

By Marianne Arens, 9 August 2018

On Friday, simultaneous strikes against Ryanair will take place in several European countries. While workers’ anger has grown, the unions are doing everything to isolate the strike.

UK: Boris Johnson makes anti-Muslim pitch for Tory Party leadership

By Julie Hyland, 9 August 2018

In publishing his views, Johnson is counting on the fetid anti-migrant atmosphere being whipped up by all political parties.

German government plans reintroduction of military conscription

By Noah Windstein, 9 August 2018

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party conference is scheduled to adopt a decision to reintroduce military service.

The Ryanair strike and the resurgence of international class struggle

By Robert Stevens, 8 August 2018

The class struggle is reaching a higher stage of development, posing strategic issues before every section of the international working class.

UK: Haringey Development Vehicle scheme scrapped, but social cleansing threat remains

By Paul Bond, 8 August 2018

The scheme would have seen the demolition of 1,400 council houses and their replacement by luxury developments and supposedly “affordable” properties.

UK: Fascist Tommy Robinson’s court victory seized on by far-right

By Laura Tiernan, 6 August 2018

The response to Robinson’s release signals a further rightward lurch by the mainstream media in the direction of normalising the far-right.

Appeal to neo-fascists on police scandal exposes reactionary role of Unsubmissive France

By Francis Dubois, 4 August 2018

Unsubmissive France is advancing out a populist, anti-worker policy compatible with police repression.

German government launches camp system for refugees

By Christoph Vandreier, 2 August 2018

With the inhumane camp system, the coalition government of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats is implementing the refugee policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Ryanair’s mass sacking threat raises need for globally coordinated struggle of airline workers

By Steve James, 2 August 2018

The role of the unions in the airline and other industries is to isolate any struggle, impose the demands of the companies and prevent a unified fight of the entire working class.

British Navy evacuated Manchester bomber Salman Abedi from Libya in 2014

By Robert Stevens, 2 August 2018

It was known at top levels of the British state that Abedi had travelled on the ship, but the public, including the families of his victims, was kept in the dark for over a year.

Protest in Munich against attacks on refugees, poverty and war

By our reporters, 1 August 2018

Despite pouring rain, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Munich against right-wing agitation, increasing military spending, poverty and war.

France sets aside €300 billion for military in 2019-2025 budget plans

By Kumaran Ira, 1 August 2018

The massive increase in military spending underscores the fact that a fundamental aim of European austerity policies is to finance large-scale imperialist wars.

Corbyn outlines nationalist, anti-migrant pitch for Labour government

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2018

Under conditions of a worsening crisis for Theresa May’s Conservative government, Corbyn sought to reassure business that Labour was the party it could trust to navigate troubled waters ahead.

Pursuit of rapper Valtònyc reveals widespread censorship in Spain

By Alejandro López, 26 July 2018

The unrelenting pursuit of rapper Josep Miquel Beltrán (stage name Valtònyc) is further evidence of the growing assault on free speech in Spain and throughout Europe.

Josep Valtònyc: “What’s happening to me could happen to anyone.”

By Alejandro López, 26 July 2018

“They put me on trial for telling true, objective facts, and that is because what is happening is scary. People are not going to be able to say what they think about those who are stealing public money from us, money taken out of our wages every month. We have the right to speak out, to criticize, to get angry.”

Fascist assault on UK union leader Steve Hedley

By Julie Hyland, 19 July 2018

The brutal assault on Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union by fascist thugs on Saturday is an outrage.

UK: May government in meltdown over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2018

May’s attempted compromise over Brexit has blown up, due not simply to events in Britain, but also to the antagonisms between the US and Europe.

As Jeff Bezos’ wealth reaches $150 billion

Unions strangle strike efforts by European Amazon workers on Prime Day

By Will Morrow and Genevieve Leigh, 17 July 2018

Prime Day is treated as a virtual public holiday by the corporate media, akin to Black Friday, but it is synonymous with increased exploitation for Amazon and other shipping workers.

Anti-Russia campaign revived in UK with alleged discovery of “novichok” in perfume bottle

By our reporter, 17 July 2018

The narrative being developed by the police is that a “container” of novichok was likely discarded by Russian state-sponsored agents who had attempted to assassinate double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4.

Participants in the anti-Trump rallies in the UK speak out

By our reporters, 16 July 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to anti-Trump protesters in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. Meanwhile, protests continued in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday.

Mass protests against Trump’s UK visit

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

Friday’s protests by hundreds of thousands of people in London made clear that masses of workers throughout the world despise Trump and everything he stands for.

Human right groups reveal French complicity in torture in Egypt

By Francis Dubois, 14 July 2018

French corporations and governments are active accomplices in the bloody Egyptian military junta’s mass surveillance and repression of the Egyptian people.

Grenfell Tower Fire inquiry testimony reveals tragic consequences of fire service cuts

By Barry Mason, 14 July 2018

Firefighters put themselves at risk by going into flats to search for people without water and negotiating the lower floors without using their breathing apparatuses to conserve them for higher floors.

UK: The rotten politics of the SWP’s Stand Up to Racism

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

The Socialist Workers Party’s aim is to promote the “progressive” credentials of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and of the Trades Union Congress.

Trump denounces Germany and Europe at NATO summit

By Alex Lantier, 12 July 2018

A month after the collapse of the G7 economic summit, diplomatic and military ties between Washington and the European Union are rapidly disintegrating.

Twenty thousand demonstrate in Düsseldorf, Germany against police state attacks on democratic rights

By our correspondents, 12 July 2018

Last Saturday, 20,000 workers and young people marched from Düsseldorf Central Station to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament to protest the new police law planned by the state government.

German interior minister’s “Master Plan” for refugees: Internment camps and mass deportations

By Johannes Stern, 12 July 2018

With its “Migration Master Plan,” the grand coalition government has adopted the refugee policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Youth mental health problems and suicides rising sharply in UK

By Alice Summers, 12 July 2018

The consequence of the burdens of stress, debt and lack of prospects, combined with poor access to mental health treatment, is a sharp rise in mental health problems and suicides among young people.

The July 3 Whitstable fire and the Grenfell inferno

Statement by the Grenfell Fire Forum, 12 July 2018

Whitstable House is known as the “tower next door” to Grenfell, which was destroyed on June 14, 2017 in the inferno that claimed 72 lives.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns to prepare possible Conservative leadership challenge

By Chris Marsden, 10 July 2018

Unlike David Davis, who stressed that he remained loyal to Theresa May, Johnson quit in a manner designed to inflict maximum damage to the prime minister.

“Nerve agent” death of Dawn Sturgess raises fresh questions over UK Skripal affair

By Thomas Scripps, 10 July 2018

In marked contrast to the hospitalisation of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, the fatality of Dawn Sturgess—apparently also through “novichok” poisoning—has met with a more muted response.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate against inhumane anti-refugee policies

By Gustav Kemper, 10 July 2018

The protests Saturday were organised within the space of a few days almost exclusively via social media.

Allies no more: Trump escalates threats against Europe

By Andre Damon, 10 July 2018

This week’s NATO summit, planned as a showcase of European rearmament, has been overshadowed by increasingly unbridgeable divisions between the US and Europe.

Resignation of Brexit secretary David Davis prompts talk of leadership contest, British general election

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 July 2018

Fear of triggering a general election is all that continues to hold the Tory party together, such is the depth of the rift over Europe.

Billions for war and police-state repression in Germany’s grand coalition budget

By Johannes Stern, 6 July 2018

The most significant features of the budget plan include a major increase in military spending, the strengthening of domestic police state repression and measures to terrorise refugees.

Riots erupt in Nantes in western France after police murder

By Alex Lantier, 5 July 2018

Multiple witnesses to the killing, including journalists, stated that police coldly executed the victim at point-blank range even though he posed no danger to them.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed

By Steve James, 5 July 2018

The sheer number of abuse and torture cases testifies to a level of criminal depravity far greater than previously admitted.

British government imposes collective punishment by evicting families from public housing

By Simon Whelan, 5 July 2018

The measures create a two-tier and entirely arbitrary system, whereby families are to be made homeless simply because they live in a council home.

Social Democrats back conservative parties’ plan for concentration camps in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2018

Leading SPD politicians have welcomed the reactionary agreement by conservative parties for concentration camps for refugees.

More than 200 people drown in the Mediterranean at the weekend

By Marianne Arens, 4 July 2018

Since the beginning of this year, the number of people drowning while attempting to enter Europe has risen to over a thousand.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hails Alexis Tsipras of Syriza

By Robert Stevens, 4 July 2018

The Labour leader praised Syriza only days after it enforced the latest round of austerity and pledged further services to the EU’s vicious anti-migrant measures.

Left Party supports anti-refugee policies of German government

By Johannes Stern, 3 July 2018

At the EU summit last week, measures against refugees were discussed that recall the darkest period of German and European history.

London’s Grenfell Tower disaster: The cost of cuts and privatisation in firefighting

By Paul Bond, 3 July 2018

The treatment of firefighter Dowden at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry points again to attempts to shift responsibility for the events of June 14, 2017 onto the very people who faced impossible odds to control the escalating blaze.

European Union intensifies campaign of terror against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 2 July 2018

The EU summit at the end of last week marked a dangerous turning point in post-World War II European history.

The NHS 70th anniversary rally in London: A vote of no confidence in Labour and the trade unions

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 2 July 2018

Despite their occasional holiday speeches pledging to defend the NHS, neither the Labour Party nor the trade unions have lifted a finger to prevent its evisceration.

“I believe the NHS is the greatest thing about British society”

British workers speak out in defence of public healthcare

By our reporters, 2 July 2018

Socialist Equality Party members and supporters spoke to people attending Saturday’s demonstration marking the 70th anniversary of the creation of the UK’s National Health Service.

UK: Haringey Council tower block residents lived in danger for 30 years

By Paul Bond, 29 June 2018

More than 200 families must leave their homes in Broadwater Farm, north London, as their tower blocks are at risk of collapse in the event of a gas explosion or even a vehicle impact.

German government crisis: The working class needs its own strategy against anti-refugee agitation, militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 26 June 2018

The dispute between the CDU and the CSU is over how best to implement the reactionary program of the German grand coalition government in the face of growing popular opposition.

Three months on: Oxford Union refuses to tell truth about why whistleblowing panel debate is censored

By Zach Reed, 26 June 2018

The only explanation for deciding not to publish the video is that ex-CIA operative David Shedd demanded its suppression.

The British UCU Congress and the impossibility of reforming the trade unions

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 26 June 2018

Events at the University and College Union prove that the union bureaucracy is unanswerable for its actions and unaccountable to its members.

Grenfell Fire Forum endorses vigils to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 June 2018

The Grenfell Fire Forum met just three days after commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the inferno.

SEP (UK) meetings on war and censorship: “War preparations are powered by lies”

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2018

Socialist Equality Party (UK) Assistant National Secretary Julie Hyland addressed recent public meetings in England, Scotland and Ireland titled “War, lies and censorship: For the building of a socialist anti-war movement.”

One year since the Grenfell inferno

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 14 June 2018

The refusal of the ruling elite to pursue the real criminals guilty of the Grenfell atrocity is in stark contrast to their determination to silence anyone fighting to establish the truth about events.

Oxford Union debating society threatened with legal action over censoring criticism of CIA

By Thomas Scripps, 7 June 2018

The February 27 event is not being censored on legal grounds or on the basis that “sensitive information” has been revealed, but because it is deemed necessary to suppress critical opposition to the US security apparatus and its activities.

Germany: AfD leader Gauland and the hypocritical response to Nazi rehabilitation

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 June 2018

At the weekend, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Alexander Gauland again took up the right-wing propaganda campaign to gloss over and relativise the crimes of the Nazis.

Merkel calls for EU militarism, financial austerity in reply to Macron

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2018

While Merkel endorsed French calls for militarism and attacks on refugees, she gave little support for Macron’s calls for more investment and guarantees against new debt crises.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 7—The centrist line of the OCI (3)

By Peter Schwarz, 5 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

“My mum and my sister were murdered and cremated on 14 June last year”

UK: Final tributes to victims of Grenfell fire denounce corporate and political elite

By Robert Stevens, 5 June 2018

Testimony has repeatedly included denunciations of the ruling elite for the social murder that claimed at least 72 lives last June 14.

SEP holds Paris meeting on 50 years since May 1968 general strike

By our reporters, 5 June 2018

The Socialist Equality Party of France held a meeting on the political lessons of the May 1968 general strike on Sunday in Paris.

UK: Grenfell victims’ relatives unable to commemorate loved-ones due to government anti-immigration policies

By Simon Whelan, 4 June 2018

Government policies bringing about heartache for Grenfell relatives are having the very impact the government desired—making it more difficult for them to testify at the public inquiry.

Extreme right takes power in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 2 June 2018

The new Italian government sworn in yesterday in Rome is the most right-wing since the fall of the fascist Duce Benito Mussolini in 1945.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 2—The betrayal of the PCF and CGT

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

Relatives’ tributes at Grenfell Tower Inquiry blame government for deaths

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2018

Family members frequently broke down as they remembered their loved ones in moving and emotional scenes.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 1—A revolutionary situation develops

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

The fight against the far-right Alternative for Germany requires a socialist perspective

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 28 May 2018

The following statement was distributed by the SEP and IYSSE at demonstrations held on Sunday against the fascist Alternative for Germany.

Ireland votes to repeal anti-abortion amendment

By Steve James, 28 May 2018

The result signals a shift to the left among broad sections of the Irish population.

Workers’ unrest in the Netherlands

By Harm Waling, 28 May 2018

Teachers in Dutch elementary schools will strike in the southern provinces on May 30, part of a growing wave of strike actions in the Netherlands.

Testimony to Grenfell Fire inquiry paints devastating picture of social murder

By Robert Stevens, 24 May 2018

The inquiry heard from Hisam Choucair, who lost six members of his family in the inferno and Karim Mussilhy, who lost his uncle, Hesham Rahman.

Ken Livingstone forced out of British Labour Party

By Thomas Scripps and Chris Marsden, 23 May 2018

The witch-hunt and expulsions within Labour will be held up as an example to follow by right-wing forces all over the world, above all in Israel and the United States.

French public sector workers strike against austerity and attacks on conditions

By Kumaran Ira, 23 May 2018

The strikes and the 130 protests across France are a sign of growing opposition to the militarist and austerity policies of Macron and the European Union.

Members of Windrush generation speak out against UK government persecution

By Margot Miller, 23 May 2018

Governments of all persuasions have deliberately cultivated a climate of fear and intimidation against immigrants.

Sergei Skripal discharged from hospital

By Robert Stevens and Paul Bond, 21 May 2018

The entire narrative concocted by the British government has fallen apart, seam by seam.

Britain’s royal wedding: Recasting the monarchy in the age of identity politics

By Paul Mitchell, 19 May 2018

Markle’s feminism and racial identity provide the basis for the ultimate post-modernist makeover of the monarchy.

UK: Tories seek to defuse anger over Grenfell fire ahead of official public inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 18 May 2018

The claim by the government, backed by Labour, that adding two panel members to the Grenfell fire inquiry will prevent a whitewash is false.

Striking workers and students in France denounce war, Gaza massacre

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2018

Rail workers and students protesting selective admissions at universities denounced French bombings in Syria and the Israeli army’s massacre of unarmed Palestinians.

Military coup against a Corbyn Labour government discussed by Daily Telegraph

By Robert Stevens, 15 May 2018

That a military coup is again under serious consideration puts paid to the illusions assiduously cultivated by Corbyn and his apologists that a Labour government led by him will inaugurate a new period of reforms.

German militarization and Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal

By Johannes Stern, 15 May 2018

Following US President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear accord, the German bourgeoisie is intensifying its campaign for militarism, rearmament, and war.

French students blockade universities in struggle against selective admissions

By Guillaume Garnier, 15 May 2018

After the March 22 protest of rail and public workers against the privatisation of railways, students launched a movement to blockade universities across France.

The fraud of Mélenchon’s call for a Franco-Russian alliance against war

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 15 May 2018

Workers cannot rely on an alliance of capitalist powers proposed by pro-war politicians like Jean-Luc Mélenchon to stave off the growing danger of global conflict over Iran.

The death of reformism: Corbyn and the “broad left”

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2018

The following speech was delivered by Chris Marsden, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, for the past 20 years.

Jeremy Corbyn silent on persecution of Julian Assange

By Laura Tiernan, 9 May 2018

It is more than two years since a United Nations human rights panel ruled that Assange’s persecution by the Swedish and British governments amounts to “arbitrary detention” and a violation of international law.

German defence minister calls for faster increase in military spending

By Johannes Stern, 9 May 2018

Since the government’s initial budget was announced last week, there has been an aggressive campaign in politics and the media with the aim of upgrading the German military much faster and more comperehensively.

Defying the trade unions, Air France workers vote to reject contract

By Alex Lantier, 8 May 2018

Workers defied not only threats from Air France and the government, but also from the union bureaucrats, who demanded that they approve the contract.

The struggle against militarism and the far right in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 8 May 2018

The following speech was delivered to the May Day rally by Peter Schwarz, Secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International for the past 32 years, and a leading member of the German section of the ICFI.

Belgian prime minister smears filmmaker Ken Loach as “anti-Semitic”

By Paul Bond, 4 May 2018

The pro-austerity premier’s slur demonstrates how baseless charges of anti-Semitism are being used to attack any form of social protest or comment.

Germany: Grand coalition government discusses war budget

By Johannes Stern, 3 May 2018

While there is supposedly no money for social programmes, jobs, pensions and medical care, defence spending next year alone is set to rise by at least three billion euros.

Food factories closing across Britain

By Steve James, 3 May 2018

The looming mass layoffs expose the bankruptcy of all the mainstream parties and trade unions claiming to speak for the factory workers.

German army rehearses for civil war

By Gregor Link, 2 May 2018

The deployment of the Bundeswehr domestically and the networking of civilian agencies with the police and military are part of a comprehensive rearmament offensive.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic Legacy”

Part two

By Paul Bond, 1 May 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, represents a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

French immigration bill attacks right to asylum

By Athiyan Silva, 1 May 2018

The neo-fascist National Front voted for provisions of the bill, marking the first time a French government has passed legislative measures with FN support.

Fate of London Stadium epitomises toxic “Olympic legacy”

Part one

By Paul Bond, 30 April 2018

The former Olympic Stadium, which has already cost taxpayers more than £750 million, has left a legacy of corporate venality, corruption and graft.

“Old Europe” comes to Washington

By Alex Lantier and Andre Damon, 28 April 2018

Fifteen years ago, the European powers opposed the US-British invasion of Iraq. Now they are scrambling to serve as junior partners in the new carve-up of the Middle East.

UK universities being integrated into military-security apparatus

By Thomas Scripps, 28 April 2018

In addition to commercial relations with the military-industrial complex, universities are working closely with the armed forces to provide education and recruitment opportunities.

German Chancellor Merkel and Donald Trump hold tense meeting in Washington

By Peter Schwarz, 28 April 2018

While the meeting appeared superficially friendly, Trump made no concessions on the fundamental issues discussed.