Western Europe

160,000 industrial workers strike in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 11 January 2018

Amid widespread anger over social inequality and corporate job-cutting, there is a growing determination to fight for improvements in wages and working conditions.

France’s Socialist Party attacks Catherine Deneuve for opposing #MeToo witch-hunt

By Alex Lantier, 11 January 2018

The courageous column published by 100 women in Le Monde criticizing the #MeToo campaign has provoked a venomous response from the French state machine.

French chemical industry unions back contract violating minimum wage laws

By Alex Lantier, 8 January 2018

Backed by the European Union, President Emmanuel Macron is using his labor decrees to try to scrap basic social rights won by the working class.

German foreign minister demands aggressive assertion of great power interests

By Christoph Vandreier, 8 January 2018

Gabriel’s rhetoric, in his interview with Spiegel Online, is aimed at initiating a further escalation of German militarism and freeing Berlin from any restrictions.

Volkswagen plans to dismiss all temporary contract workers in German plants

By Dietmar Henning, 8 January 2018

VW’s mass firing of temporary contract workers is the prelude to sweeping job cuts and attacks on the gains of all autoworkers.

UK rail workers continue strikes against Driver Only Operated train plans

By Michael Barnes, 8 January 2018

As dangerous incidents begin to escalate, the rail companies and the Tory government refuse to retreat in their war against conductors’ jobs.

UK workers confront rising job losses in 2018

By Tony Robson, 8 January 2018

At no point have Unite, GMB, the retail workers union, USDAW, or any other, even mooted a fight in defence of a single job.

Britain’s National Health Service is being deliberately brought to the brink of collapse

By Robert Stevens, 6 January 2018

NHS employees now often refer to the conditions they face at work as a “battlefield” or “war zone.”

German conservatives and Social Democrats prepare formation of far-right government

By Peter Schwarz, 6 January 2018

There is a crisis over the formation of the government because the Christian Democrats, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats are preparing a sharp shift to the right, which finds no support among the population.

Incoming German government plans massive military rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 3 January 2018

A recent paper by the Bavarian Christian Social Union makes clear what the real questions are about forming the next government.

Germany: Demands grow for Merkel’s resignation

By Peter Schwarz, 30 December 2017

The longer negotiations on a new ruling coalition continue, the more likely leading business, political and media figures will press for a rapid change at the top of the government.

The ruling class’s Christmas message to Grenfell survivors: You will get nothing from us

By Steve James, 30 December 2017

Three days before Christmas, Prime Minister Theresa May rejected a petition set up by a survivor of the July Grenfell Tower inferno in London.

Macron turns France’s labor decrees on auto workers

By Alex Lantier, 29 December 2017

The announcement of mass layoffs by Europe’s second-largest automaker is part of a relentless international assault on workers' jobs, working conditions and social rights.

Political turmoil in Spain following Catalan election

By Paul Mitchell, 23 December 2017

Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy is under pressure from some quarters to consider negotiations, but there is no indication of a climbdown on his part.

Massive job cuts at Opel and Vauxhall

By Marianne Arens, 23 December 2017

The management board, works council and IG Metall union have agreed on a drastic reduction in staff and labour costs at Opel to make the company more profitable.

Virgin Care: A case study in how private corporations loot the UK’s National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 23 December 2017

The Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group accidentally disclosed a backdoor payment of £328,000 to Virgin Care, owned by billionaire business mogul Richard Branson.

Engineering workers occupy three BiFab yards in Scotland

By Darren Paxton and Sandy Campbell, 23 December 2017

Although workers effectively took control of the yards, the GMB and Unite trade unions were at pains to insist the action was a “work-in.”

Social inequality and Germany’s government crisis

By Peter Schwarz, 23 December 2017

Social inequality has reached a scale that is no longer compatible with democratic forms of rule.

UK: Deputy Conservative leader Damian Green forced to resign by manufactured sex scandal

By Robert Stevens, 22 December 2017

The contrived campaign at Westminster over sexual impropriety has caused the suicide of one leading Welsh Labour member and the sudden death of a Labour Party staffer—also believed to be a suicide.

German police publicly name and shame G20 protesters

By Peter Schwarz, 22 December 2017

In an unlawful act, the police and state prosecutor have published online the photos of hundreds of demonstrators five months after the G20 protests.

UK: Pro-Corbyn councillors sabotage fight against Labour’s social cleansing

By Robert Stevens and Margot Miller, 22 December 2017

Haringey Labour Council will commence the demolition of 1,000 council homes and the building of luxury accommodation that only the wealthiest can afford, in one of the largest acts of social cleansing in the capital.

German Social Democratic Party follows the path of far-right Alternative for Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 December 2017

Ex-SPD leader and acting Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is calling for his party to adopt the right-wing nationalist policies of Alternative for Germany.

Far-right party enters Austrian government

By Peter Schwarz, 19 December 2017

Politicians with close ties to the neo-Nazi scene and ultra-right circles now wield power in Austria.

Families and survivors hold six-month commemoration of Grenfell Tower fire

By Paul Mitchell, 18 December 2017

The marchers carried photographs of those who had perished in the Grenfell fire, and held large green heart-shaped banners and placards with slogans including “Justice for Grenfell” and “We demand the truth.”

Right-wing extremists enter government in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 18 December 2017

In a country where the ruling class resorted to dictatorship in the early 1930s, and largely backed the 1938 Anschluss with Nazi Germany, the shadow of the past has returned.

German parliament extends foreign military missions with support of the far-right AfD

By Johannes Stern, 16 December 2017

Despite the ongoing government crisis, all the German bourgeois parties are driving forward the militarization of foreign policy.

Amazon conducts total surveillance of workers in new German plant

By Marianne Arens, 16 December 2017

“One speaks of robots becoming more and more like humans, at Amazon it’s the other way round: humans become robots.”

French conservative leadership election signals move towards far right

By Anthony Torres, 16 December 2017

Laurent Wauquiez won The Republicans (LR) party presidency by attacking Muslims and gay marriage, prompting speculation that LR will seek neo-fascist alliances.

Germany: SPD and Christian Democrats initiate exploratory talks on new government

By Peter Schwarz, 14 December 2017

The leaderships of the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and Social Democrats met yesterday for the first talks on forming a new government.

Six months since the Grenfell Tower fire

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 14 December 2017

On June 14, in the wealthiest borough of one of the very richest of capital cities, working class residents were burned to death because their home had been turned into a death trap.

Film Review

“Grenfell changed everything”—Failed by the State: The Struggle in the Shadow of Grenfell

By Paul Bond, 14 December 2017

A new three-part documentary shows how the Grenfell Tower inferno exposed the realities of class oppression and social inequality in the most brutal way.

German Left Party supports SPD foreign minister’s great power politics

By Johannes Stern, 13 December 2017

Dietmar Bartsch, the Left Party’s parliamentary leader, has followed Social Democrat Foreign Minister Gabriel in advocating an “assertive role” for Germany in the world.

General Electric follows Siemens in announcing mass layoffs

By Gustav Kemper, 12 December 2017

The American conglomerate General Electric announced the layoff of 12,000 workers last week, including 4,500 in Europe.

Grenfell Fire forum discusses upcoming six month anniversary

By our reporter, 12 December 2017

Six months after the Grenfell Tower inferno, more than half of the households that require rehousing remain in temporary accommodation, including many children.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

Germany: Protests against the deportation of refugees

By our correspondents, 9 December 2017

Refugees from Afghanistan were herded onto a plane and flown from the German airport in Frankfurt-Main to Kabul, despite the efforts of several hundred demonstrators.

UK government accelerates plans to ration and privatise National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 9 December 2017

In his budget, Tory Chancellor Hammond allocated a derisory £2.8 billon for the NHS over the next three years, under conditions in which the combined deficit of NHS trusts alone stood at £770 million last financial year.

UK government rocked by Trump’s fascistic twitter postings

By Robert Stevens, 2 December 2017

Following Trump’s unprecedented public attack on the Prime Minister, the alliance between the two countries has never been shakier.

At Abidjan summit, EU and France intensify neo-colonial scramble for Africa

By Francis Dubois, 2 December 2017

Faced with the disastrous results of the imperialist wars in Libya and the Sahel, the European Union is proposing to intensify its neo-colonialist and military interventions.

One in 25 people homeless in some areas of England

By Dennis Moore, 2 December 2017

A new study by the homeless charity Shelter shows widespread and pervasive homelessness across the UK, with an additional 13,000 without accommodation in the last year alone.

Campaign builds for grand coalition in Germany

By Peter Schwarz, 2 December 2017

A new installment of the grand coalition would pursue a much more aggressive right-wing agenda than the previous governments.

German political establishment and big business call for grand coalition government

By Johannes Stern, 27 November 2017

The SPD fears that new elections and political uncertainty could destabilise conditions in Europe and undermine the global interests of German imperialism.

Protesting workers at bankrupt Air Berlin denounce Merkel government

By Gustav Kemper, 27 November 2017

More than a thousand employees of the insolvent airline gathered Wednesday in front of Berlin Central Station for a demonstration against imminent mass redundancies.

Bus workers in northwest England escalate strikes for pay parity

By John Newham, 27 November 2017

As more disputes erupt, the unions are doing everything to contain the situation and oppose any united offensive by transport workers.

Germany’s Social Democrats prepare for grand coalition with Merkel

By Peter Schwarz, 25 November 2017

A third installment of the grand coalition will will adopt an even more authoritarian and ruthless course from its predecessors.

German SPD leader Martin Schulz: A false friend of Siemens workers

By Peter Schwarz, 24 November 2017

Despite Schulz’s rhetorical denunciations of planned job cuts at Siemens, the SPD has for years been at the forefront of attacks against workers’ jobs, wages, and living standards.

The Socialist Equality Party in Germany demands new elections

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 23 November 2017

Under present conditions, this is the only way in which the working class can intervene into political events, bring their interests to bear and combat the far right’s political offensive.

Christian Democratic student association calls for the banning of the IYSSE at German universities

By Christoph Vandreier, 22 November 2017

The denial of working group status for the IYSSE in Leipzig sets a precedent to deprive socialist student organizations of standing as university groups across the country, an attack on basic democratic rights.

Grenfell Tower “independent” task force produces whitewash report

By Steve James, 18 November 2017

The report avoids any reference to the fire’s origins in national and local policy decisions, including the deregulation and privatisation of fire safety and building control, as well as fire service cuts.

Patel resignation exposes UK’s covert support for Israel and Islamist proxies

By Jean Shaoul, 17 November 2017

The sordid tale of Department for International Development Secretary Priti Patel’s fall from grace and resignation highlights the true content of Britain’s “aid” policy.

Report notes dramatic increase in homelessness in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 17 November 2017

The Federal Working Group for Homelessness reported this week that the homeless now number almost 1 million in Germany.

May’s Conservative government faces possible collapse over Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 11 November 2017

European Union officials have let it be known that they are making contingency plans based on Prime Minister Theresa May not surviving beyond the end of this year.

Metropolitan Police try to block Freedom of Information requests over Grenfell Tower

By Simon Whelan, 11 November 2017

Attempts to stifle information over the Grenfell Tower inferno come as it has been revealed that 52 London tower blocks are similarly clad in flammable material.

UK Labour’s Carl Sargeant commits suicide after sexual harassment allegations

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2017

Friends and colleagues denounced Sargeant’s treatment, saying that he had been “thrown to the wolves,” despite none of the allegations being subject to investigation by the police.

German court rejects bid by Professor Jörg Baberowski to bar criticism of his right-wing extremism

By Christoph Vandreier, 10 November 2017

The Humboldt University professor was rebuffed in an attempt to have a court prohibit the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei from exposing his falsifications of history.

SEP national secretary proposes “Capitalism Has Failed” at St Andrews University Union Debating Society

By our reporter, 7 November 2017

Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Britain, won substantial support for the proposition that capitalism is an “abject failure.”

Deposed Catalan premier hands himself in to Belgian police

By Alex Lantier, 6 November 2017

Criticisms of Spain’s handling of the Catalan crisis from within European ruling circles reflect concerns that Madrid’s actions could provoke explosive popular opposition.

Germany: “Jamaica coalition” on a course towards war

By Peter Schwarz, 6 November 2017

The greatest pressure for a massive rearmament comes not from the “Jamaica” parties, but rather from the Social Democrats, the SPD.

French state of emergency expires in name, but police state remains

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 4 November 2017

The expiration of France’s two-year state of emergency does not signify a return to conditions before 2015, but stepped-up attacks on democratic rights.

Escalation of Universal Credit rollout in UK threatens millions more with poverty

By Robert Stevens, 4 November 2017

As well as facing delays in receiving the Universal Credit payments, many of those on the benefit face punitive “sanctions” aimed at cutting the pittance they receive even further.

Britain’s Defence Secretary Fallon resigns in anti-democratic “sex pest” scandal

By Julie Hyland, 3 November 2017

The sex scandal engulfing Britain’s parliament sprang to life following that involving American film producer Harvey Weinstein.

Catalan, Spanish workers face grave dangers from Madrid’s repression

By Paul Mitchell and Chris Marsden, 2 November 2017

The attempt by Madrid and the EU to impose a dictatorial regime, whether or not this is sanctioned by imposed elections, must be opposed by the entire Spanish and Catalan working class.

Austria: Conservatives discuss coalition with the extreme right

By Markus Salzmann, 1 November 2017

Ten days after the Austrian parliamentary elections, the conservative Austrian People’s Party has begun negotiations to form government with the far-right Freedom Party.

Art auction for Grenfell fire survivors raises £2 million

By Paul Bond, 30 October 2017

The auction in London met up with the feeling of solidarity that many people have with those devastated by the fire.

Spain imposes military rule in Catalonia to preempt independence bid

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 28 October 2017

The Senate vote marks a historic collapse of democratic forms of rule in Western Europe and a return to authoritarianism, posing an urgent threat to the working class.

As protests mount against Madrid, Catalan parliament declares independence

By Alejandro López, 28 October 2017

The Catalan regional parliament on Friday voted a resolution for independence from Spain and the start of a “constituent process” to draft a new constitution.

Survey of UK nurses exposes staff crisis in National Health Service

By Ajanta Silva, 28 October 2017

214 out of 224 acute hospitals operated without an adequate level of nursing staff during day shifts last October, while 85 percent of them did not have proper staff levels on night shifts.

London: Public-private housing partnership to enforce social cleansing in Haringey Borough

By Ross Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 27 October 2017

Many working class people will be forced out of a borough where 48 percent of households have either no savings or are in debt.

Did an undercover agent incite the Berlin Christmas Market attack?

By Dietmar Henning, 26 October 2017

An undercover agent from the State Criminal Bureau in North Rhine-Westphalia is alleged to have had close contact with the perpetrator of the 2016 Berlin Christmas Market attack.

Thousands demonstrate in Berlin against ultra-right Alternative for Germany

By our correspondents, 24 October 2017

Ahead of the first sitting of the newly elected parliament (Bundestag), more than 10,000 people demonstrated on Sunday in Berlin against the political shift to the right.

UK: BAE Systems and Vauxhall to impose mass job losses

By Dennis Moore, 23 October 2017

Job losses at Vauxhall and BAE Systems are among thousands of cuts across the UK as the economy stagnates.

EU summit endorses Spain’s threat of police-military occupation of Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 21 October 2017

EU heads of state applauded Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy’s moves to impose dictatorial rule in Catalonia because they are preparing similar attacks on the working class across Europe.

Spanish Socialist Party demands new elections in Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 21 October 2017

The Spanish Socialist Party is working closely with Spain’s right-wing government to extra-legally oust the current regional government in Catalonia.

Right-wing, four-party government formed in the Netherlands

By Derek Bell, 21 October 2017

Mark Rutte of the VVD remains prime minister, but in coalition with three other right-wing parties rather than the Social Democrats, whose vote collapsed.

Post-Grenfell: More than £400 million needed to make London residential buildings safe

By Tom Pearce, 20 October 2017

London has 32 boroughs, of which just 21 answered a survey on the cost of planned remedial safety work.

Power struggle in leadership of Germany’s Left Party

By Peter Schwarz, 19 October 2017

The Left Party is responding to the federal election and the rise of the Alternative for Germany by shifting sharply to the right, triggering internal divisions.

Greek Prime Minister Tsipras embraces Trump

By Alex Lantier, 19 October 2017

The statement of Tsipras that he shares “common values” with Trump exposes not only Syriza, but all of the middle-class “left” parties internationally that promoted it.

Hurricane Ophelia’s tail hits Ireland and UK

By Margot Miller, 17 October 2017

Three lives were reported lost and winds of up to 109 mph left 360,000 homes and businesses without power in the Republic of Ireland.

In latest victory for the far right, neo-fascists gain in Austrian election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2017

The ability of far-right parties to obtain a broader hearing for anti-immigrant and racist policies is the result of the absence of any progressive outlet for social discontent within the political establishment.

French president Macron and ex-left Cohn-Bendit advocate a militarily strong Europe at Frankfurt Book Fair

By Marianne Arens, 14 October 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron is striving for a heavily armed Europe capable of pursuing its own imperialist strategy around the world, while suppressing opposition at home.

Germany’s conservative parties shift further to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 11 October 2017

The Christian Democratic Union and its partner, the Christian Social Union, have agreed on a common line of approach for a future government coalition to include the Free Democratic Party and the Greens.

British government prepares further draconian legislation to censor Internet

By Steve James, 10 October 2017

Rudd’s initial focus is on clamping down on opposition to British imperialism’s predatory wars in the Middle East, but this will inevitably be extended to cover all anti-war sentiment and commentary.

Madrid prepares to deploy troops in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 7 October 2017

Spain’s political establishment is openly talking of invoking Article 116 of the Spanish constitution, laying the basis for the imposition of martial law.

Tory party on verge of leadership contest after disastrous conference performance by May

By Robert Stevens, 7 October 2017

Theresa May only remains in place to keep the party together and avoid an eruption of unrestrained factional warfare.

Spain prepares military crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 6 October 2017

The European Union is supporting Madrid's plans for a bloody military-police intervention in Catalonia and to impose a state of emergency across Spain.

Amid Catalan crisis, Madrid prepares military rule across Spain

By Alejandro López, 6 October 2017

Voices in the Spanish press are calling for imposing various states of emergency that would suspend basic democratic rights and hand power to the army.

Siemens and Alstom rail train units merge as corporations prepare for trade war

By Gustav Kemper, 6 October 2017

The merger of the two companies, with 62,000 employees and an annual turnover of around 15 billion euros, creates the world’s second-largest railway technology company.

Huge increase in UK firefighters with mental health problems

By Dennis Moore, 6 October 2017

Many of the firefighters who tackled the Grenfell fire suffered mental health problems following that terrible event.

Spanish government sends troops to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 5 October 2017

The Ministry of Defense has dispatched army units to support the Civil Guard and national police in a possible further crackdown on the Catalonian population.

After Madrid’s violent crackdown:

An independent class strategy for the Spanish and Catalan working class!

By Keith Jones, 5 October 2017

A struggle to rally workers and youth to an internationalist orientation can only be waged in uncompromising opposition to the violence unleashed by the Madrid government.

UK: Corbyn ally John McDonnell declares Labour’s mission is to “stabilise capitalism”

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2017

Despite the “socialist” rhetoric they may spout, the pseudo-left and Stalinist groups are all in fundamental agreement with McDonnell—the job at hand is to defend capitalism.

German Left Party’s Lafontaine launches AfD-style tirade against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 4 October 2017

The Left Party is using the AfD’s electoral success to justify adopting its xenophobic programme.

German Green Party opts for coalition with conservative and neo-liberal parties

By Peter Schwarz, 4 October 2017

A Green Party conference agreed to start negotiations on a coalition government with the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and the Free Democratic Party.

Director of British rights group Cage convicted for refusing to reveal mobile phone and laptop pass codes

By Steve James, 4 October 2017

The conviction of Muhammed Rabbani underscores the significance of recent investigations into massive mobile phone surveillance in Britain by local police forces.

Germany’s Social Democrats prepare to suppress popular opposition

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 3 October 2017

The Social Democratic Party is taking on the task of suppressing opposition to militarism, the strengthening of the state apparatus and social cutbacks.

Monarch Airlines collapse causes air travel chaos

By Steve James, 3 October 2017

Monarch is the third major European airline to go under this year.

People’s Assembly stage tame protest outside Conservative Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2017

The pseudo-left groups are desperate to conceal the fact that the many local Labour authorities have imposed austerity on behalf of the government for years.

Grenfell Fire Forum: Wide-ranging discussion and resolution passed opposing Google censorship

By Paul Mitchell, 3 October 2017

Over 20 people, half of whom were local residents, attended the first meeting of the Grenfell Fire Forum last Saturday at the Maxilla Social Club in North Kensington, London.

German army build-up follows federal election

By Tino Jacobson, 30 September 2017

The latest acquisitions are part of a comprehensive armaments program over coming years whose dimensions recall the massive rearming of the Wehrmacht in the 1930s.

Parsons Green bomb seized on to call for greater internet censorship

By Steve James, 30 September 2017

The ruling elite are calling for powers to exclude whole sections of the population from internet use, as and when politically convenient.