Europe

Macron promotes anti-Muslim “free speech” hypocrisy after terrorist killing

By Will Morrow, 19 October 2020

Less than 48 hours after the murder of a teacher near Paris on Friday, the political establishment launched a campaign for “national unity” behind anti-Muslim laws.

UK’s Johnson government looking to appoint cronies to BBC and press regulator

By Paul Bond, 19 October 2020

Charles Moore’s refusing the offered position will be a disappointment to Johnson, but the fact that he was proposed is telling as to the government’s general direction of travel as it seeks to “complete the Thatcher revolution.”

German parents’ associations protest against dangerous school openings

By Gregor Link, 19 October 2020

More and more workers and young people in Germany and Europe as a whole oppose the policy of herd immunity decreed by ruling circles, a policy that will result in the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

Student council at Leipzig University opposes invitation to German right-wing extremist professor Jörg Baberowski

By Noah Windstein, 17 October 2020

It is particularly cynical for Baberowski to speak on the issue of peace in light of his trivialisation of the Holocaust and the arson attacks by neo-Nazis on refugee centres.

Mobilize the working class against the European Union’s “herd immunity” policies!

By Alex Lantier, 17 October 2020

As Europe emerges as an epicenter of a global resurgence of COVID-19, the EU is pursuing a policy leading to deaths on an unprecedented scale, far surpassing the 200,000 deaths this spring.

Johnson calls off Brexit negotiations following EU summit deadlock

By Thomas Scripps, 17 October 2020

Brexit is a nodal point of interlocking domestic crises confronted by the UK, the EU states, and the United States, and of rising geopolitical tensions between them all.

7,000 new infections in 24 hours: Germany’s highest COVID numbers since beginning of pandemic

By Marianne Arens, 17 October 2020

The German chancellor and leaders of the federal states are maintaining their policy of herd immunity despite the eruption of a second wave of coronavirus cases.

UK’s local lockdown system in disarray as COVID-19 cases surge out of control

By Robert Stevens, 17 October 2020

This dispute been the local Labour authorities and central government confirms that combating the spread of this deadly disease cannot be left in the hands of any faction of the ruling elite, and their political representatives.

Global surge in COVID-19 cases as governments abandon efforts to contain the pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 16 October 2020

The policy of “herd immunity,” effectively allowing a killer disease to run rampant, threatens to overwhelm hospitals and lead to a rising tide of deaths and suffering.

Pseudo-left promotes dangerous illusions following criminal conviction of Greek fascists

By Peter Schwarz, 16 October 2020

Greece’s supreme court ruled that the neo-fascist party Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) was a criminal organisation, and convicted 68 members on charges including violence, membership in a criminal organisation, grievous bodily harm, and illegal possession of weapons.

Amnesty International condemns Johnson government for thousands of UK care home deaths

By Simon Whelan, 16 October 2020

What occurred in care homes was mass murder due to the policy of herd immunity.

Large-scale police deployment evicts alternative housing project in Berlin, Germany

By Justus Leicht and Peter Schwarz, 16 October 2020

The mobilization of thousands of police officers to evict an alternative housing project must be understood as a serious warning. In the face of social tensions and the catastrophic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, the ruling class is preparing to violently suppress any opposition from below.

Greek public sector 24-hour strike; Amazon workers in Germany walk out; Nigerian workers in Kwara state resume wage strikes

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

State-orchestrated anti-Semitism witch-hunt extended to UK university campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 16 October 2020

Williamson’s letter is the latest move in a five-year conspiracy of the Conservative government, the Labour Party, and Zionist organisations aimed at criminalising vast swathes of the political left.

UK at “perilous moment” with NHS unable to cope

By Rory Woods, 15 October 2020

Treatment and care for the victims of the government’s herd immunity strategy is under threat, with the NHS facing a “triple whammy” of staff burnout, a massive backlog of treatment built-up during the pandemic, and a huge surge of COVID-19.

Macron hails herd immunity, rejects lockdown as COVID-19 surges in Europe

By Alex Lantier, 15 October 2020

In a national interview, Macron said non-essential work and in-person schooling would continue and that he is aiming for 90,000-150,000 monthly new COVID-19 cases in France.

French, Spanish hospital workers protest as COVID-19 spreads across Europe

By Will Morrow, 15 October 2020

Protests are driven by demands for desperately-needed resources for hospital workers to fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Tripling of new coronavirus infections in Germany in only one month

By Marianne Arens, 15 October 2020

Anger is growing among workers at the herd immunity policy being imposed by big business, as the government is using the pandemic as an excuse to deploy the army within Germany.

Britain: The world’s second largest arms exporter and friend to warmongers and despots

By Jean Shaoul, 14 October 2020

The list of Britain’s customers reads like a roll call of the most corrupt and blood-soaked regimes on the planet.

Johnson UK government rejected scientific advisers’ call for temporary national lockdown in September

By Robert Stevens, 14 October 2020

The measures advised by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies fell way below a full lockdown, but such was the Tories’ determination to enforce their herd immunity agenda that every measure was rejected bar one.

One year after anti-Semitic terrorist attack in Halle

Right-wing extremist networks in German state apparatus continue to grow

By Jan Ritter, 14 October 2020

Recent days have seen several new instances of right-wing extremists within the German state apparatus come to light.

Polish high school students strike to demand end to in-person classes

By Clara Weiss, 14 October 2020

Schools have become the main vector for the second wave of the pandemic, with at least two teachers and one 20-year-old student dying over the past week alone.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee meets as COVID-19 sweeps through student campuses

By Our reporter, 14 October 2020

Emma, a parent of primary school age children, said, “I could not agree more with all of you. How can anybody make schools safe? Even our primary school head said they couldn’t guarantee safety.

Coronavirus infections threaten Germany’s hospitals with overload

By Markus Salzmann, 13 October 2020

In the last months, protective measures against the virus have been almost completely dismantled. The government has done nothing to prepare hospitals for the inevitable rise in serious cases.

UK jobs cull continues as thousands more redundancies are announced

By Margot Miller, 13 October 2020

The pandemic is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods, thanks to the disastrous policies of the Johnson-led Conservative government—fully supported by the Labour opposition and trade unions.

Poverty in Germany: Power cuts for 289,000 households

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 13 October 2020

Hundreds of thousands had no lights, no warm water, could use neither stoves nor refrigerators, could not do laundry and had no access to radio, television or the internet.

Irish government rejects medical experts as coronavirus infections spiral out of control

By Dermot Byrne, 13 October 2020

Ireland's coalition government has scorned advice from scientists and medical experts to impose a full lockdown.

A reply to the OKDE-Spartakos party’s letter on Greek school occupations

By Alex Lantier, 13 October 2020

The WSWS replies to a denial by the Greek affiliates of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) that it is linked to the NPA’s support for austerity and herd immunity policies.

As COVID-19 claims the life of London bus driver Kofi Opoku, Unite mounts fake “safety campaign” to stem drivers’ anger

By Laura Tiernan, 13 October 2020

Unite is seizing on a second wave of COVID-19 to deepen its corporatist partnership with Transport for London and the bus companies.

Grenfell Tower landlord rejected safety checks to save £30,000

By Charles Hixson, 12 October 2020

The 2014-16 refurbishment, including enveloping the tower in flammable cladding, turned the building into a death trap that claimed 72 lives.

Protest strikes in German public transit: Workers’ anger grows over unsafe working conditions

By Andy Niklaus and Christoph Vandreier, 12 October 2020

While the trade unions are limiting the public transit strikes to a set of minimum demands, anger amongst the workforce at the miserable level of wages and unsafe working conditions is growing.

The lifestyles of the pseudo-left

Podemos minister Irene Montero poses for Vanity Fair

By Alice Summers, 12 October 2020

The interview with the partner of Podemos general secretary Pablo Iglesias aimed to reassure Vanity Fair’s affluent readership that Podemos is utterly corrupt.

French universities enforce de facto herd immunity policy on COVID-19

By Samuel Tissot, 12 October 2020

Despite a nominal commitment to limited measures to contain the virus, in reality French universities are allowing the virus to rapid spread amongst students, accelerating infections and deaths in the wider population.

As pandemic surges worldwide, governments resist new lockdowns, step up back-to-work drive

By Benjamin Mateus, 12 October 2020

The world is seeing a resurgence of the pandemic as daily cases of COVID-19 reach record highs. Governments internationally are rejecting future lockdowns and instead are continuing the homicidal policy of “herd immunity,” which sacrifices potentially millions of lives to protect the profits and wealth of the ruling elites.

Accelerated job cuts in German auto industry

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 12 October 2020

Barely a day goes by without a new announcement of cutbacks and job cuts in the German auto industry.

University and College Union moves to prevent strikes as COVID-19 cases surge on UK campuses

By E.P. Milligan, 10 October 2020

Northumbria University’s decision to move online prompted the University and College Union (UCU) leadership to call off strike action, while claiming a victory.

Thirty years of German unity: Berlin increases military spending, incites nationalism and war

By Johannes Stern, 10 October 2020

The defence minister made no secret of the fact that Germany is arming itself with the deadliest weapons in order to wage war around the world in defence of its economic and geostrategic interest—increasingly against its erstwhile allies.

State of emergency declared in Madrid as COVID-19 resurgence sweeps Europe

By Jordan Shilton, 10 October 2020

New daily infections in Europe Friday surpassed the 100,000 mark for the second day running.

Reopening of German schools leads to explosion of COVID-19 infections

By Gregor Link, 10 October 2020

The ruling class knows that it is preparing a catastrophe with its ruthless policy of opening up the economy and its refusal to take serious measures to contain the virus.

Germany, France to sanction Russia over Navalny’s alleged poisoning

By Clara Weiss, 10 October 2020

Nothing published by the OPCW and the imperialist powers on the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny can be taken at face value.

Dutch government’s malign neglect accelerates resurgence of COVID-19

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 10 October 2020

The Netherlands has become a major hot-spot in western Europe for COVID-19 infections, with record numbers of confirmed infections each day.

National public sector strike in South Africa; health workers’ stoppage spreads in Kenya; union ends long-running dispute at London’s Tate Gallery

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

9 October 2020

Thousands of South African workers held a nationwide strike Wednesday, while the PCS union ended the stoppage at the Tate art galley’s commercial arm after 42 days of strike action, with a deal that includes job losses.

After the Assange hearing—the fight against imperialism

By Thomas Scripps, 9 October 2020

What took place at London’s Old Bailey was a process of vicious retribution against a journalist who exposed the barbarism of the ruling class before the world.

UK COVID-19 cases triple in a fortnight

By Robert Stevens, 8 October 2020

The spread of COVID-19 in the north of England is presented in the media as a regional disparity. But the most infected areas are in deindustrialised, socially deprived regions where fewer people work from home.

Macron’s anti-Islamic separatism law: The death throes of French democracy

By Alex Lantier, 8 October 2020

This bill, which would impose control of Islam by the state and mass surveillance of the population, exposes the fascistic and anti-secular policies of the Macron government.

The University and College Union’s incredible disappearing pensions dispute

By Ioan Petrescu, 7 October 2020

Under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic, the University and College Union has conspired with employers to push through changes to its members’ pension plans that will see them paying more for smaller benefits.

Germany’s parliamentary parties elect far-right AfD candidate to Gera city council

By Martin Nowak, 7 October 2020

The latest developments in the east German city of Gera underline the sharp turn to the right by the ruling class.

Inquiry hears that Manchester Arena bomber was on radar of UK intelligence for seven years

By Margot Miller, 7 October 2020

The inquiry heard from MI5 that bomber Abedi came to their attention 18 times before he perpetrated his horrific crime.

The return of the Hohenzollern imperial dynasty to Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 October 2020

The impudent demands of the Hohenzollerns aim at not only the shameless enrichment of the former ruling family, but also its return to a place “at the top” of German society.

Révolution Permanente (NPA) silent on Greek youth protests against COVID-19

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 6 October 2020

The New Anticapitalist Party’s (NPA) web site is silent on the mass struggles in Greece because it supports the official policy of herd immunity on COVID-19.

COVID-19 infections on the rise in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 6 October 2020

The age of the infected, for both mild and severe cases, has been decreasing as infections rise. The average age of those hospitalised has dropped to 37 years.

Tens of thousands of UK COVID-19 cases and contacts went unreported

By Thomas Scripps, 6 October 2020

Besides giving a completely false picture of the spread of the disease, the failure to report 15,841 positive Covid-19 cases has left tens of thousands of their potentially infected contacts untraced for up to a week.

UK plans to detain refugees on prison ships

By Robert Stevens, 6 October 2020

Repressive anti-immigration policies, in Britain and Australia alike, have been built up over decades by all political representatives of the ruling class.

Spanish court bars Catalan regional premier from holding public office

By Alejandro López, 5 October 2020

Regardless of who is in power in Madrid, the ruling class exploits the Catalan issue in order to shift politics further to the right and build a police state.

Foreword to 30 Years of War, the German edition of David North’s A Quarter Century of War

By Johannes Stern, 5 October 2020

After three decades of US-led wars, the outbreak of a third world war, whichwould be fought with nuclear weapons, is an imminent and concrete danger. Based on a thorough understanding of the wars of the past three decades and the socioeconomic and political processes in which they were rooted, this book develops a socialist perspective for the struggle against war.

Almost half of UK coronavirus infections in schools, colleges and universities

By Harvey Thompson, 5 October 2020

Figures from the latest Public Health England’s COVID-19 epidemiology surveillance summary show that educational settings now account for 45 percent of all positive cases in the UK.

30 years of German unity

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 3 October 2020

As German political leaders commemorate the dissolution of East Germany and its incorporation by West Germany 30 years ago, the earlier promises of freedom, democracy, and prosperity are being refuted daily by reality.

Johnson’s UK government forwards legislation flouting the rule of law

By Robert Stevens, 3 October 2020

Parliament has become an arena for enshrining naked criminality within the highest echelons of the state. And there is no constituency in ruling circles for opposing this.

UK students denounce dangerous conditions in universities and halls of residence

By Our reporters, 3 October 2020

University students, lecturers and members of the public have been speaking out against the absurd and dangerous conditions facing thousands of young people as they start the university year.

Wolfgang Clement: The unvarnished face of Germany’s SPD

By Peter Schwarz, 3 October 2020

Clement was a ruthless defender of capitalist interests and regarded as his party’s most important task disciplining the working class and ensuring they kept working.

EU summit backs herd immunity policy and sanctions against Belarus

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 3 October 2020

The European Council of EU heads of state met for two days in Brussels, Thursday and Friday, to discuss the bloc’s foreign and economic policy.

Russia prepares health care cuts as COVID cases rise

By Andrea Peters, 3 October 2020

The Kremlin’s proposed budget axes spending on health care and allocates 27 percent of all federal expenditures to the army, national guard and security forces of the interior ministry.

PSOE, Podemos propose herd immunity as COVID-19 rips through Madrid

By Alejandro López, 3 October 2020

This week, the Spanish government reached a deal with Madrid regional authorities on policies for the working class districts hardest hit by the virus.

COVID-19 in Germany: No protection for high-risk groups despite dramatic increase in infections

By Joshua Seubert and Markus Salzmann, 3 October 2020

As in other European countries, the number of infections in Germany is reaching dramatic highs after school reopenings, exposing schoolchildren, teachers and educators to mortal danger.

Cost cutting and council’s austerity measures led to Grenfell tragedy

By Charles Hixson, 3 October 2020

The role of JRP, the company overseeing onsite safety at Grenfell, mainly consisted of walking around, getting “a general feel for what the client has asked us to do” and asking the questions “have you guys checked that it’s compliant and have building control approved it?”

UK schools told “anti-capitalist” teaching prohibited

By Julie Hyland, 2 October 2020

The guidance builds on the Prevent strategy, first implemented by the Blair Labour government, which targeted Muslims as potential extremists and required schools to report anyone they deemed “vulnerable to radicalisation.”

Coronavirus in the UK: A poor schools’ pandemic

By Margot Miller, 2 October 2020

Private schools have no worries about supply cover or getting their pupils and staff tested for the virus.

Assange’s extradition hearing concludes at London’s Old Bailey, with decision due January 4

By Thomas Scripps, 2 October 2020

In a final affront to due process, Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused to admit into evidence a statement by veteran human rights campaigner and Assange’s instructing solicitor Gareth Peirce.

Watch: Stella Moris, partner of Julian Assange, delivers a statement outside the Old Bailey

2 October 2020

“This case is already chilling press freedom. It is a frontal attack on journalism, on the public’s right to know, and our ability to hold governments, both domestic and foreign, to account.”

British Gas strike vote; Nigerian unions sabotage struggle against price hikes; South African textile workers vote for national strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

2 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

French Medical Association denounces official inaction on pandemic

By Alex Lantier, 1 October 2020

The herd immunity policy decided by President Emmanuel Macron raises the risk of another terrible spike in deaths, worse than last spring.

Bridgestone, Total shut plants as COVID-19 layoffs sweep Europe

By Anthony Torres, 1 October 2020

After receiving billions of euros from the public purse in the form of European Union bailouts, European corporations are drastically cutting jobs.

Explosive outbreak of COVID-19 at British universities

By Simon Whelan, 1 October 2020

The government knew the start of the academic year would bring about a resurgence of the virus but continued nevertheless as part of its herd immunity policy.

UK Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee hears report on Greek school occupations

By our reporter, 1 October 2020

The meeting heard how the Greek government was following the same “herd-immunity” policy of allowing the virus to rip through the population as others worldwide.

For a London-wide strike to oppose the threat to life from COVID-19!

By the London Bus Drivers Rank-and-File Safety Committee, 1 October 2020

We cannot allow a re-run of March, April and May when 33 colleagues died because of deliberate neglect by Transport for London, the bus companies and Unite.

Protest strikes in German public sector and local transport

By Marianne Arens and Andy Niklaus, 1 October 2020

As part of the collective bargaining round for 2.3 million public sector workers, protest strikes are currently taking place in day-care centres and hospitals, town halls, government offices, savings banks, refuse companies and elsewhere.

Ukrainian miners strike for better pay and conditions in defiance of the unions

By Jason Melanovski, 1 October 2020

Workers at the Krivoy Rog Iron Ore Company are carrying out a courageous strike in defiance of the union that puts them into direct conflict with the country’s entire ruling class.

Evidence of war crimes, torture, surveillance and assassination plots: Assange hearing nears final day

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 1 October 2020

The CIA’s surveillance was targeted against Assange’s communication with his legal representatives, considered “priority targets.”

700 Greek schools occupied by students protesting unsafe return to classes

By Robert Stevens and John Vassilopoulos, 30 September 2020

Given that it is mainly secondary education impacted, more than one in five of the country’s 3,168 high schools have been occupied.

With one million dead, governments abandon efforts to contain COVID-19 pandemic

By Andre Damon, 30 September 2020

The fall and winter months in America and Europe are expected to bring a major resurgence of the disease.

Former US prison warden testifies Assange will be treated like a “terrorist”: The “war on terror” comes home

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 30 September 2020

Baird’s testimony made clear that Assange is now the victim of the CIA-backed torture and rendition which he courageously exposed as WikiLeaks publisher and journalist.

More than 2,000 schools in UK hit by COVID-19 outbreaks as thousands of children and staff sent home

By Tom Pearce, 29 September 2020

Thousands of children are being sent home to self-isolate, in some cases to isolate with vulnerable parents.

London bus drivers challenge Metroline over new COVID-19 infections at Cricklewood garage

By our reporters, 29 September 2020

Drivers are calling for urgent safety measures to prevent the further spread of infection. Their open letter to Metroline is published in full.

The Asgaard security firm: Neo-Nazi networks in German army and police

By Jan Ritter, 29 September 2020

Asgaard advertises among and employs former and active police officers and soldiers, who were described by “Kontraste” as highly specialised men.

Germany railway workers’ union agrees to wage cuts at Deutsche Bahn

By Marianne Arens, 29 September 2020

Together with the management of Deutsche Bahn AG and the transport minister, the EVG union supports the restructuring of the railways at the cost of the workforce.

Assange faces a fate “worse than death” in US prisons, witnesses tell court

By Thomas Scripps, 29 September 2020

No amount of lame denials can hide the fact that if Assange is put in the clutches of these people, he will be disappeared into the darkest corner of the US prison system.

Youth protests over COVID-19 mount in working-class districts of Madrid

By Alejandro López, 28 September 2020

Madrid is the epicentre of the resurgence of COVID-19 in Spain, now the worst-hit country in Western Europe, with 51 dying last Friday alone.

Johnson government rolls out Kickstart youth cheap labour scheme

By Harvey Thompson and Robert Stevens, 28 September 2020

The collapse in the number of jobs and apprenticeships meant that by July one in 13 of the seven million UK workers aged between 16 and 24 years was claiming Universal Credit.

Warning strikes in German public sector: Growing anger over low wages and insecure working conditions

By Gregor Link, 28 September 2020

Some 2.3 million public sector workers face a sellout by the Verdi union, including educators, local government workers and daycare workers who are at the forefront of the pandemic.

Cheaper flammable cladding was ordered for Grenfell tower to save time

By Charles Hixson, 28 September 2020

The project manager at one of the main firms involved in the Grenfell Tower refurbishment admitted he lacked qualifications and training.

Spain’s PSOE-Podemos government assaults protests vs. herd immunity policy

By Alejandro López, 26 September 2020

As 7,500 army troops deploy to Madrid amid a Europe-wide resurgence of COVID-19, this crackdown is a threat aimed at the entire working class.

New bailout for UK corporations as COVID-19 infections rocket

By Robert Stevens, 26 September 2020

Chancellor Sunak’s announcement was unveiled outside his office in Downing Street, flanked by Trades Union Congress General Secretary Frances O'Grady and Confederation of British Industry Director General Dame Carolyn Fairbairn.

Thousands at UK universities infected with coronavirus as new term opens

By Simon Whelan and Barry Mason, 26 September 2020

The former regional director for public health in northwest England, Professor John Ashton, said it was “almost inevitable” that the return of students would lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Record growth of COVID-19 infections in Eastern Europe

By Markus Salzmann, 26 September 2020

The numbers of new COVID-19 infections in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary are breaking previous records.

A murderous pact: The European Union to deport refugees

By Peter Schwarz, 26 September 2020

Wrapped up in sugary phrases about “values,” “responsibility” and “solidarity,” the EU Commission president has presented a plan that spells deportation, misery and certain death for hundreds of thousands.

Decision on Assange’s extradition set for next year

By Thomas Scripps and Laura Tiernan, 26 September 2020

Accepting the defence’s argument that any dramatic change in the facts surrounding the case before November 13 would have to be taken into account, Baraitser asked, “What impact on your case, say you, will the American elections have?”

Student protests against herd immunity policy spread across Greece

By Alex Lantier, 25 September 2020

High school students marched in Athens and Thessaloniki Thursday as occupations of high schools and strikes by doctors, port workers and airline workers spread.

Report demolishes government claims that reopening UK schools reflects concern for disadvantaged children

By Margot Miller, 25 September 2020

The education of poorer children is of as little concern for the Johnson government as the health of the working class.

Tory legislation legalising war crimes by UK troops goes forward thanks to Labour Party

By Robert Stevens, 25 September 2020

Only 18 Labour MPs defied the party whip and voted against the bill.

Italian regional elections: Political elite shifts further right

By Peter Schwarz, 25 September 2020

Elections for the presidents and parliaments in six of Italy’s 18 regions were held on Sunday and Monday. The first election since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic was seen as a test for the government in Rome.