Europe

German Socialist Equality Party campaign against reopening schools finds significant response

By our reporters, 22 August 2020

The Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei’s call to build action committees to prepare a general strike in Germany against the reopening of schools has been shared hundreds of times on social media and found thousands of readers.

Architect of Sweden’s coronavirus policy advocated keeping schools open to reach “herd immunity” more quickly

By Jordan Shilton, 21 August 2020

Chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell’s callous disregard for human life is not an individual phenomenon, rather his chilling email correspondence reflects the thinking of the ruling elites in every country.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny hospitalized as crisis in Belarus deepens

By Clara Weiss, 21 August 2020

Navalny’s hospitalization comes amid an escalating crisis around the protests and mass strikes in Belarus which have heightened tensions in Europe and Russia.

Thirty years since the capitalist reunification of Germany

Berlin leads when it comes to child poverty, precarious jobs and mass unemployment

By Wolfgang Weber, 21 August 2020

Berlin is being hit with full force by the economic and social consequences of the Corona policy of the city’s government, a coalition of the SPD, Left Party and Greens.

Germany’s Left Party hails the SPD’s chancellor candidate, pledges support for militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 21 August 2020

The Left Party embraces Olaf Scholz not despite, but rather because of his reactionary policies.

German authorities cover up COVID-19 infections in Hamburg schools

By Gregor Link, 21 August 2020

Events in Hamburg show how recklessly the ruling class is putting the lives of teachers, pupils and parents at risk and covering up the true extent of the pandemic.

Johnson government scraps Public Health England, accelerating break-up of National Health Service

By Robert Stevens, 20 August 2020

The main “crime” of PHE for the ruling elite was that it was part of a “bloated” NHS still not sufficiently responsive to the expertise and “flexibility” of the private sector.

UK government demands universities slash “low-value” courses in return for financial aid

By Stephen Hunter, 20 August 2020

Access to university education is to be closed off for working class students, with the axing of courses and the forced bankruptcy of poorer universities.

Merkel, Macron call Putin as mass strikes escalate in Belarus

By Alex Lantier, 19 August 2020

Shocked by the eruption of workers’ anger in Belarus, Berlin and Paris hope Moscow can suppress it by brokering a deal between the regime and the official opposition.

Greece sees resurgence of coronavirus since end of lockdown

By John Vassilopoulos, 19 August 2020

The government’s response has been a series of token measures targeting areas with a high number of cases, including Attica and Thessaloniki. Set to run until August 24, the measures subordinate public health to commercial interests.

Germany’s IG Metall trade union preparing to enforce jobs massacre and deep wage cuts

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 19 August 2020

Big business and the trade unions are exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to secure the upper hand in the global trade war by imposing savage attacks on workers.

Stonehaven rail disaster due to UK’s neglected railway earthworks

By Steve James, 19 August 2020

Last week’s train crash in Scotland exposes the dangerous condition of Britain’s aging and profit-oriented rail network

Multi-millionaire Charlie Mullins brands UK workers “lazy” and “selfish”

By Julia Callaghan, 19 August 2020

The Pimlico Plumbers founder gives voice to opinions that the Johnson government feels incapable of making public.

London bus drivers deliver massive strike vote over “COVID pay,” health and safety

By Miles Driver, 18 August 2020

The ballots show the willingness of drivers to fight but Unite’s “consultative” ballot campaign is a fraud.

Johnson government forced to retreat on A-level exam results

By Thomas Scripps, 18 August 2020

Even when their overriding goal was to proceed with school reopenings as smoothly as possible, government ministers and officials could not abandon their vicious class bias for a second.

Protests, strikes against Lukashenko regime mount in Belarus

By Clara Weiss, 17 August 2020

The involvement of growing sections of workers has panicked the Lukashenko regime, and the NATO-backed opposition is calling for “dialogue” with the regime.

A risky game with health and lives as schools reopen throughout Germany

By Gregor Link, 17 August 2020

With the beginning of mandatory school attendance, the number of COVID-19 infections is increasing.

Scotland’s schools reopen as COVID-19 infects students

By Steve James, 17 August 2020

The Scottish National Party’s school reopening exposes it as the accomplice of the Johnson government’s herd immunity strategy.

Half of UK Early Years learning workers paid less than minimum wage for 25-year-olds

By Charlotte Salthill, 17 August 2020

Low pay is one of the main reasons given for leaving the profession, alongside increasing work demands and a lack of training and professional development.

Prominent lawyers and legal associations demand Assange’s freedom

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 August 2020

The 152 legal experts are unambiguous: the campaign against Assange has been based on gross violations of law and he must be immediately released from prison.

The show trial of Julian Assange: A cruel and pseudolegal farce

By Thomas Scripps and Kevin Reed, 15 August 2020

Yesterday’s hearing in London made clear, if any further proof was needed, that the prosecution of Assange is a shameful and degrading show trial, intended to railroad an innocent man to prison or death.

For a general strike against the reopening of German schools!

By Statement of the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 15 August 2020

By demanding a return to face-to-face teaching amid rising coronavirus infection rates, German state governments of all stripes are putting the health and lives of countless teachers, students and parents at risk.

German court and state prosecutor ignore evidence of far-right terrorist network in Lübcke trial

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 14 August 2020

The long preparation time for the murder of Lübcke and the close connections of the defendants to the violent neo-Nazi scene strongly suggest that there were other confidants or accomplices.

France holds joint military exercises with Greece, threatening Turkey

By Ulaş Ateşçi and Alex Lantier, 14 August 2020

Mounting tensions between NATO powers threaten to blow up the alliance as the pandemic intensifies pre-existing conflicts over oil and strategic advantage.

Hundreds of thousands of A-Level results downgraded by UK government

By Thomas Scripps, 14 August 2020

The A-levels scandal has exposed the dirty secret of the British education system: that it is social class, not merit, that is really being graded.

Strikes spread in Belarus as EU, Washington step up pressure

By Andrea Peters, 14 August 2020

Belarusian workers across key industries have walked off the job in defiance of the government’s brutal crackdown.

UK in record recession as social catastrophe looms

By Thomas Scripps, 13 August 2020

The working class must reject all demands for sacrifice to save the economy.

Germany: SPD nominates Finance Minister Scholz as its candidate for chancellor

By Peter Schwarz, 13 August 2020

Scholz’s nomination is a signal to the financial oligarchy and the right-wing elements in the state apparatus that they can rely on the SPD without reservation.

The coronavirus pandemic and capitalism

Russia’s vaccine intensifies global struggle for profits and geopolitical advantage

By Barry Grey, 13 August 2020

Vladimir Putin’s announcement Tuesday that Russia has officially approved a COVID-19 vaccine has intensified the global conflict between national powers and pharmaceutical giants to be the first to mass produce and market a vaccine for the deadly virus.

Johnson government deploys armed forces against refugees making Channel crossings

By Tony Robson, 12 August 2020

These inhumane, illegal, and xenophobic measures must be opposed. What is being legitimised is state repression and a further evisceration of the right to asylum.

French government ends social distancing requirements in schools as classes set to resume

By Will Morrow, 12 August 2020

An analysis of the back-to-school plans makes clear the fraudulent and essentially homicidal character of the Macron administration’s policy.

Protests, crackdown follow Belarus elections

By Jason Melanovski and Andrea Peters, 12 August 2020

Western imperialism is seeking to exploit the Lukashenko government’s violent suppression of protests to fuel its war drive against Russia.

Germany deports Roma family to Moldova despite life-threatening conditions

By Carola Kleinert, 12 August 2020

The deportations were planned and carried out by the Social Democratic/Left Party/Green government in the state of Berlin.

Over a million jobs lost in Spain amid coronavirus pandemic

By Alice Summers, 12 August 2020

Another 1 million workers are still furloughed in Spain, and will likely be cast onto unemployment rolls when this scheme comes to an end in the autumn.

Germany reopens its schools: An experiment in herd immunity

By Marianne Arens, 11 August 2020

Although there are currently more than 1,000 new coronavirus infections per day in Germany, all of the country’s state governments are ruthlessly enforcing the reopening of schools after the summer break.

Germany: Did AfD-related public prosecutors cover up right-wing extremist attacks in Berlin?

By Katerina Selin, 11 August 2020

New evidence points to the fact that right-wing extremists associated with the Alternative for Germany within the judicial system have deliberately delayed and hindered investigations into violent attacks .

King Juan Carlos flees Spain to avoid corruption probe

By Alejandro López, 11 August 2020

Former King Juan Carlos I de Borbón who reigned from 1975 until his abdication in 2014 has fled Spain amid investigations into suspected kickbacks and fraud.

“They are treating us all like pawns—we are the ones who suffer”

Health care workers rally across UK against unsafe conditions

By our reporters, 11 August 2020

Thousands of health workers took part in demonstrations and rallies across the UK demanding a pay rise and adequate protection from COVID-19.

Local lockdowns in West Yorkshire following UK workplace outbreaks

By Barry Mason, 10 August 2020

The Kirklees area has had several workplace-based outbreaks of COVID-19, including at the Kober meat processing plant in Cleckheaton.

German government continues to boost military spending and cover for fascists

By Johannes Stern, 10 August 2020

The billion-euro armament projects are aimed at expanding Germany’s ability to make war, including the upgrading of the elite KSK force, which is riddled with fascists.

German schools reopen despite increase in coronavirus infections

By Marianne Arens, 8 August 2020

In order to ensure the capitalists can turn a profit, all established parties, from the Christian Social Union to the Left Party, are pushing for a return to regular in-person teaching.

UK: For a general strike against the reopening of schools

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 8 August 2020

The SEP calls for the development of an interconnected network of rank-and-file committees to prepare for a general strike against the opening of schools and the murderous policy of the ruling class.

Reject whitewash report into London bus driver coronavirus deaths! For rank-and-file health and safety committees!

By Laura Tiernan and Miles Driver, 8 August 2020

There is nothing remotely “independent” about University College London’s review into bus driver deaths.

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

Belarus arrests 33 Russian military contractors ahead of presidential elections

By Jason Melanovski, 7 August 2020

The arrest of 33 Russian military contractors in Belarus makes clear that the long-standing ally of Moscow has become a new hotspot in the growing conflict between the United States and Russia.

Britain’s National Health Service workers demand pay rise amid COVID-19 crisis

By Rory Woods, 7 August 2020

Hundreds of health workers demonstrated in London last week and dozens of protests are scheduled in cities across the country this Saturday, organised by Facebook groups.

UK government clears the path for “slums of the future”

By Julia Callaghan, 7 August 2020

On August 23, the moratorium on new evictions in England and Wales ends, threatening homelessness for the near quarter of a million people who have fallen behind with their rent since the start of the pandemic.

Fascist death squads preparing to carry out mass murder in Germany

By Jordan Shilton, 7 August 2020

Police officers, former military officers and far-right operatives engaged in a vast conspiracy to hoard large quantities of munitions and weaponry, establish safe houses, identify political opponents, and procure the necessary materials to secretly dispose of dead bodies.

Maltese doctors’ action against spread of COVID-19; Iranian oil workers continue strikes; Zimbabwe doctors’ and nurses’ stoppage spreads.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 August 2020

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

COVID-19 outbreaks at four workplaces in Swindon, UK

By Tony Robson, 6 August 2020

Local officials in Wales and England have sought to minimise any disruption to the operations of the corporations as outbreaks of the virus have flared up.

Far-right protest against COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin: A put-up job

By Peter Schwarz, 6 August 2020

The protest in Berlin was a predictable, put-up job, which closely resembled the scenario of the Pegida demonstrations held five years ago.

Germany: Right-wing terror in Erfurt

By Marianne Arens, 6 August 2020

On August 1, three Guineans were brutally attacked by neo-Nazis in Erfurt and had to be taken to hospital.

Transport for London coronavirus bailout prepares tube privatisation

By Paul Bond, 6 August 2020

The bailout, only half the sum requested, spearheads an assault on TfL’s workforce, in stark contrast to the generous packages offered to the privatised passenger rail franchises.

Lancet warns of massive resurgence of coronavirus after UK school reopening

By Thomas Scripps, 5 August 2020

Medical professionals warn that schools cannot be reopened safely when testing and tracing are grossly inadequate and there is already a resurgence of the pandemic.

UK teachers’ pay award: A shoddy deal for all

By Tom Pearce, 5 August 2020

The offer is divisive and paltry. It will not be funded nationally by the Johnson government, but out of school budgets which are chronically under-funded.

COVID-19 surges in Spain as government pushes reopening of schools

By Alejandro López, 5 August 2020

The return to school is a criminal policy exposing children, teachers, families and neighbourhoods to serious illness and death.

Fascist networks in German police and military issue new death threats

By Jan Ritter and Max Linhof, 5 August 2020

A growing number of threatening e-mails and faxes, almost all signed NSU 2.0, have been sent to left-wing artists, immigrants, politicians, journalists and lawyers.

Migrant farmworkers in Spain protest amid COVID-19 surge

By Alice Summers, 4 August 2020

Low-paid agricultural workers are seen as an entirely dispensable workforce, forced to work back-breaking days in appalling conditions.

Britain’s jobs massacre continues

By Margot Miller, 4 August 2020

Many have no jobs to go back to, with young people especially hard hit in hospitality and retail.

BALPA pilots union enforces sell-out deal at British Airways

By Barry Mason, 4 August 2020

The pilots voted for the agreement with a gun pointed to their heads by the union.

Pro-police #MeToo campaign targets French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin

By Will Morrow, 4 August 2020

The demands for Darmanin’s resignation over alleged sexual misconduct have intensified since his elevation to the powerful post of interior minister this month.

“How war and dictatorship are prepared at universities”

Well-attended online meeting concludes IYSSE election campaign at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

By our reporters, 4 August 2020

“The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is one of the centres of German war weapons research,” IYSSE candidate Gregor Kahl told the meeting.

Scottish government prepares to reopen schools as new COVID-19 spikes emerge

By Steve James, 3 August 2020

The government intends to re-open all primary and secondary schools by August 18, despite COVID-19 outbreaks in call centres, distribution centres, pubs and care homes.

European economy collapses as EU bails out the super-rich

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 3 August 2020

Eurostat economic figures for the second quarter of 2020 show that Europe saw its deepest and most sudden economic collapse in history.

International Olympic Committee promotes Olympics with Nazi propaganda

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 August 2020

The inclusion of clips from Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia film makes clear that attempts to sanitise the crimes of the National Socialists is not limited to the spheres of politics and academia.

Families fight for justice for five workers killed by wall collapse at UK Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant

By Tony Robson, 3 August 2020

Tonnes of scrap metal had been stored in the adjacent bay, piled at double the recommended height against a wall of interlocking concrete blocks with no foundation.

“This tragedy was avoidable” at UK Hawkeswood Metal recycling plant

By our reporter, 3 August 2020

The wall collapsed on the five workers. Another worker was trapped and received a serious leg injury. One survivor suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

UK government forced to enact new restrictions after pandemic let loose

By Thomas Scripps, 1 August 2020

Around 4,200 people are catching COVID-19 each day in England, up 68 percent on the estimated 2,500 daily infections two weeks ago.

Reopening of schools in Germany puts the lives of children and educators at stake

By Andrea Reissner, 1 August 2020

The situation is highly dangerous. Since the easing of the coronavirus restrictions, the number of cases in Europe, and in Germany, is once again on the rise.

Grenfell Tower inquiry reveals more criminality by corporations involved in refurbishment

By Charles Hixson, 1 August 2020

An entire culture within corporations, built up over decades, which viewed regulations as impediments to reaping greater profits was evident in Rydon’s testimony.

The coronavirus pandemic and the growing mental health crisis

By Ben Oliver, 1 August 2020

Dealing with the insidious uncertainty of COVID-19's spread is more like living with a domestic abuser or being deployed to a war zone.

Record heatwave in Siberia and the burning danger of climate change

By Daniel Jakob, 31 July 2020

This year is the hottest in Siberia since measurements began 130 years ago. The record heatwave is an extreme consequence of global climate change.

Report backing Johnson’s ending UK lockdown concludes: More “deaths and misery” are inevitable

By Robert Stevens, 31 July 2020

England endured the longest continuous period of excess deaths out of 29 European countries.

Talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union will end in job losses

By a socialist postal worker, 31 July 2020

To take forward the struggle in defence of postal workers’ health and to oppose the onslaught on jobs and pay demands the formation of rank-and-file committees.

Corporate profits before lives: Europe’s reopening policies endanger millions of lives

By Johannes Stern, 31 July 2020

Six months after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus to be a global health emergency, the situation in Europe is out of control for a second time.

UK coronavirus infections and death rates increase as Johnson blames Europe

By Robert Stevens, 30 July 2020

The Tories’ aim is to divert attention from the resurgence of coronavirus infections in the UK due to their own criminal policies.

Germany: “Voluntary military service in Homeland Security”—an invitation to neo-Nazis

By Peter Schwarz, 30 July 2020

The term “Homeland Security” (“Heimatschutz”), which appears eleven times in a short advertising text on the Ministry of Defence website, is a battle cry of the extreme right.

Germany: Stop right-wing terror! IYSSE student parliament campaign at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

“The Secret Service is the cockpit of right-wing terrorism”

By our reporter, 30 July 2020

Last Friday, the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (IYSSE) held their first online campaign rally as part of the student parliament election at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Johnson government scientific adviser claims UK schools should never have closed

By Tania Kent, 29 July 2020

The hostility among teachers and parents to the unsafe reopening of schools is being met with propaganda to confuse, disorient and dissipate opposition.

British grandmother dies weighing just 42 pounds after her benefits are withdrawn

By Dennis Moore, 29 July 2020

The benefit system has evolved from its post-war ethos as a “safety net” to one based on punishing the sick and disabled and coercing the unemployed into low-paid work.

McCarthyite witch-hunt over alleged anti-Semitism explodes in British Labour Party

By Chris Marsden, 29 July 2020

Political opposition to the criminal suppression of the Palestinians by Israel is being officially recast as a form of anti-Semitism, slandering and virtually outlawing a vast swathe of left-wing opinion.

French state sues mayor for linking police repression to pro-Nazi Vichy regime

By Alex Lantier, 29 July 2020

The lawsuit against Colombes Mayor Patrick Chaimovitch tramples on historical truth and basic democratic rights.

Russian pseudo-left provides neo-Stalinist justification for vendetta against historian Yuri Dmitriev

By Clara Weiss, 29 July 2020

Boris Kagarlitsky’s website Rabkor has published a commentary justifying the frame-up of Dmitriev, who has done valuable work in exposing Stalin’s crimes.

Assange appears in court, as lawyers warn case may be delayed by new US indictment

By Thomas Scripps, 28 July 2020

As it stands, the UK courts are continuing with Assange’s extradition process based on an outdated indictment.

Johnson demands two-week UK quarantine for 600,000 Britons holidaying in Spain

By Robert Stevens, 28 July 2020

Spain was taken off the government’s “safe-travel” list with a few hours’ notice, after being put on it just weeks earlier

Retail workers strike in France as wage cuts and layoffs spread

By Will Morrow, 28 July 2020

The unions’ central concern is to prevent a movement of the entire working class in France and across Europe against layoffs and European Union austerity measures.

Spain’s Podemos hails €750 billion EU bank bailout for COVID-19 crisis

By Alejandro López, 28 July 2020

The EU bailout Iglesias calls a “breath of fresh air” is the roll-out across Europe of the model of Greek bailouts after the 2008 crash, to repay trillions of euros given to the rich.

Germany’s “voluntary military service”: Government recruits for army deployments at home and abroad

By Johannes Stern, 28 July 2020

The programme has two key goals: a major deployment of the army domestically, and the recruitment of new soldiers for external wars.

WISAG ground services slashes hundreds of jobs at Berlin Tegel Airport

By Gustav Kemper and Wolfgang Weber, 28 July 2020

This attack has long been planned by the company, the Berlin state executive and the Verdi trade union. Now the coronavirus pandemic and impending closure of Tegel are being used as the excuse to implement it.

Mounting US pressure on Europe to line up against China

By Peter Symonds, 27 July 2020

Pompeo condemned those that “simply don’t have the ability, the courage to stand with us.”

With over 200,000 dead from coronavirus

WHO warns that COVID-19 pandemic is resurgent across Europe

By Alex Lantier, 27 July 2020

Even before the pandemic has been brought under control in Eastern Europe, the premature ending of lockdowns in Western Europe is leading to a surge in new cases.

Wirecard and the criminality of capitalism

By Peter Schwarz, 27 July 2020

The public prosecutor’s office is investigating the executives for commercial fraud, balance sheet forgery, market manipulation, embezzlement of assets and money laundering.

Vote “NO” to British Airways pilots’ contract! Form rank and file committees to oppose BALPA sell-out!

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2020

BALPA has been engaged in talks for three months with BA, which is preparing to lay off 12,000 of its 42,000 workforce.

Germany: Daimler doubles job cuts from 15,000 to 30,000—shareholders rejoice as stock price rises

By K. Nesan, 25 July 2020

Daimler workers and millions of employees in companies associated with the automotive industry should regard these dismissals as the beginning of a broad campaign of unprecedented attacks.

British universities plan tens of thousands of job cuts

By Simon Whelan, 25 July 2020

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 33 percent of academic staff in the UK were on fixed-term contracts in 2017–18.

London bus drivers launch crowdfund appeal for family of murdered French bus driver: “Help the family of Philippe Monguillot!”

By Laura Tiernan, 25 July 2020

London drivers launched the crowdfund for Monguillot’s family two weeks ago and are appealing for support.

Greek, Turkish warships nearly clash in Aegean over Mediterranean gas fields

By Alex Lantier, 24 July 2020

Conflicts unleashed by decades of imperialist war in the Middle East and the Mediterranean are now threatening to blow up the NATO alliance.

Parents oppose dangerous UK nursery and pre-school reopening

By Charlotte Salthill and Joyce Smith, 24 July 2020

A report by the Sutton Trust highlights the devastating impact of decades of austerity by Tory and Labour governments, with the pandemic triggering an existential crisis for early years education.

UK manufacturers warn of “jobs bloodbath”

By Paul Bond, 24 July 2020

More than half of manufacturing companies said they will make redundancies in the next six months, with a further 20.1 percent saying they might.

German chicken processing plant remains open despite coronavirus outbreak

By Marianne Arens, 24 July 2020

As with the outbreaks at other German slaughterhouses, the politicians’ main concern is keeping production running so profits continue to pile up.