Europe

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British grandmother dies weighing just 42 pounds after her benefits are withdrawn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

International media and politicians silent on anti-Semitism in Polish elections

By Clara Weiss, 24 July 2020

The central role of anti-Semitism in the official campaign of the ruling PiS has no precedent in Poland since the end of the Nazi occupation in World War II.

Icelandair cabin crew reject contract, threatened with sacking; Israel’s nurses, social workers strike; Zimbabwe nurses’ strike continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

24 July 2020

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

German defence minister propagates rearmament, militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 23 July 2020

With the revival of German militarism, the militaristic traditions that are historically linked above all to the Soldateska of the Kaiserreich (Imperial Empire) and the Wehrmacht (armed forces of Nazi Germany) are inevitably returning.

Grenfell Tower contractor Rydon admits profiteering by using flammable cladding

By Robert Stevens and Charles Hixson, 23 July 2020

The criminal decision to use flammable cladding was the main factor in turning the tower block into a death trap.

Britain’s Russia Report: Propaganda for authoritarianism and war

By Thomas Scripps, 23 July 2020

British politics is ever more closely mirroring US politics, where conflicts within the ruling class are fought out through the prism of anti-Russian hysteria, with anti-democratic and militarist implications.

Germany: The “riots” in Frankfurt and the right-wing network in the police

By Peter Schwarz, 22 July 2020

The Frankfurt “riots” are being used by the German government to increase police powers and justify and strengthen radical right-wing structures in the state apparatus.

Doctors warn National Health Service will be “overwhelmed” as Johnson scraps UK lockdown measures

By Laura Tiernan, 22 July 2020

The R-rate, which the government previously said must stay below 1.0 to prevent exponential growth, has risen to 1.0 in almost every area.

ASOS: Fast fashion makes a killing in the UK during the pandemic

By Joe Mount, 22 July 2020

ASOS engaged in profiteering during the health emergency, continuing its operations in defiance of restrictions that only “essential” workplaces should remain open.

Ireland heading for second COVID-19 wave

By Steve James, 21 July 2020

Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team has warned of a second wave of COVID-19 infection as the Central Bank warns of a “severe negative shock”.

Coronavirus cases rise sharply in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 21 July 2020

The Ministry of Health in Vienna reported 157 positive COVID-19 tests on Thursday, the highest number since April 10.

Cover-up continues of Manchester Arena suicide bombing

By Margot Miller, 21 July 2020

The government is intent on depriving the survivors, the bereaved and the public of the truth behind this heinous crime.

Barcelona residents told to stay at home as COVID-19 resurges across Europe

By Alejandro López, 20 July 2020

Regional authorities have asked over 4 million people not to leave their homes, as the back-to-work campaigns accelerates the contagion of COVID-19 across Europe.

Workers disproportionately affected by coronavirus pandemic in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 20 July 2020

The disease particularly affects workers who do not have the opportunity to remain at home and maintain social distancing.

Fire damages historic Nantes cathedral in France

By Will Morrow, 20 July 2020

While the structure of the building so far appears to have been saved, the greatest losses are the organ and stained-glass windows behind it, which were destroyed.

Dutch unions sell out three-week strike against steel layoffs

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 20 July 2020

Tata Steel has revived its long-standing “reorganisation plans,” exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to eliminate an estimated 1,250 to 3,000 jobs.

Tönnies meat-processing plant in Germany restarted despite ongoing danger from COVID-19

By Marianne Arens, 20 July 2020

At the Tönnies plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, and the district of Gütersloh where it is located, 244 people are still registered as sick due to the coronavirus.

New terrorist threats against politicians, artists and journalists

Neo-Nazi network in police covered up at highest levels of German state and politics

By Christoph Vandreier, 18 July 2020

The threats are intended to intimidate the widespread opposition to the right-wing policies of the grand coalition of the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD).

German automaker Daimler plans fresh assault on jobs and conditions

By K. Nesan, 18 July 2020

In an interview with the Stuttgarter Zeitung, Daimler personnel manager Wilfried Porth threatened to increase the number of jobs to be shed at the auto company.

Unsubmissive France leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon calls for massive French military build-up

By Will Morrow, 18 July 2020

Mélenchon’s criticism of the Macron administration is from the right: that it is not sufficiently aggressive in its pursuit of French imperialist interests.

Nearly 650,000 jobs lost in UK during pandemic, with much worse to come

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2020

The collapse in the number of workers in employment takes place along with a drastic fall in hours for those remaining in a job, and a fall in wages.

Johnson’s return-to-work speech: UK ruling class opts for mass murder

By Laura Tiernan, 18 July 2020

Johnson’s homicidal plans to end home working and lift public transportation restrictions reveal a financial oligarchy hell-bent on driving millions back to work no matter what the cost in human life.

US pushes fabricated claims of Russian hacking of virus research

By Barry Grey, 18 July 2020

The United States is most nakedly pursuing a nationalistic course, aimed at enriching American oligarchs and deploying the vaccine not as a means to save lives, but as a weapon against countries in the crosshairs of US imperialism.

UK MPs submit early day motion on Assange

By Thomas Scripps, 18 July 2020

The signatories have all either hitherto kept a criminal silence over Assange’s persecution, or, in the case of Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and Long-Bailey, found their voice only after losing leading positions in the Labour Party.

Outbreak of COVID-19 at Pretty Little Thing distribution centre in Sheffield, UK

By Tony Robson, 17 July 2020

The outbreak among the 1,000 plus workforce demonstrates that the highly exploitative and unsafe practices of the Boohoo Group extend across the supply and distribution network.

UK Royal household workers threatened with job losses

By Charles Hixson, 17 July 2020

The July 7 announcement, impacting 650 workers, followed reports of the crisis facing the royal budget.

UK excluding Huawei from 5G network

By Thomas Scripps, 16 July 2020

US President Donald Trump was quick to boast of his administration’s responsibility for the UK’s volte face.

“We’re just cannon fodder. This is a policy about economics not safety.”

Teachers, educators and parents speak out against UK September school reopening

By our reporters, 16 July 2020

The Johnson government plans to fully reopen schools nationally in September despite the heightened risks from COVID-19 transmission.

Transport for London downplayed COVID-19 dangers to bus, rail and tube workers in critical early months

By Laura Tiernan, 16 July 2020

New documents reveal that TfL focused on operational efficiency at the expense of workers’ lives.

Quarter of a million threatened with homelessness by UK government’s lifting of evictions ban

By Dennis Moore, 16 July 2020

Almost 230,000 tenants across England have fallen behind with rent payments since the start of the pandemic.

Germany: Racist “family tree research” and police state measures in Stuttgart

By Max Linhof and Jan Ritter, 16 July 2020

Stuttgart’s police chief Franz Lutz said “nationwide searches” would be conducted at registry offices, “to determine the migration background (of individual suspects).”

Verfassungsschutz Report 2019: German secret service downplays threat of Nazi terrorism and attacks socialist politics

By Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 16 July 2020

The year 2019, on which the report focuses, was characterised by a surge in right-wing terrorism, but hardly a word on this threat is to be found in the Verfassungsschutz report.

French nurses denounce sellout as thousands protest on Bastille Day

By Will Morrow, 15 July 2020

The deal has been hailed by the Macron government and international media as an “historic” sign that health staff are receiving just recognition for their sacrifices.

Academy of Medical Sciences warns 251,000 more people could die of COVID-19 in Britain

By Robert Stevens, 15 July 2020

The modelling is based on deaths in hospitals alone and not in care homes and other settings.

Large coronavirus outbreak at Rook Row Farm in Britain

By Thomas Scripps, 15 July 2020

This is the latest, and one of the largest, workplace outbreaks in the UK since the ending of the national lockdown by the Johnson government.

Jennifer Jones speaks on UK Boycott Return To Unsafe Schools campaign

By Tom Pearce, 15 July 2020

The Facebook site of the group has created a map of school closures due to outbreaks, which is a powerful source of information for parents.

German state intelligence agency deletes data of right-wing extremists

By Christoph Vandreier, 15 July 2020

There are close links between Germany’s secret services, its government and the right-wing extremist milieu not only in Saxony, but throughout the country.

German Green Party programme: Police-state repression and militarism

By Max Linhof and Jan Ritter, 15 July 2020

Germany’s Green Party presented a draft party programme in Berlin on 26 June entitled “To care and protect ...”

Germany halts preliminary proceedings on 1980 Oktoberfest attack

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 15 July 2020

The intention is to keep the public in the dark forever on the background to the killings and the people behind it, especially the role of the security services.

Protests erupt in Serbia over official handling of COVID-19 pandemic

By Alex Lantier, 15 July 2020

A week of protests has followed President Aleksandar Vučić’s announcement that a curfew would be re-imposed in Serbia amid a rapid resurgence of COVID-19.

Tens of thousands protest in Russia’s far east after Kremlin removes governor

By Clara Weiss, 15 July 2020

Governor Furgal of the far-right LDPR was arrested by the FSB and charged with involvement in the murder of multiple businessmen.

COVID-19 outbreaks escalate across England

By Thomas Scripps, 14 July 2020

Workers have been raising safety concerns for months, but have been smothered by the continued inaction of government agencies and local politicians.

Pandemic and Tory government measures having brutal impact on London’s disadvantaged young people

By Harvey Thompson and Charlotte Salthill, 14 July 2020

The report notes, “Families who were already enduring hard, challenging lives have had to survive lockdown in the most appalling circumstances.”

Merkel in Brussels: Profits before lives and European great power politics

By Johannes Stern, 13 July 2020

The message was clear: despite the massive increase in infections and deaths, there would be no new lockdown.

US Catholic Church received at least $1.4 billion through “small business” loan program

By Jacob Crosse, 13 July 2020

Special provisions in the CARES Act as well as executive exceptions allowed the largest religious organization in the world to receive government funds.

Greek government passes draconian anti-protest legislation

By John Vassilopoulos, 13 July 2020

The Bill was voted into law after thousands of workers protested in Athens and throughout Greece.

Bereaved family members march on Downing Street to demand UK COVID-19 inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 13 July 2020

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK have set up a petition calling for an “immediate inquiry” that has been signed by over 154,000 people.

French trade unions agree to attacks on healthcare system amid coronavirus pandemic

By Will Morrow, 13 July 2020

As far as the capitalist class is concerned, if more workers die, particularly elderly workers no longer able to produce profits for employers, this can be a positive good.

Far-right Vox party to launch fascist trade union in Spain

By Alejandro López, 13 July 2020

Vox intends to exploit the reactionary role played by Spain’s main unions, which support the austerity policies of the ruling Podemos and Socialist parties.

Humboldt University student parliament condemns radical right-wing Professor Baberowski

By Helmut van Heiken, 13 July 2020

The representatives of over 30,000 students demanded that the university administration end its support for Baberowski and that he face consequences for threatening and assaulting students.

Restricted access to Grenfell inquiry for survivors and bereaved

By Alice Summers, 11 July 2020

The inquiry restarted after a three-month delay amid widespread outrage from survivors and the bereaved over further proposed delays.

German multinational BMW to slash 16,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 11 July 2020

BMW is using the coronavirus pandemic and relying on the trade unions to implement long-worked out plans to restructure and destroy jobs.

Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei condemns right-wing terror against Left Party parliamentarian

By Ulrich Rippert (SGP national secretary), 11 July 2020

Janine Wissler, chairwoman of the Hesse state parliamentary faction of the Left Party, has repeatedly received email death threats.

Spain imposes regional lockdowns amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alice Summers, 10 July 2020

After ending the national lockdown, the Podemos-PSOE government is rejecting a coordinated response, leaving regional authorities with managing outbreaks.

Chancellor Sunak announces end of UK jobs furlough and rolls out cheap labour scheme

By Robert Stevens, 10 July 2020

Sunak’s declaration that “we can’t protect every job” is the understatement of the century. Companies are announcing thousands of redundancies every day amid warnings of unemployment reaching 5 million by next year.

French-backed security forces in the Sahel guilty of mass extrajudicial executions

By Will Morrow, 10 July 2020

The report exposes the Franco-German-led war as a neo-colonial intervention to subjugate the resource-rich and geo-strategically critical region and its population.

The collapse of the New York Times’ “Russian bounties” campaign

By Patrick Martin, 10 July 2020

Less than two weeks after it kicked off a media frenzy, the Times published an editorial effectively conceding that there was no factual basis for its reporting that Russian military intelligence had paid bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers.

Massive neo-Nazi penetration of German military and police

By Jordan Shilton, 10 July 2020

There are growing fears in the German government of preparations for a right-wing putsch.

Germany: Automaker Opel cuts company pensions

By Marianne Arens, 9 July 2020

W ith the help of the IG Metall union, management is passing on the costs of the coronavirus pandemic, e-mobility and digitalization to the workers.

After police killing of Badreddin Abadlla Adam

More evidence of ill-treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow hotels

By Steve James, 9 July 2020

Two weeks after the police killing of 28-year-old Sudanese man Badreddin Abadlla Adam, asylum seekers in Glasgow continue to face appalling conditions.

British government’s token arts rescue package: A “back-to-work” agenda amid an ongoing catastrophe

By Paul Bond, 9 July 2020

The limited financial assistance provided is based on the Johnson government’s claim that the pandemic is on the wane and that theatre, dance and music venues will soon be able to get back to relying on revenue from the paying public.

UK: Coronavirus exposes Leicester’s sweatshops and government hypocrisy

By Thomas Scripps, 8 July 2020

Government ministers have struck a pose of outrage at a situation they have ignored for years and want to replicate across the country.

UK meat processing factories involved in COVID-19 outbreak back up and running

By Tony Robson, 8 July 2020

Local authorities and the trade unions have worked to conceal the criminality of the corporations so as not interfere with the premature re-opening of the economy.

Spanish unions isolate Nissan workers’ struggle

By Alice Summers, 8 July 2020

As assaults on jobs and conditions mount across Spain, the unions are trying to suppress autoworkers’ opposition to the closure of Nissan’s Barcelona factory.

Bombing of Turkey’s Watiya base escalates Franco-Italian proxy war in Libya

By Alex Lantier, 8 July 2020

The decade-long civil war between rival imperialist-backed warlords triggered by the 2011 NATO war in Libya is spiraling out of control.

UK set to ban Huawei from 5G network

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2020

The key factor in the decision was the move by the Trump administration in May to ban the use of US software in Huawei’s operating systems.

“Literacy is a clean window onto the world ...”

100 years since formation of Soviet Extraordinary Commission for the Liquidation of Illiteracy

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 July 2020

The Soviet literacy campaign remains the largest and most successful in world history.

Nearly 200,000 jobs lost in the UK amid pandemic

By Robert Stevens, 7 July 2020

Workers have been laid off particularly heavily in the retail, travel, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.

Worker at German meat processing plant dismissed for sharing critical video

By Marianne Arens, 7 July 2020

The video shows a view into a canteen, where hundreds of employees sit and eat close to each other at the tables.

Germany’s Commerzbank plans to cut 11,000 jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 7 July 2020

In common with many other businesses, Commerzbank is using the coronavirus pandemic to implement preexisting plans to shed jobs and close branches.

Macron administration announces new French cabinet

By Will Morrow, 7 July 2020

Since Castex’s appointment as prime minister Friday, it is already clear the new cabinet will be charged with escalating the anti-worker policies of the previous one.

How corporations and government finance the German trade unions

By Ulrich Rippert and Marianne Arens, 6 July 2020

With the pandemic, which has led to the deepest international economic crisis since the 1930s, the role of unions as tools of the corporations is taking on a new dimension.