Europe

Sigmar Gabriel’s UN address: German great power ambitions in pacifist garb

By Johannes Stern, 23 September 2017

Phrases about “peace,” “human rights” and “global justice” are rhetorical window-dressing for Germany’s renewed turn to imperialist “Realpolitik.”

French President Macron signs labor decrees, trampling on social opposition

By Anthony Torres, 23 September 2017

Showing contempt for mass popular opposition and growing strikes and protests, France’s president signed decrees destroying the country’s Labor Code yesterday.

Barcelona dockworkers boycott Spanish police ships sent against Catalan referendum

By Alejandro López, 22 September 2017

Dockworkers in Catalonia’s two main ports, Barcelona and Tarragona, are refusing supply services to vessels carrying riot police and paramilitary Civil Guard units.

UK wields military and security cooperation as a weapon in Brexit negotiations

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2017

The British government’s position paper on the terms of its exit from the EU stresses the UK’s role as the second military power in NATO, to underline the implicit threat that it will withdraw military and defence co-operation with the bloc.

How Germany is supporting Burma’s ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya

By Johannes Stern, 22 September 2017

Burma’s notorious army chief Min Aung Hlaing was welcomed with military honours to Berlin in April.

Spanish police raid Catalan government buildings, arrest officials

By Paul Mitchell, 21 September 2017

Powerful sections of the Spanish ruling class are demanding that the Popular Party government crack down harder to block the October 1 Catalan independence referendum.

Dangerous developments in Germany: AfD leader praises the Nazi Wehrmacht

By Johannes Stern, 21 September 2017

Just days before the federal election, a leading member of the far-right Alternative for Germany has called for Germany's Nazi past to be seen in a positive light.

The war danger and the significance of the election campaign of the Socialist Equality Party of Germany

By the Socialist Equality Party (Germany), 21 September 2017

The incoming government’s policies have long been decided: an unprecedented intensification of militarism, the strengthening of the repressive state apparatus and social cuts.

French unions try to strangle workers’ opposition to Macron

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 19 September 2017

The unions, whose strike calls are carefully prepared beforehand with the government, are terrified of being outflanked on their left by an eruption of workers’ struggles.

Survivors and local residents speak out on Grenfell Tower Inquiry opening

By our reporters, 19 September 2017

Inquiry Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick claimed that he was “impartial” and had therefore rejected submissions to appoint a local resident to act as an assessor.

Millions of the UK’s poorest families driven into deeper poverty

By Dennis Moore, 19 September 2017

The government’s overall agenda, dressed up as welfare “reform,” is underpinned by slashing welfare spending and encouraging people to move from benefits into work.

UK government officials back Trump demands for Internet censorship following London bombing

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 18 September 2017

In the name of opposing “extremism,” the May government is preparing a drastic curtailment of democratic rights and civil liberties.

Spain threatens potential military takeover of Catalonia as referendum looms

By Alejandro López, 18 September 2017

Madrid’s inflammatory language and actions recall the thuggery of the Francoist dictatorship that ruled Spain from 1939 to 1978.

Greece: Syriza touts for investors and fêtes Macron

By Katerina Selin, 18 September 2017

The Greek parliamentary summer is over. In the weeks and months ahead a new round of cuts will begin, which will lead to fierce class battles.

Lakanal House: Prelude to the Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 2

By Paul Armstrong, 18 September 2017

In the aftermath of the Lakanal House fire, the Labour-controlled council promised £62 million for improved fire safety and maintenance, but residents are still living in death traps.

World Socialist Web Site readers in Britain oppose Google’s censorship campaign

By our reporter, 18 September 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to some of the hundreds of people in Britain on why they have signed the petition to Google demanding that the corporation stop its censorship of the Internet and end their blacklist of the WSWS.

Germany: Trial of neo-Nazi terror group whitewashes role of intelligence services

By Dietmar Henning, 16 September 2017

It is evident that, despite the attention to detail in the case of the five accused, the aim of the NSU trial was to conceal the role played by the secret services.

German conservative newspaper threatens Poland with territorial demands

By Peter Schwarz, 16 September 2017

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung warned the Polish government that its western border would no longer be recognised if it continues to insist upon reparations.

Truckers announce strike against attack on Labour Code in France

By Kumaran Ira, 16 September 2017

The French government has already stressed that it has no intention of modifying its position, despite growing opposition in the working class.

Lakanal House: Prelude to the Grenfell Tower inferno—Part 1

By Paul Armstrong, 16 September 2017

Recommendations from a coroner’s inquest into the Lakanal House tower block fire, handed down in 2013, were ignored by the Conservative government, local council authorities and the London Fire Brigade.

The Grenfell Tower Inquiry and the case for socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 15 September 2017

The refusal of Sir Martin Moore-Bick to answer questions at the official opening of the government inquiry into the Grenfell Tower inferno epitomises the class arrogance and indifference of the powers-that-be towards working people.

NATO launches war games in advance of Russian exercise

By Bill Van Auken, 13 September 2017

The dueling military exercises are unfolding as relations between Washington and Moscow are more tense than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

Hundreds of thousands march against Macron’s austerity measures in France

By Alex Lantier and Anthony Torres, 13 September 2017

The demonstrations point to the mounting opposition among French workers and youth to the government’s plans to carry out a social counterrevolution by executive fiat.

UK parliament approves sweeping executive powers under Brexit bill

By Julie Hyland, 13 September 2017

The so-called Great Repeal Bill, incorporating European Union (EU) legislation into British law, passed its second reading in parliament early Tuesday morning.

Hundreds of thousands march in Catalonia as Madrid aims to block independence referendum

By Paul Mitchell, 12 September 2017

The march came amid an explosive political crisis in Spain, as Madrid mobilizes police and the courts to try to block the independence referendum.

Macron goes to Greece: “Radical left” Tsipras welcomes ex-banker turned French president

By Alex Lantier, 12 September 2017

Macron traveled to Greece to hail the austerity measures imposed by the Syriza (“Coalition of the Radical Left”) government, which show the future for the workers of France.

UK: Tony Blair calls for anti-immigration policies to stop Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 12 September 2017

The former Labour prime minister called for EU nationals without work in the UK to be barred from renting homes, opening bank accounts and receiving health care.

Plans for major military build-up after Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 12 September 2017

The military build-up has not featured in the election campaign because all parties agree that it must be massively expanded after the election.

Germany’s federal election campaign and the danger of global nuclear war

By Johannes Stern, 9 September 2017

The media and political parties have long sought to keep the issues of war and militarism out of the election campaign, but reality is now catching up with them.

UK: May government finalises Grenfell Tower Inquiry cover-up

By Robert Stevens, 9 September 2017

The inquiry has no intention of achieving real justice for the victims of Grenfell—nor remedying the dangers faced by thousands of other tenants across the country.

ECB makes first move to wind back quantitative easing

By Nick Beams, 9 September 2017

The class agenda of the ECB emerged when president Mario Draghi called for the further elimination of job protection as he backed reforms by the Macron presidency in France.

Royal College of Nursing union holds rally in London

No answers to attacks on public health care

By Ajanta Silva and Paul Mitchell, 8 September 2017

The “Summer of Action” was largely restricted to appeals to MPs and photo opportunities for RCN bureaucrats and union officials making occasional media appearances.

British soldiers arrested for membership in banned fascist group

By Steve James, 7 September 2017

Four soldiers in the British Army were arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism as members of the outlawed fascist group National Action.

London residents speak on Grenfell Tower fire

By our reporters, 6 September 2017

“As long as the rich people, special interests and the establishment are ruling, then there will always be a cover-up.”

German Left Party and Greens demand expansion of police powers

By Peter Schwarz, 6 September 2017

Like Angela Merkel and Martin Schulz in Sunday’s television debate, representatives of the smaller parties advocated a massive build-up of the domestic state apparatus.

Candidates denounce refugees, demand state build-up at German election debate

By Johannes Stern, 5 September 2017

Merkel and Schulz agreed on virtually every issue and appealed for a crackdown on refugees, more police, and a more aggressive German and European foreign policy.

No progress in UK- European Union talks over Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2017

The European Union insists there can be no progress to discussion on future relations without Britain settling its “divorce” bill first.

Macron’s labor decrees in France: A new stage in the international social counter-revolution

By Alex Lantier, 5 September 2017

By unilaterally rewriting the French Labor Code, Macron is setting into motion a confrontation with the working class with international and revolutionary implications.

Britain’s pseudo-left promote Labour councils enforcing savage cuts

By Laura Tiernan, 4 September 2017

Theresa May’s Tory government, like the Cameron government before it, has relied on local Labour councils to slash millions of pounds from public spending.

Germany: Policeman and lawyer conspire to murder left-wing politicians

By Sven Heymanns, 30 August 2017

Despite the serious nature of the allegations, the prosecutor's office has failed to issue a warrant for the arrest of the two accused.

Unions help Caterpillar restructure with closure of Belgian operations

By Ross Mitchell, 30 August 2017

The Caterpillar plant in Gosselies was the biggest industrial site in Wallonia, Belgium’s southern, primarily French-speaking region.

Massive fire in Rostov, Russia destroys 123 houses

By Clara Weiss, 29 August 2017

Residents said they believe the fire was allowed to burn out of control with the aim of driving out impoverished residents in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Polish government demands war reparations from Germany

By Clara Weiss, 22 August 2017

Especially since the inauguration of US president Donald Trump, the relations between Warsaw and Berlin have considerably deteriorated.

Trump, Charlottesville and Jorg Baberowski

By Johannes Stern, 22 August 2017

The same German media outlets and politicians who denounce Donald Trump for his support for the extreme right defend academic Jorg Baberowski for making even more egregious statements.

Anatomy of the Grenfell Tower fire

Speech given by Thomas Scripps at Socialist Equality Party public meeting

22 August 2017

Scripps: “It is politically vital to establish why this one event is a crime perpetrated by capitalism against the working class…and to explain why we have declared Grenfell to be an act of social murder.”

Demonstrators block neo-Nazi march in Berlin-Spandau

By Katerina Selin, 21 August 2017

Around 1,500 demonstrators blocked a march of 700 neo-Nazis who planned to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, on Saturday.

Spain deploys police as interior minister claims Barcelona terror cell dismantled

By Alejandro López, 21 August 2017

It is not credible to claim that the forces that organized the attack escaped the attention of the intelligence services.

Socialist Equality Party holds public meeting on Grenfell fire in London

By our reporter, 21 August 2017

To ensure that all felt free to speak, the SEP had denied a request from Sky News to film proceedings and told police officers who inquired that they were not welcome.

Rajoy threatens to deploy army inside Spain after Barcelona attack

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 19 August 2017

This would be the first time that the army was deployed inside Spain since the country was ruled by the fascist regime of Francisco Franco.

SPD wages law-and-order campaign in Germany’s federal election

By Peter Schwarz, 17 August 2017

Adopting many slogans of the extreme right, Social Democratic candidate for Chancellor Martin Schulz is calling for more police and a crackdown on immigrants.

Pseudo-left Popular Unity Candidacy campaigns for Catalan separatism

By Alejandro López, 17 August 2017

Last week, the Catalan pseudo-left separatist Popular Unity Candidacy launched its campaign for the referendum on Catalan independence from Spain planned for October 1.

German politicians and media promoted the ideology on display in Charlottesville

By Johannes Stern, 16 August 2017

The sanctimonious outrage of German politicians and media outlets over the Charlottesville events cannot conceal their responsibility for the rehabilitation of right-wing extremist ideology and its violent consequences.

“The night our eyes changed”

Five musical responses to the Grenfell Tower inferno

By Paul Bond, 16 August 2017

Music mogul Simon Cowell brought together high-profile figures for a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, but a far more powerful and politically interesting response has come from local artists.

Law to “moralize” French politics: A fig leaf for austerity

By Francis Dubois, 15 August 2017

The law is a cynical attempt to sow illusions in the ruling elite, an operation supported by Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France movement.

European Union criticizes US nuclear war threats against North Korea

By Alex Lantier, 11 August 2017

The military stand-off between Washington and Pyongyang threatens the entire world, including Europe, with nuclear war.

Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

By Christoph Vandreier, 11 August 2017

In the autumn, Internet company Facebook will open a new censorship centre employing 500 people in Essen, Germany.

Survivors, SEP member denounce police inaction over Grenfell Tower fire at latest community public meeting

By Paul Mitchell, 11 August 2017

Eight weeks after the fire, few of the promised measures have materialised and survivors and local residents continue to be treated with contempt.

Catalan independence referendum sparks growing concerns in Europe

By Alejandro López, 11 August 2017

On both sides of the Atlantic, sections of the ruling elite fear a confrontation between Barcelona and Madrid could spark a crisis engulfing Spain.

After Levallois attack, French government whips up law-and-order hysteria

By Francis Dubois, 10 August 2017

While what took place in Levallois remains highly unclear, the political establishment is stirring up security fears and promoting the state of emergency.

British government backs US war drive against North Korea, China

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 10 August 2017

The UK Conservative government has staked its post-Brexit future on being the most loyal ally of the US in all its military actions.

Grenfell Tower: How the warnings of cladding dangers were ignored

By Steve James, 10 August 2017

Decades prior to the Grenfell fire, the dangers of flammable and incorrectly installed cladding were known to governments of all stripes and ignored.

A letter from a reader on social conditions and the Fiat workers’ strike in Serbia

5 August 2017

The WSWS received a letter from a reader describing the social situation facing workers and the rural population in Serbia today.

SPD whips up xenophobia in German federal election

By Ulrich Rippert, 5 August 2017

SPD Lower Saxony interior minister Boris Pistorius has called for the limitation of asylum seekers by setting up detention centres—concentration camps—in Libya.

Former Grenfell Tower residents left without permanent accommodation

By Thomas Scripps, 4 August 2017

Currently, only 45 households have accepted accommodation offers, with only 12 properly rehoused.

German economy minister threatens counter-measures in response to US sanctions on Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 1 August 2017

Following the adoption of new sanctions against Russia by both chambers of the US congress, Brigitte Zypries threatened that Europe may take counter-measures.

Residents in London district of Ladbroke Grove speak out on Grenfell fire

By our reporters, 31 July 2017

A Socialist Equality Party campaign team spoke to local residents in London’s Ladbroke Grove on Saturday about the Grenfell Tower fire.

German politicians call for quicker deportations after attacks in Hamburg and Konstanz

By Justus Leicht, 31 July 2017

The blood of the victims in Hamburg and Konstanz has barely had time to dry and the background to both attacks remains unclear, but politicians from all of the major parties are already seeking to outdo each other with right-wing demagogy.

Mélenchon denies France’s responsibility for the Nazi-era deportation of the Jews

By Alex Lantier, 31 July 2017

The social movement Mélenchon aims to launch would be a nationalist and petty-bourgeois movement hostile to historical truth and the working class.

Police announce possible manslaughter charges in connection with Grenfell Fire

By Robert Stevens, 29 July 2017

Despite the investigation being in operation for more than six weeks, not a single person has been arrested or even charged.

European Union and Italy step up pressure on organisations assisting refugees

By Marianne Arens, 29 July 2017

The Italian government is demanding that NGOs involved in the rescue of refugees sign a “Code of Conduct,” restricting their activities in the Mediterranean Sea.

After sellout of Fiat-Chrysler Serbia walkout unions agree to three-year strike ban

By Markus Salzmann, 29 July 2017

The contract signed by the unions and backed by the Serbian government is designed to maintain the country as a cheap labour platform for transnational corporations like FCA.

Barcelona train crash injures 56 during nationwide rail strike

By Paul Mitchell, 29 July 2017

The serious accident happened during a one-day strike by Spanish rail workers opposed to attacks on jobs and wages.

London schools with flammable cladding deemed “safe”

By Tom Pearce, 28 July 2017

Despite the widespread use of flammable cladding in schools, only three schools have so far been tested.

Police disperse big protest in Morocco

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 July 2017

Protests are rare in the kingdom, which is a key ally of the United States in the Middle East.

European Union threatens retaliation over US sanctions bill against Russia

By Alex Lantier, 27 July 2017

The US bill and the EU reaction expose the fundamental conflicts behind the rapid deterioration of US-EU relations since the election of Donald Trump.

Grenfell fire witness Johnny Regasa: “You saw so many people at their windows burning alive”

By our reporters, 27 July 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to Johnny Regasa, who lost a friend, Hashim Kedir, in the Grenfell Tower fire and assisted several survivors.

Residents confront head of government inquiry into Grenfell Fire

By Robert Stevens, 27 July 2017

Such consultations are an attempt to bestow much needed legitimacy on the inquiry, which will have no legal powers to prosecute anybody or hold anyone to account.

Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoes government’s judicial reform

By Clara Weiss, 27 July 2017

On Monday, Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed two key aspects of the judicial reform of the governing Law and Justice Party, which would have given the government virtually unrestricted control over the judicial system.

Protest in London against police killing of Rashan Charles

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2017

It is already clear from the response of the police and Independent Police Complaints Commission that yet another cover-up of the death of a man in police custody is underway.

German Social Democrats embrace policies of right-wing nationalist AfD

By Peter Schwarz, 26 July 2017

Anyone believing there is a limit to the SPD’s rightward shift in the federal election campaign was disabused of this notion on Sunday. The party is now openly agitating against refugees.

After Trump visit to Poland: PiS government adopts new authoritarian measures

By Clara Weiss, 24 July 2017

Less than three weeks after Trump’s visit, the ruling PiS has pushed through legislation that will place the judicial system under its control.

German government escalates confrontation with Turkey

By Johannes Stern, 24 July 2017

Last week, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced a realignment in the government’s policy toward Turkey.

Divisions mount in Spain’s Podemos as Catalan independence referendum looms

By Alejandro López, 24 July 2017

From its creation Podemos has been an amalgam of forces with opposing views on regional nationalism.

Mélenchon hails French army as he launches movement against Macron’s cuts

By Alex Lantier, 24 July 2017

The movement Mélenchon aims to build is a nationalist, pro-war movement that would subordinate the working class to the strategic interests of French imperialism.

German elections: Polls show growing hostility to the Social Democrats and other capitalist parties

By Johannes Stern, 22 July 2017

Two months before the elections, the Social Democratic Party chancellor candidate, Martin Schulz, is running far behind current Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union).

UK public meetings:

Grenfell Fire—Social Murder: A crime against the working class

21 July 2017

The Socialist Equality Party urges all workers and youth, including survivors of the Grenfell fire and local residents, to attend our public meetings and discuss the central issues involved in this capitalist crime against the working class.

Council condemned for “disgusting” treatment of Grenfell fire survivors

By Paul Mitchell, 21 July 2017

A heavy police and security guard presence was mobilised outside and inside the town hall to ensure that as few survivors as possible would be able to enter.

Protesters at Kensington and Chelsea council meeting: “This has been a massive crime and they all seem to be getting away with it”

By our reporters, 21 July 2017

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to a number of those protesting outside the meeting.

Opposition grows to writing French state of emergency into law

By Francis Dubois, 21 July 2017

As sections of the political establishment grow increasingly wary of the danger to democratic rights posed by Macron's policies, social opposition is emerging in the working class.

Union ends strike by Fiat Chrysler workers in Serbia

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 July 2017

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute at comments@wsws.org to this regular feature.

Angry Grenfell survivors and residents berate London police and council officials

By Robert Stevens, 20 July 2017

Local residents and survivors of the Grenfell Tower inferno denounced police and the Kensington and Chelsea Council as “liars” working for “rich folks.”

The SPD’s “Germany Plan”—social democracy shifts further to the right

By Ulrich Rippert, 19 July 2017

Behind all the party’s talk of “securing the future”, “innovation”, “civil society” and “securing peace”, the SPD is preparing new spending cuts and the expansion of German militarism.

Syriza offers big business mega-profits in Greece

By John Vassilopoulos, 18 July 2017

Nothing is to be allowed that prevents the financial oligarchy from plundering Greece’s assets and stepping up the exploitation of an already pauperised workforce.

French National Assembly approves enabling act to rewrite labor law

By Francis Dubois, 18 July 2017

The legislature has opened the way for the government of President Emmanuel Macron to massively increase the exploitation of the French working class.

Germany and France to jointly develop new fighter jet

By Johannes Stern, 18 July 2017

The newly-proposed arms projects—including fighter jets, tanks and drones—should be taken as a warning by workers and young people throughout Europe.

After Hamburg G20 protests: SPD, Left Party and Greens prepare law-and-order election campaign

By Johannes Stern, 17 July 2017

In the wake of the protests and violent state repression during the G20 summit in Hamburg, the Social Democrats, Left Party and Greens are showing their true colours as parties of bourgeois order.

Anger grows over failure to prosecute those responsible for Grenfell Tower inferno

By Chris Marsden, 15 July 2017

Despite a mountain of evidence of criminal wrongdoing by politicians and business leaders, no one has been charged in connection with the fire that killed at least 80.

Fiat workers in Serbia launch strike

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 July 2017

Around 2,000 workers at Fiat-Chrysler’s Kragujevac plant in Serbia have been on strike for two weeks against starvation wages and terrible working conditions.

Thames Water workers speak:

Privatisation contributed to Grenfell Tower inferno

By Paul Mitchell, 14 July 2017

A former Thames Water worker told the WSWS that the company is seeking to deflect inquiries into a policy of reducing water pressure to cut down leakage from water mains.

Number of European working poor doubles in a decade

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 12 July 2017

According to a new study by the Hans Böckler Foundation, more and more people in work in Europe are being forced into poverty.