Western Europe

German grand coalition backs secret service head who defended neo-Nazis

By Peter Schwarz, 25 September 2018

The decision to retain Hans-Georg Maassen in the interior ministry sends a clear message to the extreme right that it enjoys the full backing of the grand coalition.

At conference of British Labour Party

Corbyn and trade unions block deselection of right-wing MPs

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

Anger was generated among Labour Party conference delegates by the rotten compromise stitched up by the National Executive Committee in a two-day meeting prior to the conference.

MI5’s anti-Corbyn campaign and the slandering of Michael Foot

By Chris Marsden, 25 September 2018

What is revealed by the renewed slander campaign against Foot is a dirty plot by the security services to bring down a Labour government, had it won the 1983 general election, that now reads like a dry run for today’s campaign against Corbyn.

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

“A whiff of 1933”

Sharp rise in far-right attacks in Germany

By Marianne Arens and Ulrich Rippert, 22 September 2018

Racist and anti-semitic attacks are rising at an alarming rate across Germany with acts of violence occurring on almost a daily basis.

Macron impeachment mooted as more French ministers resign

By Francis Dubois, 22 September 2018

Two weeks after Macron called for a “common front” of all his ministers as the school year began, ministers are constantly resigning, throwing into question the survival of the government.

Manchester “anti-Semitism” protest

Blairites and Tories share platform calling for Corbyn’s removal

By Robert Stevens, 22 September 2018

Tory MP Chris Green not only called for Corbyn’s removal, but suggested how the Blairites could defy the democratic will of their own party’s members.

UK Food Foundation: Four million children have poor diets

By Liz Smith, 17 September 2018

The situation worsened during the summer school holidays, with an estimated 3 million children nationwide at risk of going hungry.

In France, Mélenchon advisor hails Wagenknecht’s anti-immigrant Aufstehen group

By Alex Lantier, 17 September 2018

Kuzmanovic applauded Aufstehen’s xenophobic line as a strategy for Melenchon's Unsubmissive France (LFI) to win workers’ votes.

UK: Rival Socialist Party members vie for position as deputy leader of civil servants union

By Robert Stevens, 13 September 2018

The sordid episode demonstrates that the pseudo-left organisations have no independence from the trade union bureaucracy.

The fight against fascism in Germany requires a socialist perspective

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, 4 September 2018

Moral outrage is not enough to stop the fascist mob: it is necessary to understand the political roots of its resurgence.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman aids witch-hunt against Corbyn, joins Blairites at Jewish Labour Movement event

By Paul Mitchell, 4 September 2018

Momentum leader Jon Lansman joined pro-Zionist and pro-Blairite figures to issue a blatant apologia for their campaign to blackguard the left as anti-Semitic.

Ha’aretz joins witch-hunt against UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

By Jean Shaoul, 4 September 2018

Ha’aretz aims to silence and criminalise any signs of growing left-wing sentiment expressed in the support for Corbyn’s minimalist reforms.

Why are French media obsessed with Ecology Minister Hulot’s resignation?

By Francis Dubois, 4 September 2018

While the media endlessly discuss the crisis of the government, their obsession with Hulot obscures the deep unpopularity of Macron’s policies of austerity and war.

Mélenchon’s Unsubmissive France opens summer school with overtures to right-wing parties

By Francis Dubois, 30 August 2018

Mélenchon’s invitation of right-wing parties to his summer school marks another milestone in the right-wing trajectory of the middle-class pseudo-left.

Who is Unsubmissive France’s “Comrade Policeman” Alexandre Langlois?

By Anthony Torres, 30 August 2018

An intelligence agent who read some Marx while in an agency that set up provocations against strikers, Langlois was ideally placed to join the populist pseudo-left.

French government announces plan to undermine pension system

By Francis Dubois, 28 August 2018

While giving tens of billions of euros in tax cuts to the super-rich, President Macron is slashing pensions, eliminating social rights established more than 70 years ago.

The German army’s new policy doctrine: Preparing for World War III

By Johannes Stern, 28 August 2018

The grand coalition and the entire German ruling elite are planning the massive rearmament of the army in preparation for major military operations.

UK: Northamptonshire County Council and the obliteration of local authority services provision

By Paul Bond, 28 August 2018

The council is “reviewing” how to reduce the number of children who are taken into care , cut support for those with learning disabilities and introduce fees or charges for services.

German government and police unite with far-right to clamp down on press freedom in Dresden

By Peter Schwarz, 25 August 2018

The grand coalition of the CDU, CSU and SPD has largely adopted the AfD’s policies, and is going out of its way to praise the right-wing extremist party.

UK foreign secretary uses US visit to support Boris Johnson replacing Theresa May as prime minister

By Robert Stevens, 25 August 2018

For the hard Brexit faction, the future of May’s premiership is understood in terms of days and weeks—with Johnson’s leadership challenge gathering pace.

Nearly 90,000 retail jobs lost in UK in 12 months

By Barry Mason, 25 August 2018

Retailers are shifting employees from secure full-time contracts to less secure ones with “less rigidity and more flexibility.”

German federal and regional governments extend refugee camp system nationwide

By Marianne Arens, 21 August 2018

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann claims that the camps are “not detention facilities,” and that “no one is imprisoned,” but that is a lie.

UK: Boris Johnson gathers support for pro-Brexit Tory leadership challenge

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2018

Johnson’s anti-burqa comments and the leadership ambitions that informed them were spurred on by effusive support from Trump and his former adviser, Steve Bannon.

UK: Momentum’s Jon Lansman takes his place alongside anti-Corbyn witch-hunters

By Julie Hyland, 20 August 2018

Whatever the progressive sentiments of those who signed up to the project, the Momentum network was from the very start aimed at controlling and ultimately sabotaging any genuine challenge to the right.

UK: Westminster “terror incident” remains unclear

By Paul Bond, 18 August 2018

While the authorities are not yet able to confirm that the incident was a terrorist attack, it will be used to intensify policing powers and surveillance across the capital.

German Social Democrats launch xenophobic campaign about child benefits

By Christopher Lehmann, 14 August 2018

On the “Tagesthemen” TV news program, the SPD mayor ranted against EU nationals who were allegedly flocking to Germany to fraudulently obtain social welfare payments.

Scotland: Protests force Serco to halt asylum seeker evictions

By Steve James, 14 August 2018

Serco wrote to Glasgow City Council of its intention to evict “former Asylum Seekers who do not wish to engage in voluntary return, and who the Home Office have determined have no legal right to remain in the UK.”

UK government warned of dangers of flammable cladding three years before Grenfell fire

By Tom Pearce, 14 August 2018

The warnings are further evidence of the vast criminality committed at Grenfell by the political and corporate elite.

Unsubmissive France summer school: Mélenchon invites the right wing

By Anthony Torres, 14 August 2018

Mélenchon’s attempts to ally with the political right must serve as a warning to workers that he plans to carry out a violently anti-worker policy.

Workers and youth in UK speak out against continued persecution of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 13 August 2018

August 16 will mark six years since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government.

UK National Health Service pay deal fuels growing rebellion against unions

By Ajanta Silva, 13 August 2018

More than 1,000 health workers signed a petition calling for the current leadership of the Royal College of Nursing to stand down.

Ryanair faces largest pilots’ strike in its history

By Marianne Arens, 9 August 2018

On Friday, simultaneous strikes against Ryanair will take place in several European countries. While workers’ anger has grown, the unions are doing everything to isolate the strike.

UK: Boris Johnson makes anti-Muslim pitch for Tory Party leadership

By Julie Hyland, 9 August 2018

In publishing his views, Johnson is counting on the fetid anti-migrant atmosphere being whipped up by all political parties.

German government plans reintroduction of military conscription

By Noah Windstein, 9 August 2018

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party conference is scheduled to adopt a decision to reintroduce military service.

The Ryanair strike and the resurgence of international class struggle

By Robert Stevens, 8 August 2018

The class struggle is reaching a higher stage of development, posing strategic issues before every section of the international working class.

UK: Haringey Development Vehicle scheme scrapped, but social cleansing threat remains

By Paul Bond, 8 August 2018

The scheme would have seen the demolition of 1,400 council houses and their replacement by luxury developments and supposedly “affordable” properties.

UK: Fascist Tommy Robinson’s court victory seized on by far-right

By Laura Tiernan, 6 August 2018

The response to Robinson’s release signals a further rightward lurch by the mainstream media in the direction of normalising the far-right.

Appeal to neo-fascists on police scandal exposes reactionary role of Unsubmissive France

By Francis Dubois, 4 August 2018

Unsubmissive France is advancing out a populist, anti-worker policy compatible with police repression.

German government launches camp system for refugees

By Christoph Vandreier, 2 August 2018

With the inhumane camp system, the coalition government of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats is implementing the refugee policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Ryanair’s mass sacking threat raises need for globally coordinated struggle of airline workers

By Steve James, 2 August 2018

The role of the unions in the airline and other industries is to isolate any struggle, impose the demands of the companies and prevent a unified fight of the entire working class.

British Navy evacuated Manchester bomber Salman Abedi from Libya in 2014

By Robert Stevens, 2 August 2018

It was known at top levels of the British state that Abedi had travelled on the ship, but the public, including the families of his victims, was kept in the dark for over a year.

Protest in Munich against attacks on refugees, poverty and war

By our reporters, 1 August 2018

Despite pouring rain, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Munich against right-wing agitation, increasing military spending, poverty and war.

France sets aside €300 billion for military in 2019-2025 budget plans

By Kumaran Ira, 1 August 2018

The massive increase in military spending underscores the fact that a fundamental aim of European austerity policies is to finance large-scale imperialist wars.

Corbyn outlines nationalist, anti-migrant pitch for Labour government

By Robert Stevens, 26 July 2018

Under conditions of a worsening crisis for Theresa May’s Conservative government, Corbyn sought to reassure business that Labour was the party it could trust to navigate troubled waters ahead.

Pursuit of rapper Valtònyc reveals widespread censorship in Spain

By Alejandro López, 26 July 2018

The unrelenting pursuit of rapper Josep Miquel Beltrán (stage name Valtònyc) is further evidence of the growing assault on free speech in Spain and throughout Europe.

Josep Valtònyc: “What’s happening to me could happen to anyone.”

By Alejandro López, 26 July 2018

“They put me on trial for telling true, objective facts, and that is because what is happening is scary. People are not going to be able to say what they think about those who are stealing public money from us, money taken out of our wages every month. We have the right to speak out, to criticize, to get angry.”

Fascist assault on UK union leader Steve Hedley

By Julie Hyland, 19 July 2018

The brutal assault on Steve Hedley, assistant general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union by fascist thugs on Saturday is an outrage.

UK: May government in meltdown over Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2018

May’s attempted compromise over Brexit has blown up, due not simply to events in Britain, but also to the antagonisms between the US and Europe.

As Jeff Bezos’ wealth reaches $150 billion

Unions strangle strike efforts by European Amazon workers on Prime Day

By Will Morrow and Genevieve Leigh, 17 July 2018

Prime Day is treated as a virtual public holiday by the corporate media, akin to Black Friday, but it is synonymous with increased exploitation for Amazon and other shipping workers.

Anti-Russia campaign revived in UK with alleged discovery of “novichok” in perfume bottle

By our reporter, 17 July 2018

The narrative being developed by the police is that a “container” of novichok was likely discarded by Russian state-sponsored agents who had attempted to assassinate double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter on March 4.

Participants in the anti-Trump rallies in the UK speak out

By our reporters, 16 July 2018

WSWS reporters spoke to anti-Trump protesters in Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield. Meanwhile, protests continued in Helsinki, Finland on Sunday.

Mass protests against Trump’s UK visit

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

Friday’s protests by hundreds of thousands of people in London made clear that masses of workers throughout the world despise Trump and everything he stands for.

Human right groups reveal French complicity in torture in Egypt

By Francis Dubois, 14 July 2018

French corporations and governments are active accomplices in the bloody Egyptian military junta’s mass surveillance and repression of the Egyptian people.

Grenfell Tower Fire inquiry testimony reveals tragic consequences of fire service cuts

By Barry Mason, 14 July 2018

Firefighters put themselves at risk by going into flats to search for people without water and negotiating the lower floors without using their breathing apparatuses to conserve them for higher floors.

UK: The rotten politics of the SWP’s Stand Up to Racism

By Chris Marsden, 14 July 2018

The Socialist Workers Party’s aim is to promote the “progressive” credentials of the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and of the Trades Union Congress.

Trump denounces Germany and Europe at NATO summit

By Alex Lantier, 12 July 2018

A month after the collapse of the G7 economic summit, diplomatic and military ties between Washington and the European Union are rapidly disintegrating.

Twenty thousand demonstrate in Düsseldorf, Germany against police state attacks on democratic rights

By our correspondents, 12 July 2018

Last Saturday, 20,000 workers and young people marched from Düsseldorf Central Station to the North Rhine-Westphalian state parliament to protest the new police law planned by the state government.

German interior minister’s “Master Plan” for refugees: Internment camps and mass deportations

By Johannes Stern, 12 July 2018

With its “Migration Master Plan,” the grand coalition government has adopted the refugee policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany.

Youth mental health problems and suicides rising sharply in UK

By Alice Summers, 12 July 2018

The consequence of the burdens of stress, debt and lack of prospects, combined with poor access to mental health treatment, is a sharp rise in mental health problems and suicides among young people.

The July 3 Whitstable fire and the Grenfell inferno

Statement by the Grenfell Fire Forum, 12 July 2018

Whitstable House is known as the “tower next door” to Grenfell, which was destroyed on June 14, 2017 in the inferno that claimed 72 lives.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns to prepare possible Conservative leadership challenge

By Chris Marsden, 10 July 2018

Unlike David Davis, who stressed that he remained loyal to Theresa May, Johnson quit in a manner designed to inflict maximum damage to the prime minister.

“Nerve agent” death of Dawn Sturgess raises fresh questions over UK Skripal affair

By Thomas Scripps, 10 July 2018

In marked contrast to the hospitalisation of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, the fatality of Dawn Sturgess—apparently also through “novichok” poisoning—has met with a more muted response.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate against inhumane anti-refugee policies

By Gustav Kemper, 10 July 2018

The protests Saturday were organised within the space of a few days almost exclusively via social media.

Allies no more: Trump escalates threats against Europe

By Andre Damon, 10 July 2018

This week’s NATO summit, planned as a showcase of European rearmament, has been overshadowed by increasingly unbridgeable divisions between the US and Europe.

Resignation of Brexit secretary David Davis prompts talk of leadership contest, British general election

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 9 July 2018

Fear of triggering a general election is all that continues to hold the Tory party together, such is the depth of the rift over Europe.

Billions for war and police-state repression in Germany’s grand coalition budget

By Johannes Stern, 6 July 2018

The most significant features of the budget plan include a major increase in military spending, the strengthening of domestic police state repression and measures to terrorise refugees.

Riots erupt in Nantes in western France after police murder

By Alex Lantier, 5 July 2018

Multiple witnesses to the killing, including journalists, stated that police coldly executed the victim at point-blank range even though he posed no danger to them.

Britain’s role in US rendition and torture revealed

By Steve James, 5 July 2018

The sheer number of abuse and torture cases testifies to a level of criminal depravity far greater than previously admitted.

British government imposes collective punishment by evicting families from public housing

By Simon Whelan, 5 July 2018

The measures create a two-tier and entirely arbitrary system, whereby families are to be made homeless simply because they live in a council home.

Social Democrats back conservative parties’ plan for concentration camps in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2018

Leading SPD politicians have welcomed the reactionary agreement by conservative parties for concentration camps for refugees.

More than 200 people drown in the Mediterranean at the weekend

By Marianne Arens, 4 July 2018

Since the beginning of this year, the number of people drowning while attempting to enter Europe has risen to over a thousand.

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hails Alexis Tsipras of Syriza

By Robert Stevens, 4 July 2018

The Labour leader praised Syriza only days after it enforced the latest round of austerity and pledged further services to the EU’s vicious anti-migrant measures.

Left Party supports anti-refugee policies of German government

By Johannes Stern, 3 July 2018

At the EU summit last week, measures against refugees were discussed that recall the darkest period of German and European history.

London’s Grenfell Tower disaster: The cost of cuts and privatisation in firefighting

By Paul Bond, 3 July 2018

The treatment of firefighter Dowden at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry points again to attempts to shift responsibility for the events of June 14, 2017 onto the very people who faced impossible odds to control the escalating blaze.

European Union intensifies campaign of terror against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 2 July 2018

The EU summit at the end of last week marked a dangerous turning point in post-World War II European history.

The NHS 70th anniversary rally in London: A vote of no confidence in Labour and the trade unions

By Paul Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 2 July 2018

Despite their occasional holiday speeches pledging to defend the NHS, neither the Labour Party nor the trade unions have lifted a finger to prevent its evisceration.

“I believe the NHS is the greatest thing about British society”

British workers speak out in defence of public healthcare

By our reporters, 2 July 2018

Socialist Equality Party members and supporters spoke to people attending Saturday’s demonstration marking the 70th anniversary of the creation of the UK’s National Health Service.

UK: Haringey Council tower block residents lived in danger for 30 years

By Paul Bond, 29 June 2018

More than 200 families must leave their homes in Broadwater Farm, north London, as their tower blocks are at risk of collapse in the event of a gas explosion or even a vehicle impact.

German government crisis: The working class needs its own strategy against anti-refugee agitation, militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 26 June 2018

The dispute between the CDU and the CSU is over how best to implement the reactionary program of the German grand coalition government in the face of growing popular opposition.

Three months on: Oxford Union refuses to tell truth about why whistleblowing panel debate is censored

By Zach Reed, 26 June 2018

The only explanation for deciding not to publish the video is that ex-CIA operative David Shedd demanded its suppression.

The British UCU Congress and the impossibility of reforming the trade unions

By the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 26 June 2018

Events at the University and College Union prove that the union bureaucracy is unanswerable for its actions and unaccountable to its members.

Grenfell Fire Forum endorses vigils to demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 18 June 2018

The Grenfell Fire Forum met just three days after commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the inferno.

SEP (UK) meetings on war and censorship: “War preparations are powered by lies”

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2018

Socialist Equality Party (UK) Assistant National Secretary Julie Hyland addressed recent public meetings in England, Scotland and Ireland titled “War, lies and censorship: For the building of a socialist anti-war movement.”

One year since the Grenfell inferno

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 14 June 2018

The refusal of the ruling elite to pursue the real criminals guilty of the Grenfell atrocity is in stark contrast to their determination to silence anyone fighting to establish the truth about events.

Oxford Union debating society threatened with legal action over censoring criticism of CIA

By Thomas Scripps, 7 June 2018

The February 27 event is not being censored on legal grounds or on the basis that “sensitive information” has been revealed, but because it is deemed necessary to suppress critical opposition to the US security apparatus and its activities.

Germany: AfD leader Gauland and the hypocritical response to Nazi rehabilitation

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 June 2018

At the weekend, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) leader Alexander Gauland again took up the right-wing propaganda campaign to gloss over and relativise the crimes of the Nazis.

Merkel calls for EU militarism, financial austerity in reply to Macron

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2018

While Merkel endorsed French calls for militarism and attacks on refugees, she gave little support for Macron’s calls for more investment and guarantees against new debt crises.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 7—The centrist line of the OCI (3)

By Peter Schwarz, 5 June 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

“My mum and my sister were murdered and cremated on 14 June last year”

UK: Final tributes to victims of Grenfell fire denounce corporate and political elite

By Robert Stevens, 5 June 2018

Testimony has repeatedly included denunciations of the ruling elite for the social murder that claimed at least 72 lives last June 14.

SEP holds Paris meeting on 50 years since May 1968 general strike

By our reporters, 5 June 2018

The Socialist Equality Party of France held a meeting on the political lessons of the May 1968 general strike on Sunday in Paris.

UK: Grenfell victims’ relatives unable to commemorate loved-ones due to government anti-immigration policies

By Simon Whelan, 4 June 2018

Government policies bringing about heartache for Grenfell relatives are having the very impact the government desired—making it more difficult for them to testify at the public inquiry.

Extreme right takes power in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 2 June 2018

The new Italian government sworn in yesterday in Rome is the most right-wing since the fall of the fascist Duce Benito Mussolini in 1945.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 2—The betrayal of the PCF and CGT

By Peter Schwarz, 30 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May–June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

Relatives’ tributes at Grenfell Tower Inquiry blame government for deaths

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2018

Family members frequently broke down as they remembered their loved ones in moving and emotional scenes.

1968: The general strike and the student revolt in France

Part 1—A revolutionary situation develops

By Peter Schwarz, 29 May 2018

Fifty years ago, in May-June 1968, a general strike brought France to the brink of proletarian revolution. This eight-part series describes the events and draws the political lessons for today.

The fight against the far-right Alternative for Germany requires a socialist perspective

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party and International Youth and Students for Social Equality, 28 May 2018

The following statement was distributed by the SEP and IYSSE at demonstrations held on Sunday against the fascist Alternative for Germany.

Ireland votes to repeal anti-abortion amendment

By Steve James, 28 May 2018

The result signals a shift to the left among broad sections of the Irish population.

Workers’ unrest in the Netherlands

By Harm Waling, 28 May 2018

Teachers in Dutch elementary schools will strike in the southern provinces on May 30, part of a growing wave of strike actions in the Netherlands.

Testimony to Grenfell Fire inquiry paints devastating picture of social murder

By Robert Stevens, 24 May 2018

The inquiry heard from Hisam Choucair, who lost six members of his family in the inferno and Karim Mussilhy, who lost his uncle, Hesham Rahman.