European Union

Germany prepares to deport 14,000 refugees to Kosovo

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 26 April 2010

The German government is preparing to deport 14,000 refugees to Kosovo, despite warnings by the United Nations Refugee Commission that they face dangers to life and limb.

The Greek crisis and the fight for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Alex Lantier, 24 April 2010

The de facto support by the trade unions and pseudo-left groups for the Papandreou government’s austerity policies underscores the need for a new political perspective and new leadership in the working class.

The European air traffic crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 April 2010

European governments have shown themselves to be utterly unprepared for a crisis of this scope and indifferent to the fate of millions of people.

Ireland: Quinn Insurance in administration

By Steve James, 20 April 2010

Quinn Insurance has been placed in administration for “serious and persistent breaches” of the solvency rules governing insurance companies.

Greece moves to borrow from Wall Street

By Alex Lantier, 8 April 2010

Amid growing uncertainty over Greece’s financial position and fears that German opposition will undermine any EU-IMF bailout, Greece is moving to raise money in the United States.

The “paradigm shift” in German foreign policy

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 April 2010

A number of recent commentaries in the German press have expressed alarm over the course adopted by German Chancellor Merkel regarding the Greek debt crisis.

European summit proposes bailout and austerity plan for Greece

By Alex Lantier, 27 March 2010

A two-day European Union summit in Brussels concluded yesterday, announcing plans for an as-needed bailout package for Greece and tougher sanctions against eurozone countries whose deficits exceed European guidelines.

On eve of EU summit

Europe split over Greek crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 March 2010

European diplomats are working feverishly to reach some sort of compromise on the Greek debt crisis and prevent an economic and political debacle at the summit of EU heads of government meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday.

European Union wracked by divisions over Greek crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 March 2010

The Greek debt crisis has exposed deep fault lines within the European Union, above all within the core group of 16 countries which constitute the eurozone.

European finance ministers divided over Greek bailout

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 March 2010

While reluctant to admit in public that they are planning a bailout for Greece, behind the scenes EU finance heads are frantically scrambling to come up with a rescue package.

Greece: Millions join general strike against government austerity package

By Robert Stevens, 12 March 2010

Workers throughout Greece staged their second one-day strike within a month yesterday to protest the austerity measures being imposed by the PASOK social democratic government of Prime Minister George Papandreou.

US and Europe drift toward trade war

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 March 2010

In the wake of the financial crisis that erupted in 2008, leading capitalist nations and blocs of nations are employing increasingly aggressive forms of protectionism to advance their interests.

Opposition deepens to austerity programme in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 11 March 2010

Opposition to the austerity measures being imposed by the Greek government has hardened in the run-up to today’s general strike.

Papandreou in Paris

Sarkozy echos Germany’s hard line on Greek debt crisis

By Antoine Lerougetel, 9 March 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at the Elysée Palace on Sunday and echoed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in insisting that Greece deal with its debt crisis by imposing a brutal austerity program on the working class.

Amid angry protests in Greece

Papandreou pledges to impose austerity plan in meeting with German PM

By Ulrich Rippert, 6 March 2010

On Friday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and assured her that his government would impose the austerity measures demanded by the European banks and the European Union.

New strikes called as more social cuts are prepared in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 3 March 2010

The Greek trade unions announced further strikes yesterday, in the face of demands from banks and European institutions for deeper social cuts to stave off a Greek government default.

Two million Greek workers strike against austerity measures

By our reporters in Athens, 25 February 2010

Some two million Greek workers participated in a general strike on Wednesday to oppose austerity measures announced by the social democratic PASOK government.

The social situation in Greece

By Marcus Salzmann, 25 February 2010

In terms of wages and social standards, Greece ranks amongst the lowest-paid countries in Europe.

European officials demand further cuts in Greece after bailout pledge

By Alex Lantier, 13 February 2010

The February 11 Franco-German pledge to bail out Greece threatened to unravel yesterday amid criticism from the Greek government, and as European officials demanded that Athens make further budget cuts.

Eurozone unemployment increases to 10 percent

By Stefan Steinberg, 1 February 2010

Unemployment in the 16 countries comprising the eurozone increased to an official average of 10 percent in December—the highest level of unemployment since the introduction of the euro in 1999.

How big business financed a radical right-wing party in Austria

By Markus Salzmann, 26 January 2010

More details have emerged about the way in which German banks funded extreme right-wing parties with the approval of a leading German political party.

Spain: Youth unemployment tops 40 percent

By Marcus Morgan, 25 January 2010

In Spain’s worst recession for more than 50 years, official figures for the end of 2009 show nearly 4 million people out of work.

European bankers demand unprecedented austerity measures

By Stefan Steinberg, 19 January 2010

European bankers are demanding that countries on the brink of national bankruptcy impose brutal austerity measures on their populations.

In wake of Detroit airplane bomb plot, new security measures in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 January 2010

Following the recent terror incidents in Detroit and Denmark, a climate of hysteria is being whipped up by the European political elite and sections of the media to divert attention from the social crisis and justify a further build-up up of the police, military and intelligence agencies.

Ratification of Lisbon Treaty provokes crisis for Britain’s Conservatives

By Julie Hyland, 10 November 2009

The Czech Republic’s ratification of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty created a political maelstrom in the UK, exposing major divisions within the Conservative Party and the crisis facing British foreign policy more broadly.

The Clearstream trial: a conflict in the French bourgeoisie

By Alex Lantier, 7 November 2009

The month-long Clearstream trial, hearings for which ended on October 23, is a cynical judicial façade for ruthless state politics.

France: The affairs the Clearstream trial aims to suppress

By Alex Lantier, 7 November 2009

A decades-long series of corruption scandals, bound up with oil and arms deals, constitute the essential legal background to the Clearstream Affair.

Ireland: Vote “No” to the Lisbon Treaty

For the United Socialist States of Europe

By Socialist and Germany, 1 October 2009

The Socialist Equality Parties of the UK and Germany call for a “No” vote in the Irish referendum on the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty on Friday, October 2.

Germany’s Left Party and the European elections

By Lucas Adler, 30 August 2009

If one analyses the current European election result of the Left Party, the conclusion is clear: workers, the unemployed and those dependent on welfare payments are increasingly dismissive of this party.

Unemployment rises sharply across Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 5 August 2009

While a number of major banks and financial institutions are reporting massive profits, industrial, commercial and service firms are continuing to shed jobs at an alarming rate across Europe.

Iceland’s parliament votes to apply for European Union membership

By Jordan Shilton, 25 July 2009

On July 16, Iceland’s parliament (Althingi) voted by 33 votes to 28 to apply for membership of the European Union.

UK Conservatives form new rightist bloc in European parliament

By Ann Talbot, 25 June 2009

The UK Conservative Party has broken from the European Peoples Party grouping in the European Parliament to form a new bloc with a number of right-wing anti-federalist parties.

Germany: The Greens declare their allegiance to the bourgeoisie

By Peter Schwarz, 12 June 2009

Following a relatively good showing in the European elections, the German Greens have reiterated their hopes of participating in a future government alongside conservative parties.

European elections

Germany: The significance of the Socialist Equality Party campaign

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 June 2009

The German Socialist Equality Party was the only party participating in the European elections to make clear the real extent of the capitalist crisis and to propose a socialist transformation of society.

The decline of social democracy

By Peter Schwarz, 10 June 2009

The most notable result of the European elections held last weekend is the dramatic decline of social democracy.

Social democratic parties suffer historic defeat in European Union elections

By Stefan Steinberg, 9 June 2009

The disastrous results for the social democratic parties of Great Britain, Germany and France in the European Union parliamentary elections represent a political point of no return for the parties themselves and augur a period of profound political instability.

The European election

What lies behind the tensions with the US?

By Peter Schwarz, 6 June 2009

This weekend’s European election takes place under conditions of fierce domestic and international tensions. Germany’s conflicts with France, on the one hand, and the US, on the other, are intensifying as national conflicts within Europe threaten to blow the European Union apart.

Election platform of the “European Left”: Pious wishes and right-wing policies

By Lucas Adler and Peter Schwarz, 6 June 2009

Behind its bombastic language, the European Left is offering its assistance to the European ruling classes to save the European Union and its institutions.

Vote for the SEP (Germany) in the European elections

Socialist Equality Party (Partei für Soziale Gleichheit), 4 June 2009

A vote for the Socialist Equality Party is a first step in the active political struggle for a new society based on the values of solidarity and humanity as part of the unification of Europe on a socialist basis.

Five years after entry to the EU: Eastern European countries in crisis

By Markus Salzmann, 9 May 2009

Five years after their acceptance into the European Union amid a fanfare of expectations and celebration, 10 central and Eastern European countries are amongst the worst hit victims of the international finance crisis.

In the 2009 European elections

A socialist answer to the capitalist crisis: Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Germany)

5 May 2009

The Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (PSG, Socialist Equality Party) is standing a nationwide slate of candidates for the June 7 European elections in order to build a new party for working people throughout Europe: Our goal is the establishment of a socialist society that places social needs above the profit interests of big business.

Berlin meeting launches SEP European election campaign

By Our correspondent, 30 April 2009

The Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Socialist Equality Party in Germany) opened its campaign for the forthcoming European election with a public meeting in Berlin last Sunday.

The significance of the European election

By Ulrich Rippert, 21 April 2009

The real function of the European parliament consists of providing a phony democratic cover for the activities of the EU institutions based in Brussels and its army of 40,000 highly paid bureaucrats who are not subject to any democratic control but rather at the beck and call of numerous business lobbyists.

Obama visit signals increased role for Turkey and greater tensions

By Kerem Kaya, 17 April 2009

The recent visit by US President Barack Obama to Turkey confirms that the US plans to build up Turkey as a regional policeman to secure US interests in the Caucasus, the Middle East and Central Asia.

EU president declares US economic policy is the “road to hell”

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 March 2009

One day after being ousted as head of the Czech government Mirek Topolanek, who currently holds the revolving chair of the European Union, openly criticised the financial policy of the US government, telling European parliamentary deputies that America was on the “road to hell”.

Great Power divisions persist following G20 summit

By Stefan Steinberg, 16 March 2009

A summit of G20 finance ministers and central bankers failed to reach any concrete agreement for measures to deal with the growing international finance crisis.

Brussels: Divisions dominate EU summit in face of deepening crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 3 March 2009

At the Brussels summit, EU nations were unable to agree on any concrete measures to combat the mounting economic crisis.

European financial summit dominated by national divisions

By Stefan Steinberg, 24 February 2009

The leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands met in Berlin last Sunday to work out a joint European stance in advance of the Group of 20 meeting on April 2.

Russia cuts off Ukrainian gas supply

Energy conflict threatens EU shortages

By Niall Green, 3 January 2009

The Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom turned off all gas supplies to Ukraine, threatening supplies to the European Union.

Iceland faces rising unemployment and rampant inflation

By Jordan Shilton, 20 December 2008

Protests continue in Reykjavík to demand the resignation of the government and central bank chiefs and the holding of fresh elections. Opposition has also been expressed to the privatisation drive resulting from the government’s acceptance of an IMF-backed loan.

National interests dominate at EU summit in Brussels

By Stefan Steinberg, 13 December 2008

The German chancellor and her finance minister are not prepared to throw their longstanding European strategy overboard at what the government and economic experts admit is only the start of what will be a prolonged and painful recession—even if they alienate Germany's European neighbours.

European Union in crisis

11 December 2008

At the centre of the growing tensions between Berlin, Paris and London is the question of how to react to the international financial crisis and global recession.

Sharp conflicts in Europe over economic stimulus program

By Peter Schwarz, 3 December 2008

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) has become the focus of criticism for her refusal to support a wide-ranging package of measures aimed at stimulating the European economy.

Britain: Labour’s secret plans for tax hikes and spending cuts revealed

By Chris Marsden, 28 November 2008

Leaked documents reveal that the Labour government contemplated raising Value Added Tax to 18.5 percent in Chancellor Alistair Darling’s pre-budget announcement.

French Socialist Party remains deeply divided following Reims congress

By Francis Dubois, 18 November 2008

The congress of the French Socialist Party held November 14-16 in Reims, attended by about 4,000 people, ended in a state of open division.

European Union summit in Brussels: The EU prepares for Obama

By Peter Schwarz, 10 November 2008

More important than the vague proposals to regulate the financial markets was the demand of the Brussels gathering for a new world financial summit to be held in 100 days. The European heads of government are obviously less concerned with making agreements with the outgoing Bush administration than with determining whether the new administration is prepared to make any concessions.

Turkish court provides explanation of its ban on headscarves

By Sinan Ikinci, 30 October 2008

Turkey’s Constitutional Court has provided a long-awaited explanation of its annulment of constitutional amendments that served to ban Muslim headscarves.

Sarkozy intends to partly nationalise “strategically important” companies

By Peter Schwarz, 29 October 2008

Right-wing President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to protect “strategically important” French enterprises against their take-over by foreign investors receives support from German “lefts.”

Britain: Socialist Workers Party member becomes government adviser

By Chris Marsden, 28 October 2008

18-year-old Sabiha Iqbal has been nominated to serve on the Young Muslim Advisory Group, a Brown government think tank set up to combat Islamic extremist influence.

In wake of global financial crisis

Scottish nationalism’s perspective in tatters

By Steve James, 28 October 2008

The global financial meltdown has severely compromised the economic basis of the Scottish National Party’s strategy for independence.

German Social Democrats meet in the shadow of the financial crisis

By Ulrich Rippert, 24 October 2008

The special SPD congress last weekend took place in the shadow of the ever-growing international financial crisis.

Germany: Right wing seizes leadership of the SPD

The role of the Left Party

By Ulrich Rippert, 17 September 2008

The early appointment of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as the SPD candidate for chancellor in next year’s federal elections, and the hurried change of party leader from Kurt Beck to Franz Müntefering, means the supporters of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder now have the party once again firmly in their grasp.

European elections could topple British Conservative Party leader

By Chris Marsden, 29 May 1999

The upcoming European elections could cost William Hague his position as Conservative Party leader. Whatever the outcome, it will deepen the longstanding divisions inside the party regarding its policy towards the European Union (EU) in general, and Britain's adoption of the euro currency in particular.

European elections highlight growth of regionalism

By Steve James, 27 May 1999

Next month's European elections highlight a further dramatic growth of regionally based parties and movements like the Northern League in Italy, the Scottish National Party and others. Given that many right-wing political opponents of European integration rail against the dangers of a new "super-state" trampling over national sovereignty, it is significant that these new nationalist and separatist formations have embraced European integration.