Northern Europe

The royal visit to Ireland

By Steve James, 17 May 2011

A huge security operation is being rolled out to protect Queen Elizabeth and her husband Philip during their four day visit to Ireland beginning today.

Danish government introduces border controls

By Jordan Shilton, 16 May 2011

In a move signalling the end of passport-free travel within Europe, Denmark’s right wing minority government announced on Wednesday that it was unilaterally re-introducing controls at its borders with Sweden and Germany.

European Union presses Finland to support bailout of Portugal

By Jordan Shilton, 12 May 2011

The European Union (EU) has stepped up pressure on Helsinki to make its position clear on the EU-International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout of Portugal, in the wake of elections in Finland last month, which registered a large anti-government vote.

Saab deal with Chinese automaker paves way for job cuts, outsourcing

By Jordan Shilton, 9 May 2011

The deal provides no long-term security for Saab workers, and opens the door to a vast cost-cutting drive through the outsourcing of jobs to cheap labour locations in China.

Outrage at inquest verdict on Dublin mother’s death from hypothermia

By Steve James, 30 April 2011

On April 6, Dublin city coroner Dr Brian Farrell returned a verdict of “death by misadventure” over the death of Rachel Peavoy, a 30-year-old woman who died January 11, 2010 of hypothermia in her flat in Dublin, Ireland.

Swedish automaker Saab nears collapse

By Jordan Shilton, 30 April 2011

Barely a year after being taken over by Dutch firm Spyker, Swedish automaker Saab is again in danger of shutdown, with the loss of thousands of jobs.

Nationalists gain in Finland vote

By Jordan Shilton, 23 April 2011

The True Finns party was the only beneficiary in Finland’s election held last Sunday, which saw a strong rejection of the ruling four-party coalition.

Iceland voters reject IceSave agreement

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2011

In a national referendum last Saturday, a large majority of Icelanders opposed being made responsible for the repayment of billions of euros resulting from the collapse of the country’s banking system in 2008.

British government to expand powers of regional administrations

By Stephen Alexander, 14 April 2011

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government plans to devolve greater financial and legal powers to the regional administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as it seeks their assistance in cutting £81 billion from public spending.

Scandinavian and other “neutral” states support assault on Libya

By Steve James, 12 April 2011

Eight Swedish fighter aircraft joined the NATO operation against Libyan government forces last week.

Irish government raids pensions to give banks €24 billion

By Steve James, 5 April 2011

A further €24 billion will be injected into four leading Irish banks, to be paid for by seizing funds from the state pension fund.

Big business lays out its demands for Irish government

By Steve James, 25 March 2011

The big-business “Ireland First” group handed in its 38-page “Blueprint for Ireland’s Recovery” last week to the new Irish government.

Irish government outlines programme of deep cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 22 March 2011

The new programme of the Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition, approved overwhelmingly by the Irish Parliament, confirms that the new administration in Dublin will intensify the course pursued by the previous Fianna Fáil-Green party government.

Unanswered questions over Stockholm suicide bomb attack

By Steve James, 17 March 2011

Ezedden Khalid Ahmed al-Khaledi, a 30-year-old nursing student claiming to be from Kuwait, has been charged with helping fund the Stockholm suicide bomb attack.

Ireland’s “bad bank” accused of dubious practices as debts mount

By Steve James, 9 March 2011

Ireland’s “bad bank”, the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), is beset by scandal.

Irish Labour Party and Fine Gael commit to savage austerity

By Jordan Shilton, 8 March 2011

After days of negotiations, the Labour Party and Fine Gael have approved a coalition government in Ireland, based on imposing savage attacks on the working class.

Massive anti-government vote in Ireland

By Jordan Shilton, 28 February 2011

Friday’s election in Ireland saw huge popular rejection of the outgoing Fianna Fáil-Green Party government.

Labour seeks coalition with Fine Gael in Ireland

By Jordan Shilton, 25 February 2011

As polling day approaches in the Irish elections, the Labour Party has made a coalition with the conservative right-wing Fine Gael its central message.

United Left Alliance responds to Irish austerity programme

By Jordan Shilton, 19 February 2011

The United Left Alliance has met to discuss its response to the Irish fiscal crisis the savage programme of austerity measures that the government has agreed with the EU and IMF.

Irish general election campaign: All main parties committed to savage cuts

By Steve James, 15 February 2011

The next government in Ireland, whatever its labels, will aim to take up where Fianna Fail and the Greens left off, by sharply intensifying the attack on the working class.

Julian Assange legal team makes devastating critique of Swedish extradition attempt

By Robert Stevens, 8 February 2011

The attempt to extradite WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange to Sweden on trumped-up sex charges was stepped up yesterday in the Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court in London.

Irish unions seek to end dispute at Aer Lingus

By Jordan Shilton, 31 January 2011

The trade union bureaucracy is working hand-in-glove with management to bring an end to the dispute developing at Ireland’s major airline, Aer Lingus.

Irish election called: Fianna Fail and Greens facing wipe-out

By Steve James, 25 January 2011

The Irish government, led by Brian Cowen, has called a general election following the resignation of government ministers and the departure of the Green Party from the ruling coalition.

Estonia adopts the euro

By Markus Salzmann, 11 January 2011

In the midst of the European debt crisis, Estonia has become the 17th country to adopt the euro.

Irish Republic hit by water crisis

By Steve James, 10 January 2011

While the water crisis in Northern Ireland has grabbed headlines across the world, far less attention has been paid to the serious and widespread problems afflicting the Irish Republic.

Ireland’s United Left Alliance: A fake oppositional movement

By Jordan Shilton, 10 January 2011

The onslaught against the population by the EU and the IMF, implemented by the Fianna Fáil-Green Party government and supported by the opposition parties, aims to slash the living standards of working people in the interest of the financial elite.

Northern Ireland gripped by water crisis

By Steve James, 5 January 2011

A sudden thaw, following weeks of freezing temperatures, crippled much of Northern Ireland’s water and sewage system over the holiday period.

Ireland’s emergency service workers abandon SIPTU union

By Steve James, 3 January 2011

Hundreds of emergency service workers in Ireland have left the public service union due to its refusal to defend its members.

Northern Irish executive announce four-year draft austerity budget

By Stephen Alexander, 22 December 2010

After a month-long delay, the Northern Irish executive announced a four-year draft budget December 15 detailing its share of the £83 billion in spending cuts outlined by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government.

Irish government blocks bank bonuses

By Jordan Shilton, 18 December 2010

On Monday, Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan intervened to prevent Allied Irish Bank (AIB) from paying 40 million euros of bonuses to top executives.

Irish opposition parties commit to continue austerity drive

By Jordan Shilton, 14 December 2010

All of Ireland’s opposition parties are preparing to maintain and deepen the austerity measures imposed by the Fianna Fáil-Green Party coalition.

Obama administration steps up vendetta against WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

By Patrick O’Connor, 10 December 2010

The British Independent newspaper reported Wednesday that US and Swedish officials were engaged in closed door discussions aimed at delivering WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange into American custody.

Irish budget imposes savage austerity

By Jordan Shilton, 8 December 2010

Ireland’s 2011 budget was passed by the Dáil (parliament) yesterday, as the Fianna Fáil-Green party government began the implementation of a four-year plan to cut spending by €15 billion.

After the Irish bailout: The financial wolf pack targets new victims

By Nick Beams, 1 December 2010

The financial markets are demanding not just a limited period of austerity, but the destruction of the entire post-war European social welfare system.

Financial oligarchy dictates terms of Irish bailout

By Jordan Shilton, 30 November 2010

The €85 billion bailout agreed on Sunday evening between the European Union, International Monetary Fund and the Irish government will further impoverish the working class.

Tens of thousands protest EU-IMF bank bailout in Ireland

By Chris Marsden, 29 November 2010

Saturday’s demonstration in Dublin against the bailout of banks drew between 50,000 and 100,000, massive by Irish standards.

“They’re going after the people who are least able to afford it”

Demonstrators in Ireland denounce austerity cuts

By our reporters, 29 November 2010

The World Socialist Web Site interviewed a number of workers, students and academics at the November 27 Irish Congress of Trade Unions and outside Trinity College.

Ireland’s main opposition parties signal support for austerity budget

By Jordan Shilton, 27 November 2010

The new budget, which includes €15 billion in budget cuts through 2014, is tied in with a European Union/International Monetary Fund bailout of the banks.

European markets fall as Ireland reveals further austerity plan

By Jordan Shilton, 25 November 2010

Ireland’s government unveiled its four-year “recovery plan” yesterday, which will aim to reduce its budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2014.

Irish government moves to push through austerity measures

By Jordan Shilton, 24 November 2010

Pressure is mounting on Ireland’s Fianna Fáil-Green party government, as it seeks to impose the terms agreed with the EU and the IMF for a multibillion-euro bailout.

Bankers dictate brutal cuts as part of EU-IMF bailout of Ireland

By Stefan Steinberg, 23 November 2010

The EU-IMF bailout requires swingeing social and welfare cuts in Ireland.

Ireland “on the brink of significant civil unrest”

By Chris Marsden, 22 November 2010

The general secretary of one of Ireland’s largest unions, the Technical Engineering and Electrical Union (TEEU), Eamon Devoy, has warned that “we are on the brink of significant civil unrest in this country, the like of which has not been witnessed in this jurisdiction for decades”.

Former Nazi soldier appointed to Latvian parliamentary committee

By Markus Salzmann, 20 November 2010

A former member of the National Socialist Waffen SS has been elected chairman of a parliamentary committee of the Latvian government.

Social crisis grips Ireland

By Steve James, 19 November 2010

The accelerating economic crisis in Ireland is taking a terrible toll on broad layers of workers, particularly the more vulnerable—children, the elderly, those on low incomes and with insecure housing.

Sweden issues international arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Assange

By David Walsh, 19 November 2010

Swedish authorities, stepping up their campaign of persecution against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, have issued an international arrest warrant for his detention.

EU “rescue” operation for Ireland heralds deepening euro crisis

By Barry Grey and Stefan Steinberg, 18 November 2010

European finance ministers have dispatched a team of officials to examine the books of Ireland’s banks and prepare the way for a “rescue” plan that will shred Irish sovereignty and impose even more savage attacks on the working class.

World markets fall on signs of renewed financial crisis

By Joseph Kishore, 17 November 2010

A growing debt crisis in Europe and signs of inflation in Asia sent world markets falling on Tuesday.

Ireland seeks bailout by European Union

By Jordan Shilton, 15 November 2010

Ireland has begun preliminary talks with the European Union, with a view to securing a financial bailout to avert state bankruptcy.

Shootings of immigrants in Sweden

By Jordan Shilton, 10 November 2010

A man was arrested in Malmö on Saturday in connection with a spate of shootings targeting immigrants.

Student demonstration against cuts attacked by police in Dublin

By Steve James, 9 November 2010

Over 40,000 students and young people marched through central Dublin last Wednesday, against government attacks on tertiary education.

Minority government formed in Sweden

By Jordan Shilton, 26 October 2010

The right-wing Alliance led by Frederick Reinfeldt is attempting to continue in government despite failing to achieve an outright majority in last month’s parliamentary elections.

Mass anti-government protests in Iceland

By Jordan Shilton, 8 October 2010

Large protests have been held in Reykjavík over the past week, as anger over Iceland’s ongoing economic problems mount.

Ireland moves closer to state bankruptcy

By Steve James, 4 October 2010

The Irish government’s September 30 emergency bailout is intended to draw a line under the country’s deepening financial crisis, but the continual injection of massive state funding into ruined banks, particularly Anglo Irish Bank, risks national bankruptcy.

Elections in Latvia—austerity course to be continued

By Markus Salzmann, 2 October 2010

The elections in Latvia this weekend take place against the background of a deep economic, political and social crisis.

The rise of the Sweden Democrats and the Swedish far right

By I.K. Karlsson and Jordan Shilton, 30 September 2010

In the September 19 election, the nationalist Sweden Democrats increased their support to nearly 6 percent of the vote and claimed 20 seats in parliament for the first time.

Ballot irregularities fuel uncertainty over Sweden’s election result

By Jordan Shilton, 27 September 2010

Although the final result from Sweden’s 6,063 electoral districts was declared on Thursday, the outcome of the September 19 vote remains in dispute.

European Central Bank presses Irish government for more social cuts

By Steve James, 23 September 2010

The Irish government raised €1.5 billion on the sale of government bonds this week, completing its target of raising €20 billion this year. It was able to do so only by promising yet more austerity measures.

Right-wing Alliance inflicts defeat on Sweden’s social democrats

By Jordan Shilton, 22 September 2010

Swedish parliamentary elections saw the right-wing Alliance achieve victory, the first time a rightwing group has secured a second term in office in over 80 years. The Social Democrats dropped to an historic low, with just over 30 percent of the vote.

Swedish Greens offer support to right-wing Alliance

By Jordan Shilton, 16 September 2010

The Swedish Greens have indicated that they will back a right-wing Alliance government to keep out the far-right Sweden Democrats, a further illustration of the lack of any principled political difference between the two main electoral blocs in the September 19 vote.

Anglo Irish Bank fails

By Steve James, 14 September 2010

The Anglo Irish Bank was nationalised in early 2009 to prevent its immediate collapse. The Irish government is now planning to split the bank into a deposit bank and a “recovery” bank, as its losses continue to grow because of the decline of the property market.

Opposition in Sweden presents election program

By Jordan Shilton, 10 September 2010

The centre-left opposition in Sweden has presented a joint election manifesto ahead of the September 19 vote.

Swedish prosecutor re-opens “rape” case against WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange

By David Walsh, 2 September 2010

The decision by a senior Swedish prosecutor to reopen the rape charges against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange is a transparently political decision. There is every reason to believe this is part of a “dirty tricks” operation.

Swedish election dominated by economy and unemployment

By Jordan Shilton, 17 August 2010

Campaigning in Sweden’s parliamentary elections has been under way for several weeks, with the vote set for September 19. The supposed success of the governing Alliance has come at the expense of the working class over the past four years.

Spending cuts in Northern Ireland to be particularly severe

By Steve James, 13 August 2010

Northern Ireland, dependent on public spending for 70 percent of economic activity, will be disproportionately hit by the cuts being imposed by the British Conservative-Liberal-Democrat coalition.

Finland targeted for EU/IMF austerity demands

By Jordan Shilton, 23 July 2010

Last month, Finland was issued with a warning by the European Union commission over the size of its budget deficit, which is expected to rise above 4 percent of GDP this year.

Irish government facing electoral rout

By Steve James, 14 July 2010

Both parties in the Irish government are facing electoral disaster when they finally go to the polls. A general election is due by 2012 at the latest, but the coalition government of Fianna Fail and the Greens is unlikely to last that long.

Denmark’s Conservative-Liberal coalition imposes major spending cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 10 July 2010

Denmark’s Conservative-Liberal coalition is imposing major spending cuts. Last month an estimated 40,000 protesters gathered outside the Danish parliament to oppose a 24 billion kroner programme of austerity measures.

Irish unions agree to four-year strike ban

By Steve James, 28 June 2010

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions public service committee voted last week to formally agree a four-year strike ban, wholesale rationalisations in public services, unknown thousands of “voluntary” job losses and a continued pay freeze.

Britain: Saville Inquiry continues cover-up of Bloody Sunday massacre

By Chris Marsden, 18 June 2010

The Saville Report into Bloody Sunday in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, on January 30, 1972, maintains the cover-up of one of the most infamous massacres ever perpetrated by British imperialism.

Trotskyism and the Bloody Sunday massacre: a record of principled opposition to British imperialism

18 June 2010

The findings of the Saville Inquiry are a political vindication of the stand taken by the Socialist Labour League, then the British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Arrests follow publication of report on Iceland banking collapse

By Jordan Shilton, 3 June 2010

April saw the release of the “Black Report” by a committee of Icelandic MPs in to the banking collapse that hit the island’s economy in 2008. Based on its findings, several arrests of leading figures in Icelandic financial circles have taken place.

Irish state bankruptcy looms as unions push through strike ban

By Steve James, 31 May 2010

Such is the perilous state of the Irish economy that the rationale for the Croke Park pact between the Irish trade unions, the government and public sector employers has already been exposed as a fraud.

Ireland: Public sector union leader demands workers accept austerity

By Steve James, 7 May 2010

In his May Day address, the general secretary of Ireland’s SIPTU public sector union demanded his members accept the four-year strike ban, pay freeze, massive redundancies and rationalisations agreed by the unions at the Labour Relations Commission in March.

Twenty years since declaring independence from the USSR

Austerity in Latvia: a warning to the international working class

By Niall Green, 4 May 2010

Twenty years after declaring independence from the USSR, the Latvian government is carrying out savage austerity measures in collusion with international financial elite and their representatives in the IMF, the European Union, and the government in Riga.

Mounting international impact of European air traffic crisis

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 April 2010

As the air traffic crisis continues, European governments are responding to lobbying by the airlines and corporate interests, but providing no effective assistance to millions of ordinary people stranded abroad or unable to travel.

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.

Ireland: Public sector unions agree four-year strike ban

By Steve James, 13 April 2010

The agreement between Ireland’s public sector trade unions, the government and employers to ban strikes until 2014 gives full expression to the role of the union bureaucracy as the ally of the financial aristocracy and its plundering of public finances.

Iceland to commence EU accession talks

By Jordan Shilton, 25 March 2010

The European Commission announced last month that it was prepared to commence talks with Reykjavík on terms for Iceland’s membership.

Ireland: Trade unions paved way for mass sackings at Aer Lingus

By Steve James, 23 March 2010

The conditions in which Aer Lingus’ was emboldened to sack 1,200 cabin crew were created by the trade union bureaucracy in Ireland.

Irish airline Air Lingus sacks hundreds of workers

By our correspondent, 12 March 2010

On Tuesday Republic of Ireland airline Aer Lingus announced 670 job cuts in a major attack on its workforce.

Iceland: Overwhelming rejection of Icesave bill in national referendum

By Jordan Shilton, 9 March 2010

Saturday’s referendum in Iceland on whether to accept a deal to pay back nearly €4 billion to Britain and the Netherlands resulted in a massive “no” vote.

Irish unions seek new partnership with government-employers against working class

By Steve James, 6 March 2010

The Irish trade unions bear primary responsibility for the successful imposition of austerity measures against workers after the world financial crisis overwhelmed the country’s financial sector in late 2008.

Icelandic government seeks renegotiation of Icesave deal as economic crisis continues

By Jordan Shilton, 4 March 2010

Iceland is seeking to renegotiate the terms of a deal made with the British and Dutch governments on repayment of money paid out to citizens of their countries in the aftermath of the collapse of an Icelandic bank.

Iceland: Vote “no” in IceSave referendum

By Jordan Shilton, 3 March 2010

Working people must vote “no” in Iceland’s referendum on the IceSave agreement on March 6.

Northern Ireland: Policing and justice agreement heralds assault on living standards

By Steve James, 9 February 2010

Threats and bribes from London, encouraged by Washington and Dublin, eventually convinced the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to agree to the transferring of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Executive.

Northern Ireland: Still searching for agreement in talks over policing

By Steve James and Chris Marsden, 4 February 2010

Agreement to the transfer of justice and policing responsibilities in Northern Ireland to the power-sharing assembly at Stormont stalled this week due to widespread opposition within the Democratic Unionist Party.

Sweden: Spyker announces last-minute purchase of Saab

By Jordan Shilton, 2 February 2010

Spyker and General Motors announced a “binding agreement” at a Stockholm press conference Tuesday, January 28, for the sale of Saab.

Iceland to hold referendum on international debt repayments

By Jordan Shilton, 21 January 2010

Iceland’s Social Democrat-Left Green coalition has confirmed that a referendum on whether to honour the agreement to repay Britain and the Netherlands a total of €3.9 billion by 2024 will be held on March 6.

Irish report indicts Catholic Church, authorities for child sex abuse

By Steve James, 19 January 2010

The Commission of Investigation report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, known as the Murphy report, was finally published late last year.

Northern Ireland Assembly gripped by crisis

By Robert Stevens, 18 January 2010

The future of the Northern Ireland Assembly has been thrown into question, the result of allegations relating to the financial affairs of Iris Robinson, the wife of Northern Ireland’s first minister and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Peter Robinson.

Sweden: Saab workers protest as GM begins winding down operations

By Jordan Shilton, 15 January 2010

More than 3,000 workers gathered outside Saab’s main facilities in Trollhättan on Tuesday to oppose the shutdown of Saab and denounce the actions of its owner, General Motors.

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.

Unanswered questions about attack on Danish cartoonist

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 January 2010

The official account of the attack on the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard carried out by a Somali man at the start of January defies credibility.

Iceland’s president vetoes IceSave law

By Jordan Shilton, 8 January 2010

Iceland’s president has refused to sign into law the Icesave bill—stipulating terms for the repayment of loans to Britain and the Netherlands—which will be put to a referendum instead.

GM confirms closure of Saab

By Jordan Shilton, 30 December 2009

Despite last-minute talks with Dutch sports car maker Spyker on a potential sale, General Motors has confirmed that it will push ahead with its plans to wind down operations at Saab.

Lithuanian parliamentary commission confirms presence of CIA prisons

By Stefan Steinberg, 29 December 2009

A commission set up by the Lithuanian parliament has acknowledged that at least two sites had been established inside the country to serve as secret detention camps for the CIA’s “war on terror.”

Sweden: GM threatens Saab shutdown by year’s end

By Jordan Shilton, 18 December 2009

Following the collapse of the attempted sale of Saab to the Koenigsegg Group, General Motors has announced it will close down operations at Saab at the end of the month if no new buyer is found.

World climate conference: Conflict outside and inside Copenhagen meeting

By Patrick Martin, 17 December 2009

Danish police battled demonstrators outside the world climate conference in Copenhagen, while inside the delegates of the imperialist powers, China, India and dozens of less developed countries clashed over conflicting proposals to deal with pollution caused by industrialization, deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels.

Irish government imposes austerity budget

By Steve James, 16 December 2009

The 2010 budget announced December 9 by Ireland’s Fianna Fail and Green Party government is a declaration of social warfare by a criminal financial oligarchy, the path for which has been prepared by the Irish trade unions.

Danish police arrest nearly 1,000 protesters at climate conference

By Stefan Steinberg, 14 December 2009

Large numbers of Danish riot police intervened brutally to arrest nearly 1,000 activists during a protest march held Saturday in Copenhagen.