Europe

British Steel goes bankrupt, threatening 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 23 May 2019

British Steel’s insolvency threatens to be a virtual coup de grâce against a once powerful section of the working class that has been repeatedly betrayed by the trade unions.

Swedish hearing to extradite Julian Assange delayed until June 3

By Mike Head, 22 May 2019

The Swedish allegations, first issued in 2010, are aimed at blackening the WikiLeaks founder’s name and devising a mechanism to have him dragged off to the US.

Collapse of British Steel threatens 25,000 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 22 May 2019

The trade unions and Labour Party have responded to the threat to jobs at British Steel with a predictable outburst of nationalist demagogy.

Banks and multinationals announce mass layoffs in Spain

By Alejandro López, 22 May 2019

The ability of companies to impose redundancies is dependent on the collaboration of Spanish unions.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate against nationalism

By our correspondents, 22 May 2019

While many came to demonstrate against nationalism and racism, the organisers sought to mobilise support for pro-EU parties—the SPD, Greens and Left Party—a week before the European elections.

Socialist Equality Group to hold public meeting in Turkey to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By the Sosyalist Eşitlik, 22 May 2019

The meeting is part of the ICFI’s ongoing international campaign to defend Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange and whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

Far-right Alternative for Germany sets the tone for German Grand Coalition government

By Johannes Stern, 20 May 2019

With its new legislative package, the grand coalition government of the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and Social Democrats (SPD) is implementing the policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Spain’s ruling elite mourns former Socialist Party leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba

By Alejandro López, 17 May 2019

The bourgeoisie hailed Rubalcaba because his defence of austerity and violent repression epitomize what it sees as desirable in a ruler.

The US war drive against Iran and the conflict with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 17 May 2019

Amid growing conflicts with its strategic rivals, including its European Union “allies,” Washington is seeking to reorganize Eurasian geopolitics, beginning with a war drive targeting Iran.

Socialist Equality Party in Germany to hold central meeting of European election campaign in Berlin

By the Socialist Equality Party (SGP), 17 May 2019

Prior to the May 18 meeting, the SGP will organise a rally in front of the British Embassy in Berlin to demand the freedom of Julian Assange.

George Galloway tried to become Brexit Party candidate—and failed

By Robert Stevens, 17 May 2019

Galloway’s failed attempt to represent Nigel Farage’s party is indicative of how an entire layer of ex-Stalinists and the pseudo-left have become part of a new right.

Speech by Oscar Grenfell

Millions in Australia “view Assange as a hero who is being attacked for revealing the truth.”

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the speech of Oscar Grenfell, a leading member of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia) and national convenor of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality, at the May 12 meeting in London in defence of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Clara Campos of the Julian Assange Defence Committee:

“We must act now in mobilising to free him. He is one of us.”

By Clara Campos, 17 May 2019

We are publishing here the remarks of Clara Campos, a representative of the Julian Assange Defence Committee, who spoke at the May 12 meeting in London in defense of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Iran conflict intensifies transatlantic tensions

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2019

The European governments are doing all they can to avoid triggering a broader mobilisation against war.

French public sector workers strike against Macron government attacks

By Anthony Torres, 11 May 2019

Over 150 demonstrations took place Thursday against Emmanuel Macron’s “modernization” reform that would overturn conditions for public sector workers established in 1946.

Spain: No “red lines” in talks for a Socialist Party-Podemos coalition government

By Alejandro López, 11 May 2019

Iglesias stressed that during their parliamentary collaboration, both parties were able “to build a relationship of trust” and dealt with each other “with frankness and empathy.”

German Young Socialist leader unleashes storm of debate about socialism

By Peter Schwarz, 11 May 2019

Kühnert, an unscrupulous careerist, can only pose as a socialist because he relies on the inexperience and lack of knowledge of today’s young generation.

Eugenics advocate Noah Carl dismissed from Cambridge University fellowship

By Thomas Scripps, 11 May 2019

Carl’s dismissal is a victory over a global campaign to revive far-right ideology on university campuses.

Corporate murder: Trial opens of France Télécom executives over worker suicides

By Will Morrow, 10 May 2019

To shrink a workforce legally protected from sacking, executives adopted a covert policy of psychological torture designed to coerce workers to quit or commit suicide.

Germany’s far-right AfD exploits famous artwork to promote Islamophobia

By Sybille Fuchs, 10 May 2019

The use of the painting and its interpretation by the AfD is an amalgam of historical falsification, outright lies and racist agitation, which can quite rightly be compared with the techniques used by the Nazis.

“Unequal Germany”—new study examines regional differences

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 10 May 2019

A key finding of the comprehensive study is that social and economic inequality has consolidated despite economic growth and employment growth in recent years.

South African municipal strikers defy unions; strike continues by South African workers at Cell C phones

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 May 2019

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

“We need to save his life. That’s how serious it is”

Pamela Anderson and WikiLeaks editor-in-chief visit Julian Assange in prison

By Laura Tiernan, 8 May 2019

Anderson condemned the state persecution of her friend as a “misrule of law in operation.”

The extreme right in the European elections

By Peter Schwarz, 8 May 2019

The growth of the extreme right is the result of the systematic political, ideological and organisational support provided by the media, the establishment parties and the state.

UK government seeks to deny legal aid to Shamima Begum

By Paul Bond, 8 May 2019

Home Secretary Sajid Javid revoked Begum’s British citizenship last year, leaving her and her new-born baby stranded in appalling conditions and stateless.

Germany: FDP Congress tacks to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 7 May 2019

The central message of the Congress was unmistakable: the Free Democrats advocate aggressive international expansion, more corporate deregulation and austerity for the working class.

UK: Renewed Brexit talks deepen splits in both Conservatives and Labour

By Robert Stevens, 7 May 2019

After the Tories lost more than 1,300 council seats last week and Labour also made smaller losses, May and Corbyn stressed that the electorate want Brexit to be implemented.

Britain: National Union of Journalists World Press Freedom Day event ignores Julian Assange

By Paul Mitchell, 7 May 2019

At the NUJ’s World Press Freedom Day event, there was not a single mention of Assange by any of the speakers on the platform, all of whom claimed to be champions of press freedom.

Thousands of jobs threatened at Bombardier plants in Belfast and Casablanca

By Steve James, 7 May 2019

Bombardier’s move is the next phase of a global restructuring necessitated by ferocious competition in the world airline industry.

The German ruling class fears the spectre of socialism

By Johannes Stern, 6 May 2019

What the ruling class fears is the growing social and political opposition of workers and young people, which is breaking out in Germany, Europe and around the world.

Macron government fabrication of “yellow vest” hospital attack in Paris collapses

By Will Morrow, 4 May 2019

The government’s crude fabrication was aimed at casting the “yellow vest” protests as criminal and morally reprehensible, and justifying police state violence.

UK: Defence minister’s sacking escalates Tory crisis amid rising UK/US tensions

By Robert Stevens, 4 May 2019

Williamson was sacked after an inquiry into who leaked the deliberations of a National Security Council meeting that approved Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s participation in the UK’s 5G data network.

Fuel tanker drivers threaten new strike in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 4 May 2019

The fuel tankers dispute is the latest manifestation in Portugal of the eruption of the class struggle internationally.

Berlin: Meeting held at Humboldt University to defend Julian Assange

By our reporters, 4 May 2019

On Tuesday, several dozen students and workers gathered at Humboldt University in Berlin to protest the persecution of Julian Assange and discuss the political and historical background to the attack on the courageous journalist.

French Yellow vest protesters travel to London to defend Julian Assange

4 May 2019

Protesters travelled across the English Channel to demand freedom for the persecuted Wikileaks journalist, who was sentenced Wednesday to spend 50 weeks in Belmarsh Prison while he is threatened with rendition to the United States.

After Spanish elections, Podemos pushes for pro-austerity PSOE government

By Alejandro Lopez and Alex Lantier, 3 May 2019

Even as the PSOE’s police-state and austerity policies fuel the far right’s rise, Podemos is asking to join a PSOE government and defending it from criticism on its left.

Fascistic Vox party enters parliament in Spain elections, as social democrats gain

By Alex Lantier, 29 April 2019

Heavy voter turnout reflected, at least in part, significant numbers of people trying to cast a vote to prevent the far right from coming to power.

In naked sellout, union announces end to strike by 300,000 Polish teachers

By Will Morrow and Clara Weiss, 27 April 2019

The union is covering up the fact that it is ending the strike without meeting any of the teachers’ demands by claiming the strike is being “suspended.”

Half of all land in England owned by less than one percent of the population

By Margot Miller, 27 April 2019

The aristocracy and gentry still own 30 percent of the land, while 18 percent is owned by corporations and a staggering 17 percent is in the possession of oligarchs and bankers.

The Spanish elections and the struggle against authoritarian rule

By the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei, Socialist Equality Party and Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 27 April 2019

A struggle against capitalist reaction can only proceed through the building of a new revolutionary leadership in the Spanish and international working class.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

International finance backs Socialist Party in Spain’s April 28 elections

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2019

European Union sources are warning of prolonged political instability and looking to the PSOE and Podemos for an answer.

Germany: SGP European election campaign wins support for Julian Assange in Stuttgart

By our reporters, 26 April 2019

Teams from the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) recently spoke with workers and youth in Stuttgart, inviting them to its April 27 election meeting and distributed WSWS material calling for freedom for Julian Assange.

As union seeks to end walkout

Polish teachers speak out on why they are striking

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2019

The main teachers’ union has called for the suspension of the powerful strike to allow students to complete their exams.

Protest in London’s Parliament Square demands release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 25 April 2019

The lively demonstration organised by the Julian Assange Defence Campaign was supported by the Socialist Equality Party and World Socialist Web Site.

Grenfell fire survivors forced onto general housing waiting list

By Alice Summers, 25 April 2019

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has announced the ending of the programme to rehouse Grenfell survivors.

The election of Zelensky in Ukraine and the way forward for the working class

By Clara Weiss, 25 April 2019

Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyi won the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday in a massive repudiation of the incumbent president and the imperialist-orchestrated coup that brought him to power.

Unions scramble to contain Polish teachers’ strike as 40,000 social workers prepare to stop work

By Clara Weiss, 24 April 2019

The teachers’ strike, the first nationwide walkout since 1993, is one of the largest strikes since the restoration of capitalism in Poland in 1989.

Police arrest over 1,000 climate change protesters in London

By Robert Stevens, 23 April 2019

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has issued no statement condemning the mass arrest of peaceful protesters.

Privatisation of UK’s National Health Service escalates

By Ben Trent, 23 April 2019

An investigation found that over 1 million patients were forced to seek alternative treatment in the preceding five years due to the closure of nearly 450 GP surgeries.

Landslide victory for Zelensky over Poroshenko in Ukrainian presidential election

By Jason Melanovski, 22 April 2019

The election results reflect the enormous hostility within the Ukrainian working class toward the right-wing nationalist policies of the Poroshenko regime.

Spain: Podemos manifesto defends constitution, urges coalition with Socialist Party

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 22 April 2019

The concessions hailed by Podemos were included in the 1978 Constitution to legitimise the filthy compromise between the PSOE and the Communist Party (PCE) with the Francoites, to “forgive and forget” the crimes of fascism.

UK home secretary demands climate change protesters face “full force of the law”

By Laura Tiernan, 20 April 2019

More than 682 climate change protesters have been arrested since Monday.

No to calls for “national unity” after the burning of Notre Dame in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 20 April 2019

The cathedral’s fate is an object lesson in the urgent need for workers to expropriate the irresponsible and parasitic financial aristocracy that dominates official public life.

European election: SGP holds its second campaign meeting in Frankfurt-Main

By our correspondents, 20 April 2019

In Frankfurt, SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert highlighted the importance of the International Committee of the Fourth International and its perspective of a United Socialist States of Europe.

UK life expectancy continues to fall

By Dennis Moore, 19 April 2019

The fall in longevity appears to be a trend, with an analysis from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries showing a decrease in life expectancy by two months last year and this year by six months.

German government adopts new law to expand immigrant deportations

By Peter Schwarz, 19 April 2019

With its new law, the grand coalition is in effect enforcing the far-right policies of the Alternative for Germany.

Germany: SPD and Greens act as stooges for the far-right in Hamburg

By Sybille Fuchs, 19 April 2019

The coalition which controls the Hamburg Senate is acting as an extension of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) against anti-fascist students, teachers and parents.

Socialist Equality Party intervenes at Paris rally in defence of Assange

By Anthony Torres, 19 April 2019

Socialist Equality Party members intervened at the rally on Saturday in defence of Assange at the invitation of the alternative news site Le Grand Soir.

Polish government vows to fight wage rises as teachers’ strike enters second week

By Clara Weiss, 17 April 2019

Both the Polish government and the ZNP union are trying to isolate the national teachers’ strike and keep it from sparking a broader movement of the working class.

Thin layer of the UK population earn more than £150,000 per year

By Barry Mason, 17 April 2019

Over the last decade, the income and wealth of the affluent upper middle class has skyrocketed at the expense of the working class.

Over half of councils in England lose all government funding

By Margot Miller, 17 April 2019

Almost half of all local authorities will receive no central grant this year—10 times more than in 2017/2018 and three times more than last year.

The burning of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 17 April 2019

The inferno was caused by a horrific breakdown of fire safety in restoration work, for which the French government and ruling elite bear the responsibility.

The media’s role in persecuting Julian Assange

By Andre Damon, 17 April 2019

The newspapers, the broadcast news, and, perhaps worst of all, the late-night talk shows have targeted crude insults against a persecuted man who cannot defend himself.

Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris devastated by fire

By Alex Lantier, 16 April 2019

A tall column of thick, yellowish smoke that poured out of the cathedral, consumed by flames, cast a pall over the city of Paris Monday evening.

“The fight starts now to prevent his extradition to the United States!”

Supporters to rally in defence of Assange outside Belmarsh Prison, London

By our reporters, 13 April 2019

The protests organised by the Julian Assange Defence Committee and supported by the Socialist Equality Party (UK) and the WSWS will be held from 4pm today.

German interior minister tables Intelligence Services “Enabling Act”

By Wolfgang Weber, 13 April 2019

The new law would provide the three intelligence agencies with almost unlimited powers to monitor and spy on domestic and foreign citizens.

040 SGP candidate interview on German TV

13 April 2019

Spain seeks rebellion charges against Catalans for complaining of police violence

By Alejandro López, 13 April 2019

In the Orwellian atmosphere being stoked up by the ruling class in the run up to the April 28 general election, it is the victims of police brutality that are denounced as aggressors.

Six-month Brexit extension resolves nothing for UK

By Robert Stevens, 12 April 2019

At best the European Union have kicked the can down the road, with no guarantees of a resolution.

National strike by Polish teachers enters fifth day

By Clara Weiss, 12 April 2019

The vast majority of Polish teachers remain on strike as the government refuses to make any concessions.

Westminster Magistrates Court

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray denounces arrest and conviction of Julian Assange

By our reporter, 12 April 2019

“There was no jury and no chance to mount a proper defence or have a proper hearing. It is clear the judge was extremely prejudiced,” Murray said.

Two giant German banks plan merger

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 12 April 2019

The German government is pushing for the combination of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to establish a financial behemoth capable of competing with the US and China.

WikiLeaks exposes spying operation against Assange in Ecuador’s London embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, acting as a vassal of the US, has surveilled every aspect of Assange’s life.

As trade tensions increase, IMF lowers forecasts for global growth

By Nick Beams, 11 April 2019

The IMF reported that industrial production and investment remained weak in many advanced and developing economies, and world trade had yet to recover.

Two giant German banks plan merger

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 11 April 2019

The German government is pushing for the combination of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to establish a financial behemoth capable of competing with the US and China.

The resurgence of the class struggle in Poland

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 11 April 2019

Thirty years after General Wojciech Jaruzelski’s Stalinist regime began to collapse, paving the way for capitalist restoration, Polish teachers are mounting a national strike.

Polish teachers strike confronts social disaster wrought by capitalist restoration

By Clara Weiss and Jerry White, 10 April 2019

Hundreds of thousands of educators are continuing their strike against Poland’s extreme right-wing government and its policies of austerity and social reaction.

EU summit considers extension of Brexit deadline

By Robert Stevens, 10 April 2019

In another public humiliation, UK Prime Minister Theresa May met separately with the German Chancellor and French President, hoping to secure the backing of the EU’s two heavyweight powers.

UK cancer patients’ lives imperilled, suffering deepened by treatment delays

By Ajanta Silva, 10 April 2019

In England alone, more than 127,000 cancer patients have been left waiting more than two months to start their treatment over the last five years.

Greece: Syriza government mobilises riot police against refugees

By John Vassilopoulos, 10 April 2019

In enforcing the European Union’s anti-immigrant policy on the continent’s southern border, Syriza willingly acts as the jailer of all refugees stranded within its country’s borders.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate in Berlin against high rents

By our reporters, 10 April 2019

The demand for the expropriation of real estate companies was at the centre of the demonstration and met with tremendous support among workers and young people.

German parliament celebrates 70 years of NATO and demands escalation of military rearmament

By Johannes Stern, 10 April 2019

Politicians from the governing and opposition parties took turns in hailing the largest military alliance in history and demanded an escalation of German rearmament.

Polish teachers launch nationwide strike

By Clara Weiss, 9 April 2019

Over 86 percent of the country’s 400,000 teachers have joined the first nationwide strike of teachers in Poland in 25 years.

UK: Jury fails to reach verdict against top police officer over Hillsborough football disaster

By Barry Mason, 9 April 2019

Former Yorkshire police chief superintendent David Duckenfield was charged with the criminal offence of gross negligence manslaughter of 95 of the supporters.

“Independent” union in Russia facilitates closure of Ford factory

By Clara Weiss, 8 April 2019

The Inter-Regional Trade Union Workers’ Alliance (MPRA) has blocked opposition to the US-based auto giant’s plans to close three factories and exit the passenger car market.

UN Special Rapporteur: US extradition of Assange would be violation of international law

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 April 2019

The Ecuadorian regime, and its co-conspirators in the British and US governments, are engaged in a sordid and illegal conspiracy to terminate the political asylum of the WikiLeaks founder.

Supporters oppose eviction of Julian Assange outside London’s Ecuadorian embassy

By Paul Mitchell, 6 April 2019

Defenders of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gathered outside the Ecuadorian embassy in central London yesterday, after a warning that he faces eviction from the building where he sought political asylum in 2012 “within hours to days.”

Fascists mount pogrom against Roma population in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 6 April 2019

The fascists, who feel emboldened by the Italian government, enjoy little support among the population.

Surrounding land left highly toxic after Grenfell Tower inferno

By Thomas Scripps, 6 April 2019

The publication of Professor Anna Stec’s full study details “significant environmental contamination” in the densely populated area around Grenfell Tower.

The political implications of the Corbyn/May Brexit talks

By Chris Marsden, 5 April 2019

The talks on an alternative Brexit deal between UK Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn decisively refute all claims that his election as leader of the Labour Party offered a way forward for working people.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 April 2019

Gold miners have voted to continue their four-month strike after management rejected a deal proposed by mediators.

Podemos could lose half its seats in Spain’s general election

By Alejandro López and Paul Mitchell, 2 April 2019

A major reason the party’s loss of support is mass abstention, particularly among the youth, who no longer identify Podemos as a radical alternative.

“No deal” Brexit threatened after May’s EU withdrawal agreement rejected for third time

By Robert Stevens, 30 March 2019

Labour’s nominally “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn is working to ensure that the gravest peacetime crisis in the history of British imperialism is resolved through the worm-eaten parliamentary system, with the working class left as spectators.

Far-right party wins most votes in Dutch provincial elections

By Harm Zonderland, 30 March 2019

Provincial councils were elected in the Netherlands on March 20, with the far-right Forum for Democracy (FvD), led by Thierry Baudet, winning 12 out of 75 seats.

Special unit of the Maltese army storms refugee ship

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 March 2019

The case of the cargo ship El Hiblu 1 graphically demonstrates the inhumanity of the European Union’s merciless migration policy.

Build rank-and-file factory committees to fight Honda job losses!

By Steve James, 30 March 2019

Today’s demonstration shows workers are ready to fight and there is widespread support for such a struggle in the car industry in the rest of the UK and internationally.

Xi signs strategic EU-China deals amid growing EU-US tensions

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2019

Rome’s endorsement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the face of explicit US disapproval points to deep tensions between US and European imperialism.

US journalist exposes Julian Assange’s prison-like conditions

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 March 2019

Prevented from holding a meeting with the journalist, Assange defiantly protested and condemned Ecuadorian officials for operating as “agents of the US government.”

UK Conservatives’ rampant Islamophobia and racism covered up by party tops, downplayed by media

By Margot Miller, 29 March 2019

The Conservative Party has a long history of whipping up racism in a divide-and-conquer strategy to legitimise its policies of austerity, militarism and war.