European Economy

Franco-German reform plan calls for deep social cuts, wage freeze in France

By Kumaran Ira, 26 November 2014

France and Germany are proposing a joint economic reform plan with deep social cuts and flexible labour rules in favour of big business.

Luxembourg tax avoidance scandal rocks European Union

By Jean Shaoul, 14 November 2014

Leaked documents show how 340 multinational groups set up corporate structures to avoid taxes.

European Central Bank seeks to reassure financial markets

By Nick Beams, 7 November 2014

ECB president Mario Draghi insisted that the bank stands ready to inject up to one trillion euros into the financial system.

Further job cuts in European auto industry

By Jan Peters, 7 November 2014

Thousands of job cuts are taking place at major assembly plants and in the parts industry.

France, Italy vow more social cuts as EU approves their 2015 budgets

By Anthony Torres, 3 November 2014

In the negotiations, the French and Italian governments agreed to impose deep attacks on the social rights of the working class.

UK Lloyds Banking Group to shed another 9,000 jobs and close 200 branches

By Robert Stevens, 1 November 2014

The restructuring is part of a three-year strategy, with Lloyds planning to make a further £1 billion a year in cost savings by 2017.

French Socialist Party plans to scrap post-World War II job security rules

By Kumaran Ira, 28 October 2014

Valls is proposing to eliminate long-term job contracts in order to boost French competitiveness by allowing businesses to hire and fire at will.

Greece proceeds with further austerity after government survives confidence vote

By John Vassilopoulos, 13 October 2014

The vote of confidence was taken after an opinion poll put pseudo-left opposition party SYRIZA ahead of the ruling New Democracy.

French Prime Minister Valls travels to Berlin

By Stéphane Hugues, 25 September 2014

The meeting of French Prime Minister Valls with German Chancellor Merkel cannot hide the growing Franco-German tensions in Europe.

Who Owns Germany? Documenting the widening gulf between rich and poor

By Gustav Kemper, 15 September 2014

Berger’s book reveals startling facts about the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top of German society.

Capitalist breakdown and the drive to war

By Nick Beams, 6 September 2014

Just as in the period prior to 1914, a deepening breakdown of the global capitalist system is fuelling the drive to a new world war.

European Central Bank cuts rates and announces asset purchasing program

By Nick Beams, 5 September 2014

The European Central Bank has launched a new round of financial stimulus in the face of worsening economic conditions in Europe.

Further plant closures at Germany’s Heidelberg Press

By Gustav Kemper, 20 August 2014

The trade unions are playing a key role in imposing more redundancies at Germany’s biggest print machine manufacturer.

EU advisors advocate use of military against strikes and protests

By Denis Krassnin, 19 August 2014

An EU think tank has advised governments to protect the rich from the poor by suppressing social protests.

Rising British self-employment used to obscure worsening job situation

By John Farmer, 19 August 2014

The rise in self-employment is driven not by an “entrepreneurial spirit,” but the lack of full-time employment offering an adequate income and pension.

Germany: Osram cuts 7,800 jobs worldwide

By Ludwig Weller, 12 August 2014

The German-based lighting manufacturer announced a new round of job cuts last week.

London mayor threatens to dock pay of striking firefighters

By Allison Smith and Paul Bond, 8 August 2014

Mayor Boris Johnson has previously imposed cuts to fire services, including the closure of fire stations.

Lloyds Bank admits fixing repo rate

By Jean Shaoul, 5 August 2014

Lloyds, in which the British Treasury has a 24 percent stake following the bank’s collapse in 2008, admitted that four of its staff had defrauded the Treasury.

British university system faces collapse

By Joe Mount, 29 July 2014

Britain’s universities increasingly rely on private philanthropists for their funding.

Serbian Parliament passes labour reforms

By Paul Mitchell, 28 July 2014

Official unemployment has risen to nearly 25 percent and is above 50 percent for youth while the average monthly wage remains extremely low at about €380 (US$515).

Contradictions of capitalism underlie monetary policy dispute

By Nick Beams, 24 July 2014

A war of words over monetary policy has erupted between the Bank for International Settlements and major central banks.

Spain: Pseudo-left Podemos party presents “a programme for the country’s salvation”

By Alejandro López, 21 July 2014

Podemos aims to occupy the vacuum left by the collapse of the establishment parties to prevent growing social opposition from developing into a conscious political movement threatening capitalism.

The acquittal of HSH Nordbank: Capitalist class justice in Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 July 2014

The judgment in the HSH Nordbank trial shows how the capitalist judicial system serves the financial aristocracy.

EU summit in Ypres: National conflicts and militarism

By Peter Schwarz, 30 June 2014

The EU does not preserve European peace. It is a breeding ground for social inequality, nationalism and war.

New reports confirm economic stagnation in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 25 June 2014

The economic crisis in Europe is increasingly shifting from the periphery to the core of the continent.

Poll spotlights British economic insecurity

By Julie Hyland, 21 June 2014

Official statistics confirm that the UK’s economic “recovery” is benefiting only the super-rich, to the detriment of working people.

Bank of England governor warns of threat to capitalism

By Jordan Shilton, 16 June 2014

Coming in the context of a series of reports on the astronomical levels of social inequality in Britain and internationally, Carney’s comments are a warning to ruling circles over the instability of their social order and the inevitability of mass social opposition.

Budget cuts threaten scientific and cultural projects at London’s Kew Gardens

By Dennis Moore, 11 June 2014

Due to years of budget cuts, Kew Gardens has a £5 million shortfall, leaving it ever more dependent on philanthropic and commercially generated funding.

Austerity forces British children into record levels of poverty

By Joe Mount, 10 June 2014

This will be the first decade since records began in 1961 that has not seen a fall in absolute child poverty in the UK.

European Central Bank cuts interest rate below zero

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 June 2014

The move is an expression of the fact that, nearly six years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the world economy remains in deep crisis.

European elections

Support for Portugal government nosedives

By Paul Mitchell, 2 June 2014

Votes for the two right-wing government coalition partners collapsed to just 27.7 percent

Spain’s major parties hammered in European elections

By Alejandro López, 30 May 2014

The ruling right-wing Popular Party (PP) and the opposition Socialist Party (PSOE) both had their worst results since the first elections in post-Franco Spain.

The new aristocracy in Britain

By Jordan Shilton, 23 May 2014

Britain’s super-rich elite now control wealth equivalent to one third of total economic output, or £519 billion.

Britain has more than 100 billionaires, says Sunday Times Rich List

By Julie Hyland, 13 May 2014

The Times figures show that the UK now has one billionaire for every 600,000—the highest concentration in the G8.

Spain: United Left ends differences with PSOE in Andalucía coalition

By Paul Mitchell and Alejandro López, 5 May 2014

The Communist Party (PCE)-led United Left (IU) has reaffirmed its commitment to the coalition government with the Socialist Party (PSOE) in the Spanish region of Andalucía.

Pointing to rise of neo-fascists, banks demand austerity in France

By Kumaran Ira, 30 April 2014

Financial markets are calling on the Socialist Party government of Prime Minister Manuel Valls to intensify attacks on the working class.

Spanish Congress rejects Catalan independence referendum

By Alejandro López, 22 April 2014

The Spanish Popular Party government and the main opposition Socialist Party have rejected the request by the Catalan regional parliament to hold an independence referendum on November 9.

France’s incoming government launches historic attack on working class

By Kumaran Ira, 21 April 2014

The PS is repudiating all the social concessions made to the working class after the fall of the Nazi collaborationist regime at the end of World War II.

European Union: From economic community to alliance of warmongers

By Peter Schwarz, 14 April 2014

In turning to an aggressive foreign and military policy, the ruling elite is responding to a profound crisis of European capitalism.

German chancellor visits Greece to prop up right-wing regime

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 April 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel flew to Athens Friday to bolster the prospects of the right-wing government of Antonis Samaras in the forthcoming European elections.

Top Greek state official resigns over collusion with fascist Golden Dawn

By John Vassilopoulos, 8 April 2014

Panayiotis Baltakos was seen as the “No. 2” man in the government, co-ordinating its policies.

Report: Thousands of Polish children go hungry

By Dorota Niemitz, 1 April 2014

A recent report by the Central Statistical Office of Poland shows that more than half a million of the country’s children suffer from malnutrition.

Greek parliament approves new attacks on workers

By Robert Stevens, 1 April 2014

The latest agreement between the European Union-led troika and the Greek government includes measures to limit the right to strike.

As EU commissioner, former Socialist Party minister demands more austerity in France

By Antoine Lerougetel, 28 March 2014

Pierre Moscovici, European economy commissioner, has demanded more austerity in France as part of the EU’s attacks on the working class across Europe.

UK Labour Party proposes compulsory cheap-labour scheme

By Danny Richardson, 27 March 2014

Under Labour’s scheme, young people will be compelled to work for a six-month period at the minimum wage.

Academic experts advise Spanish government to escalate attacks on the working class

By Alejandro López, 26 March 2014

Among the proposals from nine Spanish academics is a nearly 10 percent reduction in income tax on the richest sections of the population.

Spain: One million march in Madrid against austerity

By Alejandro López, 24 March 2014

A mass demonstration on Saturday in the Spanish capital Madrid protested growing austerity, evictions, unemployment and poverty.

Greece’s “The River” party: A populist fraud

By Robert Stevens, 24 March 2014

Under the slogan “politics for everyone”, founder Stavros Theodorakis advances the conception that it is possible to achieve a national economic revival within the framework of the capitalist profit system.

Massive budget cuts and labour reforms to follow Serbian election

By Paul Mitchell, 22 March 2014

In the fortnight leading up to the elections, the International Monetary Fund sent its latest mission to Serbia to drum home the precarious state of the economy.

Cyprus parliament passes privatisation programme

By Jordan Shilton, 20 March 2014

The sale of state-owned companies to international investors is anticipated to net the government €1.4 billion.

German President Gauck visits Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 11 March 2014

The German president exhibited all of the dishonesty and hypocrisy that have become his political trademarks on his three-day trip to Greece.

Rome at risk of Detroit-style bankruptcy

By Marc Wells, 4 March 2014

Italy’s new premier, Matteo Renzi, has approved a decree that prepares the framework for an unprecedented assault on public workers and services as well as the selloff of cultural assets.

Devastation of health care in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 28 February 2014

The closure of the entire state-run outpatient clinic network for one month to introduce the new Primary Healthcare Network could lead to thousands of job losses.

Czech government embarks on more austerity

By Markus Salzmann, 27 February 2014

The new Czech government is committed to a political course that is aligned to the European Union but abhorred by the population.

Greek police enter schools, quiz children on political activities

By Robert Stevens, 25 February 2014

One of the police raids took place at the Keratsini High School on February 8, where students questioned by police were singled out because they had participated in a protest occupation of the school in October.

Serious concerns persist over helicopter safety in North Sea

By Jordan Shilton, 21 February 2014

A long delayed fatal accident inquiry into the crash of a Super Puma into the sea off the coast of Peterhead in 2009, killing all 16 on board, has finally begun.

Widespread abstention in UK’s Wythenshawe by-election

By Julie Hyland, 17 February 2014

With a turnout of just 28.5 percent, there is no disguising the widespread alienation of the overwhelming majority of the population from the existing setup.

French automaker PSA plans to slash jobs at Poissy, shift production to Asia

By Stéphane Hugues, 11 February 2014

PSA is intensifying the exploitation of its work force, relying on speedup and job cuts in Europe while preparing a major production shift towards Asia.

SYRIZA’s pose of opposition to Greek austerity unravels

By Robert Stevens, 10 February 2014

The SYRIZA coalition has acknowledged that if it came to power, it would pay back the vast bulk of the country’s debt.

Deflationary tendencies intensify in Europe as unemployment remains at record levels

By Stefan Steinberg, 5 February 2014

The human misery resulting from the policies of the European elite finds its sharpest expression in the growth of mass unemployment and resulting poverty.

European Union demands more austerity in Greece

By Robert Stevens, 29 January 2014

Demands for further austerity come after the Council of State ruled previous wage cuts to the armed forces, police, coast guard and firemen unconstitutional.

UK housing benefit changes threaten mass evictions

By Eileen Rose, 22 January 2014

The New Year saw one of the largest landlords in Kent, Fergus Wilson, announce he will no longer rent his houses to benefit recipients and plans to evict 200 tenants.

Spain: Fascists intimidate plaintiffs in Franco-era crimes case

By Vicky Short and Paul Mitchell, 20 January 2014

Two hundred plaintiffs and their lawyers have been forced to fly to Argentina to give evidence in a lawsuit seeking an investigation of torture, executions and abductions.

Riots in Burgos, Spain reveal simmering social tensions

By Alejandro López, 18 January 2014

The unrest in Burgos is a foretaste of the next period under Spain’s explosive social conditions of mass unemployment and growing poverty.

Bankruptcy of German publishing firm Weltbild threatens 6,800 jobs

By Dietmar Henning, 18 January 2014

The bankruptcy is bound up with the global offensive against the wages and rights of the working class.

Germany: The Left Party defends the EU

By Peter Schwarz, 15 January 2014

The Party of the European Left recently held an event in Berlin in preparation for the upcoming European Parliament elections.

Over 400 jobs cut in Ireland as Lufthansa subsidiary shuts plant

By Jordan Shilton, 13 January 2014

Lufthansa Technik announced the closure of a facility near Dublin.

Poverty in Germany hits new high

By Konrad Kreft, 6 January 2014

The latest report by the Joint Welfare Association refutes the official propaganda that Germany is a haven of prosperity in Europe.

Report reveals the new face of UK poverty

By Tom Pearse, 4 January 2014

Figures for 2011-2012 show 13 million people in the UK are in poverty.

Berlin Senate passes new austerity budget

By Johannes Stern, 30 December 2013

With the two-year budget for 2014/2015, the social democratic-conservative Senate in Berlin is paving the way for further austerity in coming years.

EU summit: Berlin calls for stricter budgetary discipline

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 December 2013

The new German grand coalition, which enjoys an overwhelming parliamentary majority, was even more aggressive in its posture toward the EU than the government it replaced.

Mass opposition blocks Portuguese pension reform

By Jordan Shilton, 23 December 2013

The largest budget cuts in over 30 years provoked widespread strikes and protests in Portugal.

EADS to cut 5,800 jobs across Europe

By Johannes Stern, 13 December 2013

The mass layoffs at aerospace and defence firm EADS are part of a new round of attacks on the European working class.

Unions capitulate on pensions at Irish energy supplier

By Jordan Shilton, 13 December 2013

The dispute arose over a €1.6 billion deficit in the pension scheme and the company’s decision to change from a defined benefit to a defined contribution system.

Greek girl dies from carbon monoxide poisoning after utility shut-off

By John Vassilopoulos, 12 December 2013

The death of a 13 year old girl in Greece, from carbon monoxide poisoning, is the latest of many social tragedies resulting from years of brutal austerity.

EU announces token fines on banks caught rigging global rates

By Stefan Steinberg and Barry Grey, 7 December 2013

The fines amount to a slap on the wrist for banks that have long since factored such sums into their accounts.

Portuguese government deepens attacks in 2014 budget

By Jordan Shilton, 2 December 2013

The finance minister was adamant that the government’s austerity measures would continue long after the bailout programme comes to an end next summer.

One million in German metal and electronics industries working on temporary contracts

By Konrad Kreft, 2 December 2013

The IG Metall union commissioned a study on the expansion of work contracts because it felt its role in the spread of contract labour had been overlooked by the political and business elite.

European youth unemployment: “A public health time bomb waiting to explode”

By Ajanta Silva, 21 November 2013

A new report on social inequality in Europe confirms that adverse health conditions are determined by power, money and resource inequities.

German energy firm RWE to cut 6,700 jobs

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 21 November 2013

Germany’s second-largest energy company plans to eliminate one in ten jobs by 2016.

Berlusconi’s party splits in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 19 November 2013

While Berlusconi announced on Saturday his party’s return to the name Forza Italia, Angelino Alfano unveiled a new party.

Europe tilts back towards recession

By Stefan Steinberg, 15 November 2013

Financial markets are pushing for austerity measures that have devastated southern and eastern Europe to be imposed in the continent's main economies.

Madrid garbage collectors strike against lay-offs and wage cuts

By Alejandro López, 14 November 2013

Thousands of garbage collectors and gardeners have been on indefinite strike in Spain's capital Madrid since November 5.

Portuguese public sector workers strike

By Jordan Shilton, 14 November 2013

A strike of Portuguese public sector workers, in opposition to further austerity cuts of €3.9 billion, including wage cuts of up to 12 percent, received the support of 70 percent of the workforce.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron proclaims austerity cuts to be “permanent”

By Robert Stevens, 13 November 2013

British Prime Minister David Cameron used the annual speech at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet to declare that the devastating austerity being imposed by his government will be “permanent.”

Vote of no confidence in Greek government fails

By Christoph Dreier, 13 November 2013

A vote of no confidence in the Greek government initiated by the largest opposition party, Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left), failed by a wide margin on Sunday.

Referendum in Switzerland to place upper limit on salaries

By Max Schneider, 11 November 2013

On November 24, Switzerland will hold a referendum on whether the wage gap between lowest and highest earners at a company should be limited to a ratio of 1 to 12.

Widespread child poverty in Germany

By Sybille Fuchs, 9 November 2013

Around 10 percent of German children live in families whose income lies below the poverty line.

Euro zone officials: No let-up in economic stagnation, mass unemployment

By Alex Lantier, 7 November 2013

Continuing stagnation and mass layoffs across the euro zone’s devastated economies constitute a condemnation of the economic irrationality of capitalism.

Mass protests in Portugal against new budget cuts

By Jordan Shilton, 6 November 2013

As unemployment and poverty grow, thousands protested against new austerity measures of the Portuguese government.

European unemployment hits new high

By Stefan Steinberg, 2 November 2013

According to new figures issued by the Eurostat data agency, unemployment across the 17-country euro zone hit a record 12.2 percent in September.

EU border agency Frontex guilty of massive breach of human rights

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 28 October 2013

The European Union has responded to the refugee crisis in Lampedusa by hermetically sealing its borders and expanding the police apparatus used to repel refugees.

Italian government adopts austerity budget

By Mariane Arens, 21 October 2013

The so-called stability law 2014 mandates spending cuts of close to €12 billion and tax cuts for business of €3.7 billion.

Lampedusa migrant deaths: The real face of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 17 October 2013

From the outside, the EU is like a fortress before whose walls thousands of migrants lose their lives, while inside it resembles a prison, with rising poverty and exploitation.

Irish government unveils new austerity budget

By Jordan Shilton, 17 October 2013

The Fine Gael-Labour coalition has outlined new austerity measures, including €1.6 billion in spending cuts aimed at the most vulnerable.

Social conflicts intensifying in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 14 October 2013

The Greek government is increasingly resorting to authoritarian methods to enforce planned redundancies in the face of mounting working class resistance.

New reports warn of mass poverty and social decline in Europe

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 October 2013

The social crisis in Europe is being consciously exploited by the continent’s political elite to affect a major redistribution of wealth from the bottom of society to the top.

Foxconn imposes Chinese-style sweatshop conditions in Europe

By Denis Krassnin, 10 October 2013

Working conditions tantamount to modern slavery are being introduced into Europe by the notorious Foxconn corporation.

French austerity budget raises taxes on workers

By Olivier Laurent, 10 October 2013

The French austerity budget slashes social spending and increases taxes for workers while companies get tax breaks.

German firm Siemens intensifies job cuts

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 9 October 2013

The announcement by Siemens’ management that 15,000 jobs will be axed worldwide is the prelude to further cuts.