Southern Europe

European Union demands further cuts in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 5 October 2012

The loans promised by the troika last June will be withheld until the Greek budget for 2013 complies fully with the proscriptions of EU bureaucrats.

Barcelona’s unemployed detail social tragedy engulfing Spain

By our reporters, 5 October 2012

Since the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2008, Spanish unemployment has risen from 8 percent to nearly 25 percent, over double the European Union average.

SYRIZA deepens European Union ties as austerity intensifies in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 4 October 2012

The Greek government is encountering increasing difficulties in enforcing cuts and under these conditions the SYRIZA coalition is assuming growing significance for the ruling elite.

Santiago Carrillo, butcher of the Spanish Revolution

By Vicky Short, 4 October 2012

The ex-General Secretary of the Stalinist Communist Party of Spain, Santiago Carrillo, died on Tuesday September 18 at the age of 97.

Barcelona workers and youth discuss austerity

By a WSWS reporting team, 3 October 2012

Spain’s right-wing Popular Party government has secured a €100 billion bailout of the banks and is likely to ask for more money soon.

Tens of thousands protest austerity policies in Portugal, Spain

By Patrick Martin, 1 October 2012

Tens of thousands of workers, young people, unemployed and retirees demonstrated in major cities of Portugal and Spain Saturday.

Catalonia plans referendum on independence from Spain

By Alejandro López, 29 September 2012

On Thursday, the Catalan regional parliament passed a resolution to hold a referendum on self-determination.

Slovenia: Government and opposition join ranks to impose austerity

By Markus Salzmann, 29 September 2012

Slovenia’s conservative government is working closely with the opposition Social Democrats and the trade unions to impose another austerity package.

Millions of Greek workers join one-day general strike against austerity

By Stefan Steinberg, 27 September 2012

Millions of Greek workers stopped work and hundreds of thousands participated in demonstrations Wednesday to oppose the latest package of austerity measures introduced by the coalition government led by Antonis Samaras.

Spain’s anti-cuts protest violently broken up by police

By Alejandro López, 27 September 2012

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched Tuesday to surround the Spanish parliament.

Greece: Growing resistance to austerity measures

By Christoph Dreier, 22 September 2012

While the Greek government consults EU representatives about how best to lower the state deficit, wide-scale popular resistance to austerity is brewing.

“Largest-ever” demonstrations in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 22 September 2012

Hundreds of thousands of people took part in demonstrations in 40 cities across Portugal organized under the slogan “To hell with the troika, we want our lives back.”

Thousands demonstrate in Madrid against austerity

By Alejandro López, 18 September 2012

On Saturday, firefighters, doctors, nurses, postal employees and others suffering the austerity measures being imposed by the Popular Party government marched through Spain’s capital.

Alcoa workers travel to Rome to protest imminent plant closure

By Mike Jobson, 17 September 2012

On September 10 about 500 Alcoa workers from Sardinia travelled to Rome to protest the imminent closure of their plant located in Portovesme.

The troika returns to Athens

By Christoph Dreier, 12 September 2012

The EU has transformed Greece into a protectorate, in which European companies can exploit workers at low wages.

Catalan separatism whipped up in Spain

By Alejandro López, 11 September 2012

The ruling class in Catalonia wants to pressure the central government in Madrid for more control over revenues amid rising social tensions.

Slovenia threatened with national bankruptcy

By Markus Salzmann, 10 September 2012

Although the country’s total debt is relatively low at 47 percent of GDP, the crisis gripping Slovenia’s three largest banks threatens to drag the country into the abyss.

The bankers’ dictatorship in Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 September 2012

The financial elite is demanding a fundamental assault in Greece on all the gains made by the working class in the twentieth century.

EU, IMF demand lower wages, longer hours in Greece

By Stefan Steinberg, 6 September 2012

The letter leaked to the press before EU and IMF talks in Athens calls for a six-day work week, new minimum wage cuts, and other attacks.

European parliament president calls for special economic zones in Greece

By Ernst Wolff, 4 September 2012

The call for the introduction of special economic zones in Greece by the European Union signals an intensification of the attack on workers.

Sardinian miners occupy coal mine

By Marianne Arens, 31 August 2012

On Sunday evening over 100 miners began an occupation of the Carbosulcis coal mine, which is situated on the southwest coast of Sardinia.

Spain restricts aid to long-term unemployed

By Alejandro López, 31 August 2012

The Spanish government will impose new restrictions on aid to 600,000 long-term unemployed workers.

German chancellor demands tougher austerity in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 25 August 2012

In his first official visit abroad, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras travelled to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

European Union intensifies pressure on Greece for social cuts

By Christoph Dreier, 23 August 2012

The aim of European meetings this week is to put pressure on Greece to commit to further social cuts, while ruthlessly implementing those already agreed upon.

Italian right wing honours fascist war criminal

By Marianne Arens, 22 August 2012

An Italian town has erected a monument to the notorious fascist, Rodolfo Graziani.

Spain: Forest fire outbreaks worsened by budget cuts

By Alejandro López, 21 August 2012

Wildfires in Spain this summer have so far claimed the lives of nine people and laid waste to 132,399 hectares, three times more than last year.

Spanish trade union plays Robin Hood with supermarket raids

By Alejandro López, 18 August 2012

Protest actions by members of the Andalusian Workers Trade Union and others are little more than stunts.

Racist murder in Greece reflects rising neo-Nazi influence

By Christoph Dreier, 15 August 2012

Early on Sunday morning a group of fascist thugs murdered a 19-year-old Iraqi on the streets of Athens.

Defend immigrants in Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 11 August 2012

Last weekend, some 4,500 Athens police officers were mobilized to round up thousands of people believed to be immigrants.

The betrayal of Spain’s miners strike and the silence of the fake left

By Alejandro López, 10 August 2012

The two main trade unions, the CCOO and UGT, have called miners back to work in the regions of Aragon, León and Asturias after 67 days of strike action.

Greek government launches mass round-up and deportation of immigrants

By Christoph Dreier, 9 August 2012

Just a week after the Greek government announced €11.5 billion in new cuts in social spending, 4,500 police officers in ​​bullet-proof vests, accompanied by Alsatian dogs, took to the streets of Athens to hunt down foreign-looking people

Portugal enforces labour reforms but more demanded

By Paul Mitchell, 6 August 2012

On August 1, Portugal’s new labour reforms came into force, dictated virtually word for word by officials from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

Banking crisis intensifies in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 6 August 2012

Slovenia is among the Eastern European countries hardest hit by the financial crisis.

Greek government agrees €11.5 billion cuts package

By Robert Stevens, 4 August 2012

The leaders of the three Greek government parties have announced their agreement on further austerity cuts amounting to €11.5 billion.

Greek government plans further cuts

By Christoph Dreier, 1 August 2012

On Monday the Greek government announced it would only publish the details of the new austerity package in August.

Spanish unemployment nears 25 percent

By Alejandro López, 30 July 2012

Newly published figures show unemployment at a record high in Spain.

Greek government, European officials plan billions in new social cuts

By Alex Lantier and John Vassilopoulos, 27 July 2012

Greek officials met with European Commission (EC) President José Manuel Barroso and international financial officials yesterday to discuss a new round of budget cuts.

Brutal police attack on steel strike in Greece

By Katerina Selin, 26 July 2012

Last Friday police began a violent intervention to break the picket line at the Halyvourgia Ellados steel plant in Greece.

Spain’s regional governments seek bailouts

By Alejandro López, 25 July 2012

Unable to pay the interest on their debts, Spain’s regional governments are seeking bailouts from the central government.

EU representatives discuss withdrawal of Greece from the euro zone

By Christoph Dreier, 25 July 2012

European and international financial officials are threatening to force a state bankruptcy if Athens does not impose further austerity measures.

SYRIZA backs Greek government’s capitulation to the EU

By Christoph Dreier, 23 July 2012

The opposition party SYRIZA has reneged on its pre-election promises and now accepts the EU’s draconian conditions for financial aid to Greece.

Mass protests throughout Spain against government cuts

By Chris Marsden, 21 July 2012

Thursday’s demonstrations in Spain against the Popular Party (PP) government’s latest austerity measures were a mass outpouring of anger and defiance.

Finance ministers tie bailout of Spanish banks to deeper cuts

By Stefan Steinberg, 21 July 2012

Euro zone finance ministers agreed Friday to a €100 billion bailout aimed at averting a crash of the Spanish banking system.

Greek government lays out fresh cuts, privatisations

By Robert Stevens, 19 July 2012

The New Democracy-led coalition government in Greece is preparing a further 11.6 billion-euro austerity package.

New Serbian government commits to austerity measures

By Ognjen Markovic, 18 July 2012

The new Serbian government is preparing a sweeping attack on the working class.

Mass demonstrations against Spain’s latest austerity package

By Alejandro López, 17 July 2012

On Monday morning, a demonstration of thousands blocked the centre of Madrid.

Spanish miners’ “black march” attacked in Madrid

By Michael Regens, 14 July 2012

The “black march” of Spanish miners, which was welcomed by more than 25,000 in Madrid, was brutally attacked by riot police.

Spain unveils new raft of brutal austerity measures

By Paul Mitchell, 13 July 2012

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of the right-wing Popular Party announced a new €65 billion package of cuts Wednesday, the fourth since his election last November.

Italian prime minister to cut additional €26 billion

By Marianne Arens, 10 July 2012

The new austerity package of Italian premier Mario Monti agreed last week will cut an additional €26 billion at the expense of the working population.

Greek government announces further austerity

By Christoph Dreier, 9 July 2012

During the recent election campaign, the Greek prime minister promised to renegotiate the memorandum with the so-called troika, but now he has categorically rejected such a step.

Pseudo-left apologists for unions’ betrayal of Spanish miners

By Alejandro López, 9 July 2012

The strike by 8,000 miners in the northern provinces of Asturias, León and Aragon, now more than 40 days old, indicates the broad opposition to the austerity measures imposed by the right-wing Popular Party government.

New austerity package in Slovenia

By Markus Salzmann, 6 July 2012

With Slovenian banks heavily in debt, the right-wing government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa is acceding to demands for tougher austerity measures.

Troika arrives in Athens to organise looting of Greece

By Robert Stevens, 5 July 2012

The New Democracy-led Greek coalition government is meeting officials from the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) today.

Greek government presses ahead with austerity

By Robert Stevens, 3 July 2012

Within days of being elected, the Greek coalition government led by New Democracy has already reneged on the few pledges it was forced to make in order to placate massive opposition to years of austerity.

Spain: Unions send striking miners on phoney jobs march

By Vicky Short and Paul Mitchell, 2 July 2012

Around 8,000 miners in regions across Spain have been on strike since May 31 against cuts to subsidies that could mean the end of coal mining and the destruction of about 50,000 mining and related jobs.

Conflicts emerge in formation of new Greek government

By Christoph Dreier, 27 June 2012

With the resignation of Finance Minister-designate Vasilis Rapanos and the appointment of Yannis Stournaras, conflicts have come to light in the formation of the new Greek government.

Greek government haggles over terms of debt repayment

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2012

The meeting of the new Greek coalition government consisting of New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left with officials from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund has been delayed for a week.

Greek crisis stokes geopolitical rivalries

By Jordan Shilton, 23 June 2012

The economic and social catastrophe unfolding in Greece is bringing to the fore long-running geopolitical conflicts.

New Democracy heads austerity coalition in Greece

By Julie Hyland, 21 June 2012

New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras was sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister Wednesday evening, heading a coalition government with the social democratic PASOK and the Democratic Left.

Prospective coalition parties in Greece pledged to impose deeper cuts

By Julie Hyland, 20 June 2012

Athens is expected to announce a “national salvation” coalition headed by the conservative New Democracy, whose objective is to press ahead with the austerity measures agreed with the troika—the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The human cost of Greece’s austerity measures

By Robert Stevens, 20 June 2012

The social hardship being imposed on an already poverty-stricken Greek population is without parallel in post-war Europe.

Massive support for June 18 general strike in Spain’s mining regions

By Paul Mitchell, 20 June 2012

A powerful one-day strike in Spain’s mining regions in support of striking miners shut down factories and shops and disrupted rail traffic.

What way forward in Greece?

By Chris Marsden, 19 June 2012

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras is expected to form a coalition government in Greece tasked with implementing brutal austerity measures.

Athens workers and youth discuss Greek election result

By Robert Stevens, 19 June 2012

The World Socialist Web Site discussed with workers and youth in Athens the result of Sunday’s general election as negotiations continued to form a government following the narrow victory of the conservative New Democracy.

Conservatives narrowly win Greek election

By Chris Marsden, 18 June 2012

The narrow victory of the conservative New Democracy in the Greek general election sets the stage for intense negotiations over the formation of a coalition government.

Greek Communist Party holds final election rally

By Christoph Dreier and Katerina Selin, 18 June 2012

The perspective of the Greek Communist Party, based on nationalism and support for the trade union bureaucracy, makes a mockery of its rhetorical calls for “people’s power” and “interventions of the working class”.

Greek workers, students discuss election with WSWS in Athens

By Robert Stevens, 18 June 2012

A World Socialist Web Site reporting team spoke to a number of workers and young people in Athens on Friday and Saturday on the eve of the June 17 election.

The political issues in the Greek elections

By Chris Marsden and Julie Hyland, 16 June 2012

Whoever wins the election, the working class will be forced to repay the €200 billion- plus bailout through the austerity measures attached to the Memorandum signed with the troika.

SYRIZA’s final election rally in Athens

By Christoph Dreier and Katerina Selin, 16 June 2012

Alexis Tsipras promised on Thursday to end the austerity measures in Greece. At the same time he insisted that SYRIZA represented no threat to the European institutions and that his party was ready to recognize the national debt.

Greece: WSWS interviews Athens workers and youth

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2012

A WSWS reporting team spoke to residents in the district of Aigaleo in west Athens about their attitudes to Sunday’s election.

Global crisis deepens after Spanish bailout

By Nick Beams, 14 June 2012

Rising interest rates in bond markets demonstrate that the €100 billion Spanish bailout last weekend has done nothing to resolve the euro zone crisis and may well have made it even worse.

SYRIZA’s Tsipras pledges to save Greek and European capitalism

By Chris Marsden, 14 June 2012

SYRIZA head Alexis Tsipras chose a column in the Financial Times to pledge that his party will act as the saviour of the euro currency and a tax collector on behalf of the troika.

Greece: University of Athens students speak to WSWS

By our correspondents, 14 June 2012

Students at the main campus of the University of Athens spoke with a World Socialist Web Site reporting team.

Miners strike escalates in Spain

By Paul Mitchell and Vicky Short, 14 June 2012

More than 8,000 miners in the Asturias region of Spain have been on indefinite strike since June 1 in protest of cuts to subsidies that threaten the industry with the loss of 40,000 jobs.

Greece: Fascists step up assaults on political opponents and migrants

By Jordan Shilton, 13 June 2012

The assault launched by the spokesman of Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn against two political rivals on live television must be taken as a warning to working people.

German finance minister threatens Greek voters

By Ulrich Rippert, 13 June 2012

The German government has intensified its threats against Greek voters on the eve of parliamentary elections this weekend.

Bailout of Spanish banks will “tighten the austerity thumbscrew”

By Stefan Steinberg, 12 June 2012

Remarks by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble on Monday directly contradict assurances by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that there were “no strings attached” to last weekend’s rescue deal for Spanish banks.

Greek crisis exposes bankruptcy of petty-bourgeois ex-left

By Alex Lantier, 12 June 2012

Terrified by the escalating European debt crisis, the petty-bourgeois ex-left is divided over how to reconcile its “anti-capitalist” phrase-mongering with its pro-capitalist politics.

The Spanish bailout and the specter of the 1930s

By Andre Damon, 11 June 2012

The very fact that four years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers and two years after the first bailout of Greece it has become necessary to bail out one of the central economies of Europe belies all claims of the viability of capitalism.

Athens court declares two strikes illegal

By Robert Stevens, 9 June 2012

In the last week, two strikes have been declared illegal in Greece, including the long-running steelworkers strike at the Hellenic Steel Company.

The euro crisis and the role of SYRIZA

By Christoph Dreier, 8 June 2012

Pseudo-left forces such as SYRIZA, which seek to subordinate workers to various factions of the ruling class, constitute a critical obstacle to the development of an international revolutionary movement of the working class.

SYRIZA leader Tsipras lays out right-wing policies for Greek crisis

By Alex Lantier, 6 June 2012

On May 31, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras gave Time magazine a long interview on his party’s program in Greece’s June 17 elections.

Spanish banking crisis threatens euro collapse

By Stefan Steinberg, 4 June 2012

The ruthlessness of both the central and private banks and growing antagonisms between individual states threatens to blow apart the European Union and the euro.

Greece: SYRIZA presents its economic programme

By Christoph Dreier, 2 June 2012

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras proposed to terminate loan agreements with Greece’s creditors and reverse the cuts imposed on Greece in recent years.

Earthquakes shake northern Italy

By Marianne Arens, 2 June 2012

An earthquake measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale struck the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, killing 7 and injuring more than 50.

SYRIZA leader Tsipras backs the Greek military

By Christoph Dreier, 1 June 2012

On Tuesday the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, held talks with the Greek Defence Ministry and army high command.

Spanish banking crisis roils global financial markets

By Andre Damon, 31 May 2012

Fears that the euro zone is nearing breakup sent panicked investors to safe haven assets Wednesday, driving the yields on US government debt to their lowest levels since 1946.

Germany: Günter Grass criticizes EU’s treatment of Greece

By Christoph Dreier, 31 May 2012

The German author Günter Grass has published a withering critique of the policy of Germany and the European Union towards Greece.

Double suicide underscores Greece’s deepening health crisis

By Robert Stevens, 29 May 2012

The appalling suicide of a mother and son in Athens again underscores the social nightmare being visited on Greece.

IMF chief: It’s “payback time” for Greek workers

By Stefan Steinberg, 28 May 2012

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde vented her class hatred for the workers of Greece, denouncing them as tax scofflaws and ruling out any respite from the austerity measures that have devastated the country.

Greek ruling elite prepares for showdown with working class

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 26 May 2012

As Greece prepares for elections on June 17 amid an overwhelming popular rejection of austerity, the ruling class is making secret preparations for a military crackdown against the workers.

Serbian presidential vote indicates growing disaffection from the EU

By Ognjen Markovic and Stefan Steinberg, 26 May 2012

The Serbian presidential vote reflects increasing disillusionment with all of the official parties and growing disaffection with the pro-European Union policies of both candidates.

Greece: French Left Front backs SYRIZA’s appeal to the banks

By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 May 2012

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Left Front (FG) candidate in last month's French presidential elections hosted a meeting in Paris on Monday with Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

The pseudo-left unmasked in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 24 May 2012

It has taken only a few days since the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) became the front-runner in Greece’s June 17 elections for the bankruptcy of its politics to become clear.

SYRIZA leader Tsipras in Berlin

By Christoph Dreier, 24 May 2012

Tsipras stressed that his party was in no way dismissive or even hostile to EU institutions, and that Greece under his rule would not leave the EU.

Strike and mass protests against Spain’s education cuts

By Alejandro López, 24 May 2012

Tuesday’s strike closed down most universities, vocational training centers and schools in 14 regions throughout Spain.

Mass unemployment and poverty fuel ethnic tensions in Macedonia

By Paul Mitchell, 23 May 2012

The resurgence of ethnic tensions in Macedonia and the ability of nationalist politicians to mobilise large numbers of demonstrators are fuelled by the terrible social conditions in the country.

Greek SYRIZA leader Tsipras pledges to repay banks in European tour

By Alex Lantier, 22 May 2012

Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece’s Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), visited Paris yesterday to meet with Left Front officials.

Spain faces bank run

By Alejandro López, 21 May 2012

The latest available statistics on bank deposits show that €50 billion have left Spain since January last year.

Greece: The program of Syriza

By Christoph Dreier and Peter Schwarz, 19 May 2012

Syriza’s goal is not the socialist transformation of society, but creating better conditions for the upper middle class and sections of the Greek bourgeoisie.