Socialist Worker

Europe


Tanker drivers

20 October 2001
TANKER DRIVERS working for P&O Trans European called off last weekend's strikes after P&O bosses came up with a new offer in the pay dispute. The drivers, members of the TGWU union, have held national strikes for 24 hours and at weekends for the last month.

Capturing the spirit of Genoa

13 October 2001
PARTICIPATING in the demonstrations in Genoa was for many a life-changing event. We saw Italian trade unionists join the diversity of the anti-capitalist movement in the biggest demo Europe had seen for many years. We knew another world was possible, and we came home and tried to tell as many people as possible.

Green Party conference

22 September 2001
THE GREEN Party annual conference took place in Salisbury last weekend in the wake of the party's best ever general election result. The Greens now have 49 local councillors, one member of the Scottish Parliament, two members of the European Parliament and three members of the Greater London Authority.

Refugees' desperate defiance

11 August 2001
"WE ARE not animals. We are not criminals. We are human beings," cried hundreds of desperate and defiant refugees last week. They were fighting back against the treatment they suffer because of the policies of Tony Blair and other European Union leaders. Over 900 refugees are at a Red Cross centre in a giant hangar outside Sangatte, near the French Channel port of Calais.

P&O

11 August 2001
OIL TANKER drivers at P&O are balloting on strikes over threatened pay cuts. A TGWU union spokesperson says more than 100 workers in P&O Trans European's freight division will receive ballot papers.

All in the mix

11 August 2001
"PEOPLE'S GLOBALISATION not corporate globalisation" is one of the slogans of the anti-capitalist movement. And if people's globalisation exists, it now has a soundtrack. Manu Chao is a hugely successful musician everywhere in Europe. But in Britain he remains largely unknown.

Forgotten again

17 February 2001
Remember Tony Blair's promise to raise health spending to the European average? He's forgotten it! A study by the London School of Economics and the respected Kings Fund shows that New Labour will need to spend an extra £38 billion a year to reach the target that Blair says he aspires to.

BSE: They say it's all over-it isn't

10 February 2001
BSE-"mad cow disease"- has suddenly become a key issue right across Europe. In France, Italy, Greece, Spain and, above all, Germany, beef consumption has slumped by up to 40 percent in the wake of a sudden rise in BSE cases.

The barbarity with no equal

27 January 2001
The Holocaust is the greatest crime in European history. There have been other horrors-terrible wars, mass killings, the dropping of the atomic bomb and the forced movement of peoples on all continents. But the Nazis' systematic murder of six million Jews and millions of others during the Second World War is barbarism without parallel. They used up to date industrial techniques to set about annihilating the entire Jewish population of Europe.

Opel's ad strikes

20 January 2001
The internet is a curious and contradictory thing. A sign of the times in France is a useful website called lesgreves.com (strikes.com), which gives a detailed and long list of strikes taking place each day around the country. The main sponsor on last week's home page was Opel. Opel is the German subsidiary of the giant General Motors car firm. Hopefully the firm will feature in a different way in a round-up of strike reports later this month when workers across Europe join a day of action against GM.

Uranium weapons horror exposed

13 January 2001
The truth is finally beginning to emerge about radioactive weapons used by Western forces in their wars against Iraq and in the Balkans. The revelations on depleted uranium come as the tenth anniversary of the start of the West's 1991 Gulf War against Iraq approaches this month. Several European governments that are part of the NATO military alliance have launched inquiries into depleted uranium weapons.

Round-up

06 January 2001
TURKEY: The Turkish state murdered 30 left wing political prisoners in a military assault on 20 prisons just before Christmas. The massacre was so savage that it brought condemnation even from European governments that are keen on Turkey joining the European Union. The roll call of the dead and how they died is harrowing:

Crisis threatens cars, steel, textiles, shipyards... Act now to save jobs

29 April 2000
Strike to shut Ford across EuropeOccupy Rover to keep out alchemyStop New Labour giving in to the fat cats

New Labour, new sleaze #126…

05 February 2000
MULTI-MILLIONAIRE Carl Cushnie was one of the glittering stars in New Labour's constellation of businessmen. He appeared in New Labour's party political broadcast for the European elections last year after a personal appeal from Tony Blair. Now the financial company he headed, British - based Versailles, has gone into receivership and is under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. It increased its apparent turnover by setting up paper companies and swapping loans between them. An accountant told the Financial Times last week that money laundering was a possibility. He said, "Money was going out of these accounts via one of the client accounts. "It was repeatedly going into bank a

Bit player's hollow boast

05 February 2000
TONY BLAIR was off swanking at the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland last week. He lectured European business and political leaders that they needed to copy the flexible, free - market model offered by British and US capitalism. "Does Europe continue with the old social model, that has an attitude to social legislation rooted in the 60s and 70s, or does it recognise that the new economy demands a redirection of European economic policy for the future?" Blair asked.

Report slams into chicken factories

05 February 2000
A DEVASTATING report into British abattoirs reveals "severe deficiencies" in the production of food, according to a report by vets working for the European Commission. The vets inspected a number of factories producing chicken, which counts for around 40 percent of all the meat consumed in Britain. The process used dirty equipment in run down buildings and with little inspection from qualified vets. The report also concluded that government inspections at the factories are failing. It revealed factory bosses are pressurising the inspectors into giving them a good hygiene report. Food safety expert Tim Lang says this smacks of "the worst time of the 1980s when the ministry's reflex was

Picket lines and protests in France

05 February 2000
FRANCE SHOWS another face of Europe, how workers can take on bosses and governments, marginalising the far right and the Nazis. Over 10,000 health workers united to march in Paris on Friday of last week. Thousands joined similar protests in other cities around the country. They were demanding increased funding and more staff. More protests were planned this week. Four years ago the Tory government attacked France's welfare provision, including health. This was beaten back, and strikes and protests ensured a left wing coalition government was swept to power.

Alarm raised at far right's rise in Austria

05 February 2000
AUSTRIA'S FAR right Freedom Party was close to entering government as Socialist Worker went to press. It was in talks with the Tory People's Party over forming a coalition government. The prospect of a far right party holding ministerial office in Europe for the first time since 1945 should sound alarm bells. Jörg Haider's Freedom Party is viciously anti - immigrant. It claimed during last autumn's general election campaign that Austria suffered from "Überfremdung" (foreign infiltration). Hitler's Nazis put this word at the centre of their propaganda in the early 1930s. By inviting Haider's party into government, the Austrian Tories have given respectability to open racist scapego

Socialism or barbarism

18 December 1999
THE 1980s were characterised by the dominance of Thatcher and Reagan, rabid supporters of the market. Workers were hit by recessions and a ruling class eager to ram through attacks on union organisation. There were important struggles in the 1980s-in Poland the Solidarity movement sparked a wave of protests in Eastern Europe that shook the regimes to the core.

Never going back to the 'bad old days'

18 December 1999
ACROSS EUROPE the end of the war meant workers had high hopes that society would change for the better. In Britain that was seen with the election of the first majority Labour government under Attlee. It was under pressure to deliver reforms like the welfare state and nationalisation of key industries.

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