Germany

Germany: far right scoops social discontent martin Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:49
merkel

The recent election night was a shock for many: [Merkel's centre-right Christian Democrat] CDU and the [Bavarian sister party of the CDU] CSU each had their worst result since 1949, the [Social Democrats of the SDP] got the worst result in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany; and [far-right] AfD, according to official estimates, came away with 12.6% of the vote and 94 representatives in the Bundestag.

Merkel: suppressing inconvenient truths

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 3:02 Author: Ingo Schmidt (Sozialistische Zeitung)
Election poster

No-one is a better representative of a united Germany than Angela Merkel. First mocked as [Helmut] Kohl’s girl, Forbes magazine has for some years listed her as the most powerful woman in the world.

After Donald Trump’s victory in the US general election, the New York Times describes Merkel as the last defender of the liberal West.

Mass gathering of European neo-Nazis

Submitted by Matthew on 10 November, 2016 - 10:09 Author: Sebastian Osthoff

On 15 October, more than 5,000 neo-Nazis from all over Europe met in Unterwasser, a small mountain village in eastern Switzerland.

Even though the Swiss police is supposed to monitor the activities of far right groups, it was only when busloads of Nazi skinheads crossed the border that they became aware of the event. Completely unable to match the far right’s forces, they stood idly by and watched whilst hundreds of thousands of Euros were collected to finance neo-Nazi structures in Europe, but mainly in Germany.

Bankers’ greed brings us down

Submitted by Matthew on 2 November, 2016 - 11:53 Author: Editorial

“For questions about the survival of big European banks to be swirling almost ten years after the financial crisis started is utterly damning”, writes the big business magazine The Economist.

Questions are indeed swirling. On 26 October, the Bank of England asked British banks to say how much they are owed by Germany’s huge Deutsche Bank and Italy’s oldest bank, MPS, in case those banks prove unable to pay. Deutsche Bank’s share price has fallen by over 50% this year.

Labour needs new policy of solidarity with migrants

Submitted by Matthew on 21 September, 2016 - 11:02 Author: Theodora Polenta and Hugh Edwards

Jeremy Corbyn has said he will defend freedom of movement in the negotiations around Brexit. He has declared: “I have visited the camps in Calais and Dunkirk, which are in an appalling state. Those people are in a very perilous situation. They are all humans, to whom we must reach out the hand of friendship and support”. He has called for Britain to admit more refugees.

Ports and workers’ power

Submitted by AWL on 14 September, 2016 - 12:27 Author: Martin Thomas

"The RWG [container] terminal [in Rotterdam, 2.35m teu capacity], with its fully automated cranes, is operated by a team of no more than 10 to 15 people on a day-to-day basis. Most of its 180 employees aren’t longshoremen, but IT specialists” (Journal of Commerce, 4 Feburary 2016).

The managing director says: “We are in fact, an IT company that handles containers”.

Compare: in 1900 the Port of London was the busiest port in the world. It had 50,000 workers shifting cargo mostly by hand, as they had done for thousands of years. It handled 7 million tons of cargo.

Ernst Nolte and right-wing anti-Zionism

Submitted by Matthew on 7 September, 2016 - 11:54 Author: Micheál MacEoin

Right-wing German historian Ernst Nolte died on 18 August at the age of 93.

Nolte was born to a Catholic family in Witten, in western Germany, in 1923. He studied with phenomenologist philosopher and Nazi sympathiser Martin Heidegger, who would be a major influence. Nolte first came to prominence with his 1963 study Der Faschismus in seiner Epoche (Fascism in Its Epoch, which was translated into English two years later as The Three Faces of Fascism).

A Schäuble road to socialism?

Submitted by Matthew on 2 March, 2016 - 11:21 Author: Martin Thomas

A long article in the Socialist Economic Bulletin (15 February) and on the Labour Left website Left Futures argues that the “centrepiece” of Labour Party economic policy should be a national investment bank. This would be a publicly-owned bank, able to borrow more cheaply than commercial banks because of its government backing, and lending for infrastructure and industrial projects.

Eurocentrism as a fig leaf, and the art of conjuring in politics

Submitted by AWL on 6 February, 2016 - 7:05 Author: Marieme Helie-Lucas

Facts:

On New Year’s Eve 2015, simultaneous coordinated sexual attacks took place against women in public space in about 10 cities, mostly in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, and Finland… Several hundred women, to this day, filed a case for sexual attack, robbery, and rape. These attacks were perpetrated by young men of migrant descent (be they immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, or other) from North Africa and the Middle East.

Responding to Cologne attacks

Submitted by Matthew on 13 January, 2016 - 1:15 Author: Cathy Nugent

“We have to stand against sexual violence and sexual abuse against women, no matter who is the perpetrator”.

That message, from the demonstration on the steps of Cologne Cathedral on Saturday 9 January (Observer, 10 January), is the exactly the right response to the assaults made on women in the city (elsewhere) on New Year’s Eve, by all accounts, by male migrants from north Africa.