National Sections of the L5I:


Germany: Verdi strike to defend working week must become class-wide!

The attack on the public sector workers by the communes and Laender (regional states) in most parts of Germany is much more than the “usual” annual or bi-annual bargaining round. Read more...

Germany: Coalition signals new attacks

After weeks of negotiations, Germany’s Grand Coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD is in office. Its programme includes:
• VAT up from 16 to 19 per cent
• Weakening of safeguards against redundancy
• Cuts in benefits and pensions
• Increase in the age of retirement to 67
• Privatisation of pensions and healthcare
• Increased competition in education
• Increase in the public sector working week

Interestingly during the election, the CDU “promised” a rise to 18 per cent; the SPD called this a “social injustice”; they settled for 19 per cent! Read more...

The Left Party in Germany

In Germany, Gerhard Schroeder's attempt to hold on to office by calling early elections was thwarted by the dramatic surge in support for the Left Party, which took 8.7% of the vote and gained 54 members of Parliament. Martin Suchanek of Gruppe Arbeitermacht, the German section of the League for the Fifth International, examines the background to the formation of the Left Party and its prospects as a Grand Coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats is formed.\n\nThe long drawn out negotiations which finally led to the formation of the “Grand Coalition” between the Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) were a measure of the setback suffered by German capital in the elections of September the 18th. Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, who had begun the campaign with an apparently unassailable lead in opinion polls and were the bourgeoisie’s preferred choice, came within an ace of defeat as the electors showed their opposition to their neo-liberal programme. Equally, despite campaigning as if he himself had been in opposition for the last seven years, Gerhard Schroeder’s record of harsh cuts in social services and government support for the employers’ side in wage negotiations ensured that the Social Democrats haemorrhaged working-class support and votes. Read more...

Germany: Another European electorate votes down neoliberalism

The German ruling class is disappointed with "its" electorate. The bosses' associations and the bourgeois press moan about the "unclear result". They moan since the electorate did not give Angela Merkel the clear neoliberal mandate that they hoped for: for savage onslaughts on welfare, jobs, working hours, wages... Read more...

Germany: Left Party stands, but will it fight?

With two weeks to go before Germany’s snap general election, the mass media, and the established parties have started a slander campaign against the newly formed Left Party.

Although they condemn the new party as a plot by East German Stalinists and failed SPD and union officials from the West to destroy Germany’s future, the bosses are well aware that the party’s leaders are very far from being such a threat. But why are they ringing the alarm bells and what is the background of this new electoral formation? Read more...

First German Social Forum

From 21.-24. July, the first Social Forum took place in Germany, in Erfurt. Around 3500 participated during four days of discussion in 300 workshops, seminars and plenaries.

Like the European and World Social Forums and the French assemblies for a constitutional alternative, the Forum in Erfurt was marked by a strong bid by left reformists and trade union bureaucrats to impose their policies on the social movements. Read more...

First German Social Forum, Erfurt July 21-24 2005

From 21.-24. July, the first Social Forum took place in Germany, in Erfurt. Around 3500 participated during four days of discussion in 300 workshops, seminars and plenaries. Read more...

Defeat in regional SPD stronghold forces Schröder to call early elections

On 22nd May, the SPD suffered a humiliating defeat in the (former) social-democratic heartland of Nordrhein-Westphalen. It lost 5.7 per cent and is now down to 37, 1 per cent. The CDU conservatives on the other hand won with 44.8 per cent - an increase of 5.7 per cent.

After a 39 years in office the SPD has been kicked out of the government in the largest federal state, where almost a quarter of the German population lives. This disaster was only the last in a series of electoral defeats Gerhard Schröder has suffered since he won the 2002 elections on an anti-war ticket. Since then his total espousal of the neoliberal agenda of cutting down the welfare state whilst the German bosses went on the offensive and the economy stagnated demoralised and disillusioned the SPD´voting base in the working class. Read more...