Europe

Germany: Left-wing politician car-bombed as refugee attacks rise

Just after midnight on July 27, a bomb exploded in the car of left-wing politician and refugee activist Michael Richter in the town of Freital on the outskirts of Dresden in eastern Germany.

Richter, a 39-year old town councillor for the socialist party Die Linke (The Left) was not in the car. No one was harmed by the blast, which also damaged a nearby car.

Police are yet to assign blame, but Richter is certain the attack came from right-wing groups in the area, who have threatened him repeatedly in recent months over his campaigning work for refugees.

Germany's Deutsche Bank bail out shows kid gloves for corporate thieves

In 1870, six months before a retreating French army was defeated by Prussian troops at Sedan, the Deutsche Bank was established in Berlin.

Although Britain was still the pre-eminent world economic power, the US and Germany were starting to take the giant strides that would soon enough see them leave the former “workshop of the world” in their wake.

France: Amid debates, left gives solidarity to Greece

In the aftermath of the harsh deal for brutal austerity and mass privatisation imposed on Greece in the early hours of July 13, both Berlin and Paris are floating alternative “solutions” to the euro problem.

Germany, on the one hand, wants greater fiscal integration, whereas France is calling for the creation of a eurozone government as well as a dedicated finance minister.

The mainstream press is talking up the divisions between the two nations as fundamentally different perspectives on the euro — or even differences in political “culture”.

Britain: Jeremy Corbyn campaign gives voice to austerity anger

British politics is being shaken up by the shock rise of veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn to take the lead in the British Labour Party leadership contest, running on a platform against austerity and for pro-people measures such as renationalising privatised industries.

The ballot for Labour leader closes in September. The leader is elected by party members and by a new category called Labour “supporters”, which anyone can become by paying the three pounds online.

Greece: IMF refuses to sign off on bail out deal amid SYRIZA divisions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided not to sign off on the European Union's bailout deal with Greece, saying it does not specifically address tackling Greece's debt, TeleSUR English said on July 30.

In a meeting on July 29, the IMF board members said they “cannot reach staff level agreement at this stage” over whether to support Greece's bailout package, according to the Financial Times who received the confidential meeting minutes.

Bulgaria: Refugees illegally jailed and abused

There has been a huge rise in asylum seekers in Bulgaria as a direct result of instability in North Africa and the Middle East.

They use Bulgaria as a land entry into the European Union. The Bulgarian tabloid press has coined the phrase “wave”, which has now entered political and popular language.

In 2009, the newly-elected government greatly changed the way the law was interpreted and enforced. Before 2010, there was not a single “illegal immigrant” convicted and jailed in the criminal prisons.

Ireland passes law granting trans people greater rights

Ireland passed a new Gender Recognition Bill on July 15 that will allow transgender people to change their birth certificates and other documents, and achieve full legal recognition of their preferred gender. The bill is an elaboration on a previous one that allowed the legal changes, but only with a supporting statement from a doctor.

Spanish state: Catalonia hurtles towards showdown

If a Catalan Rip Van Winkle were to wake up today after a sleep of only six years, his disorientation with Catalonia would be as great as that of the original Rip Van Winkle after he dozed right through the American War of Independence.

“Am I hallucinating?” he might ask, struggling to find the right answer to questions like:

Greece: New measures pass, SYRIZA youth oppose deal

The Greek parliament passed a second bill on July 23 including measures needed for Greece to open negotiations over the eurozone's bailout package of 86 billion euros, TeleSUR English said that day.

Treatment of Greece reveals Europe elite's contempt

An event of profound importance took place in Brussels on July 12. The significance of the European summit negotiations extends well beyond the immediate — and devastating — consequences for the people of Greece.

The fallout will not just affect the stability of the Greek government and the political future of SYRIZA and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

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