Germany

The following article was written at the end of February and the first days of March, just before the world was hit by the crash of the stock markets on the 9 March and the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic. This sharp change in the situation obviously also changes the plans of the ruling class. But the underlying economic and political tendencies at play are still the same, although the issue of climate change obviously was pushed to the background. In the case of the Green parties, their character as parties of the ruling class is even-further confirmed in these times of crisis.

While the Italian government has closed non-essential factories, production continues unabated in Germany, irrespective of the dangers to workers’ health.

In its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the German ruling class has shown it prioritises the preservation of profits over the wellbeing of working people. Against their hypocritical talk of “national unity”, we say: fight the virus with socialist measures – along with the diseased capitalist system itself!

Comrades and supporters from around the world are continuing to put pressure on the Pakistani state to release the Marxist student activist, Rawal Asad, who is still being held on the scandalous charge of sedition and has been denied bail. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in Pakistan, where comrades, students and workers are demanding that Rawal be immediately released.

The worldwide solidarity campaign for the release of Rawal Asad, a comrade from the Progressive Youth Alliance who was arrested in Multan and scandalously charged with sedition by the Pakistani state, has forged on apace. Photographs, videos and messages of solidarity have been flooding in from all around the globe.

On 13-14 January, tens of thousands of people from across Europe gathered in Berlin to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the murder of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht. Despite the poor weather, this year’s demonstration was one of the largest and most militant events that Berlin has seen in the recent period; a clear sign of the political polarisation and class consciousness that is developing as a result of the intensifying capitalist crisis.

Just over 25 years after its foundation, the European Union looks like it could be falling apart under the weight of its own contradictions. Everywhere you look, the major parties are coming under increased pressure due to the heightening of the class struggle as a result of 10 years of crisis. This has meant that, in one country after another, the ruling class can no longer rule in the old way.

The German Revolution of 1918 ended the First World War. During a little-known episode of the Revolution, German soldiers liberated Belgium from a brutal military occupation before the armistice of the 11 November was signed. This revolutionary movement was also crucial in pushing through a swift introduction of universal general suffrage in Belgium.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced her withdrawal from the Christian Democratic Union’s (CDU) leadership election race, as well as her candidacy for the next German parliamentary election. This marks a political earthquake and the end of an era in German politics, as Merkel has been Chancellor since 2005 and leader of the CDU since 2001.

It wasn’t long ago that Germany was considered one of the few countries with a stable political situation. On the surface at least, with high economic growth and a dominant position within Europe, everything seemed to be going well for the German ruling class. However, this stability is turning into its opposite.

On Sunday, 14 January 2018, tens-of-thousands of activists from different labour and left-wing organisations came to the Berlin Socialist Memorial Cemetery in the Eastern suburb of Friedrichsfelde to commemorate the murder of the outstanding German revolutionaries and Marxists Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht on 15 January 1919.

Temprano en la mañana del lunes 20 de noviembre, los líderes alemanes del partido derechista liberal Partido Demócrata Libre (FDP), declararon repentinamente su salida de las conversaciones preliminares para formar un gobierno de coalición y abandonaron la sala. Las negociaciones con los Demócratas Cristianos de la Canciller Angela Merkel y su partido hermano bávaro, la Unión Social Cristiana (CDU/CSU) y los Verdes se habían llevado a cabo durante casi cinco semanas.

Early on Monday morning, 20 November, the leaders of the German, right-wing, liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) suddenly declared their exit from preliminary coalition talks and walked out of the room. The negotiations with Chancellor Angela Merkel`s Christian Democrats and their Bavarian sister party Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Greens had been going on for nearly five weeks.

A political earthquake is the best way we can describe the federal elections that took place in Germany on Sunday, September 24. For the first time ever in post-war history an extreme right-wing party has been elected to the Bundestag (federal parliament). At the same time the parties that formed the “Grand Coalition” lead by Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2003 have suffered historic defeats.

On Monday, a truck ploughing through a crowded Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin highlighted once again the mess that has been created in the Middle East by imperialist meddling. Twelve victims are believed to have been killed while 49 have been injured. The perpetrator of this crime had hijacked the truck from a Polish driver whom he subsequently killed. After the attack, he fled the scene and is still unaccounted for.

Over five-hundred reports of abuse and harassment were made to the police in Cologne on New Year's Eve. What exactly happened remains unclear. Whether we will ever get a clear picture of events is highly unlikely, given the way the Cologne events have already been incorporated into right-wing racist propaganda.