Germany

Heavy rain has caused severe flooding in several regions of Central Europe. Scores of people have died, many have been injured, and even more have lost their belongings. It will take years to repair the damage. Climate change has made extreme weather events like this more likely, which in turn expose the mismanagement of society. The bosses and bourgeois politicians – who failed to prepare for this disaster, despite the warnings; and who undermined emergency services through austerity – are squarely to blame.

For a long time, the CDU/CSU was considered the most stable conservative party in Europe. But the battle now raging in public for candidacy for the chancellorship between Armin Laschet (CDU) and Markus Söder (CSU) has shown that this central pillar of German capitalism is riven with deep cracks. Laschet has prevailed, but stability is gone.

The German federal constitutional court has ruled the rent cap in Berlin as unconstitutional, bringing to an end the Berlin rent cap experiment. This means that Berlin tenants will have to dig deeper into their pockets to be able to afford a roof over their heads. The German left-wing party DIE LINKE and the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) with its eight member unions now have to go on the offensive!

Over the weekend of 9-11 April 2021, Der Funke, the German section of the International Marxist Tendency (IMT), held its national congress. We intently discussed the perspectives for the class struggle, and the tasks facing our revolutionary organisation. Although circumstances meant the congress had to take place online, the mood was militant and enthusiastic.

With the next federal election to the Bundestag on 26 September 2021 only seven months away, the German Greens are preparing for a possible return to the federal government and a coalition with the CDU/CSU, Chancellor Angela Merkel's party alliance. Founded 41 years ago out of the environmental, women and anti-war movements, the party has long since become a modern bourgeois liberal party of the 21st century, eclipsing the traditional bourgeois liberals of the FDP.

For decades, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has been considered the largest, most-stable and most-influential bourgeois party in Europe. But the CDU is now in crisis and subject to a process of polarisation and emaciation. The election of Armin Laschet as the new party leader does nothing to change this.

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.