"Capitalism is the only system that works," pronounced Polly Toynbee, The Guardian columnist, as 2004 drew to a close.

Millions of public-sector workers are faced with huge cuts to their pensions - some from as early as April 2005.

Against the background of increased attacks on living standards and working conditions, important sections of the working class in Germany have drawn the conclusion that an organisational and political alternative to the neo-liberal policies of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Co. needs to be built.

On 9 November the highest court in Belgium confirmed an earlier court decision convicting three associations linked to the Vlaams Blok for racism.

Committee for a workers' International publications

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