Recently we have been reporting regularly on the economic crisis in which German imperialism is caught up, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia, how this is expressing itself and how the ruling classes are trying to offload these heavy burdens of the crisis onto the backs of the working class and the people. Inflation and price increases are taking their toll.

One wave of bankruptcies follows the next.The number of bankruptcies in nursing homes has almost tripled compared to last year, and company bankruptcies are 20 percent higher than last year. In the daycare centers, the staff shortage is piling up, so that for the 100,000 missing daycare places, staff have to be imported from oppressed nations or lateral hires have to be made. There is a shortageof 10 to 25 percent of positions in the foreigners authorities in NRW and migrants are losing their jobs and homes because they have to wait several months and sometimes up to a year for their appointments.

In the midst of this situation, more than 350 municipalities and cities are writing a so-called fire letter to the CDU Minister President Hendrik Wüst, stating that due to inflation they no longer see themselves in a position to care for and accommodate refugees, finance daycare for children and keep up with social spending. The municipalities even go so far as to say that they will no longer be able to operate in 2024 if the federal state government does not intervene. They are openly threatening to close public swimming pools and cultural and sports facilities in order to save money. There is even talk of increases in business and property taxes.

How the situation in North Rhine-Westphalia continues to intensify is also shown by the demonstration of 6,000 people in front of the state parliament in Düsseldorf on September 20. The demonstration in Düsseldorf, which consisted mainly of workers from hospitals, trade unionists and municipal representatives, was part of the nationwide action day "Five to Twelve" which aims to save hospitals from bankruptcy. The workers in the health sector are concerned with two important issues. On the one hand, the general health care of the people, which suffers considerably from the hospital closures, and on the other hand, their own existences and jobs, which will also be lost with the closures. Meanwhile, the state government is pointing the finger at the federal government in its usual manner and is seriously blaming the increased wage costs for the financial shortages, which are to be financed by the federal government.Thomas Kufen, the CDU mayor of Essen, is backing the federal state government, even warning of uncontrolled hospital closures that will jeopardize full-coverage health care. Thomas Kufen is an expert when it comes to the death of clinics, after two hospitals were closed in the north of Essen and there is now only one hospital in the entire north of the city of 593,000 inhabitants, which, in contrast to the rich south of Essen, is mainly inhabited by the working class and lower petty bourgeoisie.

Krankenhausprotest September2023

Ten thousand people protested yesterday in Düsseldorf in front of the state parliament against the government's crisis policy, Source:

The developments in the various crisis hot spots and fronts are adding up to a major economic crisis. The fact that leading government politicians at the federal state and local level are sometimes talking about the collapse of the public infrastructure, the inability to act and uncontrolled waves of bankruptcies is mainly not election campaign talk between the bourgeois parties, but an admission and fear of real, major distortions caused by the crisis in which German imperialism finds itself. In the end, their only solutions to the crisis are to shift even more of the burden of the crisis onto the people. This is evidenced, for example, by all kinds of verbal reports from refugee shelters in North Rhine-Westphalia, where malnourished and thirsty children and teenagers with several thousand kilometers of fleeing in their legs and bleeding wounds all over their bodies are denied treatment by the responsible authorities. If this development continues - which is to be assumed - and the federal and state governments continue to fail to guarantee basic social and health services, if tens of thousands of people continue to lose their jobs and inflation continues to rage and the municipalities close cultural institutions in order to save money and thus the pressure on the masses intensifies immensely, the rulers in North Rhine-Westphalia will face completely different problems.

 Cover photo: protests against health care closures on Sept. 20. Source: