Merkel: Greece puts euro in ‘very difficult phase’
Germany

Merkel: Greece puts euro in ‘very difficult phase’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel believes the euro faces a "very difficult phase" with Greece's budget crisis putting the eurozone under "huge, huge pressures," according to comments published Thursday.

Ponies replace yachts in wintertime Västervik
Sweden

Ponies replace yachts in wintertime Västervik

There's only one way to see the picturesque town of Västervik during the winter months - and that's from the back of an Icelandic pony, writes Vic Bassey.

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Sweden

Price freeze to follow 2009 property bonanza

Analysts expect a slowdown in the Swedish residential property market in 2010 following a year in which apartment prices rose by 20 percent amid record low interest rates.

Berlin and Tokyo to work together on climate, arms
Germany

Berlin and Tokyo to work together on climate, arms

Japan and Germany agreed Thursday to work together on climate change, nuclear disarmament and rebuilding Afghanistan during a Tokyo visit by Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Introducing… Basshunter
Sweden

Introducing… Basshunter

Introducing... is The Local's guide to the ins and outs of Swedish celebrity. This week Malin Nyberg sits too close to the telly and gets sucked into the wacky world of commercial dance artist Jonas Altberg, aka Basshunter.

Competition watchdog raids major retailers
Germany

Competition watchdog raids major retailers

Germany’s federal competition watchdog raided the main offices of almost every large retail food and drugstore chain in the country on Thursday on suspicion of price-fixing. Among them were Edeka, Lidl, Metro, Rewe and Rossmann.

Foster kids demand apology for ‘dark chapter’
Sweden

Foster kids demand apology for ‘dark chapter’

Sweden plans to launch an inquiry to examine how victims of past abuse in state-run foster homes and orphanages can receive some form of restitution following the partial findings of a government-mandated investigation.

Young adventurers ditch kindergarten for Africa
Germany

Young adventurers ditch kindergarten for Africa

Three adventurous children aged between five and six sparked a huge search in Nuremberg after they ditched kindergarten to fly to Africa, police said on Thursday.

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Sweden

Three convicted for sex trafficking of Slovak teen

Three men were sentenced to prison on Thursday for their role in a sex trafficking scheme in which a 17-year-old girl was forced to sell sex to several men in Skåne in southern Sweden.

Tram collision injures 27 in Karlsruhe
Germany

Tram collision injures 27 in Karlsruhe

A dramatic tram collision in central Karlsruhe injured 27 people – six seriously – on Thursday, according to the police.

Helicopter suspect held on Caribbean island
Sweden

Helicopter suspect held on Caribbean island

A 30-year-old Swedish man suspected of having a role in the brazen helicopter-aided robbery of a Stockholm cash depot has been arrested in the Dominican Republic.

More snow forecast for the weekend
Germany

More snow forecast for the weekend

More snow is likely to fall this weekend in Germany - even as freezing temperatures mean that accumulation from last week's storm continues to snarl traffic, the German Weather Service (DWD) reported on Thursday.

Oettinger faces anti-Semitism accusations at EU hearings
Germany

Oettinger faces anti-Semitism accusations at EU hearings

Günther Oettinger, Germany's designated EU commissioner, on Thursday defended himself against suspicions of anti-Semitism, stressing that he had "very strong relations" with the Jewish community.

Shipworms pose risk for Baltic treasures
Sweden

Shipworms pose risk for Baltic treasures

A number of maritime treasures off Sweden’s southern coast are under threat from the shipworm, which is gaining a foothold in the Baltic Sea due to climate change, according to researchers at the University of Gothenburg.

Farmers complain as discount grocers lower prices again
Germany

Farmers complain as discount grocers lower prices again

Despite criticism from farmers who say they are barely scraping by, German discount grocery chains Aldi and Penny Markt on Thursday announced further markdowns in an ongoing price war.

What’s on in Germany: January 14 – 20
Germany

What’s on in Germany: January 14 – 20

This Week's Highlights: A Manowar concert in Berlin, Hedwig and the Angry Itch in Frankfurt, and Chinese temples grace a Munich museum.

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Sweden

Swedish police crack down on Topdogz gang

Six suspected gang members were arrested on Wednesday as police in southern Sweden seized weapons and explosives in a sting operation targeting the Topdogz criminal organization, local newspaper Sydsvenskan reports.

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Sweden

Sweden’s Supreme Court gets first female chair

For the first time ever, Sweden has named a woman to be the top judge of the country’s highest court.

Germany offers €1 million in aid to Haiti
Germany

Germany offers €1 million in aid to Haiti

Germany has offered €1 million in emergency aid to help the victims of a devastating earthquake in Haiti, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday.

What’s On in Sweden: January 15th – 21st
Sweden

What’s On in Sweden: January 15th – 21st

What’s on in Sweden: Bankers dancing in Stockholm, The 69 Eyes in Gothenburg and musical legend Andy Votel comes to Malmö.

Merkel stands by disputed tax cut plans
Germany

Merkel stands by disputed tax cut plans

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday defended her coalition’s controversial tax cut plans and said she would stand by her promise to overhaul Germany's tax system in the coming years, financial daily Handelsblatt reported.

Integration official says 20 percent of public jobs should go to immigrants
Germany

Integration official says 20 percent of public jobs should go to immigrants

Every fifth public service position in Germany should go to people with immigrant backgrounds, the country’s integration commissioner told daily Rheinische Post on Thursday.

Floor collapses at Swedish Weight Watchers clinic
Sweden

Floor collapses at Swedish Weight Watchers clinic

The floor of a Weight Watchers clinic in Växjö in south central Sweden collapsed on Wednesday night beneath a group of about 20 participants in the diet programme.

Yemenis demand $2 mln for German hostages
Germany

Yemenis demand $2 mln for German hostages

Yemeni hostage-takers holding a family of five Germans and a Briton since June are demanding a ransom of $2 million for their release, news magazine Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday.

Swede charged over Auschwitz sign theft
Sweden

Swede charged over Auschwitz sign theft

The Swedish ex-Nazi who admitted to having a role in planning the theft of the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the World War II death camp in Auschwitz was indicted by Polish justice officials on Wednesday.

New sick leave rules get Swedes back to work
Sweden

New sick leave rules get Swedes back to work

Swedes spent less time on long-term sick leave and more returned to work as a result of new sick leave rules introduced in 2008, according to a new report.