Government admits to Hartz IV reform error
Germany

Government admits to Hartz IV reform error

The Labour Ministry admitted on Wednesday it made a numerical error in its draft law on the controversial €5 rise in long-term unemployment benefits, fuelling opposition claims that the new rate has been calculated in a slipshod manner.

BMW extends chairman Reithofer’s contract to 2016
Germany

BMW extends chairman Reithofer’s contract to 2016

The German luxury car maker BMW said Wednesday it had extended the contract of chairman Norbert Reithofer until 2016.

Rare grape harvest cancelled in Hamburg after thieves strip vines
Germany

Rare grape harvest cancelled in Hamburg after thieves strip vines

The wine harvest at one of Germany’s most northerly vineyards has been cancelled this year after thieves stole most of the grapes off the vine from the hill above the left bank of Hamburg’s harbour in the St. Pauli district, the city said on Wednesday.

Rape victim, 12, secretly filmed attack
Germany

Rape victim, 12, secretly filmed attack

A 12-year-old girl who was raped repeatedly by her ageing stepfather filmed an attack as evidence using a secret video camera in her room, a North Rhine-Westphalia court heard this week.

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Sweden

Rear-ended cyclist fined for veering off path

A 32-year-old cyclist who suffered minor injuries when hit by a car last autumn has been fined for cycling on the road.

Porsche sets sales record thanks to China
Germany

Porsche sets sales record thanks to China

Strong demand from China pushed sales by German luxury sports car maker Porsche up 17.9 percent to a new record in its 2009/2010 fiscal year, the company said on Wednesday.

H&M earnings boost fails to impress
Sweden

H&M earnings boost fails to impress

Swedish clothing giant H&M reported disappointing third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, adding it would scale back plans for new stores due to property market challenges in southern Europe and France.

Amnesty accuses police over Roma ‘dumping’
Sweden

Amnesty accuses police over Roma ‘dumping’

Human rights group Amnesty has reported the Swedish border police to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (Justitieombudsmannen - JO) over the deportation in February of 30 Roma, who were deposited on the Öresund Bridge.

Evacuations begin amid record flooding in Brandenburg
Germany

Evacuations begin amid record flooding in Brandenburg

Emergency services in Brandenburg are preparing to evacuate the towns of Elsterwerda and Bad Liebenwerda amid flooding caused by record high water levels on the Elster River, officials said Wednesday.

Hospital demands probe of Anna Lindh’s care
Sweden

Hospital demands probe of Anna Lindh’s care

Karolinska University Hospital has requested an inquiry into the care it gave former foreign minister Anna Lindh after her fatal stabbing in September 2003.

Activists slam nuclear shipment to Sweden
Sweden

Activists slam nuclear shipment to Sweden

Environmentalists on Tuesday slammed a proposal to ship decommissioned nuclear generators to Sweden from Canada for recycling.

Sweden Democrats slam unions over freeze out
Sweden

Sweden Democrats slam unions over freeze out

Active Sweden Democrats will not be allowed to be members in one of Sweden’s main healthcare professionals unions, the chair of the labour group said on Wednesday, prompting claims from the party that they are "politically corrupt."

Video game simulates East German border terror
Germany

Video game simulates East German border terror

A controversial new video game set for release on the 20th anniversary of German reunification this week lets players take on the roles of trigger-happy East German border guards or political fugitives running for their lives.

Germany puts Versailles behind it with final reparation payment
Germany

Germany puts Versailles behind it with final reparation payment

Ninety-two years after the end of the First World War, Germany will finally put the spectre of the Treaty of Versailles behind it this Sunday with its last payment stemming from reparations.

Sweden to curb lottery ticket sales to minors
Sweden

Sweden to curb lottery ticket sales to minors

Starting October 1st, no minors under 18 will be able to buy scratch cards from Sweden's state-owned lottery company Svenska Spel.

Ibrahimovic breaks Ajax goal jinx
Sweden

Ibrahimovic breaks Ajax goal jinx

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored against his old team Ajax at the fourth attempt to help AC Milan to a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam on Tuesday evening.

SPD accuses coalition of fiddling with Hartz IV reform numbers
Germany

SPD accuses coalition of fiddling with Hartz IV reform numbers

The centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) vowed on Wednesday to fight Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government coalition plan to reform the Hartz IV welfare system, saying they believe payment calculations are incorrect and possibly even manipulated.

Saab deal puts BMW engines under the hood
Sweden

Saab deal puts BMW engines under the hood

Germany’s BMW will supply engines to Swedish automaker Saab starting in 2012, the company announced on Wednesday.

New energy plan means higher rents, Merkel says
Germany

New energy plan means higher rents, Merkel says

Housing rents could increase significantly in the coming years when landlords will be allowed to pass on the costs of new climate-friendly insulation to tenants, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Wednesday.

Al-Qaida plot to attack Germany discovered
Germany

Al-Qaida plot to attack Germany discovered

Western intelligence agencies have uncovered an al-Qaida plot to launch attacks in Germany France, and Britain by Pakistan-based extremists, security sources and media reports said Wednesday.

Murder suspect held after Gothenburg body find
Sweden

Murder suspect held after Gothenburg body find

A man was arrested on Tuesday on suspicions of having murdered a 27-year-old Gothenburg woman who disappeared in the early hours of Sunday morning.