Swiss set to shop abroad for Christmas gifts
Switzerland

Swiss set to shop abroad for Christmas gifts

The average person in Switzerland is expected to spend 612 francs ($661) on gifts this holiday season, only six francs less than last year.

Warnings as winter storm heads toward Sweden
Sweden

Warnings as winter storm heads toward Sweden

Sweden's first major winter storm of the season is expected bring strong winds and heavy snow on Thursday night into Friday, prompting warnings of power outages and dangerous road conditions in many parts of the country.

Recycling solar panels could be a winner for Loser Chemicals
Germany

Recycling solar panels could be a winner for Loser Chemicals

A German chemical company says it can recycle rare metals from old solar panels – effectively washing them off in a chemical bath so the different elements can be reused. Managers at the firm hope to start work next year.

Hunt intensifies for man who killed daughter
Germany

Hunt intensifies for man who killed daughter

Police hunting the man who shot and killed his 13-year-old daughter after she refused to move back home from a children’s home, released a picture of him on Thursday and appealed to the public for help in finding him.

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Norway

Norway killer pores over love letters

Confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has begun sifting through the hundreds of letters he has received since the July 22nd attacks that left 77 dead.

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Sweden

Swedish realtors predict drop in house prices

A survey, carried out by the Association of Swedish Real Estate Agents (Mäklarsamfundet) on 1,800 realtors countrywide, shows that 54 percent believe that small houses prices will fall in the near future.

Swede acquitted over Greece ‘fake rape’ claim
Sweden

Swede acquitted over Greece ‘fake rape’ claim

A Swedish woman accused of making false rape accusations while on holiday in Greece was acquitted of defamation charges on Thursday by a Greek court.

Italian ‘organic’ food fraud hits German market
Germany

Italian ‘organic’ food fraud hits German market

Worried German organic food producers are examining their stocks after it emerged that more than 500 tonnes of cereals sold as organic was part of a multi-million-euro fraud, and the food was not organic.

Bring on the snow: are you ready for winter?
Sweden

Bring on the snow: are you ready for winter?

Mild temperatures and a lack of snow have delayed the start of winter in many parts of Sweden, prompting some to rejoice and others to grumble. The Local invites you to have your say about the (lack of?) winter weather.

Sweden to let would-be residents apply online
Sweden

Sweden to let would-be residents apply online

The Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) is promising to speed up applications for residence permits by offering a new web-based application service.

Germany dubbed ‘master of Europe’ in euro crisis
Germany

Germany dubbed ‘master of Europe’ in euro crisis

Germany is emerging as the master of Europe, analysts said on Thursday ahead of a make-or-break summit on the euro – as the European Central Bank (ECB) set the scene by cutting its key interest rates.

Norway Islamist calls for new US terror attacks
Norway

Norway Islamist calls for new US terror attacks

Norway’s Progress Party has called for the immediate arrest of Mullah Krekar after the firebrand jihadist spoke of the need for renewed terrorist attacks on the United States.

‘Fine people who give beggars money’
Norway

‘Fine people who give beggars money’

Two local politicians from Norway’s populist Progress Party have called for fines to be issued to people who give money to beggars.

Sarkozy seeks support for euro plan
France

Sarkozy seeks support for euro plan

France and Germany drummed up support for their plan to fix the eurozone Thursday as European leaders geared up for a last chance summit to save the debt-laden currency union from collapse.

Creating a Christmas home, Swedish style
Sweden

Creating a Christmas home, Swedish style

Looking for tips for how to give your home some Swedish Christmas flare? Interior design blogger Niki Brantmark provides a few ideas to help turn your home into a cutting edge Swedish winter wonderland.

‘Give police access to snoop agency intel’
Sweden

‘Give police access to snoop agency intel’

Swedish law enforcement agencies should have access to signals intelligence gathered by the National Defence Radio Establishment (Försvarets radioanstalt, FRA) to help combat terrorism, the ministry of justice proposed on Thursday.

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France

Chinese agency cuts France’s credit rating

Chinese rating agency Dagong said Thursday it had cut its sovereign credit rating for France as the deepening eurozone debt crisis hurts economic growth and threatens Paris's solvency.

Fear of inflation grows as faith in euro falls
Germany

Fear of inflation grows as faith in euro falls

Fear of inflation is growing in Germany as people lose their faith in the euro, with a third of those questioned for an opinion poll having little or no trust in the currency and nearly half are worried about where to put their savings.

‘Europe could unravel’ warns French minister
France

‘Europe could unravel’ warns French minister

The European single currency could break up and Europe itself unravel if political leaders fail to tackle the region's debt crisis, France's minister for European affairs warned on Thursday.

Reinfeldt: markets ‘don’t want’ EU treaty changes
Sweden

Reinfeldt: markets ‘don’t want’ EU treaty changes

European Union treaty changes are not the euro debt crisis solution the markets want, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said on Thursday ahead of a crucial EU summit in Brussels.

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Switzerland

Young boy dies in Swiss avalanche

A six-year-old Spanish boy has died after being buried in an avalanche in south-eastern Switzerland on Wednesday.

 

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France

Populist politician’s son: my brother raped me

A French high court has overturned the dismissal of a rape lawsuit brought by the son of a far right leader against his own brother. The son of MEP Philippe de Villiers accuses his brother of abusing him during their childhood.

US threatens Swiss with return to visas: report
Switzerland

US threatens Swiss with return to visas: report

Washington is putting pressure on Bern to allow it direct access to certain police records where fingerprints and DNA profiles are stored, according to a Swiss media report. 

King’s friend: ‘I lied to gangsters out of fear’
Sweden

King’s friend: ‘I lied to gangsters out of fear’

Anders Lettström, the beleaguered friend of Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf, on Thursday rejected claims that he had acted on behalf of the King, admitting that he sometimes told his criminal contacts untruths out of fear.

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France

Parents release teachers after hostage taking

A group of dissatisfied parents have released several teachers they were holding captive inside a Catholic school in the south of France. They accused one of the teachers of incompetence and wanted him fired.

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France

Votes for foreigners spark debate in France

The French Senate is to debate extending voting rights to foreigners on Thursday. The Socialist Party, which controls the Senate, wants to allow non-EU citizens to vote in local elections.

Britain’s ‘rudest’ comic confronts PC Sweden
Sweden

Britain’s ‘rudest’ comic confronts PC Sweden

Roy 'Chubby' Brown, is coming to Sweden, leaving many - including Brown - wondering how somewhat more politically correct Swedes will react to his off-colour brand of humour, The Local's Geoff Mortimore discovers.

Crows pick holes in Berlin station roof
Germany

Crows pick holes in Berlin station roof

Passengers at Berlin’s main train station are being rained on – thanks to crows which are picking out the sealant between the panes of glass in the famous curved roof.

Should more be done to protect German?
Germany

Should more be done to protect German?

A group dedicated to maintaining the German language’s purity is upset that a dictionary maker’s “Youth Word of the Year” is derived from English. Does German deserve a little more respect - or even need protection? Have your say.

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Sweden

Police chase results in explosives discovery

After police apprehended three men, following a car chase in Stockholm on Tuesday, officers discovered a large stash of explosives in their vehicle.

Where’s the best place to ski in Switzerland?
Switzerland

Where’s the best place to ski in Switzerland?

Switzerland's ski resorts finally got a coating of snow this week, to the huge relief of the country's tourist trade. But where's your favourite Swiss ski getaway?

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Switzerland

China approves Nestlé sweetmaker bid

Swiss food giant Nestlé said on Thursday it has received the green light to buy Chinese sweetmaker Hsu Fu Chi International, in one of the biggest ever foreign takeovers of a local company.

Lillehammer to host 2016 Youth Winter Olympics
Norway

Lillehammer to host 2016 Youth Winter Olympics

The Norwegian city of Lillehammer is to host the 2016 Youth Winter Olympic Games, 24 years after it hosted the senior version, it was announced in Lausanne on Wednesday.

What’s on in Germany: December 8 – 14
Germany

What’s on in Germany: December 8 – 14

This Week's Highlights: Choirs sing Bach in Leipzig, A rock opera in Frankfurt and a ballet rendition of "A Christmas Carol" in Dresden.

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Switzerland

Fury for Ferguson as Basel goes bananas

Joyous scenes erupted in the normally tranquil city of Basel on Wednesday night as veteran strikers Marco Streller and Alexander Frei scored the goals that dumped Manchester United out of the Champions Leaugue.

Woman sold carpet worth millions for €20,000
Germany

Woman sold carpet worth millions for €20,000

A Bavarian woman who thought her carpet was worth about €900 was delighted when an auctioneer sold it for nearly €20,000 – but took him to court after it was then sold at an auction for more than €7 million.

Deutsche Bank letter bomb was operational
Germany

Deutsche Bank letter bomb was operational

A suspected letter bomb addressed to Deutsche Bank chief Josef Ackermann which was intercepted on Wednesday at the bank's Frankfurt headquarters, could have exploded, German police have confirmed.

Assange appeal ruling expected by Christmas
Sweden

Assange appeal ruling expected by Christmas

The British Supreme Court will decide by Christmas whether to hear the appeal of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange against the earlier decision to extradite him to Sweden, a court spokeswoman revealed on Wednesday.

Riksdag approves tighter checks on Royal Court finances
Sweden

Riksdag approves tighter checks on Royal Court finances

Against the wish of the four parties of the centre-right Alliance government, the Riksdag decided on Wednesday to review agreements made with the Royal Court from 1996 and 2005.

Step back in time at ye merry olde Christmas market
Germany

Step back in time at ye merry olde Christmas market

Ever wonder what the holidays were like in mediaeval Germany? Tracy Moran goes back in time to investigate Esslingen’s historic Christmas market.