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Sweden

Social Democrats drop eurozone pact opposition

The Social Democrats on Thursday dropped their longstanding opposition to Swedish participation in the eurozone pact on fiscal discipline, after reaching an agreement with the government of Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Print Mein Kampf to fight neo-Nazi extremism
Germany

Print Mein Kampf to fight neo-Nazi extremism

The proposed publication of Hitler's Mein Kampf in Germany has sparked outrage and worries it would give voice to neo-Nazis. But The Local’s Moises Mendoza argues it is time for the country to fight extremism by supporting free speech.

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Switzerland

Swiss club Xamax files for bankruptcy

Swiss football club Neuchatel Xamax, owned by Chechen businessman Bulat Chagaev, said on Thursday it has filed for bankruptcy.

Six-year sentence for paedophile priest
Germany

Six-year sentence for paedophile priest

A Catholic priest found guilty of over 250 charges of sexual abuse towards young boys has been sentenced to six years in prison, a German court announced on Thursday.

‘Lilyhammer’ premiere puts bums on sofas
Norway

‘Lilyhammer’ premiere puts bums on sofas

More than half of Norway’s TV-viewing public settled in to their couches on Wednesday night for the first episode of the much talked-about drama series ‘Lilyhammer’.

Hope dwindles for NYSE- Deutsche Börse merger
Germany

Hope dwindles for NYSE- Deutsche Börse merger

The proposed merger of Deutsche Börse and NYSE Euronext, which would create the world's largest market operator worth over $17 billion (€13 billion) is in trouble, a senior executive was reported as saying on Thursday.

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Sweden

Justice minister calls for tighter bribery laws

In the wake of several high profile cases at home and abroad, Swedish justice minister Beatrice Ask has called for stricter laws governing bribery and corruption.

Petroplus denies fraud allegations
Switzerland

Petroplus denies fraud allegations

Swiss-based oil refiner Petroplus on Thursday denied French allegations of fraud after prosecutors launched an investigation into the beleaguered firm.

Löfven ‘proud and happy’ to take party’s top job
Sweden

Löfven ‘proud and happy’ to take party’s top job

The Social Democrats used a hastily scheduled Thursday press conference to officially unveil IF Metall union chief Stefan Löfven as the party executive committee's consensus choice to take over as party chair.

Soros damns German handling of euro crisis
Germany

Soros damns German handling of euro crisis

Prominent US investor George Soros launched a devastating broadside against the Germany's handling of the European debt crisis, saying the eurozone was on a “self-destructive” course.

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Switzerland

Federer felled by Nadal in Australian Open thriller

Rafael Nadal once again proved Roger Federer's grand slam nemesis on Thursday, withstanding a withering opening from the Swiss great to reach the final of the Australian Open.

Top Geneva politician faces ‘punch-up’ charges
Switzerland

Top Geneva politician faces ‘punch-up’ charges

Geneva’s chief prosecutor has summoned one of the canton’s top politicians to answer charges of hitting a bartender during a New Year’s Eve fight at a nightclub.

Al Pitcher: using English to make Swedes laugh
Sweden

Al Pitcher: using English to make Swedes laugh

Sweden’s best male stand-up comedian is a Kiwi from London, and the last two and a half years of Al Pitcher's exile in Sweden have been the best in his career, contributor Jacob Sundberg discovers.

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Sweden

Elderly psychiatric patient found tied in bed

A mentally ill man was discovered tied down in his own bed with a sheet at a Carema-run nursing home in Stockholm earlier this month.

National cycle plan to get France pedalling
France

National cycle plan to get France pedalling

French transport minister Thierry Mariani will unveil a national cycling strategy on Thursday to encourage the French to spend more time on their bicycles.

Stefan Löfven: ‘the only name all could agree on’
Sweden

Stefan Löfven: ‘the only name all could agree on’

With union leader Stefan Löfven set to take over as head of the Social Democrats, The Local takes a look at how a welder from northern Sweden found his way to the top ranks of Swedish politics.

Child poverty decreases
Germany

Child poverty decreases

The number of children living on state benefits in Germany has dropped significantly in the past five years, it was reported Thursday.

Prankster wraps girls’ dorm room in tinfoil
Norway

Prankster wraps girls’ dorm room in tinfoil

Two girls at a Norwegian boarding school came back from a weekend break to find their bedroom covered from floor to ceiling in tinfoil, as a schoolmate got his revenge for an earlier practical joke.

H&M bottom line feels the pinch
Sweden

H&M bottom line feels the pinch

Swedish cheap-and-chic fashion giant H&M on Thursday posted a 2011 net profit down 15 percent from a year earlier amid higher cotton prices, but expressed optimism for 2012 despite the difficult economic climate.

Preschool worker ‘locked children in the dryer’
Sweden

Preschool worker ‘locked children in the dryer’

A former pre-school employee in Borås in western Sweden is facing charges of molestation for a series of offences, including punishing young children by locking them in a drying cupboard and pulling their hair.

Email ‘snowball’ creates Bundestag chaos
Germany

Email ‘snowball’ creates Bundestag chaos

It was supposed to be simple email: But after a German parliament staffer's missive accidentally was sent to thousands of her colleagues, their responses overloaded Bundestag computers on Wednesday.

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Switzerland

Angry Geneva senior shoots partygoing prison guard

A 78-year-old man is under arrest in Geneva for allegedly shooting a man in the stomach after a dispute with late-night revellers near his home in the Old Town.

Zurich bans minors from sex trade
Switzerland

Zurich bans minors from sex trade

Wide open prostitution is coming to an end in Zurich after the city council approved measures to ban minors under the age of 18 from plying the sex trade.

Ice queen Witt provokes UK tears after ‘big’ jibe
Germany

Ice queen Witt provokes UK tears after ‘big’ jibe

Germany's former ice-skating Olympic champion Katarina Witt has made peace with British skier Chemmy Alcott after making her cry by calling her a “pretty big woman” on a UK television show.

Failed prank leaves hotel worker trapped in bed
Sweden

Failed prank leaves hotel worker trapped in bed

Emergency crews were called to a hotel in central Sweden on Wednesday morning to help free an employee who had become trapped behind a bed following a staff party.

Union boss tipped as new Social Democrat head
Sweden

Union boss tipped as new Social Democrat head

Stefan Löfven, current chair of Sweden’s IF Metall trade union, is set to take over as interim head of the Social Democrats, according to Swedish media reports.

Oslo braces for wave of homeless Europeans
Norway

Oslo braces for wave of homeless Europeans

Oslo city authorities have expressed concerns that as many as 2,000 job seekers from southern and eastern Europe could end up living on the streets of the capital this spring.

Cops allowed to film on Reeperbahn
Germany

Cops allowed to film on Reeperbahn

Germany’s Federal Administrative Court ruled Wednesday that police can film on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn red light district for crime prevention purposes, ending a legal dispute closely watched by privacy advocates.

‘Facebook’ rapist jailed for teen sex attacks
Sweden

‘Facebook’ rapist jailed for teen sex attacks

A man who used Facebook and other social media media websites to come in contact with Swedish teen girls, was sentenced to six-years in prison on Wednesday for a series of sex attacks.

Merkel: Germany can’t save euro alone
Germany

Merkel: Germany can’t save euro alone

Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany was not prepared to expose itself to further damage on the markets in order to save the eurozone as the IMF called for a pooling of rescue funds.

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France

Police arrest boss of breast implant company

French police arrested Jean-Claude Mas, the founder of the breast implant company PIP at the centre of an international health scare, police said Thursday.

Comic book festival opens in Angoulême
France

Comic book festival opens in Angoulême

Comic enthusiasts are gathering in the western city of Angoulême for the 39th international festival of comics which starts on Thursday.

 

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Switzerland

Petroplus subsidiaries file for insolvency

Petroplus, Europe's largest independent oil refiner said late on Wednesday its German susidiaries are to file for insolvency following its decision two days earlier to file for bankruptcy.

Handball team’s European loss ends Olympic dream
Germany

Handball team’s European loss ends Olympic dream

Germany’s handball team, considered one of the best in the world, suffered a double-defeat Wednesday evening: Elimination from the European Handball Championship and a lost chance to go to the London Summer Olympic Games.

Swedish punk rock legend ‘Stig Vig’ dies
Sweden

Swedish punk rock legend ‘Stig Vig’ dies

Per Odeltorp, better known as Stig Vig, front man of Dag Vag and one of Sweden’s best known musicians, died on Sunday, aged 63.

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Sweden

Reforms complicate refugee housing crunch

A mismatch between available jobs and housing in Sweden has resulted in increasing numbers of refugees remaining in Migration Board-run housing centres, forcing new asylum seekers to live in youth hostels and campgrounds.

Socialist campaign video mocked online
France

Socialist campaign video mocked online

A bizarre campaign video released by the Socialist party to support its presidential candidate has quickly become the butt of online jokes.

Publisher backs down on <i>Mein Kampf</i> plans
Germany

Publisher backs down on Mein Kampf plans

A British publisher has backtracked on plans to sell excerpts of Mein Kampf in Germany in the face of strong public pressure and a court ruling forbidding it’s publication.

Jobless rate up again in December
France

Jobless rate up again in December

Unemployment rose in December to its highest level since November 1999 with the number of registered jobseekers up by 29,700 to reach 2.87 million.

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France

Sarkozy’s son leaves Ukraine after hospital stay

The eldest son of President Nicolas Sarkozy left Ukraine on Wednesday after spending a day in hospital with apparent food poisoning, officials said.

Airbus says A380 wing cracks pose no danger
France

Airbus says A380 wing cracks pose no danger

Tiny cracks discovered in the wings of Airbus superjumbo A380 planes can be easily repaired and pose no danger, the aircraft's manufacturer said on Wednesday.