Merkel pledges more EU sanctions against Syria
Germany

Merkel pledges more EU sanctions against Syria

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday the EU backs the Arab League's "firm stance" on Syria and will support it through further sanctions, ahead of talks with the head of the pan-Arab body.

Man held for stabbing Swedish 10-year-old
Sweden

Man held for stabbing Swedish 10-year-old

A 28-year-old man suspected of stabbing a young girl in the throat in Gothenburg at the beginning of February has been apprehended and is being held in another country pending Sweden's extradition demand.

Norway killer and Dutch MP in fictional meeting
Norway

Norway killer and Dutch MP in fictional meeting

A play depicting a fictional meeting between Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik and Dutch anti-Islam far-right leader Geert Wilders is to be staged in Amsterdam next month, organisers said on Tuesday.

For the love of a Swede
Sweden

For the love of a Swede

We might tease them, but deep down we love our sexy Swedes. We've asked several of our friends and contributors to weigh in: What do you love about your Swede?

Swiss stick with Swedish jets to replace fleet
Switzerland

Swiss stick with Swedish jets to replace fleet

The Swiss government is standing by its choice of the Gripen jet to replace its ageing fighter fleet, the defence ministry said on Tuesday, after reported military fears that the aircraft was not up to
the job.

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Sweden

Swedish man lay ‘dead for weeks’ in Lund flat

A man in Lund, southern Sweden, lay dead in his house for weeks before his body was discovered, as visiting care staff had left after the man failed to answer his door.

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Sweden

Sweden expels foreign official: report

The Swedish government said Tuesday it had expelled a foreign diplomat, amid reports the person in question was a high level official at the Rwandan embassy in Stockholm.

Record year for French wine and spirits exports
France

Record year for French wine and spirits exports

France set a record for its wine and spirits exports with more than €10 billion in 2011, a 10.5 percent annual increase, the Federation of Wine and Spirits Exporters said on Tuesday.

Facebook and France in focus in Breivik probe
Norway

Facebook and France in focus in Breivik probe

Norwegian police have requested assistance from France and Facebook to cast light on the personality of the man who killed 77 people in twin attacks last July, the police prosecutor in charge of the probe said on Tuesday.

Sweden’s seven ‘sexiest’ places explored
Sweden

Sweden’s seven ‘sexiest’ places explored

Although Sweden may once have had a reputation for promiscuity internationally, many also argue that Swedes are devoid of emotion and that the climate is too forbidding for anything really hot to take place here.

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France

Police turn to France, Facebook in Norway gunman probe

Norwegian police have requested assistance from France and Facebook to cast light on the personality of the man who killed 77 people in twin attacks last July, the police prosecutor in charge of the probe said Tuesday.

Six little pigs find new mum – a bulldog
Germany

Six little pigs find new mum – a bulldog

A French bulldog has adopted a newborn litter of six German wild boars after they were found cold and starving in the woods, their mother possibly killed by hunters.

Handyman finds secret gold stash in kitchen
Germany

Handyman finds secret gold stash in kitchen

A German handyman renovating the kitchen of a woman who had recently died, opened what he thought was a bag of rubbish to find coins and gold bars worth at least €100,000.

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Sweden

EU to probe Sweden’s ‘economic imbalance’

Sweden is among twelve countries set to be discussed in a report from the EU commission, due to what the European Commission believes are imbalances in the economy.

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Switzerland

Asbestos brings down the ‘Swiss Bill Gates’

Swiss billionaire Stephan Schmidheiny, sentenced in absentia to 16 years on Monday by an Italian court in a landmark asbestos trial, is a self-styled philanthropist and champion of sustainable development.

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Norway

Moroccan man swallowed kilo of hash

A 34-year-old Moroccan man had more than a kilo’s worth of cannabis in his stomach when he was stopped on Saturday by customs officers at Stavanger Airport, south-western Norway.

Judges: Get professors out of poorhouse
Germany

Judges: Get professors out of poorhouse

Professors across Germany could get major pay raises after the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Tuesday that the basic salary agreement reached in Hesse state was unconstitutionally low.

Valentine’s Day in Sweden – readers’ sweet tweets and love stories
Sweden

Valentine’s Day in Sweden – readers’ sweet tweets and love stories

So far this year, The Local has seen its fair share of love stories, both sweet and scary.

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Norway

Oslo airport stops tourist with ‘terrorist name’

A Swedish man set to take off on his "dream holiday" to Mexico was turned away before boarding, as Oslo flight officials claimed he shared the name of a wanted terrorist.

Investor confidence tops 10-month high
Germany

Investor confidence tops 10-month high

German investor confidence hit a 10-month high in February amid optimism Europe's top economy will be able to escape from the eurozone crisis relatively unscathed, data showed on Tuesday.

How East German misfits found freedom
Germany

How East German misfits found freedom

In the suffocating atmosphere that was East Germany, a whole range of misfits managed to find air to breathe and now, two decades after the Berlin Wall's fall, new films are putting communism's outsiders in focus. AFP's Eloi Rouyer reports.

Geneva rents: World’s 7th most expensive city
Switzerland

Geneva rents: World’s 7th most expensive city

A report from the consulting company ECA International has ranked Geneva as one of the most expensive places to rent accommodation in the world.

OECD sees German growth slowing in 2012
Germany

OECD sees German growth slowing in 2012

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has predicted that Germany, Europe's top economy, will grow by 0.4 percent this year, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said on Tuesday.

How to get dumped in Deutschland
Germany

How to get dumped in Deutschland

On this Valentine's Day, we at The Local are romantics and hope our readers enjoy the sweet taste of chocolate. But for those of you in whom February 14th induces a rash of unromantic cynicism, here's some advice on jettisoning your German.

Swedish tourist halted for having ‘terrorist name’
Sweden

Swedish tourist halted for having ‘terrorist name’

A Swedish man set to take off on his "dream holiday" to Mexico was turned away before boarding, as flight officials claimed he shared the name of a wanted terrorist.

House prices in Sweden begin upward climb
Sweden

House prices in Sweden begin upward climb

After observing a slight rise in real estate prices after the first month of 2012, Swedish realtors are hoping that this may be the beginning of a positive trend after last year's plummeting prices.

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Switzerland

Switzerland’s oldest man dies

Switzerland’s oldest man died on Monday at the age of 109 at ‘La Rose des Vents’ nursing home in Fribourg.

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Switzerland

Insurance firms reject Zurich quake claims

Over 100 reports of damage have been filed with insurance companies following the earthquake in the Zurich area that took place on Saturday night.

Rhineland autobahn fire causes pile-up, kills one
Germany

Rhineland autobahn fire causes pile-up, kills one

One person was killed in a motorway pile-up between Düsseldorf and Cologne on Tuesday morning when smoke from a fire caused seven trucks and 15 cars to crash. The fire left a bridge unsafe, delaying the clear-up operation.

Doctors can’t opt out of abortion duties: ministry
Norway

Doctors can’t opt out of abortion duties: ministry

All doctors must be prepared to refer patients to abortion clinics even if the wilful termination of a pregnancy runs counter to their own beliefs, Norway’s health ministry has confirmed.

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Sweden

Swedish man suspected of ‘kidnapping himself’

A 29-year-old man in northern Sweden has been remanded into custody together with an accomplice after trying to extort money from his parents by pretending he had been kidnapped.

Former Air France boss in cheap ticket row
France

Former Air France boss in cheap ticket row

The former head of Air France sparked outrage when it was revealed that he and his wife were about to fly to Mauritius in business class for just €24 ($30).

Berlin chops down Unter den Linden lime trees
Germany

Berlin chops down Unter den Linden lime trees

Some of Germany’s most famous trees, the limes along Berlin’s central boulevard Unter den Linden, were chopped down on Monday to enable construction of an underground train line.

Le Pen still at risk of not being able to stand
France

Le Pen still at risk of not being able to stand

Far-right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen is taking her battle over France's election rules to the country's highest court this week as she claimed still to be short of meeting requirements to stand in upcoming presidential elections.

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Switzerland

Kazakh president faces lawsuit in Switzerland

A group of Kazakhs has filed a lawsuit in Switzerland against Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his son-in-law for having allegedly embezzled 400 million francs ($435 million), news agency ATS reported on Monday.

Sweden at ’real risk’ of terror: government
Sweden

Sweden at ’real risk’ of terror: government

The Swedish Government has penned a new terror strategy, upgrading Sweden’s risk status since the last plan four years ago, calling for an ‘inter-agency cooperation’ in the fight to counter terror in Sweden.

German man refuses to leave Swedish airport
Germany

German man refuses to leave Swedish airport

A German man has been living at a Swedish airport for two months – he says he has no wish to return home and nowhere to go in Sweden.

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France

Moody’s threatens France with downgrade

The largest ratings agency, Moody's, threatened to follow its rival Standard & Poor's by downgrading France from its triple-A rating, along with the UK and Austria.

Thousands block neo-Nazis in Dresden
Germany

Thousands block neo-Nazis in Dresden

At least 13,000 people formed a human chain through the centre of Dresden on Monday evening despite subzero temperatures to mark the 67th anniversary of the city’s allied bombardment – and to block a neo-Nazi march.

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Sweden

Four in custody for Malmö murder

New witness statements have led to four men being held in custody in connection with the fatal Malmö shooting of a 19-year-old man in August last year.

Prisoner reports jail after waiting for loo roll
Sweden

Prisoner reports jail after waiting for loo roll

A man being held in custody in Gothenburg, in western Sweden, has reported the detention centre to authorities after it took two hours for toilet paper to be delivered to his cell.

Sarkozy to confirm re-election bid on TV
France

Sarkozy to confirm re-election bid on TV

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to announce his bid for re-election on Wednesday, setting the stage for what he hopes will be a dramatic comeback against his poll-leading Socialist rival.