Report laments bad Swiss eating habits
Switzerland

Report laments bad Swiss eating habits

Swiss residents eat as many calories as 30 years ago while getting less exercise, says a damning government report on nutrition and food strategy for the country.

Business confidence struggling: Davos survey
Switzerland

Business confidence struggling: Davos survey

Top business leaders are less gloomy about the prospects for the global economy than last year but hardly brimming with confidence for 2013, according to a major survey released on the eve of the Davos forum.

Farmer escapes jail time for killing hemp thief
Switzerland

Farmer escapes jail time for killing hemp thief

A 50-year-old farmer from Schwarzenburg in the canton of Bern escaped on Tuesday with a suspended two-year jail sentence for killing a man who was stealing hemp plants from one of his fields.

Cantona’s Rolls Royce raises €125,000
France

Cantona’s Rolls Royce raises €125,000

Eric Cantona, the legendary Manchester United footballer turned actor, raised €125,000 for a housing charity on Tuesday, when his customized Rolls Royce went under the hammer at an auction in Paris.

France expels ‘record number’ of immigrants
France

France expels ‘record number’ of immigrants

France expelled record numbers of illegal immigrants in 2012, sources close to the country’s Interior Ministry confirmed to French media on Tuesday.

Zidane ‘never apologized’ for headbutt: Materazzi
France

Zidane ‘never apologized’ for headbutt: Materazzi

The former Italian footballer Marco Materazzi revealed on Tuesday that despite being prepared to bury the hatchet with his old foe the legendary French player Zinédine Zidane, their long-standing grudge is unlikely to come to an end.

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France

Hollande and Merkel vow to unite to save eurozone

France and Germany on Tuesday agreed to hammer out joint proposals for strengthening the crisis-battered eurozone as they marked 50 years since a treaty sealing their post-war reconciliation.

Renault threatens to close two sites in France
France

Renault threatens to close two sites in France

Managers of French automaker Renault threatened on Tuesday to close two sites in France unless trade unions agreed to measures aimed at raising the group's competitive performance, union officials said.

Top ten tips for taming the Swedish language
Sweden

Top ten tips for taming the Swedish language

Losing interest in your language lessons? Need to add some spice to your Swedish skills? Want to talk to the blonde that lives next door but you don’t have the courage? Then The Local’s top ten Swedish learning tips are for you.

Gay marriage: Socialist party branches attacked
France

Gay marriage: Socialist party branches attacked

The row over gay marriage in France took a sinister turn this week when the Socialist party reported vandals had targeted several of its branches, smashing windows and daubing homophobic graffiti on the walls.

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Sweden

Sweden to split siblings in deportation case

Sweden is set to split two siblings from their younger sister as they are deported to Serbia along with their mother who left them in such a state of neglect that child services intervened in 2009.

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Switzerland

Iranian execution condemned by UN body

The Geneva-based UN human rights body on Tuesday harshly criticized Iran for reportedly executing a man who was only 17 at the time of his alleged crime.

H&M provides half of Swedish fashion turnover
Sweden

H&M provides half of Swedish fashion turnover

With Swedish apparel behemoth H&M accounting for more than half of Sweden's fashion industry turnover, experts say more needs to be done to help emerging design talent expand their business.

French have more dogs, live longer than Germans
Germany

French have more dogs, live longer than Germans

As France and Germany celebrate 50 years since they signed the Èlysée friendship treaty, one newspaper gathered statistics to show how the neighbours differ.

Opel could shut Bochum plant two years early
Germany

Opel could shut Bochum plant two years early

A top executive of US auto giant General Motors has warned that the Bochum plant of loss-making Opel in Germany could be closed two years early if management and unions do not agree a turnaround plan soon.

Hannover 96 bemused by Brazilian’s missing 9 cm
Germany

Hannover 96 bemused by Brazilian’s missing 9 cm

Hannover 96 coach Mirko Slomka has admitted being surprised to find new Brazilian recruit Franca -- signed to bolster the Bundesliga club's midfield -- is nine centimetres (3 1/2 inches) shorter than he had been told.

Stockholm enlists Ikea to ease housing crunch
Sweden

Stockholm enlists Ikea to ease housing crunch

A hotly debated, semi-industrial neighbourhood just south of central Stockholm is set for a major overhaul, with city hall enlisting the help of Swedish furniture giant Ikea.

Jihadist group delivers chilling threat to France
France

Jihadist group delivers chilling threat to France

The jihadist group believed to be behind the deadly hostage siege in Algeria has issued a series of alarming threats against France, warning that last week’s mass kidnapping at the In Amenas gas plant was “only the beginning.”

iPad owners to pay Swedish TV licence fee
Sweden

iPad owners to pay Swedish TV licence fee

A move by Sveriges Television (SVT) to offer all of its content online means that Swedes who watch digitally streamed content on computer and tablet devices such as the iPad will have to start paying television licence fees.

Investor confidence highest in years
Germany

Investor confidence highest in years

Investor sentiment in Germany has soared to the highest levels since the start of the eurozone debt crisis in 2010 as the outlook for Europe's top economy continues to brighten, a survey found on Tuesday.

New asset freeze in TeliaSonera bribe probe
Sweden

New asset freeze in TeliaSonera bribe probe

The Stockholm District Court on Tuesday ordered an unprecedented 1.8 billion kronor ($277 million) asset freeze for the Uzbekistan-based partner of Nordic telecom firm TeliaSonera as part of an ongoing bribery investigation.

Nearly a third of Germans fail their driving test
Germany

Nearly a third of Germans fail their driving test

A European motoring club says greed has led to the situation where around a third of those who take the German driving test fail and must take extra lessons before trying again.

SPD win grants majority to mess with Merkel
Germany

SPD win grants majority to mess with Merkel

The opposition will soon have a majority in Germany's upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat - and are planning to use it to push through a minimum wage and alter the disputed child care subsidy.

Six billion tonnes of snow smother Germany
Germany

Six billion tonnes of snow smother Germany

Germany shivered under a thick blanket of snow on Tuesday, causing endless flight cancellations, accidents and public transport nightmares.

Paris teachers strike over increase to school week
France

Paris teachers strike over increase to school week

Primary schools were closed across Paris on Tuesday as teachers staged a mass walk-out in protest over plans to extend the school week from four full days to four and a half.

World’s jobless set to exceed 200 million
Switzerland

World’s jobless set to exceed 200 million

Global unemployment rose by four million people last year to a total of 197 million, and another five million people are expected to raise the total to 202 million this year, the Geneva-based International Labour Organization says.

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France

French family of five found dead at home

Firefighters made a grisly discovery when responding to an emergency call to a house in the southern French town of Nimes on Monday evening. Believing they were attending a routine fire the firefighters entered the house to find five bloodied bodies of a couple and their three children.

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Switzerland

Arson suspected in Lausanne library fire

Investigators believe a fire on the weekend was set deliberately at Lausanne’s downtown city library, damaging 100,000 books and gutting administrative offices.

‘Too many men’ ground easyJet plane to Geneva
Switzerland

‘Too many men’ ground easyJet plane to Geneva

The British-based budget airline easyJet was forced to ask four passengers to get off a plane heading from Liverpool to Geneva last Friday because it was 300 kilograms over its weight limit.

‘Slap carbon tax on meat to reduce emissions’
Sweden

‘Slap carbon tax on meat to reduce emissions’

The Swedish Agricultural Board (Jordbruksverket) on Tuesday proposed a tax as a counterweight to Swedes' increasing proclivity for meat, much of it imported, which it argued puts a strain on the environment.

Pong from French gas leak reaches UK
France

Pong from French gas leak reaches UK

France insisted Tuesday that a major gas leak - whose stench hit millions, reached the shores of England and caused a major soccer match to be cancelled - was entirely harmless.

Eat, Sleep, Die dominates Swedish film awards
Sweden

Eat, Sleep, Die dominates Swedish film awards

Eat, Sleep, Die (Äta sova dö), a film depicting the struggles of a young immigrant in southern Sweden, was the big winner at Sweden's 2012 national film awards on Monday night, scooping up four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Two circus camels go missing in central France
France

Two circus camels go missing in central France

Two circus camels, Simbas and Judas, disappeared in the middle of the night in central France and are still missing two days later, the director of the circus said on Monday.

Ericsson buys French IT consultancy unit
Sweden

Ericsson buys French IT consultancy unit

Swedish telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson said on Monday it would buy the telecom and media unit of French technology consultant Devoteam.

Smoking rules start to stub out the cigs
Germany

Smoking rules start to stub out the cigs

Germans are smoking less, with higher taxes on tobacco and bans on public smoking seemingly taking effect. The number of legal cigarettes sold last year was nearly six percent down on the previous year, while smuggled smokes held steady.

Ikea clears major hurdle in India expansion bid
Sweden

Ikea clears major hurdle in India expansion bid

India's foreign investment panel has cleared a nearly $2-billion plan by Swedish furniture giant Ikea to open its stores in the country as it seeks new markets for its flat-pack products.

Franco-German ties feted amid euro crisis
Germany

Franco-German ties feted amid euro crisis

France and Germany Tuesday marked 50 years since a landmark treaty sealed their post-war reconciliation with a day of pomp, symbolism and celebration while papering over their differences.

‘Life would be difficult if I didn’t speak any German’
Germany

‘Life would be difficult if I didn’t speak any German’

In the next instalment of our new series My German Career, The Local profiles the Berlin-based software developer James Hobson.