‘Football brought me to Valencia’
Spain

‘Football brought me to Valencia’

This week in My Spain we talk to Valencia-based football analyst David Le Moël about eating too much paella and meeting Spain's World Cup winning squad.

Embracing Sweden’s ‘ridiculous’ sports
Sweden

Embracing Sweden’s ‘ridiculous’ sports

With the playoffs underway for Sweden's top ice hockey league, ex-Londoner Paul Connolly explains how his time in Sweden's far north has changed his views about some of the country's stranger sports.

Roma groups threaten to sue French minister
France

Roma groups threaten to sue French minister

Ethnic Roma living in France are considering legal action against Interior Minister Manuel Valls for incitement to racial hatred after he vowed to continue a controversial programme of dismantling illegal camps.

French man filmed 1,500 women in shop toilets
France

French man filmed 1,500 women in shop toilets

A French grandfather has been handed a one-year suspended sentence for filming more than 1,500 women in the toilets of supermarkets in Brittany. He also allegedly burned one woman with acid, "hoping she'd have to go and get changed."

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Sweden

Four schools closed in Malmö after firearm find

Four schools were shut down in Malmö on Friday after a rifle, a shotgun, and ammunition were discovered by construction workers on the roof of one of the schools.

Marriage rates halve as Spaniards shun altar
Spain

Marriage rates halve as Spaniards shun altar

Spanish people are tying the knot later and less often while unions involving at least one foreigner now make up one fifth of all marriages in the country.

UK swoons over Swedish policy smörgåsbord
Sweden

UK swoons over Swedish policy smörgåsbord

British politicians have a "big crush" on Sweden, according to the Economist magazine, a love affair shared by both the left and right despite lingering questions about how much of what works in Sweden can work in the UK.

Spain’s public debt hits record high
Spain

Spain’s public debt hits record high

Spain's public debt clocked in at an all-time high of 84.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 2012, official figures released on Friday showed.

Swedes pay respects to Princess Lilian
Sweden

Swedes pay respects to Princess Lilian

The lying in state of Princess Lilian of Sweden was held on Friday at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, with hundreds of well-wishers turning up to pay their final respects.

VW to open seven new factories in China
Germany

VW to open seven new factories in China

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, said Thursday that it planned to open seven more factories in China, as it confirmed record net profits for 2012 and voiced optimism for next year.

Chats link cyberbully suspect to girl’s suicide
Sweden

Chats link cyberbully suspect to girl’s suicide

Prosecutors on Friday ordered a 44-year-old man held on remand, saying the man's online chats are connected to a 13-year-old girl's suspected suicide.

Carla Bruni song ‘mocks’ Hollande ‘the penguin’
France

Carla Bruni song ‘mocks’ Hollande ‘the penguin’

Carla Bruni has reportedly taken a swipe at French President Francois Hollande, depicting him as a bumbling buffoon with no manners in a song that features on the former first lady's new album.

Borås: ‘A lovely city – if you’re a student’
Sweden

Borås: ‘A lovely city – if you’re a student’

An engineering student from Saudi Arabia presents Borås, a town of around 65,000 "well-dressed" residents and one enormous Pinocchio, for this week’s My Sweden.

Ten naughty mistakes the French make in English
France

Ten naughty mistakes the French make in English

After embarrassing the Anglophones among us last week, it's time to point out that the French themselves have a habit of turning faces red with their own accidentally dirty words. Here are the ten naughtiest mistakes the French make in English.

Bayern and BVB draw easy CL quarter-final ties
Germany

Bayern and BVB draw easy CL quarter-final ties

Contrary to fears of a possible all-German showdown, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund on Friday drew surmountable Champions League opponents in Juventus and Malaga for the quarter-finals.

German teens turn to grown-up books
Germany

German teens turn to grown-up books

German youngsters are as keen on reading as ever, but are turning away from books aimed specifically at young adults, figures from the annual Leipzig book fair on Friday suggested.

Thousands of Swedes hit with porn surfing bills
Sweden

Thousands of Swedes hit with porn surfing bills

A Swedish company with a dubious past has sent out invoices to thousands of Swedes demanding payment for allegedly visiting pornographic websites.

Spanish navy sells off ship for less than a Seat
Spain

Spanish navy sells off ship for less than a Seat

The Spanish navy is auctioning off one its retired patrol boats — for just €27,000.

Migrating birds leave frozen Germany
Germany

Migrating birds leave frozen Germany

Migrating birds are doing what many people in Germany would dearly love to do - heading back south in the face of the continuing freezing weather.

German cities see increase of break-ins
Germany

German cities see increase of break-ins

Break-ins in Germany are on the rise, with 10 percent more houses and flats being targeted by burglars in 2011 than the previous year, a new study shows.

Bern police storm home of accused HIV ‘healer’
Switzerland

Bern police storm home of accused HIV ‘healer’

Bern police on Friday arrested a self-declared “healer” on trial for infecting 16 people with HIV, the AIDS virus, after he barricaded himself in his home in the Swiss capital.

Goalie’s save puts Basel vs. Spurs in Europa Cup
Switzerland

Goalie’s save puts Basel vs. Spurs in Europa Cup

FC Basel’s goalkeeper Yann Sommer is the hero of the moment after saving a penalty kick awarded to Zenit St. Petersburg in Thursday night’s football match to send the Swiss team into the quarterfinals of the Europa League.

Thousands left without bags as storm costs soar
France

Thousands left without bags as storm costs soar

Thousands of Air France passengers have been left waiting days for their luggage to be delivered this week's winter snow storm led to hundreds of planes being cancelled. Meanwhile, It has been suggested the cost of weather-related insurance claims could exceed €100 million.

Champions League: No Spanish face-off yet
Spain

Champions League: No Spanish face-off yet

The three Spanish teams remaining in this year's Champions League draw won't be playing each other in the quarter finals of the tournament.

PSG to play Barcelona in Champions League
France

PSG to play Barcelona in Champions League

France's Paris Saint-Germain will play Spanish giants Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after being paired against the Catalan club in Friday's draw. It's arguably the toughest possible draw for PSG, but the omens are good.

Spain packs on kilos in obesity epidemic
Spain

Spain packs on kilos in obesity epidemic

More than half of Spaniards are now overweight according to a major new study published on Thursday.

Swedish krona ‘world’s strongest’ currency
Sweden

Swedish krona ‘world’s strongest’ currency

The krona has been the best performing currency over the past year, according to statistics from Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) and news agency Bloomberg.

Spanish homeowners hail EU eviction vote
Spain

Spanish homeowners hail EU eviction vote

Homeowners ruined by Spain's economic crisis and their defenders hailed a big step forward on Thursday after Europe's top court ruled that the country's eviction laws breached EU rules.

‘Provence still has hidden corners to explore’
France

‘Provence still has hidden corners to explore’

American food journalist Julie Mautner, 53, took a holiday to Provence 14 years ago and she's still living there now. As part of The Local's My France series she guides us round some of the best attractions and restaurants in the idyllic region of southern France.

‘Swedish politicians have a lot to learn about discussing race’
Sweden

‘Swedish politicians have a lot to learn about discussing race’

Justice Minister Beatrice Ask's clumsy statements in response to criticism of police efforts to deport illegal immigrants have left historian and commentator David Lindén feeling like a criminal for looking "non-Swedish".

Plagiarism scandal satire nicks ‘Yes Minister’ line
Germany

Plagiarism scandal satire nicks ‘Yes Minister’ line

Fans of British classic television series "Yes Minister" were astounded to find one of its lines parroted in a German satire show tracing the scandal of the German defence minister who lost his job - for plagiarizing large tracts of his doctoral thesis.

Bildt accused of leaking secrets to the US
Sweden

Bildt accused of leaking secrets to the US

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has denied claims he leaked details of secret meetings to the United States following media reports based on diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

French police roll out first secret speed radars
France

French police roll out first secret speed radars

The first 20 of a new generation of mobile speed radars took to the roads in France on Friday concealed in unmarked police cars. The devices have been described by police as "undetectable" and are designed to tackle the worst offenders.

Nadal thrashes hurt Federer at Indian Wells
Spain

Nadal thrashes hurt Federer at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal took another step in his return from injury with a convincing victory over a hurting Roger Federer on Thursday in the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells Masters.

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Germany

Every town and city from The Local’s My Germany

Here is the archived list of every featured town and city in our My Germany series.

Europe’s largest cruise ship takes to the seas
France

Europe’s largest cruise ship takes to the seas

Europe's largest cruise ship the MSC Preziosa – a behemoth longer than the Eiffel Tower – has cast off on its first voyage, from Saint-Nazaire in western France to the southern port of Marseille.

Man on trial for buying €4,500 ‘African slave girl’
France

Man on trial for buying €4,500 ‘African slave girl’

A 25-year-old man accused of paying €4,500 for an African girl, who was treated like a 'modern day slave' at his home in southern France will go on trial today. The 14-year-old victim was allegedly whipped with a belt and banned from going to school.

Students take to streets over funding cuts
Spain

Students take to streets over funding cuts

Thousands of students and teachers marched in Madrid on Thursday protesting against budget cuts and layoffs in schools and universities.

UBS reveals lofty bonuses despite losses
Switzerland

UBS reveals lofty bonuses despite losses

UBS is coming under fire after significant payouts and bonuses for top brass were divulged for 2012 despite the bank’s 2.5-billion-franc loss.

Federer takes break after Indian Wells loss
Switzerland

Federer takes break after Indian Wells loss

Roger Federer's tough week in the California desert ended with a quarter-final loss to Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells on Thursday, leaving the Swiss tennis great heading into a seven-week break still without a title in 2013.

The daring poster boy of jobless French youth
France

The daring poster boy of jobless French youth

France is full of hundreds of thousands of jobless youngsters but one job seeker stood out this week when he boldly confronted the French president in the street, asking him for an internship at the Elysée Palace (see video). Louis Godart is our French Face of the Week.

‘Ireland must recover so people come home’
Germany

‘Ireland must recover so people come home’

As Germany goes a touch Irish ahead of St Patrick's Day this weekend, The Local speaks with Dan Mulhall, the Emerald Isle's ambassador to Berlin.

French study offers hope in quest for Aids cure
France

French study offers hope in quest for Aids cure

A small French study of 14 HIV patients who have remained healthy for years after stopping drug treatment offers fresh evidence that early medical intervention may lead to a "functional cure" for AIDS, researchers said this week.

Social Democrats fail to increase appeal
Germany

Social Democrats fail to increase appeal

Just days after Germany's main opposition party unveiled its manifesto for September's general election, its popularity slumped to its lowest ebb since June 2011, a poll showed on Thursday.

Strikes hit hundreds of flights in west Germany
Germany

Strikes hit hundreds of flights in west Germany

Managers at Düsseldorf and Cologne/Bonn airports cancelled hundreds of flights on Friday morning and advised passengers to expect long delays, as they were hit by another day of strikes by security personnel.

Abortions more common despite morning-after pill
Sweden

Abortions more common despite morning-after pill

Abortion figures in Sweden have increased since the introduction of the morning-after pill, with experts blaming the unwanted pregnancies on Swedes' "careless" contraception habits.

‘Erfurt is small yet sustainable’
Germany

‘Erfurt is small yet sustainable’

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on life in his or her adopted hometown. This week, Karthik Subramanian takes us to Erfurt.