Greek ex-minister probed for Swiss bank fraud
Switzerland

Greek ex-minister probed for Swiss bank fraud

The office of Switzerland's prosecutor general said on Friday that it was investigating Greece's jailed former defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos over suspected money laundering.

‘Hollande wants blood, and he will get it’
France

‘Hollande wants blood, and he will get it’

Several gay marriage opponents fired off violent rhetoric on Friday after the French government announced it would bring forward the final stage in the process of legalizing gay marriage. Here is a look back at the most provocative statements made during France's divisive gay marriage row.

Pensioner fall damages Ai Weiwei sculpture
Spain

Pensioner fall damages Ai Weiwei sculpture

A sculpture by famous Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei has been damaged in Seville after a woman tripped and fell.

Fresh Prince fights for spring fashion’s top slot
Sweden

Fresh Prince fights for spring fashion’s top slot

The tardy spring has affected the fashion industry as much as people's moods, but in anticipation of sunshine, The Local's Ann Törnkvist asks a vintage expert how to wear spring's main trends in Sweden.

Gaul warriors unearthed at 2,300-year-old site
France

Gaul warriors unearthed at 2,300-year-old site

French archaeologists have unearthed the graves of several Gaul warriors dating back around 2300 years, at the site of a huge business park development near the city of Troyes in central France.

Swede sentenced to death in Malaysia
Sweden

Swede sentenced to death in Malaysia

A 44-year-old Swedish citizen has been given the death penalty by a Malaysian court for drugs trafficking, a crime which is penalized by hanging in the south-east Asian country.

‘People in the Lot don’t care if I’ve been on TV’
France

‘People in the Lot don’t care if I’ve been on TV’

Award-winning English TV producer, writer and housewife Samantha Brick says that before she moved to The Lot area of south west France, she barely knew where it was. Now she raves about the idyllic region and tells The Local how life among the rolling hills keeps her grounded.

Sun, spring and high temps to arrive Monday
Germany

Sun, spring and high temps to arrive Monday

Rain might dampen Germany's Friday night party plans, but by the beginning of next week temperatures of 20C and above will finally mark the beginning of a much-anticipated spring, said the DWD national weather service.

Germany rejects footing bigger Cyprus bailout
Germany

Germany rejects footing bigger Cyprus bailout

Germany on Friday said the amount of a eurozone bailout for Cyprus would not rise, after the debt-laden island state's president said he would appeal for extra assistance.

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Switzerland

Russians back Swiss role to defuse Korea tensions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that he backed the idea of Switzerland hosting six-nation talks in an effort to defuse tensions over North Korea.

Hundreds of migrants rescued off Lampedusa
Italy

Hundreds of migrants rescued off Lampedusa

Italy's coastguard on Friday said it had rescued 213 migrants packed onto two large dinghies, bringing to 650 the total number to have landed on the southern island of Lampedusa in recent days.

‘Delightful Gothenburg beats Stockholm by far’
Sweden

‘Delightful Gothenburg beats Stockholm by far’

Photographer Lisa Mikulski profiles Gothenburg for this week's My Sweden, explaining how it's the "delightful" little things that make it Sweden's best city to visit.

All-German Champions League final in sight
Germany

All-German Champions League final in sight

The prospect of an all-German European Champions League final next month remains alive after the European football governing body UEFA made the draw for this year's semi-final.

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Italy

Italian anarchist group claims parcel bomb

An Italian anarchist group on Friday claimed responsibility for a parcel bomb that was sent this week to a newspaper office but failed to detonate, saying journalists who investigate the underground organization would be targeted.

‘I dreamed of coming to Granada as a kid’
Spain

‘I dreamed of coming to Granada as a kid’

In this week's My Spain, we talk to restaurant owner Mirza Asghar about horse riding, studying Moorish Spain in his native Punjab and why he's never tried jamón serrano.

Top five reasons to enrol on an Executive MBA
Germany

Top five reasons to enrol on an Executive MBA

Looking to climb the professional ladder? Ready for a new challenge? Thinking about heading back to the classroom mid-career? Be inspired to reach new professional and personal heights with the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program.

‘The Spanish King didn’t choose his son-in-law’
Spain

‘The Spanish King didn’t choose his son-in-law’

Spain's effervescent Duchess of Alba is celebrating her 60 years in the role with the publication of a new autobiography in which she describes herself as a monarchist and a Catholic who doesn't believe in divorce.

‘Sacrilegious’ Paris auction given green light
France

‘Sacrilegious’ Paris auction given green light

A French court ruled on Friday that a controversial auction in Paris of ceremonial masks originating from Arizona's Hopi tribe could go ahead, despite opponents including actor Robert Redford saying the sale amounted to "sacrilege".

Spain hopes for ‘Clásico Champions’ final
Spain

Spain hopes for ‘Clásico Champions’ final

Spain has its fingers crossed for an "El Clásico" Champions League final after Barcelona and Real Madrid were drawn against German heavyweights Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in UEFA's semi-final draw on Thursday.

Australian student’s killer loses jail appeal
France

Australian student’s killer loses jail appeal

A 37-year-old Frenchman has lost his appeal to overturn his 30-year jail sentence for murdering an Australian student who was beaten, strangled and dumped in a car park outside Paris.

Spanish lenders loosen ECB debt shackles
Spain

Spanish lenders loosen ECB debt shackles

The net debt owed by Spanish banks to the European Central Bank fell in March for the seventh straight month to its lowest level in a year, official data showed on Friday.

Elderly woman lay dead in her flat for three years
France

Elderly woman lay dead in her flat for three years

The body of a 76-year-old woman lay undiscovered in her apartment for three years in the south-western city of Toulouse, according to reports on Friday that have left her neighbours shocked.

French Senate adopts gay marriage bill
France

French Senate adopts gay marriage bill

France moved a step closer to legalizing same sex marriage on Friday when the Senate adopted a gay marriage bill after days of heated argument. Only National Assembly deputies now stand in the way of it becoming law.

Ex-President hit with official corruption charge
Germany

Ex-President hit with official corruption charge

State prosecutors in Hannover officially charged ex-President Christian Wulff with corruption on Friday, over a year after he was forced to step down amid a storm of media allegations.

Deserting the wrong way: Why soldiers went East
Germany

Deserting the wrong way: Why soldiers went East

Countless East Germans tried to flee communist oppression, but a new book documents the rare cases of western deserters going the other way. Matthew Luxmoore reports.

Madrid’s left shuns Thatcher Street idea
Spain

Madrid’s left shuns Thatcher Street idea

A Madrid Town Hall proposal to name a street after the late Baroness Thatcher has been snubbed by Spain's left.

Zlatan puts Malmö mansion on the market
Sweden

Zlatan puts Malmö mansion on the market

Swedish star footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic is selling his five-bedroom mansion in Malmö, southern Sweden, six years after he snapped it up in extravagant circumstances.

‘Too many potatoes on Swedes’ plates’: expert
Sweden

‘Too many potatoes on Swedes’ plates’: expert

Generations of Swedes have grown up with the dietary guideline known as the "plate model" but now its inventor says it should be scrapped because it does not suit Swedes' increasingly immobile lifestyles and may contribute to high obesity rates.

Cops crash out in Valencia red light fail
Spain

Cops crash out in Valencia red light fail

Three women and two police officers have been injured after the police drove through a red light in Valencia.

Cameron and family to stay with Merkel
Germany

Cameron and family to stay with Merkel

British Prime Minister David Cameron visits Germany Friday to press for EU reforms, but in an unusual move Chancellor Angela Merkel has invited him to stay overnight with his family.

Vaud winegrower fined for tardy fireworks
Switzerland

Vaud winegrower fined for tardy fireworks

A winegrower from the Chablais region of Vaud failed in his bid to overturn a fine for letting off fireworks on his property a day after the Swiss national holiday last year.

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Spain

Inflation eases on back of cheaper fuel

Spanish inflation eased to 2.6 percent in March on a 12-month basis from 2.9 percent in February, mainly owing to lower prices for motor fuels, figures published on Friday by the national statistics institute INE showed.

Patients in France being sent for ‘pointless’ tests
France

Patients in France being sent for ‘pointless’ tests

France's health service is renowned world wide, but a new report has criticized its doctors for being inefficient and costly, by sending their patients for far too many pointless and expensive medical exams.

SPD call for ‘Eurofood’ police force
Germany

SPD call for ‘Eurofood’ police force

Germany's opposition Social Democrat party called for a Europe-wide food police force on Friday, a day after it emerged that falsely labelled horsemeat was far more widespread than previously thought.

Blizzard warning crushes Swedes’ spring hope
Sweden

Blizzard warning crushes Swedes’ spring hope

Just when Swedes were getting their hopes up for some spring sunshine, Sweden's weather agency SMHI issued a warning that twenty centimetres of fresh snow may fall over the weekend.

Arsonist strikes Brittany village for tenth time
France

Arsonist strikes Brittany village for tenth time

A serial arsonist continues to plague a quaint seaside hamlet in Brittany, western France, despite extensive police attempts to snare the culprit. This week he struck for the tenth time.

‘Net dating makes me wonder if I’d date myself’
Sweden

‘Net dating makes me wonder if I’d date myself’

A lost wallet, a shaved-bare 24-year-old, and multiple page visits by a steroid addict leaves Emilia Millicent thinking she's had the worse run of luck at internet dating ever... until she asked her friends about theirs.

‘I’m a courageous and free-thinking woman’
Italy

‘I’m a courageous and free-thinking woman’

No stranger to headlines, the porn-star-turned-politician known as 'La Cicciolina' once offered to sleep with Saddam Hussein in return for peace. This week, at the age of 61, she announced her return to politics – which is why she’s our Italian Face of the Week.

Italian protest party holds online vote for president
Italy

Italian protest party holds online vote for president

Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement party held an online vote on Thursday to select candidates to be the crisis-hit country's next president -- an unorthodox move before lawmakers begin voting on the post next week.

Catalan President steps up independence drive
Spain

Catalan President steps up independence drive

The President of Catalonia Artur Mas has put together a study group to investigate how a Catalonian nation could work in practice.

Berlusconi says he could support leftist president
Italy

Berlusconi says he could support leftist president

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi on Friday said he could consider supporting a candidate for president from his rivals on the left but only on condition that they form a grand coalition government with him.

Bank Austria ordered to pay East German cash
Germany

Bank Austria ordered to pay East German cash

Switzerland's top court on Thursday ordered Bank Austria to pay Germany €254 million following a legal battle dating back to the fall of the Berlin Wall two decades ago.

Norway PM ‘will never travel with Ryanair’
Norway

Norway PM ‘will never travel with Ryanair’

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary was in Norway on Thursday to reject accusations that his low-cost airline treated its employees like slaves, as unions and politicians in the Scandinavian state called for a boycott of the firm.

Brazil to buy German anti-aircraft tanks
Germany

Brazil to buy German anti-aircraft tanks

Brazil will buy 34 1A2 Gepard anti-aircraft tanks from Germany to provide security at major religious and sporting events, like the upcoming World Cup, officials said Thursday.

Uni raises tuition fees for non-EU foreigners
Germany

Uni raises tuition fees for non-EU foreigners

A university in the eastern Germany state of Saxony has become the first to raise tuition fees drastically for non-EU foreign students. The fee hike from €220 to €3,600 each year could set a nationwide precedent.

Ten best chat-up lines to use in French
France

Ten best chat-up lines to use in French

If your interpretation of French flirting involves reciting the lyrics: “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir” then you might as well stay at home. Luckily, The Local is here to guide you with a list of ten of the best chat-up lines to use in French.

France turns up heat on Austria over tax havens
France

France turns up heat on Austria over tax havens

France turned up the heat on Austria Thursday, with French Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve saying that it could be placed on a French list of non-cooperative countries if lawmakers do not agree to an automatic exchange of information aimed at combating tax evasion.

Swede films trio of thieves in burglary bid
Sweden

Swede films trio of thieves in burglary bid

A Swede kept his cool when he heard someone try to enter his flat and decided to film the gang leader of three wannabe burglars, a clip that will now be used as evidence by the police.

Bankrupt Swede revealed by OffshoreLeaks
Sweden

Bankrupt Swede revealed by OffshoreLeaks

A Swedish businessman indebted to the tune of 179 million kronor ($28 million) went on to set up accounts in the Cook Islands, revealed the Fokus news magazine on Friday as a result of its participation in OffshoreLeaks.

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Sweden

Löfven defends colleague in anti-Semitism row

The embattled Social Democrat Omar Mustafa has spoken out about anti-Semitism claims laid at his door after he was elected to the governing board of the opposition party.

‘The nightlife in Jena is very good’
Germany

‘The nightlife in Jena is very good’

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on life in his or her hometown. This week, Shyam Sundar Sridharan talks about Jena in the eastern state of Thuringia.