Spain and Germany mull business funding plans
Spain

Spain and Germany mull business funding plans

Spain and Germany on Monday announced joint plans to boost private investment to small and medium-sized Spanish businesses to help drive economic recovery and create jobs in the recession-hit country.

Top tips for teaching English in Spain
Spain

Top tips for teaching English in Spain

Whether teaching English is your calling in life, or you just want an excuse to live the good life in Spain for a while, The Local's guide to teaching English will get you off on the right foot.

Sweden’s H&M to open 50 new stores in India
Sweden

Sweden’s H&M to open 50 new stores in India

Swedish fashion retail giant H&M aims to open 50 stores in India to tap the South Asian nation's growing middle-class market, an Indian government statement said Monday.

Big German papers miss out on Nazi trial seats
Germany

Big German papers miss out on Nazi trial seats

Several major German news outlets failed on Monday to secure seats at the trial of a suspected neo-Nazi terrorist. The Association of German Journalists criticized the selection process, saying it undermined the trial's importance.

Stockholm’s new train line heads under water
Sweden

Stockholm’s new train line heads under water

Swedish engineers are set to lower the first segment of the massive Citybanan train tunnel into the Stockholm bay of Riddarfjärden, in what the transport authority is calling an immensely difficult technological operation.

Spanish transsexual bags widow pension
Spain

Spanish transsexual bags widow pension

A transsexual has won a ten-year-long battle to receive a widow's pension after she was repeatedly denied the right to one for not having had any children with her de facto partner.

How to survive and thrive as an artist in Paris
France

How to survive and thrive as an artist in Paris

Paris has been known as a haven for international artists and writers for more than a century. But anyone dreaming of emulating Joyce, Hemingway or Picasso should study this list of tips first, from artists working in Paris right now.

The French village with too much money
France

The French village with too much money

It’s a story that you would not expect to hear about in a time of austerity with the French economy struggling under mounting debt, but one village mayor in the Tarn region has so much money to spend he does not know what to do with it.

Santander hands CEO golden parachute
Spain

Santander hands CEO golden parachute

Giant Spanish bank Santander on Monday announced the resignation of its chief executive Alfredo Sáenz, who was convicted in 2011 for irregularities in a debt-recovery case.

Bomb scare closes Arc de Triomphe roundabout
France

Bomb scare closes Arc de Triomphe roundabout

The roundabout surrounding the Arc de Triomphe, one of the busiest and most famous in Paris, was evacuated on Monday after a bomb scare.

Tax-evading Swedish pensioner ‘too old’ for jail
Sweden

Tax-evading Swedish pensioner ‘too old’ for jail

A 91-year-old Swedish woman who is "too old" to be sent to prison told Swedish Enforcement Authorities (Kronofogden) they could take her coffin once she passed away, claiming she had no other possessions to pay off her debts.

German tackles bird deaths with cat tax idea
Germany

German tackles bird deaths with cat tax idea

German cat owners could be hit with a special bird-kill tax to compensate for the damage their felines inflict on bird populations - if a leading ornithologist has his way.

PM to unveil programme amid market cheer
Italy

PM to unveil programme amid market cheer

Italy's new Prime Minister Enrico Letta was set to unveil his coalition government's programme on Monday under the watchful gaze of European partners and amid optimism among international investors.

‘Centralize the Swedish emergency call system’
Sweden

‘Centralize the Swedish emergency call system’

Swedish emergency service operator SOS Alarm should be replaced by a state authority, according to a new proposal presented to Sweden's Defence Minister Karin Enström on Monday.

Sisters face jail for 1,000 prank calls to firefighters
France

Sisters face jail for 1,000 prank calls to firefighters

Making a prank call to emergency services normally ends on a ticking off by authorities but two French sisters can expect a lot more than that. After making around 1,000 hoax calls to Paris firefighters the pair are facing a spell behind bars.

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Switzerland

EU spars with Canada, Norway at WTO

The European Union locked horns Monday with Canada and Norway at the World Trade Organisation over its hotly contested ban on the import and sale of seal products.

Wanted: 1,000 German tax collectors
Germany

Wanted: 1,000 German tax collectors

Of all things the German government could be short of, tax collectors is not the one most people would expect - yet it is struggling to fill 1,000 specialist jobs after a system overhaul left it responsible for gathering car tax.

Merkel: we’re still friends with France
Germany

Merkel: we’re still friends with France

Germany on Monday played down criticism by France's ruling Socialists of Chancellor Angela Merkel's insistence on austerity, and said it saw cooperation with Paris as "essential".

Norway battles with EU at WTO over seal ban
Norway

Norway battles with EU at WTO over seal ban

The European Union locked horns on Monday with Norway and Canada at the World Trade Organisation over its hotly contested ban on the import and sale of seal products.

Swiss salaries show real growth in 2012
Switzerland

Swiss salaries show real growth in 2012

Salaries in Switzerland are rising slowly but steadily. Last year they increased by an average 0.8 percent, according to government statistics.

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Spain

British bank Lloyds sells Spanish retail activities

Britain's state-rescued Lloyds bank said on Monday that it has sold its loss-making Spanish retail banking activities to Spain's Banco Sabadell in a deal worth up to €100 million ($131 million).

Ministries named and shamed in racism report
France

Ministries named and shamed in racism report

A new report on the performance of France’s ministries in fighting against racism and discrimination will make unpleasant reading for the Socialist government and in particular the country's Interior Ministry, which came bottom of the table.

Swedes ditch downloads for illegal streaming
Sweden

Swedes ditch downloads for illegal streaming

Swedes are turning away from file-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay in favour of "safer" illegal streaming sites for new movies and TV shows, with experts claiming that Swedes would pay for content if a better solution was available.

Spanish teens rank high in dope smoking table
Spain

Spanish teens rank high in dope smoking table

One in four Spaniards between the ages of 11 and 15 has smoked cannabis in the last year, but experts are more concerned by the sharp increase in binge drinking among young people.

Teen stabs girl in head after toast rage incident
Spain

Teen stabs girl in head after toast rage incident

An irate teen who flicked a knife at his girlfriend while making breakfast has been handed a one-year probationary sentence and told to attend anger management classes.

Donors of ‘risky’ blood must be revealed: court
Sweden

Donors of ‘risky’ blood must be revealed: court

A Swedish court has ruled that Västerbotten County must share its blood-donor registry in order for researchers to track down donors whose blood may be linked to a lung condition that can be fatal.

France set to cut 20,000 posts in armed forces
France

France set to cut 20,000 posts in armed forces

France’s drive to balance the books will see it delete 20,000 posts from its armed forces by 2019, French media reports claimed on Monday. The ground forces are set to bear the brunt of the reductions.

Spanish royals set sail for Dutch ‘coronation’
Spain

Spanish royals set sail for Dutch ‘coronation’

Spain's Crown Prince Felipe and his wife Letizia, Princess of Asturias, will travel to Amsterdam on Monday to attend the investiture of the Netherlands' Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange.

Women Catholic deacons ‘no longer taboo’
Germany

Women Catholic deacons ‘no longer taboo’

Germany's top Roman Catholic has called for women to be allowed to become deacons, which would enable them to perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass - a novelty for Catholic women.

German wild apples in danger of extinction
Germany

German wild apples in danger of extinction

Germany's wild apple trees are dying out, with fewer than 6,000 left in the entire country. They are falling victim to industrialized farming and the loss of traditional woodlands.

Spanish man linked to Dhaka factory disaster
Spain

Spanish man linked to Dhaka factory disaster

His ambition was to build an "ethical factory" in Bangladesh's notorious garment industry, but Spanish entrepreneur David Mayor is now a wanted man after his company turned to dust in the Dhaka factory disaster.

Do not pick fight with Merkel, minister warns
France

Do not pick fight with Merkel, minister warns

France's Foreign Minister has told members of his own Socialist Party not to go looking for a fight with Germany after a party document slammed Chancellor Angeler Merkel for being "selfish". Germany has tried to play down the row.

Islamophobia: Vandals desecrate Muslim graves
France

Islamophobia: Vandals desecrate Muslim graves

As many as 20 graves have been destroyed and vandalized in the Muslim section of a cemetery near Paris, in the latest in a lengthening list of Islamophobic incidents in France in recent months.

Steck Everest expedition ends in a brawl
Switzerland

Steck Everest expedition ends in a brawl

Swiss mountaineer Ueli Steck has called off his 16th Mount Everest expedition after being attacked by a group of sherpas.

Brit lands Berlin airport half marathon victory
Germany

Brit lands Berlin airport half marathon victory

Berlin's new BER airport may not be ready for planes, but a British runner flew around the runway on Saturday, winning one of the country's more unusual races - the Airport Run half marathon.

Revealed: France’s sneakiest speed radars
France

Revealed: France’s sneakiest speed radars

A new study was released on Monday which will be a useful tool to the thousands of tourists set to head to France this summer by car. A French motorists group has created a map of the sneakiest speed cameras in the country.

Spanish PM pleads for patience on reforms
Spain

Spanish PM pleads for patience on reforms

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy reaffirmed on Sunday that his government knows what it is doing and pleaded for patience on the implementation of necessary reforms.

Sweden’s ex-politicians often cash in as lobbyists
Sweden

Sweden’s ex-politicians often cash in as lobbyists

More than a third of former Swedish politicians and politically-appointed civil servants have transitioned into lobbying activities in the last six years, a new investigation has shown, prompting calls for more regulation.

Militant feminist in new Italian cabinet line-up
Italy

Militant feminist in new Italian cabinet line-up

Italy's new government line-up brings together personalities from across the political spectrum, from Silvio Berlusconi's protégé to a crime fighter and a militant feminist from the radical party.

Man drowns trying to save dog from river
Switzerland

Man drowns trying to save dog from river

A man died in the canton of Vaud on Sunday as he jumped into the Arnon river to rescue a dog and was swept away.

Video: Beckham sees red as PSG battle to 1-0 win
France

Video: Beckham sees red as PSG battle to 1-0 win

David Beckham’s brief career at Paris Saint-Germain took an ignominious twist on Sunday when he was sent off in PSG's 1-0 victory at Evian. The match ended in a mass brawl as players from both teams squared up to each other on the pitch.

Gothenburg shootings surge in two years
Sweden

Gothenburg shootings surge in two years

After a man was shot dead through his kitchen window in Gothenburg this weekend, local police said easier access to weapons has lead to one shooting a week in the western Sweden city.

Probe launched after fatal building collapse
France

Probe launched after fatal building collapse

Three people died and 14 were injured on Sunday when part of an apartment block in the French city of Reims collapsed after a suspected gas blast, just three weeks after a similar tragedy not far away.

Rafa Nadal wins record eighth title in Barcelona
Spain

Rafa Nadal wins record eighth title in Barcelona

Rafael Nadal extended his record number of Barcelona titles to eight as he brushed off a slow start to beat Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday.

Pirates put sex and drugs on Bavaria election plan
Germany

Pirates put sex and drugs on Bavaria election plan

The Bavarian Pirate Party may now become known as the sex and drugs party after adopting a range of policies on the two political hot potato issues at their state conference over the weekend.

Local produce no climate change panacea: study
Sweden

Local produce no climate change panacea: study

Consumers worried about climate change should cut down on meat rather than put their efforts into buying local produce, according to a new Swedish study.

‘Let kids born in Sweden be Swedish citizens’
Sweden

‘Let kids born in Sweden be Swedish citizens’

Children born in Sweden to foreign-born parents should automatically become Swedish citizens if one of the parents has lived in the country for at least five years, according to the findings of a government inquiry.

EU jobs chief: wages should rise in Germany
Germany

EU jobs chief: wages should rise in Germany

German wages should rise to increase domestic demand and stop the export-heavy, low-wage economy drifting away from its partners in the eurozone, the European Commissioner for Employment said.

‘Let’s tell the truth about women’s progress’
Sweden

‘Let’s tell the truth about women’s progress’

Political leaders in Sweden and elsewhere could do themselves and women a favour by sticking to the facts when beating the drum for gender equality, argues liberal commentator Nima Sanandaji.

‘It’s important to master German subtleties’
Germany

‘It’s important to master German subtleties’

In the latest instalment of My German Career, The Local spoke with US-born conductor Scott Lawton about Germany's musical world.