The furniture-free way to relocate to Germany
Germany

The furniture-free way to relocate to Germany

Forget the hassle and expense of shipping your sofas and soft furnishings everytime you relocate. The Furniture Leasing Corporation has everything you need to ensure your home from home has all the finishing touches.

Insurers vet millions in Swiss hailstorm claims
Switzerland

Insurers vet millions in Swiss hailstorm claims

Hail caused millions of francs’ worth of damage and flash flooding occurred in parts of Western Switzerland as stormy weather swept across much of the country on Thursday evening.

Switzerland’s Wawrinka advances in Portugal
Switzerland

Switzerland’s Wawrinka advances in Portugal

Swiss tennis star Stanislas Wawrinka rallied to defeat Albert Ramos on Thursday to advance to the quarter finals of the Portugal Open in Oeiras.

Swiss reality TV star ‘uncovers fraud network’
Switzerland

Swiss reality TV star ‘uncovers fraud network’

Nabilla Benattia may not yet be considered “interesting” enough to be listed on Wikipedia but her latest role in an international fraud case may earn her a place in legal history.

Time runs out for Nestlé ‘murder’ lawsuit
Switzerland

Time runs out for Nestlé ‘murder’ lawsuit

Swiss prosecutors have closed a lawsuit by a Colombian woman accusing Swiss food giant Nestlé of indirect responsibility for the murder of her union-worker husband because it happened too long ago.

‘The power of the poor against that of the rich’
Spain

‘The power of the poor against that of the rich’

This week's Spanish Face of the Week is a United Left politician who's headed food raids on supermarkets, occupied military land illegally and been in prison seven times. Meet Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, the Andalusian “Robin Hood” who is taking crisis matters into his own hands.

Flood warnings issued for central France
France

Flood warnings issued for central France

Six departments in the centre and east of France were placed on flood alert on Thursday with heavy rains and severe storms forecast for throughout the night.

Swedish cops bask in Gangnam Style viral glow
Sweden

Swedish cops bask in Gangnam Style viral glow

A Gangnam Style-inspired announcement about traffic safety that went viral on Facebook has thrust a humble group of Swedish police officers into the spotlight, making them our pick for Swede(s) of the Week.

TV show slams ‘Nazi’ Catalan language policies
Spain

TV show slams ‘Nazi’ Catalan language policies

The regional broadcaster Telemadrid has launched an attack on Spain's Catalan and Basque nationalists with a programme which claims both groups are using Nazi-style propaganda to brainwash people.

Suspected cat killer arrested in Gothenburg
Sweden

Suspected cat killer arrested in Gothenburg

A man suspected of killing at least nine pet cats in western Sweden was arrested by Gothenburg police on Thursday afternoon.

Sex in bathrooms best say one in five Germans
Germany

Sex in bathrooms best say one in five Germans

German bathrooms are pretty steamy places - not because the ventilation is bad, but because for nearly one in five people, it's their favourite place for sex.

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Switzerland

Glencore Xstrata launches after merger

The long-awaited merger between commodities trader Glencore and mining giant Xstrata, both based in Switzerland, was completed on Thursday and the new company said it will be listed on stock exchanges in London and Hong Kong.

Optimistic youth fail to prepare for old age
Germany

Optimistic youth fail to prepare for old age

Young Germans are more optimistic than ever, with a survey on Thursday revealing that 95 percent think they're set up for a good future, despite the fact not that many of them take saving for old age seriously.

Metal tomb raiders ransack Seville cemetery
Spain

Metal tomb raiders ransack Seville cemetery

Workers at a cemetery in Seville have kicked up a stink after thieves stole several motors from fridges used to preserve bodies until their cremation.

Trader fined for selling horsemeat as halal beef
France

Trader fined for selling horsemeat as halal beef

Disgraced meat trader Jan Fasen who knowingly sold horsemeat falsely labelled as Islamic halal beef to butchers in France was slapped with a €50,000 fine and handed a suspended prison sentence on Thursday.

‘King’s son-in-law is not a flight risk’: Judge
Spain

‘King’s son-in-law is not a flight risk’: Judge

The King's son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin will be able to hold onto his passport despite his possible involvement in a scandal involving the embezzlement of millions of euros from a sports charity, a judged ruled on Thursday.

Uppsala English school’s ‘tough love’ breaks law
Sweden

Uppsala English school’s ‘tough love’ breaks law

The Swedish Schools Inspectorate has ruled that a "disciplinary contract" used by the International English School (IES) in Uppsala is in breach of the law, despite the school's attempt to defend its "tough love" culture.

New €5 notes make German debut
Germany

New €5 notes make German debut

The Bundesbank started issuing a new €5 note on Thursday which will gradually replace the bill that has been in circulation since the introduction of the single currency in 2002.

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France

School crucifixion music video shocks censors

A music video by French band Indochine, which features the staged crucifixion and shooting of a bullied schoolboy, has caused outrage in France. The country’s TV and radio regulator said on Thursday the "extremely violent” video should be censored.

Spanish nun places faith in Jesus board game
Spain

Spanish nun places faith in Jesus board game

A Spanish nun has come up with a board game about Jesus Christ that has sold 5,000 copies in Spain since its launch in March and is already in demand in South America.

France hit by new scandal over prosthetics
France

France hit by new scandal over prosthetics

France was hit by yet another medical scandal on Thursday when it emerged that surgeons have fitted around 650 people with prosthetic hip and knee replacements that had not been certified as being up to European standards.

Princess fans fashion furore with  ‘pancake’ hat
Spain

Princess fans fashion furore with ‘pancake’ hat

Spain's Princess Letizia has come in for a right royal grilling over her choice of headwear at the enthronement of the Netherlands' King Willem-Alexander on Tuesday.

Swiss Re benefits from cut in catastrophes
Switzerland

Swiss Re benefits from cut in catastrophes

Switzerland-based reinsurance giant Swiss Re on Thursday posted a first quarter net profit that was 21 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier at $1.4 billion, as fewer catastrophes resulted in lower-than-expected claims.

Weekend promises storms for the south
Germany

Weekend promises storms for the south

Spring has touched base in Germany, and while the weekend won't be warm enough for sun-bathing, the north should see a mild but dry few days. Things will get a little wild in the south, national weather service the DWD said on Thursday.

French minister blasted for saying ‘Non’ to Yahoo!
France

French minister blasted for saying ‘Non’ to Yahoo!

After the recent Titan-Goodyear rumble France's industry minister Arnaud Montebourg has got himself into another scrap over a potential US takeover of a French firm, this time over Yahoo!'s bid for Dailymotion. He was slammed on Thursday for interfering.

Boy – the world’s smallest film star
Germany

Boy – the world’s smallest film star

You might say he is just a collection of atoms, but then, really, aren't we all? The Local's German of the Week is Boy, from the world's smallest stop-motion film, made with individual atoms moved by a German-led research team.

Thieves abduct widow, aged 85, from Paris street
France

Thieves abduct widow, aged 85, from Paris street

A woman aged 85 was kidnapped by robbers near her home on an upmarket Paris street and forced to hand over jewellery worth an estimated €200,000. The incident comes after police issued warnings about jewellery snatches in Paris.

Swedish schoolboy gets cervical cancer jab
Sweden

Swedish schoolboy gets cervical cancer jab

A Swedish boy in grade six who was supposed to get his measles jab was instead injected with the Gardasil vaccine, which is normally offered to Swedish teen girls to ward off the HPV virus that can cause cervical cancer.

Prison guards see double in big brother breakout
Spain

Prison guards see double in big brother breakout

Two brothers swapped places to carry out a daring jail break at a Barcelona prison on Wednesday night.

Malmö to fine people who fail to sort their trash
Sweden

Malmö to fine people who fail to sort their trash

Waste managers in Sweden's third city may introduce a fine for Malmö residents who don't properly sort their garbage after finding parts of a table in a food waste container.

President: dodging tax is ‘anti-social’
Germany

President: dodging tax is ‘anti-social’

German President Joachim Gauck had harsh words for tax evaders on Thursday, whom he called “irresponsible” and “anti-social”. The rare political intervention for Germany's head of state came in the wake of a high profile tax-dodging scandal.

Woman’s hair set on fire in queue dispute
Sweden

Woman’s hair set on fire in queue dispute

A dispute at a store in western Sweden left one woman with her hair on fire and another facing possible assault charges.

Police blow whistle on military salutes
Spain

Police blow whistle on military salutes

Spain’s largest police union is campaigning against a resolution that will make “at your service” military greetings compulsory for lower ranking officers and also prohibit police officers from wearing earrings, having long hair or growing a beard.

Munich inventor makes splash with sea rucksack
Germany

Munich inventor makes splash with sea rucksack

A Munich inventor has put the finishing touches to brand new kind of rucksack perfect for ocean exploration. A watertight, floating bag is proving a hit with fans of sea-trekking – a combination of free-diving, swimming and walking.

Why Sweden has Abba to thank for the music
Sweden

Why Sweden has Abba to thank for the music

In his latest column on Swedish music, Paul Connolly finds out how Abba paved the way for other Swedish music and offers up his choices for Swedish album and gig of the month.

Homeless Parisian finds ‘weapons of war’ in bin
France

Homeless Parisian finds ‘weapons of war’ in bin

A homeless man in Paris was left flabbergasted when he stumbled across an arsenal of “weapons of war” in a rubbish bin in the French capital, including live grenades and a military-grade mortar shell. The bomb disposal unit were called in.

Ticino lakes threaten to burst banks after rain
Switzerland

Ticino lakes threaten to burst banks after rain

After almost a week of heavy rain, lakes in Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton in the south of Switzerland, are threatening to burst their banks, the federal office of the environment warns.

Top offical attacks ‘austerity backdown’
Spain

Top offical attacks ‘austerity backdown’

An influential top official of Spain's ruling Popular Party has launched an attack on economic forecasts unveiled by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday. She says the country needs to push ahead with its austerity plans.

Bayern destroy Barça 7-0 overall to cruise to final
Spain

Bayern destroy Barça 7-0 overall to cruise to final

Bayern Munich cruised into their third Champions League final in four years as a 3-0 win over Barcelona at the Camp Nou on Wednesday gave them an incredible 7-0 aggregate semi-final victory.

AIK goalkeeper found dead in Stockholm flat
Sweden

AIK goalkeeper found dead in Stockholm flat

The 32-year-old goalkeeper of Stockholm's AIK football club, Ivan Turina, was found dead in his flat on Thursday morning.

France mulls US-style ‘class action’ law suits
France

France mulls US-style ‘class action’ law suits

The French government is set to consider American-style "class action" lawsuits at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. The reform is designed to give consumers “effective weapons against fraudulent companies,” and would be a first for France.

‘His voters feel let down, Hollande has failed them’
France

‘His voters feel let down, Hollande has failed them’

One year after ousting Nicolas Sarkozy, things are not going too well for President François Hollande. We asked a selection of French people, from senators to academics and members of the public, to pass judgement on Hollande's first year. It does not make for pleasant reading.

Unions seek higher pay in Labour Day marches
Switzerland

Unions seek higher pay in Labour Day marches

Unions and left-wing groups used traditional Labour Day parades across Switzerland on Wednesday to push for better wages and pensions for working people.

Former Greek PM’s mum sues for ‘Swiss account’
Switzerland

Former Greek PM’s mum sues for ‘Swiss account’

The mother of former Greek prime minister George Papandreou has sued financial investigators and three newspapers over claims she held a $550-million Swiss bank account, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

Top ten: Worst moments in Hollande’s first year
France

Top ten: Worst moments in Hollande’s first year

The last 12 months have had few ups and plenty of downs for President François Hollande, as his dream job turns into a nightmare. From camels to corruption, we count down the worst moments of his first year as president of France.

Italy’s Letta and French PM gang up on austerity
Italy

Italy’s Letta and French PM gang up on austerity

France and Italy presented a united front on Wednesday on the eurozone debt crisis amid deepening divisions over belt-tightening policies in the European Union as some countries reach breaking point.

New bill gets tough on refugee-shy towns
Sweden

New bill gets tough on refugee-shy towns

Swedish municipalities will be forced to welcome underage asylum seekers who come to Sweden without parents or guardians from January onward, if the government gets its way.

New in German cinemas: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’

Find movies playing in English in Germany with The Local’s cinema guide.

Lufthansa settles bitter pay dispute
Germany

Lufthansa settles bitter pay dispute

German flag carrier Lufthansa reached a pay accord with workers on Wednesday, unions and management said, resolving a bitter dispute that resulted in strikes which grounded hundreds of flights.

SAS plane loses part of wing in Newark collision
Sweden

SAS plane loses part of wing in Newark collision

A plane from Scandinavian airline SAS carrying 253 passengers lost part of its wing when it collided with another aircraft at Newark airport outside New York on Wednesday.

Swede confesses to Oslo knife murder
Sweden

Swede confesses to Oslo knife murder

A 28-year-old man from Sweden has confessed to stabbing a 26-year-old Swedish woman to death in the Norwegian capital Oslo, where her boyfriend is still being treated for his wounds.

Bayern Munich secure all-German CL final
Germany

Bayern Munich secure all-German CL final

Bayern Munich beat Barcelona 3-0 in their Champions League semi-final second-leg in Barcelona on Wednesday to set up the first ever all-German final and the Bundesliga champions' third final in four years.