Keep ‘criminal’ French out of Norway: MP
France

Keep ‘criminal’ French out of Norway: MP

The French people are not accustomed to being unwelcome in other European countries, but if one right-wing Norwegian MP had his way, they would risk being stopped at the country's borders, along with Roma and Bulgarian 'undesirables.'

Spotify snags Swedish music app Tunigo
Sweden

Spotify snags Swedish music app Tunigo

Swedish music streaming service Spotify has acquired Swedish music discovery app Tunigo, the company announced on Friday.

Fascists claim ‘We are the people’ slogan
Germany

Fascists claim ‘We are the people’ slogan

A new German far-right xenophobic party has taken as its name the slogan which helped bring down the Berlin wall, it was reported on Friday.

Spain reins in ‘unruly’ regional banks
Spain

Spain reins in ‘unruly’ regional banks

Spain unveiled plans on Friday to tighten the rein on the regional savings banks blamed for triggering its financial crisis, the latest step in an overhaul of its bailed-out banking sector.

France’s complicated ‘white girl’ in Bollywood
France

France’s complicated ‘white girl’ in Bollywood

Unknown in France, but a superstar on the streets of India, Kalki Koechlin says of herself: “My skin is white, but my heart is brown.” Known for playing the complex foreign woman in Bollywood movies, she is our French Face of the Week.

Sweden’s Aussies and Kiwis remember Anzacs
Sweden

Sweden’s Aussies and Kiwis remember Anzacs

Celebrating Antipodean military history may seem an odd crowd-puller at the Swedish horse races, but not only has the Täby Gallop Racing Club for Anzac day seen visitor numbers surge 20 percent every year, it has reunited families.

Catalans call for greater regional powers
Spain

Catalans call for greater regional powers

Just over a third of Catalans think Spain's regions should be able to decide for themselves on the question of independence from the rest of the country, new research shows. In the Basque Country, that figure is one in four.

Bavaria nepotism scandal: 79 MPs named
Germany

Bavaria nepotism scandal: 79 MPs named

A smouldering row over politicians employing relatives in well-paid assistant roles burst into a full-blown nepotism scandal on Friday, when the head of Bavaria's state parliament named and shamed 79 MPs.

Sick staff ground new airport’s first flight
Germany

Sick staff ground new airport’s first flight

Germany's newest airport saw its first regular flight grounded after the entire cabin crew of a Croatian Airlines flight fell mysteriously ill. The company said on Friday it suspected they were faking in protest against staff cuts.

‘Barcelona is full of great offbeat festivals’
Spain

‘Barcelona is full of great offbeat festivals’

This week in The Local's My Spain, we talk to US expats Regina Winkle-Bryan and Nancy Todd about setting up a successful travel blog about Spain, Barcelona's alternative vibe and where to get the best glass of wine in the city.

Minister backtracks on English degree courses
France

Minister backtracks on English degree courses

A controversial plan by the French government to allow universities to teach degree courses in English appears to have been watered down with the Minister for Higher Education suggesting it will only apply to one percent of courses.

Coke leaves Muhammad out of Sweden PR drive
Sweden

Coke leaves Muhammad out of Sweden PR drive

Coca-Cola said it would have been "too provocative" to include Muhammad in a Swedish publicity campaign in which the US beverage giant replaced its curlicue logo with some of the most common names of young Swedes.

Moroccan melons hide huge hash stash
Spain

Moroccan melons hide huge hash stash

Spanish police announced on Friday they have seized a massive 32 tonnes of hashish hidden in a truck transporting melons from Morocco, one of the largest hauls on record in Spain.

Swiss FIFA head gains key Asian support
Switzerland

Swiss FIFA head gains key Asian support

Asia's new football boss backed FIFA chief Sepp Blatter for a controversial fifth term on Friday as the veteran Swiss dropped a strong hint that he may break promises to step down in 2015.

Quiz: Lock, rock, and too slow on the clock
Sweden

Quiz: Lock, rock, and too slow on the clock

Think you know Sweden? Or simply want to learn more? For the second quiz in our trivia series, we head to a city that's rather unusually squashed, at least from an international perspective. But which one is it?

Germany Marx Karl’s birthday with red gnomes
Germany

Germany Marx Karl’s birthday with red gnomes

A German artist is celebrating what would have been Karl Marx's 195th birthday by unveiling 500 gnome-like statues of him in his home town. He wants to provoke people into thinking about the philosopher again.

Top ten tips: How to pass for a Parisian
France

Top ten tips: How to pass for a Parisian

Paris is changing, albeit slowly, but the new generation of Parisians still have their own customs, cultures and way of life that are slightly different to anywhere else. Here are The Local's top tips for how we foreigners can blend in.

France declares war on the Tiger mosquito
France

France declares war on the Tiger mosquito

The French ministry for health launched the country’s annual war on Tiger mosquitos this week, after the disease-carrying pest almost doubled its presence in the south of France last year.

Brussels casts doubt on Spain’s deficit plans
Spain

Brussels casts doubt on Spain’s deficit plans

The European Commission announced on Friday that it believed Spain would fall short of the deficit targets set by the ruling Popular Party government of Mariano Rajoy for 2013 and 2014.

‘Missing’ rune stone turns up near Stockholm
Sweden

‘Missing’ rune stone turns up near Stockholm

A Viking-era rune stone has been "rediscovered" near Vaxholm in the Stockholm archipelago after a group of university students stumbled across the historic rock that had been hiding in plain sight for nearly 300 years.

Deficient Swiss day care dogs working parents
Switzerland

Deficient Swiss day care dogs working parents

Politics, crime and . . . day care? In Switzerland these days, child care is often front-page news. Authorities and parents are wringing their hands over everything from high prices and long waiting lists to overly detailed regulations that govern child-care facilities.

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Switzerland

Colgate-Palmolive plans HQ move to Basel

Toothpaste and soap company Colgate-Palmolive is planning to move its European headquarters from Geneva to the canton of Basel, affecting 65 positions, according to a report.

Merkel: I store sleep like a camel stores water
Germany

Merkel: I store sleep like a camel stores water

German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted she developed her characteristic hand gesture for the want of something to do with her arms, and that she saved up sleep like a camel stores water, to get through marathon talks.

New law unmasks anonymous web surfers
Germany

New law unmasks anonymous web surfers

Anonymous web surfing came a step closer to becoming a thing of the past in Germany on Friday when the upper house of parliament passed a law giving security officials wider access to information on the identity of internet users.

Wi-Fi peeping Tom preys on naked neighbours
Spain

Wi-Fi peeping Tom preys on naked neighbours

A Zaragoza man who hacked into hundreds of his neighbours’ computers to watch them undressing and having sexual intercourse has been able to move neighbourhood while he awaits trial.

Swedish teen admits to gruesome cat killings
Sweden

Swedish teen admits to gruesome cat killings

A Swedish teenager arrested on Thursday on suspicions of killing nine pet cats in western Sweden has admitted to police in Gothenburg that he is responsible for the crimes.

Crisis deepens with France set for recession
France

Crisis deepens with France set for recession

The economic outlook for France got even gloomier on Friday when the European Commission released its spring forecasts that predicted the country will slide into recession and the number of jobless will rise into 2014.

Spain snubs citizenship bid after flag fail
Spain

Spain snubs citizenship bid after flag fail

Spain's National High Court has turned down the appeal of a woman who was denied citizenship after she stated that Spain bordered the country of Catalonia and that the colours of the national flag were "red, white and yellow with a shield".

Suspicious letter sent to ex-PM Berlusconi
Italy

Suspicious letter sent to ex-PM Berlusconi

A letter thought to contain bullets and suspicious powder addressed to former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was intercepted by the post office, Italian media said on Thursday.

Spain’s Big Brother axes contestant over ETA joke
Spain

Spain’s Big Brother axes contestant over ETA joke

A contestant on Spain's Big Brother TV show has been kicked out of the house by organizers after she was caught on camera saying that the only demonstration she’d ever been to was one asking for the return of the Basque nationalist and separatist organization ETA.

Nadal to serve notice at Madrid Open
Spain

Nadal to serve notice at Madrid Open

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer appear at the same claycourt event for the first time this season with the Madrid Masters a key test just three weeks out from the French Open.

Vouchers ‘widen quality gap’ in Sweden’s schools
Sweden

Vouchers ‘widen quality gap’ in Sweden’s schools

The introduction of school vouchers in Sweden, allowing pupils to shop around for their school, could explain the widening gap in quality between different schools, a new report has claimed.

Most would increase tax on the wealthy
Germany

Most would increase tax on the wealthy

Almost three quarters of Germans would like to see higher taxes on top earners, a study suggested on Friday. Those who said they were opposed were largely those taking home more than €5,000 a month.

Swedish woman dies in game of Russian roulette
Sweden

Swedish woman dies in game of Russian roulette

A Swedish woman has died after playing what appeared to be a game of Russian roulette in western Sweden. The 23-year-old man who provided the weapon was charged for manslaughter on Thursday.

‘It’s hard to find classic French cuisine done well’
France

‘It’s hard to find classic French cuisine done well’

France is renowned for its food, but times are changing and so is the culture. Who better to speak to about it for a special culinary installment of My France, than acclaimed Paris-based cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz.

‘Extreme skier’ dies on steep Swiss Alpine slope
Switzerland

‘Extreme skier’ dies on steep Swiss Alpine slope

A 29-year-old skier died after falling down a couloir on the Dents du Midi mountain in the canton of Valais on Thursday, cantonal police said.

Spain’s top brass close ranks in austerity row
Spain

Spain’s top brass close ranks in austerity row

Prominent figures within Spain's ruling Popular Party have closed ranks around Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after a top official criticized his revised forecasts for bringing down the country's deficit.

Landlord let out festering rooms to the vulnerable
France

Landlord let out festering rooms to the vulnerable

An unscrupulous landlord was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence this week after being convicted by a French court for renting out unsanitary rooms that were not fit for human habitation. The landlord was charging €200 a month.

FC Basel’s first-half flash fizzles against Chelsea
Switzerland

FC Basel’s first-half flash fizzles against Chelsea

FC Basel looked threatening in the first half but Chelsea reached the Europa League football final for the first time in their history after eventually prevailing over the Swiss champions 3-1 in the second leg of their semi-final on Thursday night.

UBS shareholders approve executive pay
Switzerland

UBS shareholders approve executive pay

Despite sharp criticism from a handful of UBS shareholders, a strong majority approved pay and bonuses for the executive of Switzerland’s largest bank at the company’s annual meeting in Zurich on Thursday.

Gay French mayor sent bullets after interview
France

Gay French mayor sent bullets after interview

A gay mayor in France has become the latest politician to be sent death threats as the row over gay marriage again revealed a more sinister side. A poll published on Friday revealed a majority of French people believe it is time to move on.

India seals Ikea’s emerging-market push
Sweden

India seals Ikea’s emerging-market push

The Indian government on Thursday approved a plan worth almost $2 billion by Swedish furniture giant Ikea to open stores in India for the first time, officials said.

Three found dead after Stockholm blast
Sweden

Three found dead after Stockholm blast

Firefighters found three bodies in a flat in Sundbyberg, just north-west of the Swedish capital Stockholm, after an explosion early on Friday that is now being investigated as a suspected case of murder.

‘Any Swedish job pays more than in Romania’
Sweden

‘Any Swedish job pays more than in Romania’

With Romania's Eurovision entry considered something of an underdog this year, The Local's Patrick Reilly discovers why many of the thousands of Romanians in Sweden can relate to that uphill slog.

‘Braunschweig: totally friendly to foreigners’
Germany

‘Braunschweig: totally friendly to foreigners’

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on their hometown. This week, Palani Kannan Kandavel talks about his adopted town Braunschweig.

Atheist shoes go missing in God-fearing US
Germany

Atheist shoes go missing in God-fearing US

Godless Berlin-based shoe firm Atheist has enjoyed runaway success over the past year, and garnered orders from around the world - but it seems their faithless brand name is causing problems for shipments to the United States.

50,000 metalworkers strike for more pay
Germany

50,000 metalworkers strike for more pay

Tens of thousands of employees from Germany's metalworking sector and electrical industry downed tools on Thursday on the first day of a warning strike over pay, a union said.