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Switzerland

Banned FIFA official cited for misusing millions

Chuck Blazer was provisionally banned from the FIFA Executive Committee on Monday following a decision by the chairman of the FIFA Ethics Committee, Hans-Joachim Eckert.

Swiss notch third victory in hockey championships
Switzerland

Swiss notch third victory in hockey championships

Swiss ice hockey fans rejoiced on Monday as the national team won its third game in a row against a top-ranked opponent at the world championships in Sweden.

Pope Francis honours new Swiss guards
Switzerland

Pope Francis honours new Swiss guards

Pope Francis on Monday thanked the Swiss Guard corps for their "kindness" to him and to all the tourists in the Vatican as 35 new members of the ancient papal protection force were sworn in.

Emotions high at start of neo-Nazi murder trial
Germany

Emotions high at start of neo-Nazi murder trial

Hundreds of black balloons filled the sky over a Munich courthouse Monday as Germany's biggest ever neo-Nazi murder trial got under way, with anti-racism protesters noisily demanding justice.

Informers claim Syria nerve gas use: UN official
Switzerland

Informers claim Syria nerve gas use: UN official

Syrian rebels may have used the deadly nerve agent sarin, UN rights investigator Carla del Ponte said, although her team and Washington insisted Monday there was no "conclusive" proof.

EU snubs socialist anti-crisis plans for Spain
Spain

EU snubs socialist anti-crisis plans for Spain

Anti-crisis strategies put forward on Monday by the leader of Spain's opposition socialist PSOE party Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba received a very cool reception from Brussels with the European Union saying that any rescue money destined for Spain could only be used to clean up the country's toxic banking sector.

Barton gets two-match ban for ‘ladyboy’ tweet
France

Barton gets two-match ban for ‘ladyboy’ tweet

English midfielder Joey Barton was handed a suspended two-game ban by the National Ethics Commission (CNE) on Monday in relation to a string of insults he directed at Paris Saint-Germain's Thiago Silva last month via Twitter.

No probe into Stockholm police’s ‘racial profiling’
Sweden

No probe into Stockholm police’s ‘racial profiling’

Sweden's Justice Ombudsman (JO) announced on Monday it will not investigate the alleged racial profiling carried out by Stockholm police in the city's public transit system during a push to deport illegal immigrants.

Illegal rentals thrive in Stockholm flat crunch
Sweden

Illegal rentals thrive in Stockholm flat crunch

The black market for first-hand rental contracts in Stockholm is alive and well as Swedes desperate for a place to live won't report illegal sales to the police, an investigation has revealed.

Painter Baselitz raided in tax avoidance move
Germany

Painter Baselitz raided in tax avoidance move

One of Germany's highest-earning living artists, Georg Baselitz, saw his lakeside house searched by tax officials at the weekend after his name appeared in stolen files of people who allegedly used UBS Swiss bank accounts to avoid tax.

North-east France placed under high flood alert
France

North-east France placed under high flood alert

Departments of north-eastern France were placed under a high alert for flooding on Monday, with water levels expected to rise into the evening.

Tennis dad arrested for Madrid headbutt rage
Spain

Tennis dad arrested for Madrid headbutt rage

The father of Australia's top-ranked tennis player Bernard Tomic said on Monday he was acting in self-defence when he headbutted his son's training partner and broke his nose in the Spanish capital.

Pickpocketing prostitutes prey on Brits in Majorca
Spain

Pickpocketing prostitutes prey on Brits in Majorca

British holidaymakers in the Majorcan town of Magaluf continue to be the victims of pickpocketing schemes carried out by prostitute gangs operating in the early hours of the morning.

French Islamist set for handover to Malian army
France

French Islamist set for handover to Malian army

A notorious French Islamist militant has been handed over to Malian military authorities after his arrest last week, and could face extradition to his home country, it was announced on Monday.

Jewel thieves sold short in gold shop rip-off
Spain

Jewel thieves sold short in gold shop rip-off

A pair of incompetent Bilbao-based jewel thieves flogged off their stolen merchandise for far less than it was worth, police investigations have revealed.

‘Racism is in society’s wallpaper’
Germany

‘Racism is in society’s wallpaper’

As the start of Beate Zschäpe's trial made her the globally famous face of Germany's neo-Nazis, Der Tagesspiegel's Andrea Dernbach says the problem is so much bigger than one person, and even ten murders.

Men claim nearly 80 percent of driving points
Germany

Men claim nearly 80 percent of driving points

German men have more points on their driving licences than women, largely due to drink driving, but according to figures released on Monday both genders have totted up the most points from the same offence – speeding.

VIDEO: Mamma Mia like you’ve never seen before
Sweden

VIDEO: Mamma Mia like you’ve never seen before

With the Abba Museum opening on Tuesday, The Local's Oliver Gee gets a sneak peak behind the scenes, has a quick word with Björn Ulvaeus, and tries to find out if Stockholmers are willing to sing their favourite Abba song on camera. Hint: they are.

Wanted: Men to work in Swedish preschools
Sweden

Wanted: Men to work in Swedish preschools

The lack of men working in Sweden's preschools is cause for concern, according to Equality Minister Maria Arnholm, who has said she's open to altering employment rules to make it easier for men to enter the education field.

Munich tinkles street pianos’ ivories
Germany

Munich tinkles street pianos’ ivories

The international “Play Me, I'm Yours” project arrived in Munich at the weekend, putting 14 pianos in public places around the city for passersby to play as their hearts desire.

How to tackle your French tax return
France

How to tackle your French tax return

Since it's that time of the year again to tackle your tax return, The Local gets some sound financial advice from Siddalls France, specialists in tax, inheritance, investment and pension planning for foreign professionals in France.

Swiss to decide on direct democracy ‘loophole’
Switzerland

Swiss to decide on direct democracy ‘loophole’

Swiss direct democracy means voters get to have their say on almost everything – except who represents them in the seven-person government cabinet. Citizens are being asked to change this in a national vote on June 9th.

French firm invents ‘undies that smell good’
France

French firm invents ‘undies that smell good’

For years the French have suffered from the stereotype of bad hygiene and evil odours. But with a new range of sweet-smelling scented underwear, French men at least may finally be able to bid “adieu” to this myth, once and for all.

Hospital pulls prosthesis from penniless patient
Spain

Hospital pulls prosthesis from penniless patient

A young man who underwent a complex knee operation might never be able to walk properly again after doctors refused to give him the prosthesis needed for his recovery. The reason: his family didn't have the €152 it cost.

Cristiano Ronaldo gets traffic stop death threats
Spain

Cristiano Ronaldo gets traffic stop death threats

A routine traffic stop got out of hand on Saturday after Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo refused to stop for police, a decision which saw him being showered with death threats by the fan of an opposing team.

Why I can’t shake the Abba bug: a confession
Sweden

Why I can’t shake the Abba bug: a confession

A Philippine doctor's tale of how watching Abba on a small black and white TV 30 years ago turned his life upside down, leaving him no choice but to cross the planet for the opening of the Abba museum in Stockholm.

Lufthansa hits turbulence over top job choice
Germany

Lufthansa hits turbulence over top job choice

Lufthansa has been thrown into a tailspin by the resignation of its designated chief just a day before he was due to take over, leaving the company scrambling to find a replacement before Tuesday's shareholders' meeting.

France reconsiders stake in semi-state giants
France

France reconsiders stake in semi-state giants

France may sell some of its stakes in several large semi-state bodies such as Air France and SNCF, in order to pave the way for future investment, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has announced.

German lake full of dead carp baffles officials
Germany

German lake full of dead carp baffles officials

Volunteers have pulled 25 tonnes of dead carp out of a lake in eastern Germany - there are so many, locals are running out of boats. Regional officials have admitted they are baffled - only carp seem to be dying in the lake.

Bildt disarms nuke critics in shock radio show call
Sweden

Bildt disarms nuke critics in shock radio show call

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt surprised listeners on Monday by spontaneously calling into a radio talk show to answer criticism about Sweden's nuclear anti-proliferation policy.

Spanish leaders hail ‘lower’ jobless rate
Spain

Spanish leaders hail ‘lower’ jobless rate

The masses of people lining up at unemployment offices in Spain shrank slightly in April to fewer than five million, raw data showed on Monday, a result hailed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government.

Leonardo shoves ref as PSG must wait for title
France

Leonardo shoves ref as PSG must wait for title

Paris Saint-Germain director of football, Leonardo, vented his frustration with a post-match shove on the referee, after his side failed to clinch the Ligue 1 title in a 1-1 draw with Valenciennes.

Cows lock horns to crown national ‘queen’
Switzerland

Cows lock horns to crown national ‘queen’

A new "queen of the queens" was crowned in the Valais mountains as the national cow-fight championships attracted a record turnout of 16,000 spectators at Aproz over the weekend.

Singing stripper streaks at Bilbao Guggenheim
Spain

Singing stripper streaks at Bilbao Guggenheim

A Basque man was arrested last week after offering visitors at Bilbao’s emblematic Guggenheim museum a waist down striptease while singing the left-wing anthem La Internacional.

Swedish euro scepticism hits all time high
Sweden

Swedish euro scepticism hits all time high

Fewer than one in ten Swedes want to replace the krona with the euro, in an overall EU-confidence dip that political scientists tie to the financial crisis.

French student tricked by internet striptease scam
France

French student tricked by internet striptease scam

A 21-year-old man in eastern France has been caught – quite literally – with his pants down, after falling for an elaborate online extortion racket and being filmed performing a striptease for his virtual girlfriend.

‘Hero’ Swede lifts car to save trapped boy
Sweden

‘Hero’ Swede lifts car to save trapped boy

A mystery man came to the rescue when a 7-year-old boy was run over and wedged beneath a car in eastern Stockholm on Sunday evening, with police labelling the unknown rescuer a hero.

Spanish PM defends ‘smoother’ deficit plans
Spain

Spanish PM defends ‘smoother’ deficit plans

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will on Monday defend his revised time frame for deficit cuts before the National Executive Committee of the country's ruling Popular Party.

Serena Williams defends Madrid title in first battle
Spain

Serena Williams defends Madrid title in first battle

World number one Serena Williams got her Madrid Open title defence off to a battling start on Sunday, beating Kazakh qualifier Yulia Putintseva 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 but China's Li Na fell at the first hurdle.

‘Political solution’ needed in Syria: French minister
France

‘Political solution’ needed in Syria: French minister

Laurent Fabius, France's Foreign Minister called for "a political solution" to the "human and political disaster" in Syria on Monday, after al-Assad's regime was suspected of using chemical weapons following two Israeli raids on the country.

Government locks horns with opposition over jobs
Sweden

Government locks horns with opposition over jobs

Swedish political party leaders clashed on primetime TV on Sunday night, with Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and opposition leader Stefan Löfven butting heads over labour policy.

Wallenberg becomes first honorary Australian
Sweden

Wallenberg becomes first honorary Australian

Australia officially made Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg its first honorary citizen on Monday in recognition of the thousands of Jews he saved from the Holocaust, many of whom came to live Down Under.

French ballistic missile self-destructs during test
France

French ballistic missile self-destructs during test

A French M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile has self-destructed during testing off the coast of Brittany. The incident marks a rare failure for such a missile, estimated to cost around €120 million.

Bayern boss Hoeneß steps down – for now
Germany

Bayern boss Hoeneß steps down – for now

Uli Hoeneß is set to announce on Monday that he will temporarily resign as Bayern Munich president after the Champions League final until the investigation into his tax affairs is concluded, according to a report.

‘You can get pension payments back’
Germany

‘You can get pension payments back’

Foreigners often get a nasty shock along with their first German payslip - hundreds of euros deducted from their take-home wage. Don't panic - the latest in The Local's JobTalk series looks at German social security payments.

Scientists solve Monarch migration mystery
Germany

Scientists solve Monarch migration mystery

German scientists have solved the mystery of how millions of Monarch butterflies navigate several thousand miles every year to their winter dwellings - even though each one is taking the journey for the first time.

The British barber a cut above the rest
Sweden

The British barber a cut above the rest

Having thrown down the towel in Swedish class, new Stockholmer Paul Davies picked up a brush and razor to build His Swedish Career on trendy Swedish men's new-found love of a full beard.