Guide to Spain’s urban tribes
Spain

Guide to Spain’s urban tribes

This week The Local puts young Spaniards under the microscope and takes a look at the different urban species roaming the streets of Spain.

Brazil’s Azevedo named to head world trade body
Switzerland

Brazil’s Azevedo named to head world trade body

Roberto Azevedo of Brazil was named as the new head of the Geneva-based World Trade Organization on Wednesday, vowing to battle economic protectionism and break the deadlock in talks aimed at liberalizing global commerce.

Spain refuses to extradite Swiss bank data ‘thief’
Switzerland

Spain refuses to extradite Swiss bank data ‘thief’

A Spanish court refused on Wednesday to extradite a former HSBC bank employee to Switzerland where he is wanted for allegedly stealing data that exposed thousands of suspected tax dodgers.

Stockholm International School – what’s in IT for students?
Sweden

Stockholm International School – what’s in IT for students?

The importance of understanding today’s networked society starts in the classroom. Over the last year, the Stockholm International School (SIS) has made a major investment that truly begins with I and ends in T.

Berlusconi loses appeal in tax fraud case
Italy

Berlusconi loses appeal in tax fraud case

An Italian court on Wednesday upheld a tax fraud conviction for former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, confirming his sentence of one year in prison and a five-year ban from public office.

French honeymooner killed in shark attack
France

French honeymooner killed in shark attack

A French honeymooner was attacked and killed by a shark on Wednesday while he was surfing not far from the beach on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, authorities said.

Lufthansa ex-CEO lands top job despite wrangle
Germany

Lufthansa ex-CEO lands top job despite wrangle

Former Lufthansa CEO Wolfgang Mayrhuber was elected chairman of the airline's supervisory board on Tuesday evening - just 24 hours after he said he would not be standing for the post.

Spain loses faith as holy orders empty out
Spain

Spain loses faith as holy orders empty out

The number of people living in Spain's religious institutions fell by over 50 percent in the decade from 2001 to 2011, new figures show.

Statoil to develop six billion barrel field
Norway

Statoil to develop six billion barrel field

Statoil and ExxonMobil have agreed to spend $4 billion to develop a six billion barrel oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, the two companies said.

Norwegian base jumper dies in Swiss cliff crash
Norway

Norwegian base jumper dies in Swiss cliff crash

Police have launched an investigation into the death of a 48-year-old Norwegian who died while base jumping this week in the Lauterbrunnen area of the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland.

Lamborghini hits road for 50th anniversary tour
Italy

Lamborghini hits road for 50th anniversary tour

Hundreds of luxury Lamborghini cars powered through Milan on Wednesday at the start of a tour of Italy to mark the 50th anniversary of the company, which started out making tractors.

EU green lights Volvo and Dongfeng merger
Sweden

EU green lights Volvo and Dongfeng merger

The European Commission approved on Wednesday a tie-up between Sweden's Volvo Trucks and China's Dongfeng Motor which will create the world's biggest truck maker ahead of Germany's Daimler.

Sweden won’t ban boozing after accidents
Sweden

Sweden won’t ban boozing after accidents

Swedes suspected of crashing their cars while drunk can continue to claim they became inebriated after the accident occurs, a government inquiry has found, concluding there is no need to outlaw drinking after a causing a traffic accident.

Miss Spain goes bust in bankruptcy boom
Spain

Miss Spain goes bust in bankruptcy boom

The organizers of the annual Miss Spain beauty contest have joined the growing list of Spanish firms forced to close as a result of the economic crisis.

Spain rejects Swiss ‘data thief’ handover plea
Spain

Spain rejects Swiss ‘data thief’ handover plea

A Spanish court refused on Wednesday to extradite a former HSBC employee to Switzerland where he is wanted for allegedly stealing banking data that exposed thousands of suspected tax dodgers.

Hamburg’s technicolour train stop wins prize
Germany

Hamburg’s technicolour train stop wins prize

Artists have transformed Hamburg's HafenCity University underground train stop into much more than a transport hub – as lights shaped like shipping containers now bathe the station in award-winning technicolour.

Machines spit out fivers in platform pickles
Germany

Machines spit out fivers in platform pickles

Train passengers across Germany are battling with outdated train ticket machines refusing to recognise the new €5 note issued last week.

Car service app battles Stockholm taxi system
Sweden

Car service app battles Stockholm taxi system

A limousine-service app has accused the Swedish authorities of bureaucratic bullying, engaging thousands of users to protest on its behalf, while some fans have dismissed the company's complaints as a PR ploy.

Borg calls for action over strong krona
Sweden

Borg calls for action over strong krona

Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg has said the country's central bank should keep an eye on the increasingly strong krona, with further currency appreciation a potential threat to the country's export-driven economy.

UK flags changes to passport applications
Spain

UK flags changes to passport applications

British nationals in Spain and Andorra who need a new passport will soon have to send their applications directly to the UK but time frames for the receipt of new travel documents will remain unchanged.

NATO has ‘no intention’ to up presence in Arctic
Norway

NATO has ‘no intention’ to up presence in Arctic

NATO has no plans to increase its presence in the Arctic, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday despite numerous countries' keen interest in the region's vast natural resources.

Swiss make arrests in Belgian diamond heist
Switzerland

Swiss make arrests in Belgian diamond heist

Belgian, French and Swiss police have recovered part of a spectacular $50-million diamond heist in gems and cash and made multiple arrests in a vast cross-border operation, Belgian officials said on Wednesday.

More working Germans need social support
Germany

More working Germans need social support

More Germans need state help to supplement their wages - because their jobs pay so badly they cannot pull themselves above the poverty line, figures from the Federal Employment Agency (BA) showed on Wednesday.

Sweden sells toxic Baltic salmon to EU: report
Sweden

Sweden sells toxic Baltic salmon to EU: report

Sweden is exporting hundreds of tonnes of potentially dangerous Baltic Sea salmon to EU neighbours, a new report has revealed.

First case of deadly SARS-like virus in France
France

First case of deadly SARS-like virus in France

France's health ministry on Wednesday reported the country's first case of a SARS-like virus that has killed 18 people so far, mostly in Saudi Arabia.

How I Met your Mother flunks Spanish test
Spain

How I Met your Mother flunks Spanish test

The hit US television show How I Met Your Mother has been taken to task for its lack of knowledge about Spain and Spanish culture.

3D gun download makes big bang in Spain
Spain

3D gun download makes big bang in Spain

Cody Wilson, the US student who on Monday announced he’d created a 3D printer-generated gun capable of firing bullets like any regular weapon, has told Spanish daily El País that Spain is by far the biggest downloader of the model’s design.

Switzerland to become more Italian — over time
Switzerland

Switzerland to become more Italian — over time

For Swiss residents who have suffered through a colder than usual winter and a cool spring, the news may not come soon enough, but experts say Switzerland is warming up.

Cop avoids sacking for ‘sexting’ teen girl
Sweden

Cop avoids sacking for ‘sexting’ teen girl

A Swedish policeman in therapy for compulsive sexual behaviour has escaped with a warning after sending sex-themed text messages to a 17-year-old girl who had been a witness in a case he had investigated.

Search continues after Genoa shipping accident
Italy

Search continues after Genoa shipping accident

Rescue workers were searching for survivors at the port of Genoa on Wednesday, after a container ship smashed into a control tower in a night-time accident that left three dead and revived painful memories in Italy of the Costa Concordia disaster last year.

Hertha: we’re too busy to play Manchester United
Germany

Hertha: we’re too busy to play Manchester United

As unthinkable as rejecting the Queen's invitation to tea - Berlin club Hertha BSC told superstars Manchester United they can't play a money-rolling friendly match this summer - because they might have something else on that week.

Court: gay and straight tax breaks must match
Germany

Court: gay and straight tax breaks must match

Gay couples in civil partnerships must have the same tax breaks as married heterosexuals, Germany's top court says, telling the government that if action is not taken, it would intervene directly.

‘Nobody wants to be like Spain now’
Spain

‘Nobody wants to be like Spain now’

Spain’s international reputation has taken quite a battering since the country’s economic problems began five years ago but the Spanish government is fighting back in a bid to restore the nation's prestige.

Former UBS exec jailed over underage prostitute
Switzerland

Former UBS exec jailed over underage prostitute

A former UBS executive director was sentenced on Wednesday to more than four months in jail for having sex with an underaged Singaporean prostitute in a sleaze scandal that sparked uproar in the city-state.

Swedish home to care for elderly Spanish speakers
Sweden

Swedish home to care for elderly Spanish speakers

Stockholm inaugurated its first Spanish-language home for the elderly on Tuesday, as the capital's aging immigrant population prompts care-givers to diversify into new niche markets.

Five French feared dead in Malta boat accident
France

Five French feared dead in Malta boat accident

Five French tourists were feared dead on Wednesday after their boat apparently capsized in stormy seas in Malta, where rescuers have recovered three unidentified bodies.

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Switzerland

Venezuelans stole funds via Swiss acounts: FBI

A senior Venezuelan government bank official has been charged in the United States for using fake transactions to steal millions of dollars which were sent to Swiss and US accounts, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Indonesia gets ‘secret go-ahead’ for tank deal
Germany

Indonesia gets ‘secret go-ahead’ for tank deal

The German government has given the go-ahead for the sale of 164 tanks to Indonesia. Some fear the controversial deal will mean vehicles used in domestic conflict with ethnic minority groups, it emerged late on Tuesday.

Ankle injury trips up Djokovic in Madrid
Spain

Ankle injury trips up Djokovic in Madrid

Novak Djokovic believes his preparation for the Madrid Masters was badly affected by not being able to practise due to an ankle injury after he was knocked out in the second round by Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (8-6), 6-7(8-10), 6-3.

Wind farm wins approval in Jura Mountain village
Switzerland

Wind farm wins approval in Jura Mountain village

After almost 15 years of discussion, the first planned wind-powered generating project in the canton of Vaud received approval from cantonal authorities on Tuesday.

Leonardo gets indefinite ban over shoulder barge
France

Leonardo gets indefinite ban over shoulder barge

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo was suspended until further notice and Thiago Silva received a two-match ban on Tuesday following altercations with referee Alexandre Castro in Sunday's 1-1 draw with Valenciennes.

Seven Supermums to mark Mothers’ Day
Germany

Seven Supermums to mark Mothers’ Day

This Sunday is Mothers' Day in Germany. Here at The Local we all love our mothers - this week's Local List gathers an eclectic collection of mothers and mummies.

Scientists: fear of illness can make you sick
Germany

Scientists: fear of illness can make you sick

The fear of becoming ill from something which emits electromagnetic waves, like a mobile phone or high-voltage power lines, can in itself actually make some people to develop symptoms, German scientists report.

‘We’ve destroyed ETA’s logistical core’
Spain

‘We’ve destroyed ETA’s logistical core’

The arrests of six ETA suspects in France on Tuesday broke up the Basque armed separatist group's "logistical core" and have brought it close to being wiped out, Spain's interior minister said.

‘Only Spain claims Gibraltar is a tax haven’
Spain

‘Only Spain claims Gibraltar is a tax haven’

Gibraltar is not a tax haven, the chief minister of the contested British territory on Spain's southern shore said on Tuesday, rebuffing accusations by Madrid that it helps Spanish companies avoid paying taxes.

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Sweden

Toddler dies after dad leaves him alone in car

Swedish police said on Wednesday that a two-year-old boy who was found dead in a car in southern Sweden had been left alone there for eight hours, after his father forgot to drop him off at day care.

Stockholm hit by Abba fever at museum launch
Sweden

Stockholm hit by Abba fever at museum launch

Abba fever hit Stockholm on Tuesday when a museum devoted to the Swedish pop legends opened - filling a void in the hearts of millions of fans since the group disbanded three decades ago and likely to fill the pockets of Sweden's tourism industry too.

In German cinemas this week: ‘Side Effects’
Germany

In German cinemas this week: ‘Side Effects’

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

Swedish music festivals: A survival guide
Sweden

Swedish music festivals: A survival guide

So you've decided to attend a Swedish music festival this year but you don't know how it all works. No matter, The Local's Sanna Håkansson gets the lowdown from avid festival-goers and finds out the top tips to surviving the chaos.

Top ten must-see Swedish music festivals
Sweden

Top ten must-see Swedish music festivals

From Eurovision to the Abba museum to Bruce Springsteen, May is shaping up to be a very musical month in Sweden. And with temperatures rising and summer holidays fast approaching, the timing seems right for a rundown of Sweden's hottest summer music festivals for 2013.

BMW recalls 22,000 cars over airbag fault
Germany

BMW recalls 22,000 cars over airbag fault

German luxury carmaker BMW has issued a recall of 220,000 vehicles because of a defect in Japanese-made airbags installed over a decade ago, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.