French oyster lovers to munch on Swedish spats
France

French oyster lovers to munch on Swedish spats

Struggling French oyster farmers, whose haul has diminished in recent years, are set to receive some much needed help from their Swedish counterparts, by importing oyster spats from Sweden for the first time.

Hollande set to sign gay marriage into French law
France

Hollande set to sign gay marriage into French law

France's highest court the Constitutional Council cleared the divisive gay marriage bill on Friday, paving the way for same sex unions to become legal. Francois Hollande said he would sign the bill into law as soon as Saturday.

‘Sweden next in line for housing market crash’
Sweden

‘Sweden next in line for housing market crash’

Sweden tops a list of countries that risk suffering a housing market crash, Germany's Commerzbank has warned, citing the slackening off of Swedish property prices as a harbinger of a potential downswing.

‘Beckham brought PSG nothing on the pitch’
France

‘Beckham brought PSG nothing on the pitch’

While many in the world of football raised a glass to David Beckham when he announced his retirement on Thursday, elements in the French media as well as PSG fans in Paris could not hide the fact they feel a little cheated by his minimal contribution on the pitch.

Sweden’s drug testing industry plummets
Sweden

Sweden’s drug testing industry plummets

Sweden's once flourishing pharmaceutical testing industry has been decimated in recent years, suffering an 85-percent drop according to new figures that industry experts describe as "deeply troubling".

Burning ship had tonnes of radioactive material
Germany

Burning ship had tonnes of radioactive material

After a freighter went up in flames at the start of the month while carrying radioactive material into Hamburg's harbour, it has emerged that the German port city receives such hazardous cargo up to seven times a month.

Hosepipe bandit steals water from school
Spain

Hosepipe bandit steals water from school

Police have arrested an Extremadura man for using an underground hose to steal water from a neighbouring school over a three-year period.

Get set… get ready…. get betting: Five Eurovision songs to watch
Sweden

Get set… get ready…. get betting: Five Eurovision songs to watch

Although Denmark is widely tipped to take the Eurovision crown this year, the outcome can be hard to predict, as illustrated by Finnish monster mask wearing rockers Lordi's win in 2006.

Catalan cops face court over rubber bullet injury
Spain

Catalan cops face court over rubber bullet injury

Twenty-two Catalan cops will appear before a Barcelona court after a man who was shot by a rubber bullet fired by one of the officers had to have his spleen removed.

‘Ruby the Heart Stealer’ testifies at pimping trial
Italy

‘Ruby the Heart Stealer’ testifies at pimping trial

The woman alleged to have had sex for money with Silvio Berlusconi when she was just 17 and he was the prime minister testified in court for the first time on Friday at a trial of three people accused of pimping for the billionaire tycoon.

Christian Democrats set up political donation ATM
Germany

Christian Democrats set up political donation ATM

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) have installed a automated teller machine for political donations up to €100 at their Berlin headquarters. The election campaign gag has started attracting tourists paying a few euros for the receipt it spits out.

Danes invade Sweden for Eurovision final
Sweden

Danes invade Sweden for Eurovision final

With Denmark tipped to win this year's Eurovision final, The Local's Patrick Reilly caught up with a few Danes who'd crossed the divide to be in Malmö for Saturday night's final.

Germany cool to France’s EU economy plan
Germany

Germany cool to France’s EU economy plan

Germany said Friday that French President Francois Hollande's proposal for a eurozone economic government was "interesting" but reacted coolly to his call for strengthened European budgetary powers.

Spain’s star ham fights for greater prestige
Spain

Spain’s star ham fights for greater prestige

The exquisite cured ham called Jamon Iberico made from distinctive Iberian black pigs, is the star of Spanish cuisine, but the economic downturn gripping Spain has hurt domestic sales and producers are looking to boost their fortunes abroad.

Italy freezes home tax as Berlusconi gets his way
Italy

Italy freezes home tax as Berlusconi gets his way

Italy's coalition government on Friday adopted draft laws to boost funding for redundancies and freeze a property tax, partly fulfilling an election promise by Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom party that threatened to split the cabinet.

American ‘prince’ says no to Swedish citizenship
Sweden

American ‘prince’ says no to Swedish citizenship

Christopher O'Neill has asked Sweden not to grant him royal status, meaning Swedish Princess Madeleine's future spouse will technically become neither a prince nor a Swede.

Quiz: ‘The best town in the country’
Sweden

Quiz: ‘The best town in the country’

For this week's mystery location, we challenge you to guess one of the ten biggest cities in the country from just nine clues. Can't be that hard... right?

Spain’s king gives up luxury yacht ‘Fortuna’
Spain

Spain’s king gives up luxury yacht ‘Fortuna’

Spain's King Juan Carlos is giving up a €21 million ($27 million) yacht named Fortuna, officials say, as his subjects weather a biting recession and record unemployment.

Cops bust ‘snail cream’ bike courier coke gang
Spain

Cops bust ‘snail cream’ bike courier coke gang

Catalan police have arrested 22 cocaine smugglers who used bicycles to transport drugs hidden inside boxes of 'snail cream' cosmetics.

Thieves pinch Swiss jewels from Cannes
Switzerland

Thieves pinch Swiss jewels from Cannes

Jewellery worth more than $1 million made by Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller Chopard and due to be loaned to stars walking the red carpet at the Cannes film festival were stolen from a hotel, French police said on Friday.

Uefa spares Malaga 2nd year of European ban
Spain

Uefa spares Malaga 2nd year of European ban

The second season of a two-year suspension on Malaga competing in European competition has been lifted by UEFA after the Spanish club proved they have no outstanding debts to other clubs, employees or the tax authorities.

Jewellery worth over $1 million stolen at Cannes
France

Jewellery worth over $1 million stolen at Cannes

Thieves have stolen Chopard jewellery worth $1 million at Cannes Film Festival, French police reported on Friday. The jewellery was due to be loaned to film stars over the coming days.

French oyster lovers to munch on Swedish spats
Sweden

French oyster lovers to munch on Swedish spats

Swedish oyster farmers are set to help out their struggling French colleagues, whose haul has diminished in recent years, by exporting oysters spats to France for the first time.

Police on alert after school massacre threat
France

Police on alert after school massacre threat

Around 750 police have been stationed at schools across the French city of Strasbourg after an anonymous person, believed to be a teenager, posted a message online threatening to commit suicide and kill several pupils at a school on Friday.

Spanish priest sacked for oral sex snaps
Spain

Spanish priest sacked for oral sex snaps

A priest in Murcia has been fired after photos and a YouTube video allegedly showing him involved in public acts of gay sex became a social media sensation.

Au pairs rules relax for non-German families
Germany

Au pairs rules relax for non-German families

Foreign families will soon be able to officially engage au pairs from outside the European Union, as long as they speak German at home, as the government prepares to change the law.

Two accused in neo-Nazi trial ‘will talk’
Germany

Two accused in neo-Nazi trial ‘will talk’

As the trial of a German woman accused of being part of a murderous neo-Nazi terror cell adjourned until next month, when two of her alleged accomplices will speak, excruciating details emerged of how the security services failed to stop them.

Bankrupt TV game show owes winners thousands
Spain

Bankrupt TV game show owes winners thousands

Telemadrid TV show Cifras y Letras, the equivalent of the British game show Countdown, owes hundreds of thousands of euros to dozens of contestants who have won the competition in the past two years.

Leading Socialist cleared over asbestos deaths
France

Leading Socialist cleared over asbestos deaths

Charges of manslaughter against Martine Aubry, a leading member of France's ruling Socialist Party, were dropped on Friday by a French court. The charges related to a probe into thousands of deaths caused by exposure to asbestos.

French bank SocGen ’employs 11,000 interns’
France

French bank SocGen ’employs 11,000 interns’

French companies have long had a reputation for relying heavily on unpaid interns. New figures released on Friday highlighting the staggering number of interns on the payroll at banking giant Societé General will only confirm this reputation.

‘Lüneburg is a small and cosy city’
Germany

‘Lüneburg is a small and cosy city’

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our series offering an insider's take on their hometown. This week, Sathish Kumar Shanmugam talks about his adopted town Lüneburg.

Judge rejects royals’ appeal in corruption case
Spain

Judge rejects royals’ appeal in corruption case

A judge rejected on Thursday an appeal by Spanish King Juan Carlos's daughter in a corruption probe, insisting her tax returns be admitted for scrutiny in the investigation which has plunged the family into scandal.

Merkel opens up privately ahead of election
Germany

Merkel opens up privately ahead of election

With national elections just months away, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has begun to reveal more about her personal life, from her Polish roots to her weakness for men with "nice eyes."

Ten tips for Italian dining etiquette
Italy

Ten tips for Italian dining etiquette

"Buon Appetito" is one of the first expressions you learn in Italian. It's also one of the first you should forget, warns Italian etiquette expert Alberto Presutti. Read his ten tips for Italian dining etiquette.

Chinese premier set to visit Switzerland
Switzerland

Chinese premier set to visit Switzerland

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang embarks this weekend on his first foreign trip since taking office, with a stop in Switzerland on the itinerary and free trade talks between the two countries close to completion.

Hotel bans ‘annoying’ Down syndrome kids
Spain

Hotel bans ‘annoying’ Down syndrome kids

Spain's leading Down syndrome association has slammed a hotel for turning away a group of children with the condition 'in case they annoyed' other guests.

Sally Ann band bows out of Eurovision contest
Switzerland

Sally Ann band bows out of Eurovision contest

The Salvation Army band carrying Switzerland’s hopes into the Eurovision Song Contest was vanquished on Thursday night in Malmö, Sweden.

Cannes red carpet – Dress of the day (photo)
France

Cannes red carpet – Dress of the day (photo)

Cannes might be a film festival, but in reality it is just as much about the glitz and glamour and actresses wearing all kinds of sublime or ridiculous outfits. Find out who won The Local's Palme d'Or for "Dress of the Day" on Thursday.

Sweden ousts Canada in dramatic hockey win
Sweden

Sweden ousts Canada in dramatic hockey win

Sweden edged Olympic champions Canada 3-2 in a penalty shootout on Thursday night to set up semi-final clash against arch rivals Finland at the ice hockey World Championships.

Solna voted best place to live in Sweden
Sweden

Solna voted best place to live in Sweden

Solna, a suburb just north of Stockholm, is the best place to live in Sweden, according to a new ranking published on Friday by Swedish news magazine Fokus.

‘The French don’t resent expats in the Loire Valley’
France

‘The French don’t resent expats in the Loire Valley’

For the latest instalment in our My France series we take a trip down the Loire Valley to find out what its like to live and work in this idyllic region of France, best known for the splendour of the chateaux and quality of the its wines.

Ikea founder rated fifth richest in the world
Sweden

Ikea founder rated fifth richest in the world

Ingrad Kamprad, the founder of Swedish furniture giant Ikea, finished fifth on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index published on Friday, with an estimated fortune of $55.6 billion.

Foreigners forced to wait for right to vote in France
France

Foreigners forced to wait for right to vote in France

The wait goes on. Foreign nationals living in France will have to hold on until at least 2014 to earn the right to vote in local elections, despite the proposal being a key election pledge of French President François Holland last year.

Look-alike prisoner gets cell-mate’s release
Germany

Look-alike prisoner gets cell-mate’s release

German authorities have launched an investigation after a prisoner swapped identities with a cell-mate who was due to be released, and simply walked out of jail.

Lesbian kiss fails to shock Eurovision fans
Sweden

Lesbian kiss fails to shock Eurovision fans

When Finnish singer Krista Siegfrids ended her Eurovision Song Contest rehearsal performance last week by kissing one of her female dancers, few members of the audience raised an eyebrow.

LinkedIn profile lands Swede with hefty tax bill
Sweden

LinkedIn profile lands Swede with hefty tax bill

A Swedish man is facing a five-million kronor ($750,000) add-on to his tax bill after the authorities took a proper look at his account on the professional networking site LinkedIn.

No child support if dad is anonymous sperm donor
Germany

No child support if dad is anonymous sperm donor

The German state will not pay to support a child if its father was an anonymous sperm donor, a court ruled this week.

Holiday travellers face traffic trouble
Germany

Holiday travellers face traffic trouble

For anyone looking to take a trip over this long Pentecost holiday weekend, getting there likely won't be half the fun. German drivers' association ADAC has warned of packed roads and traffic jams, particularly on Friday and Saturday.