Federer cruises into French Open third round
Switzerland

Federer cruises into French Open third round

Switzerland's Roger Federer won his 56th French Open tennis match on Wednesday as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils kept home hopes alive of a first men's champion from France in 30 years.

Brothel owner jailed for human trafficking
Switzerland

Brothel owner jailed for human trafficking

The former owner of a brothel near Bienne in the canton of Bern was sentenced on Wednesday to eight and a half years in prison for trafficking dozens of women and inciting prostitution.

French feminists held after baring all in Tunisia
France

French feminists held after baring all in Tunisia

Two French women and one German, members of activist group Femen, were arrested in Tunisia on Wednesday, after baring their breasts outside a courthouse in Tunis. Their leader in Paris told The Local, "We are ready for any reaction."

France makes history as first gay couple wed
France

France makes history as first gay couple wed

Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau made history on Wednesday when they said "I do" to became the first gay couple in France to be legally pronounced “husband and husband”.

Top ten crazy Spanish festivals
Spain

Top ten crazy Spanish festivals

From rat flinging to goat tossing, Spain definitely has some of the world's weirdest local festivals. Check out The Local's list to find out more.

EU orders  France to reform pensions and jobs
France

EU orders France to reform pensions and jobs

The EU issued some strict orders for France to get its house in order on Wednesday. The European Commission told France to overhaul its costly pension system and loosen up its inflexible labour market but there was at least some good news for Paris.

Top ten reasons why Swedes are so happy
Sweden

Top ten reasons why Swedes are so happy

With Swedish people ranked on Tuesday as the second happiest in the world, The Local took to the streets of Stockholm and asked Swedes just what exactly was making them so happy.

‘Diversity in Germany has become reality’
Germany

‘Diversity in Germany has become reality’

Two decades after one of the worst instances of anti-foreigner violence, racism still exists in Germany. But society has changed and, in an era of globalization, migration is normal, writes Der Tagesspiegel's Peter von Becker.

Spain wins extra time from EU in deficit war
Spain

Spain wins extra time from EU in deficit war

The European Commission on Wednesday gave Spain extra time to trim its deficit as it laid down economic targets for EU nations that desperately need growth and jobs in the fallout from the debt crisis.

British beware: new passport rules in Italy
Italy

British beware: new passport rules in Italy

British nationals living in Italy or San Marino who need to renew their passport will soon have to send their passport applications to a central office in the UK. Processing times, however, will remain the same.

A jobless grad’s road to a Swedish IT giant
Sweden

A jobless grad’s road to a Swedish IT giant

After a bumpy ride on Sweden's unemployment roller coaster that ended with a position at Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, Jessica Nkusi, an HR consultant from Rwanda, has learned a thing or two about finding a job in Sweden.

Germany lifts Holocaust help to €800 million
Germany

Germany lifts Holocaust help to €800 million

Germany's finance ministry has increased support for Holocaust survivors, saying on Wednesday it would assign nearly €800 million for some 56,000 people worldwide over the next four years.

Easyjet may fly from new Berlin airport this autumn
Germany

Easyjet may fly from new Berlin airport this autumn

Berlin's ill-fated BER airport could be partially open from autumn, but only for Easyjet. The move has ruffled feathers of other airlines, it was reported on Wednesday.

Drug-taking mum dies to stop kids’ arrests
Spain

Drug-taking mum dies to stop kids’ arrests

A mother died on Monday after swallowing drugs belonging to her children to stop them from being arrested by police.

Man sets dog ‘Adolf’ on neighbour in racist attack
France

Man sets dog ‘Adolf’ on neighbour in racist attack

A dog-owner in the south of France was given a jail sentence for setting his dogs, one named "Adolf", on a neighbour, a Frenchman of North African origins, it was reported this week. The accused is said to have shouted “Get the Arabs!” before unleashing his mutts.

Monaco sign Atletico’s Falcao for €45 million
Spain

Monaco sign Atletico’s Falcao for €45 million

Spanish sports media have announced that Monaco have paid €45 million for Atlético de Madrid striker Radamel Falcao and will soon be signing Barcelona and Spain keeper Victor Valdés.

Sentence sought for D&G fashion duo in tax trial
Italy

Sentence sought for D&G fashion duo in tax trial

An Italian prosecutor on Wednesday sought a sentence of two years and six months for fashion duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who are on trial in Milan for allegedly evading about €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in taxes.

Bern agrees to settle tax evasion dispute with US
Switzerland

Bern agrees to settle tax evasion dispute with US

The Swiss federal government has accepted a United States demand to settle a dispute over the alleged complicity of Swiss banks in tax evasion by Americans that will reportedly cost the banks billions of francs.

‘Sweden should be proud of its troops’
Sweden

‘Sweden should be proud of its troops’

Seeing the popular support of American soldiers up close makes international defence PhD candidate Annelie Gregor ask if it is time for Swedes to let their soldiers feel proud about their role in peace-keeping missions worldwide.

Oslo reaches deal on new Munch Museum
Norway

Oslo reaches deal on new Munch Museum

The city of Oslo said Tuesday it had clinched a deal to build a new museum housing the biggest collection of works by Norwegian expressionist master Edvard Munch, bringing to an end years of political squabbles.

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Spain

Central bank predicts ‘slowing’ jobless rate

Spain's recession will continue in the second quarter although the unemployment rate, already at a record high, will rise at a slower pace, the Bank of Spain said Wednesday.

‘Sweden must avoid long-term housing bubble’: EU
Sweden

‘Sweden must avoid long-term housing bubble’: EU

As the European Commission unveiled recommendations for Sweden on Wednesday, EU representatives in Stockholm said they welcomed the public debate about high levels of household indebtedness.

US author wins Norway environmental prize
Norway

US author wins Norway environmental prize

US environmentalist, author and journalist Bill McKibben on Tuesday won Norway's Sophie Prize for environmental and sustainable development, the last time the award will be given due to lack of funds, organizers said.

French ski station to re-open slopes, in June!
France

French ski station to re-open slopes, in June!

Struggling to know what to do this weekend? Well, summer is officially here so why not head to the ski slopes of the French Pyrénées? Yes, believe it or not a French ski station is reopening its doors to make the most of the unseasonal snow.

Sweden launches heatwave alert system
Sweden

Sweden launches heatwave alert system

Sweden's meteorological institute has introduced a system to warn Swedes of heatwaves, saying prolonged spells of warm weather have seen increased mortality rates across the country.

New in German cinemas: ‘The Hangover Part III’
Germany

New in German cinemas: ‘The Hangover Part III’

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

Ikea warned: Give to charity or face bombing
France

Ikea warned: Give to charity or face bombing

Menacing letters, one signed by the name ‘Robin Wood’, threatened to bomb and set fire to Ikea locations in France if the Swedish furniture giant did not meet several somewhat bizarre demands, it was revealed this week.

Swedish economy beats growth expectations
Sweden

Swedish economy beats growth expectations

Sweden's economy grew by 0.6 percent in the first quarter from the previous three-month period, Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån - SCB) said on Wednesday as it released fresh data that beat expectations.

Cops catch woman flogging sister’s kidney
Spain

Cops catch woman flogging sister’s kidney

A 34-year-old woman has been arrested in the north-central Spanish city of Soria after she tried to sell her sister’s kidney for €400,000 to “anybody who needs it”.

Cold weather chills German job market
Germany

Cold weather chills German job market

The German labour market, which has so far held up well in face of the eurozone debt crisis, took a knock in May, but largely due to the high number of public holidays and the cold weather, analysts said Wednesday.

Sweden eyes new round of income tax cuts
Sweden

Sweden eyes new round of income tax cuts

Sweden's Financial Markets Minister said on Wednesday the country would benefit from further income-tax reductions, as he addressed investors in Stockholm, but added that unemployment was Sweden's "Achilles' heel".

WHO calls for junk food taxes to beat obesity
Switzerland

WHO calls for junk food taxes to beat obesity

Alarmed at expanding waistlines around the world, the UN's Geneva-based health agency has urged countries to get serious about reining in a ballooning obesity crisis, proposing an action plan that includes taxing unhealthy snacks and rules against marketing junk food to children.

Use of ‘designer drugs’ on the rise in Germany
Germany

Use of ‘designer drugs’ on the rise in Germany

Synthetic "designer drugs," with names such as Extreme Summer, Fly Cherry or Manga XXL are increasingly finding users in Germany, especially among young men, a new government report says.

Verbier plans to open ski lifts – weather permitting
Switzerland

Verbier plans to open ski lifts – weather permitting

The ski lift operators at Verbier, the mountain resort in the canton of Valais, are planning to reopen lifts this weekend following heavy snowfall in the region.

Brits repulsed by Ikea’s gnome-bashing advert
Sweden

Brits repulsed by Ikea’s gnome-bashing advert

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has come under fire after airing an advert in the UK showing a young family demolishing garden gnomes in what viewers found to be a "frightening and unsuitable" manner.

‘A Madrid Olympics means more jobs ‘
Spain

‘A Madrid Olympics means more jobs ‘

A united Spain is prepared for the fight for Madrid to win the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games, the bid's president Alejandro Blanco told AFP in an interview.

French grandad wins €132m on first lotto ticket
France

French grandad wins €132m on first lotto ticket

A French grandfather who won €132 million in the Euromillions lottery would have made his compatriots envious this week, when he revealed his win was the first time he had played the lottery. He now wants to use some of the money to set a home for the elderly.

Devoted supporter starts Berlusconi ‘army’
Italy

Devoted supporter starts Berlusconi ‘army’

As a defendant in two trials, Silvio Berlusconi is fighting criticism both at home and abroad. But on Tuesday a zealous supporter launched a fan website inviting young Italians to join a virtual “army” in support of the ex-prime minister.

Spaniards use WhatsApp to dump lovers
Spain

Spaniards use WhatsApp to dump lovers

A new survey shows that the popular instant messaging service WhatsApp is being increasingly used by Spaniards to break up with their short-term partners.

Europe launches attack on youth unemployment
Spain

Europe launches attack on youth unemployment

Spain, France, Italy and Germany unveiled on Tuesday a multi-billion euro emergency plan to fight youth unemployment in Europe.

Christian Democrats have most sex: poll
Sweden

Christian Democrats have most sex: poll

Sweden's Christian Democrats have the most sex, a survey of political party sympathizers' sex habits has revealed, while supporters of the Centre Party report being most satisfied with their sex lives.

Police find body lying ‘among 50 snakes’
Germany

Police find body lying ‘among 50 snakes’

German police looking for a missing man discovered him dead in his home surrounded by nearly 50 snakes. His size, experts said on Wednesday, stopped the animals from eating his corpse, as he was too wide to be swallowed whole.

France holds its first gay wedding to make history
France

France holds its first gay wedding to make history

There will be a heavy police presence in the French city of Montpellier on Wednesday, which is set to host France’s first gay wedding. Government ministers and the world's media will also be on hand to witness the historic event.

Swedish unions want to curb labour migration
Sweden

Swedish unions want to curb labour migration

Swedish blue-collar trade unions have said it is time for Sweden to revise its labour migration policies, and reintroduce employers' commitment to prove how foreign workers fill gaps in the Swedish market.

Volleyball boss arrested over Dutch murders
Spain

Volleyball boss arrested over Dutch murders

A judge remanded in custody on Tuesday a Spaniard suspected in the killing of a Dutch volleyball player and her boyfriend — murders that may have been the result of a business deal gone wrong.

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Sweden

One dead after head-on truck collision

One person died on Wednesday morning when a tanker truck driving in eastern Sweden collided head-on with a van, which went up in flames.

Police snare France’s ‘most wanted’ man
France

Police snare France’s ‘most wanted’ man

Police in the suburbs of Paris tracked down and arrested the notorious fugitive Redoine Faid in the early hours of Wednesday. Faid had been on the run since a daring prison break on April 13th, during which he held four prison guards hostage.

EU’s Oettinger says Europe ripe for ‘overhaul’
Germany

EU’s Oettinger says Europe ripe for ‘overhaul’

Günther Oettinger, Germany’s EU commissioner for energy issues, has attacked Europe as ripe for “overhaul” with several countries “ungovernable.” He also slammed Chancellor Merkel’s political agenda.

France’s first lady set to address ‘rape capital’
Switzerland

France’s first lady set to address ‘rape capital’

French First Lady Valérie Trierweiler is travelling to Geneva on Thursday to speak to the 23rd session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Muslim convert admits stabbing French soldier
France

Muslim convert admits stabbing French soldier

French prosecutors said on Wednesday that a 21-year-old suspect arrested earlier in the day has admitted to stabbing a French soldier in the neck on Saturday evening. Prosecutors said the suspect was a recent convert to Islam and was known to police.

Electric cars fail to gain traction in Germany
Germany

Electric cars fail to gain traction in Germany

Germany plans to have one million electric vehicles on its roads by 2020, but so far that goal seems remote as the nation's motorists have shown little love for the quietly humming vehicles.

Swedes lead ‘second best lives’ in the world: study
Sweden

Swedes lead ‘second best lives’ in the world: study

Sweden has come in second place in a ranking of citizen well-being on the OECD's Better Life Index, beating its Scandinavian neighbours but still outgunned on the happiness scale by the Australians.

Lidl gets stick for running out of stickers
Germany

Lidl gets stick for running out of stickers

German discount supermarket chain Lidl has run out of a popular range of children's stickers meant to be as an incentive for families to buy at the store. Parents of devastated "Stikeez" fans have taken to the internet to voice their outrage.