Italian winemaker shunned over racist rant
Italy

Italian winemaker shunned over racist rant

An award-winning Italian winemaker is being shunned by the sector after a bizarre racist tirade on Facebook against Italy's first black government minister.

Disgraced ex-minister’s wife charged in tax probe
France

Disgraced ex-minister’s wife charged in tax probe

The estranged wife of France's disgraced former Budget Minister Jérôme Cahuzac has been charged with tax fraud and money laundering in the same scandal that cost her husband his job, a judicial source said on Friday.

Top ten: TV shows Spain should have
Spain

Top ten: TV shows Spain should have

Have you completely given up on Spanish television? Well never fear. The Local has come up with ten ideas for new Spanish TV shows which are sure to spice up the national viewing schedule.

Watchdog serves sweet and sour burger verdict
Germany

Watchdog serves sweet and sour burger verdict

Germany's top consumer watchdog has compared three fast-food chains - and declared Burger King the tastiest but least healthy. McDonald's was better for you - but only because the portions were smaller.

Syria looms as Sweden readies for Obama
Sweden

Syria looms as Sweden readies for Obama

Free trade and climate police are at the top of the agenda for Barack Obama's visit to Sweden next week, a trip meant to symbolize the strength of US-Swedish relations, but which is overshadowed by speculation about imminent military strikes in Syria.

Bank raids and bridges – the week in pictures
Germany

Bank raids and bridges – the week in pictures

From a rebellious seal to a stunning aerial shot of Germany's most controversial bridge, The Local has selected some of the best photos of the week in our pictorial review of the news.

Spain bags rare current account surplus
Spain

Spain bags rare current account surplus

Spain recorded a current account surplus in January-June this year for the first time on record as exports and investor confidence in the recession-hit country strengthened, officials said.

Socialists crash and bash in school loot raid
Spain

Socialists crash and bash in school loot raid

A Robin Hood-style band of Spanish left-wing activists openly stole cart-loads of school supplies from a supermarket on Friday, promising to distribute them to needy children.

‘It’s easy to start a business in France’
France

‘It’s easy to start a business in France’

France has a reputation as being a hostile place to start a new business, but a report this week by Ernst & Young appears to explode that as a myth. For this week's JobTalk, one Paris-based expert tells us why France is far from the worst choice for getting a business off the ground.

‘La Dolce Vita doesn’t exist’
Italy

‘La Dolce Vita doesn’t exist’

Tom Weber first found his feet in Vicenza, in the Veneto region, in the 1960s with the US army. He speaks to The Local about the time he was arrested over a residency issue and why, despite this, Italy has become home.

Italy warns Syria strikes could turn conflict global
Italy

Italy warns Syria strikes could turn conflict global

Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said on Friday that military strikes being planned against Syria risked escalating into "a global conflagration".

Munich trumps Berlin as Euro 2020 candidate
Germany

Munich trumps Berlin as Euro 2020 candidate

Munich has beaten Berlin in the race to represent Germany in bidding to host Euro 2020 football matches.

Top banker resigns after colleague’s suicide note
Germany

Top banker resigns after colleague’s suicide note

Germany's most famous banker Josef Ackermann resigned his job at the head of Zurich Insurance Group after the firm's chief financial officer killed himself earlier this week - leaving a note referring to their relationship.

Spanish fastest-growing expat group in UK
Spain

Spanish fastest-growing expat group in UK

Spaniards are now the fastest-growing group of migrants into the UK, new figures from that country's employment ministry show.

Doctor struck off for drugging suicidal student
Sweden

Doctor struck off for drugging suicidal student

A Swedish doctor employed at Stockholm University has lost his licence after prescribing "for the right fee" benzodiazepine - a drug also known as roofies, moggies or downers - to a student who later tried to commit suicide.

Berlusconi’s popularity soars despite scandals
Italy

Berlusconi’s popularity soars despite scandals

Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right party would win a general election, according to a poll released Friday, even though the former prime minister has been convicted for tax fraud and remains entangled in a string of legal scandals.

Shaken Zurich Insurance probes CFO’s suicide
Switzerland

Shaken Zurich Insurance probes CFO’s suicide

Zurich insurance has launched an investigation into whether there was “undue pressure” on the company’s chief financial officer, Pierre Wauthier, who committed suicide earlier this week.

Cross-bearing Spaniard marches on Gibraltar
Spain

Cross-bearing Spaniard marches on Gibraltar

A religious man from Malaga is hoping to resolve Spain's dispute with Gibraltar by carrying a three-metre high cross on an 135km (83 miles) peace march to The Rock.

Norway army to stage mock battle in Oslo
Norway

Norway army to stage mock battle in Oslo

The Lowdown: Obama’s itinerary in Stockholm
Sweden

The Lowdown: Obama’s itinerary in Stockholm

US President Barack Obama's preliminary schedule has been released just days ahead of his touch down on Swedish soil, with highlights including royal meetings, dinners with Nordic prime ministers, and a trip to a Stockholm memorial.

‘Panic over e-cigarettes can harm more than help’
France

‘Panic over e-cigarettes can harm more than help’

Earlier this week, a French report claiming that e-cigarettes were “potentially carcinogenic” spread shockwaves around the world. However, a researcher tells The Local that there was a danger that the study would be misinterpreted.

Fare-dodgers cost French operators €400m a year
France

Fare-dodgers cost French operators €400m a year

France’s transport minister Frédéric Cuvillier has announced a crackdown on fare-dodgers after it was revealed that transport operators SNCF and RATP were duped out of a total of €400 million in a single year.

Firefighters control massive Galicia blaze
Spain

Firefighters control massive Galicia blaze

Firefighters tamed a major wildfire in northern Spain and continued battling smaller ones there and in neighbouring Portugal where blazes have claimed five lives, officials said on Friday.

Star architect Renzo Piano named senator
Italy

Star architect Renzo Piano named senator

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday named top architect Renzo Piano, famed for buildings including London's "Shard", and conductor Claudio Abbado along with two leading scientists as senators for life.

Sweden’s criminal honey-trap duo loses appeal
Sweden

Sweden’s criminal honey-trap duo loses appeal

A Swedish court of appeals has upheld the verdicts against the "online dating league", a team of two women and their male cohorts who set up dates on the internet then drugged and robbed their lovelorn victims.

Speculation rises on Nestlé’s stake in L’Oréal
Switzerland

Speculation rises on Nestlé’s stake in L’Oréal

Shares in French firm L'Oréal surged by 4.6 percent on Friday on news that the group, the world's top cosmetics company, may be looking to buy back Swiss food giant Nestlé's holding.

The architect behind ‘eyesore’ Dresden bridge
Germany

The architect behind ‘eyesore’ Dresden bridge

It took him 17 years, but after dealing with rare bats and a slew of court cases, the man who designed a bridge deemed so ugly by Unesco that it stripped Dresden of its world heritage status, finally saw it open this week.

Ruling party ‘trashes’ corruption case laptops
Spain

Ruling party ‘trashes’ corruption case laptops

Two personal computers used by the Popular Party's former treasurer Luis Bárcenas had their data wiped off before a judge could study the contents in a corruption case involving illegal party financing.

Watchdog warns Apple over ‘Champagne’ iPhone
France

Watchdog warns Apple over ‘Champagne’ iPhone

Champagne producers are set to go to war with Apple if they attempt to release their new iPhone 5S in a ‘Champagne’ colour, it emerged this week. It wouldn't be the first time the French watchdog has taken a company to task for co-opting the iconic label.

Nuremberg ‘must fix up Hitler’s parade grounds’
Germany

Nuremberg ‘must fix up Hitler’s parade grounds’

City bosses in Nuremberg are preparing to spend up to €70 million to repair Adolf Hitler's huge Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg. But mayor Ulrich Maly promised: "This is not a question of sprucing it up."

Water thief leaves fun park high and dry
Spain

Water thief leaves fun park high and dry

The manager of one of Europe's largest fun parks has been arrested for systematically stealing water for a number of years.

Italians fight against ‘imperialist’ war in Syria
Italy

Italians fight against ‘imperialist’ war in Syria

After calls for action in Syria by their French neighbours, protesters took to the streets of Rome on Thursday night to fight against what they see as an "imperialist" plot.

WRS airs for last day as public radio station
Switzerland

WRS airs for last day as public radio station

World Radio Switzerland (WRS) will broadcast on Saturday for its last day as the country’s only publicly run English-language radio station.

Venice makeover looms after gondola death
Italy

Venice makeover looms after gondola death

Venice has teemed with boats for centuries but a tragic gondola death has stirred anger on the canals and could change the face of the floating city's most famous waterway.

Germany will not take part in Syria attack
Germany

Germany will not take part in Syria attack

Germany will not take part in a military strike in Syria after an apparent deadly poison gas attack.

Stockholm braces for Obama traffic circus
Sweden

Stockholm braces for Obama traffic circus

Stockholmers are expected to suffer some heavy delays next week as the US President Barack Obama visits the Swedish capital, with authorities predicting traffic chaos.

Bra stealer strikes again
Italy

Bra stealer strikes again

A 64-year-old man from Modena, in northern Italy, told police he has no idea why he keeps stealing bras after his latest heist.

Italy’s unemployment rate stabilizes
Italy

Italy’s unemployment rate stabilizes

Italy's unemployment rate remained stable at 12.0 percent in July, the same level as in June, a preliminary estimate by the national statistics agency Istat showed on Friday.

France set to ‘punish’ Assad without UK help
France

France set to ‘punish’ Assad without UK help

French President François Hollande on Friday warned that a strike on Syria could happen soon, despite his ally, UK Prime Minister David Cameron ruling out British involvement in any military intervention.

Sweden’s hottest fashion photographers head west
Sweden

Sweden’s hottest fashion photographers head west

A quintet of Sweden's most globally respected fashion photographers have fused their art into one hit exhibition, Different Distances, with the curator now shipping the success over to the United States.

Missile flingers turn up heat in Gibraltar row
Spain

Missile flingers turn up heat in Gibraltar row

Police in Gibraltar are following up on reports that missiles were thrown at their Spanish colleagues on Wednesday, the latest incident in continued tensions on the border between Spain and its diminutive neighbour.

Norway shipping heir to sell out for $500m
Norway

Norway shipping heir to sell out for $500m

Shipping heiress Marianne Odfjell has announced plans to sell off her 30 percent stake in Odfjell Drilling for about $500m in cash.

VIDEO: Swedish anchor in fits over Ryanair ghost
Sweden

VIDEO: Swedish anchor in fits over Ryanair ghost

A normally staid Swedish newscaster found herself overcome with the giggles on live television following a segment featuring Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary trying to impersonate a ghost.

Champions League draw kind to Spanish sides
Spain

Champions League draw kind to Spanish sides

Spain's four Champions League participants (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid and Real Sociedad) have all been relatively lucky with their group stages' draw.

‘Lock up Swedish killers for life’: minister
Sweden

‘Lock up Swedish killers for life’: minister

Sweden's justice minister wants more Swedish criminals to spend life behind bars, with murderers to feel the consequences of "how seriously society views" the crime.

Steinbrück gains on Merkel but still trails
Germany

Steinbrück gains on Merkel but still trails

Social Democrat chancellor candidate Peer Steinbrück has gained ground in his battle to overcome Angela Merkel's commanding lead in popularity, but is still trailing way behind her, new polls suggest.

Expat writer laments ‘cold’ Swiss service
Switzerland

Expat writer laments ‘cold’ Swiss service

English expat Diccon Bewes cast a wry glance at Switzerland in his bestseller Swiss Watching. A French translation, Le Suissologue, is now in bookshops. The Local caught up with the author to discuss chocolate, trains and Oprah’s bag.

Swiss banks face hefty fines under US tax deal
Switzerland

Swiss banks face hefty fines under US tax deal

Swiss banks will pay significant fines to avoid US penalties under a deal announced on Thursday which forces them to begin disclosing the offshore accounts of American clients.

France braces for returning holiday traffic
France

France braces for returning holiday traffic

Are you returning from your ‘grandes vacances’ this weekend? You’re not the only one. As motorists head homeward for the dreaded rentrée, heavy congestion is expected on the country’s motorways.

Labour Ministry: we won’t call staff after work
Germany

Labour Ministry: we won’t call staff after work

Germany's Labour Ministry has banned its managers from calling and emailing staff outside of office hours unless faced with an emergency.

Georgian asylum seeker gang seized in Norway
Norway

Georgian asylum seeker gang seized in Norway

A trio of Georgian criminals have been arrested on suspicion of carrying out more than 14 robberies in computer and mobile phone shops across southern Norway.

Mother calls for brothels to be reopened
Italy

Mother calls for brothels to be reopened

The mother of a disabled 30-year-old man in Treviso, northern Italy, is appealing for brothels to be reopened in Italy so that her son can have an active and safe sex life.

Leaders Marseille take on second-placed Monaco
France

Leaders Marseille take on second-placed Monaco

This weekend could bring the game of the Ligue 1 season so far, with leaders Marseille taking on second-placed Monaco. After a rocky start, champions PSG should take three points from newly promoted Guingamp.

Eating elk may lower children’s IQ: Report
Norway

Eating elk may lower children’s IQ: Report

Meat from elk and deer shot in the wild could cause brain damage in children, Norway's Food Standards Authority has said in a new report, citing the high levels of lead contained in it.

‘Elite school hazing was illegal torture’: expert
Sweden

‘Elite school hazing was illegal torture’: expert

A Swedish professor has said the hazing techniques used at the now-closed and scandal-hit boarding school Lundsbergs could be in breach of international law on torture, as certain incidents were close to waterboarding.

Harsh sentence for false rape claim
Norway

Harsh sentence for false rape claim

A Norwegian woman has been sentenced to a year and a half in prison after she admitted to falsely claiming to have been raped.

Champions League draw challenges Germans
Germany

Champions League draw challenges Germans

Germany's top football clubs, which dominated last season's Champions League, have been drawn in tough groups for this season's competition.

Rings producer plans Norway Viking epic
Norway

Rings producer plans Norway Viking epic

The producer behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy wants to shoot a $100 million Viking blockbuster in Norway, saying he is drawn by the "authentic landscape" and the expert knowledge local historians have about the Viking era.

EU ban ‘erases two-thirds of Swedish snuff’
Sweden

EU ban ‘erases two-thirds of Swedish snuff’

The EU's new tobacco directive could threaten as much as 70 percent of existing sorts of snus on the market, snuff makers Swedish Match has warned.

French group lists 100 ‘toxic’ shopping items
France

French group lists 100 ‘toxic’ shopping items

After raising concerns about the potential dangers of e-cigarettes a consumer group turned its attention this week to raising awareness of everyday products found in French supermarkets it claims contain “toxic substances”.

Venice award for The Exorcist film-maker
Italy

Venice award for The Exorcist film-maker

US film-maker William Friedkin, who petrified cinema-goers with The Exorcist, was awarded a lifetime achievement award by organizers of the Venice film festival on Thursday.