Annan opens Graduate Institute’s new home
Switzerland

Annan opens Graduate Institute’s new home

Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan inaugurated a new home for the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva on Wednesday night.

Zug and Zurich best places to locate: report
Switzerland

Zug and Zurich best places to locate: report

The cantons of Zug and Zurich remain the most attractive places in Switzerland for companies to locate in Switzerland, according to a report from Credit Suisse released on Wednesday.

French Budget 2014: How are you affected?
France

French Budget 2014: How are you affected?

With France mired in economic crisis and stagnation, President François Hollande’s cabinet on Wednesday signed off on €15 billion worth of cuts and taxes. Here’s a breakdown of how Budget 2014 might affect you.

500 queue for three shop assistant jobs in Genoa
Italy

500 queue for three shop assistant jobs in Genoa

In what has been described as a symptom of Italy’s financial crisis, 500 women of various ages and backgrounds queued up outside a shop in the northern city of Genoa on Tuesday, for the chance to be considered for just three jobs.

Ten reasons Sweden is the best winter country
Sweden

Ten reasons Sweden is the best winter country

With winter's arrival in Sweden, we've decided to embrace the frosty season here at The Local. We've gathered the ten best reasons why Sweden is, indeed, the best country in the world to spend winter.

Italians are more confident about spending
Italy

Italians are more confident about spending

Italian consumer confidence hit a two-year high in September, a sign that Italy could slowly be working its way out of its longest recession in two decades.

Jesus fish to take holy tour of Sweden
Sweden

Jesus fish to take holy tour of Sweden

Fish-factory workers in western Sweden who discovered a perfectly shaped cross on a Norwegian salmon's belly last week have now decided to take the Jesus fish on tour to show the rest of Sweden.

Jesus was the world’s first tweeter: Vatican
Italy

Jesus was the world’s first tweeter: Vatican

Jesus Christ was the world's first tweeter because his pronouncements were "brief and full of meaning", Vatican cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said on Wednesday.

CDU softens stance on tax hikes in ally search
Germany

CDU softens stance on tax hikes in ally search

Germany's finance minister said on Wednesday the government had not ruled out raising taxes as a way to tempt the centre-left opposition party into a coalition.

‘It’s not my role to give opinions on bullfighting’
Spain

‘It’s not my role to give opinions on bullfighting’

The new US ambassador to Spain and Andorra presented his credentials to the King Juan Carlos on Tuesday: a vegetarian, animal rights campaigner, the diplomat is also one of five openly gay ambassadors appointed by US President Barack Obama.

Brussels threatens France over Roma policy
France

Brussels threatens France over Roma policy

The EU threatened tough sanctions against France on Wednesday over its hardline policy towards Roma migrants, reminding Paris that as European citizens the Roma have a right to free circulation. Amnesty International also slammed Paris over its Roma evictions.

Top ten reasons diplomats like Berlin
Germany

Top ten reasons diplomats like Berlin

The centre of Europe, the tech industry or the history - what attracts diplomats to Berlin and why do they like living here?

Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty bids for Oscar
Italy

Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty bids for Oscar

La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), a film by Paolo Sorrentino, is Italy's contender for the foreign language film Oscar.

VIDEO: Crash airship left out of control over Milan
Italy

VIDEO: Crash airship left out of control over Milan

A runaway airship drifted out of control for 10 kilometres over Milan on Tuesday after crashing into a pylon.

Father ‘shut baby girl in fridge for crying’
Germany

Father ‘shut baby girl in fridge for crying’

A German father allegedly shut his four-month-old daughter in the fridge because she was crying too much, it was reported on Wednesday.

Why are Italians so miserable?
Italy

Why are Italians so miserable?

Italy might be famous for 'la dolce vita', but life is not so sunny for the people who live here, according to a recent survey which positions Italians among the unhappiest in Europe.

Woman ‘got dead mum’s benefits for eight years’
Italy

Woman ‘got dead mum’s benefits for eight years’

A woman in the southern region of Calabria has been arrested for allegedly tricking the social services out of €45,000, by claiming her dead mother's benefits for eight years.

GALLERY: Paris museum opens male nude exhibit
France

GALLERY: Paris museum opens male nude exhibit

The Musée d'Orsay in Paris, known for its traditional masterpieces, opened a controversial exhibition this week featuring nothing but male nudes through the ages. For those who can't make it or simply can't wait here's a few glimpses of what to expect.

Stockholm ‘island’ hot property after low-end ad
Sweden

Stockholm ‘island’ hot property after low-end ad

Islands in Stockholm's archipelago typically sell for several millions of kronor so when Swedish artist Teres Selberg advertised her little slice of islandesque paradise for a mere 70,000 kronor ($10,000) she was inundated with calls.

Spain votes on future of ‘sadistic’ bull festival
Spain

Spain votes on future of ‘sadistic’ bull festival

Spain's Parliament is debating on Wednesday whether to abolish a notorious "bull versus town" festival which has attracted widespread international condemnation for its savagery.

Paris Metro to be brought up to speed with 4G
France

Paris Metro to be brought up to speed with 4G

Parisians will soon be able to stay completely connected whilst travelling on the city’s Metro and RER system. The entire Metro network in the French capital will be covered by 3G and 4G by the end of 2015, but are they wasting their time?

New Swedish app helps users decide what to do
Sweden

New Swedish app helps users decide what to do

A Stockholm-based app launched on Wednesday is seeking to organize the world's events, and promises a local city guide like no other with just the swipe of a screen.

Cold snap on the way after first snow accident
Sweden

Cold snap on the way after first snow accident

It's snow joke. Winter is officially on the way after the first snow-related accident was reported in northern Sweden on Wednesday with temperatures set to plunge across the rest of the country.

EU monitors look to end Gibraltar border woes
Spain

EU monitors look to end Gibraltar border woes

A European Union team will start monitoring traffic controls at the Spain–Gibraltar border on Wednesday in a bid to defuse an ongoing feud between Spain and Britain over the tiny UK-held territory.

Beatles legend Ringo Starr gets French honour
France

Beatles legend Ringo Starr gets French honour

Ringo Starr, former drummer for The Beatles, this week became the latest in a series of English-speaking icons from the world of art and culture to be appointed a Commander of France's Order of Arts and Letters, in a ceremony in Monaco.

France’s public debt set to hit record levels
France

France’s public debt set to hit record levels

France's economy is set to break more records in the coming months, but there will be no cause for celebration. After its jobless total hit a historic high earlier this year, the government said on Tuesday that public debt will reach a record 95.1 percent of GDP.

Justice minister asks Roma for forgiveness
Sweden

Justice minister asks Roma for forgiveness

Sweden's Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has apologized to the country's Roma community for the registries maintained by the police in Skåne in southern Sweden.

Sotheby’s seeks record for ‘Pink Star’ diamond
Switzerland

Sotheby’s seeks record for ‘Pink Star’ diamond

Sotheby's on Wednesday showed off a 59.6-carat pink diamond that will be auctioned in Geneva in November at a record asking price of $60 million.

Pirate Bay co-founder cleared of bank hacking
Sweden

Pirate Bay co-founder cleared of bank hacking

Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has had his sentence slashed in half after an appeals court cleared him of hacking into Swedish bank Nordea.

British firm signs €1.6bn German train deal
Germany

British firm signs €1.6bn German train deal

British transport company National Express will sign a contract on Wednesday to run two regional rail services in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany's most populous state in a deal worth €1.6 billion.

Fraudsters escape prison for major online scam
Sweden

Fraudsters escape prison for major online scam

Several fraudsters who used Swedish buy-sell site Blocket to defraud 268 people of more than one million kronor ($156,000) won't end up going to prison following a court ruling.

Berlusconi is Italy’s most ‘overrated’ politician
Italy

Berlusconi is Italy’s most ‘overrated’ politician

Silvio Berlusconi has been rated the most overrated politician in Italy, in a poll carried out by state broadcaster Rai.

Apple loses Swiss smartphone users: study
Switzerland

Apple loses Swiss smartphone users: study

Switzerland is no longer an “Apple Land”, according to a new study showing the California computer brand is losing out in Swiss smartphone supremacy to Android models.

Attic ‘mummy’ mystery solved – it was plastic
Germany

Attic ‘mummy’ mystery solved – it was plastic

The mystery of a supposedly ancient mummy found in a German attic by a ten-year-old boy has been solved – it is made from plastic but the skull is real.

Railway bosses charged over Santiago crash
Spain

Railway bosses charged over Santiago crash

A Spanish judge on Tuesday charged the president of the company in charge of Adif, Spain's rail infrastructure, and his two predecessors in connection with a train derailment that killed 79 people in July.

‘This is not New York, this law is for France’
France

‘This is not New York, this law is for France’

France and its strict labour rules came under fire this week after a court banned a flagship Paris store from opening late at night, denying staff a chance to earn more money. However, union leader Eric Sherrer tells The Local why the decision was right for France.

Norway plans ‘disco poles’ to scare off elk
Norway

Norway plans ‘disco poles’ to scare off elk

Norway is trialling a new system of 'disco poles' to scare wandering elk away from oncoming road traffic.

Merkel’s East Berlin flat – rent for €55 a night
Germany

Merkel’s East Berlin flat – rent for €55 a night

Tourists visiting Berlin can now rent Angela Merkel's old flat for just €55 per night. The Chancellor was living in the little East German flat the year the wall came down.

Opposition drags heels over Merkel coalition
Germany

Opposition drags heels over Merkel coalition

Three days after the election handed Angela Merkel's party a clear victory whilst destroying its key ally, the isolated victors are no closer to forming a new government. Josie Le Blond looks at where the Chancellor goes from here.

Skåne police kept quiet about Roma registries
Sweden

Skåne police kept quiet about Roma registries

The Skåne police force has become embroiled in a fresh controversy over the Roma registries after it emerged they didn't admit the records were on file when asked by the Swedish Commission on Security and Integrity Protection last year.

Cat chases fox in northern Norway
Norway

Cat chases fox in northern Norway

Evy Hind's cat Leon is certainly not to be messed with, particularly for the foxes which hang around their home in Brøstadbotn, northern Norway.

Spanish Beatlemania movie wows film fest
Spain

Spanish Beatlemania movie wows film fest

A new film about "Beatlemania" under the Franco dictatorship entertained critics at the San Sebastian film festival on Tuesday, recounting how the British band's songs inspired one ordinary Spaniard during dark times.

French rock star killer makes comeback gaffe
France

French rock star killer makes comeback gaffe

Bertrand Cantat, a French rocker who beat his girlfriend to death in 2004, planned to release his comeback album on November 25, which marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. He has since been forced to change the release date.

Frail Spanish King faces new hip op in two months
Spain

Frail Spanish King faces new hip op in two months

Surgeons gave Spain's 75-year-old King Juan Carlos a temporary hip replacement on Tuesday but said he requires more surgery for a long-term fix, likely giving fuel to speculation of a history-making abdication.

VIDEO: Naked protester disrupts King’s surgery
Spain

VIDEO: Naked protester disrupts King’s surgery

A nude man pranced before Spain's Queen Sofia on Tuesday protesting "secret CIA crimes" just as she was entering a Madrid's hospital where King Juan Carlos was about to undergo hip surgery.

Jewels from tin tycoon and socialite up for sale
Switzerland

Jewels from tin tycoon and socialite up for sale

Christie's in Geneva is auctioning millions of euros worth of jewellery from the collections of "King of Tin" Simon Patino and Paris socialite Hélène Rochas this autumn.

Hollande heralds ‘first contact’ with Rohani
France

Hollande heralds ‘first contact’ with Rohani

French President François Hollande became the first western leader to meet the new Iranian President Hassan Rohani, when the pair met for talks in New York on Tuesday. Hollande urged Iran to make "concrete" gestures over its disputed nuclear programme.

Barça and Atlético extend perfect Liga starts
Spain

Barça and Atlético extend perfect Liga starts

Barcelona extended their 100 percent league record to six games with a 4-1 win over Real Sociedad on Tuesday as Atlético Madrid also maintained their perfect start to the season.

Ex-President calls for German-Polish state
Germany

Ex-President calls for German-Polish state

Former Polish President Lech Walesa has caused a stir by calling on his country to unite with Germany to form one European nation, saying borders were no longer relevant.

Usain Bolt celebrates Puma deal at Oktoberfest
Germany

Usain Bolt celebrates Puma deal at Oktoberfest

Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt celebrated at Munich's Oktoberfest after German sportswear giant Puma announced it had renewed his sponsorship contract to beyond the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Germany welcomes ‘new tone’ from Iran
Germany

Germany welcomes ‘new tone’ from Iran

Germany’s outgoing Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Tuesday welcomed a "new tone" from Tehran ahead of a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rowhani but demanded "substantial action" on its controversial nuclear program.

Ibrahimovic: ‘I’ll finish my career at PSG’
France

Ibrahimovic: ‘I’ll finish my career at PSG’

Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday announced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has extended his contract, tying him to the club until 2016. The Sweden international striker expects PSG to bo his last club.

Christian Democrats may reject Progress coalition
Norway

Christian Democrats may reject Progress coalition

Senior members of Norway's Christian Democrats are pushing to reject a coalition with the Progress Party because it has failed to rein in its controversial anti-immigration wing, VG has reported.

Ryanair appeals Italian’s ‘slave contract’ case
Italy

Ryanair appeals Italian’s ‘slave contract’ case

Ryanair has appealed to Norway's Supreme Court in a last bid attempt to stop dismissed former stewardess Alessandra Cocca from having her case heard in a Norway.

Two Britons charged over Air France cocaine bust
France

Two Britons charged over Air France cocaine bust

Two Britons, who were among several people arrested in connection with the record haul of cocaine seized on an Air France flight from Caracas to Paris, were charged on Tuesday with smuggling 1.3 tonnes of cocaine, worth an estimated €200 million.

Three Italians charged over France cocaine haul
Italy

Three Italians charged over France cocaine haul

Three Italians and two Britons were charged on Tuesday with smuggling 1.3 tonnes of cocaine worth an estimated €200m into Paris on an Air France flight, a judicial source said.

PM meets Kabila to plead for jailed Norwegian
Norway

PM meets Kabila to plead for jailed Norwegian

Norway's outgoing Prime Minister has met President of the Democratic Republic of Congo to plea for Joshua French, a Norwegian jailed in the country, to be sent home.

Sweden earns $3.4 billion in Nordea share sale
Sweden

Sweden earns $3.4 billion in Nordea share sale

Sweden said Wednesday it had sold its remaining 7-percent share in the country's largest bank, Nordea, for 21.6 billion kronor ($3.4 billion) with the proceeds being used to reduce public debt.

Why Sweden’s newest minister upsets ‘smörgåsbord-Christians’
Sweden

Why Sweden’s newest minister upsets ‘smörgåsbord-Christians’

Reactions to the recent appointment of Employment Minister Elisabeth Svantesson, someone with clear religious convictions, exposes Swedes' general suspicion toward religion as well as the laziness of the political opposition, argues historian and commentator David Lindén.

Zlatan: ‘I think I’ll finish my career in Paris’
Sweden

Zlatan: ‘I think I’ll finish my career in Paris’

Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday announced that Zlatan Ibrahimovic has extended his contract, tying him to the club until 2016.

Ryanair appeals Norway ‘slave contract’ case
Norway

Ryanair appeals Norway ‘slave contract’ case

Ryanair has appealed to Norway's Supreme Court in a last bid attempt to stop dismissed former stewardess Alessandra Cocca from having her case heard in a Norway.