Valais glaciers to largely vanish: cantonal report
Switzerland

Valais glaciers to largely vanish: cantonal report

In less than a century the mountain canton of Valais is expected to lose virtually all of its glaciers, according to a report released on Tuesday.

Retailer’s road tax sticker sale ‘flouts regulations’
Switzerland

Retailer’s road tax sticker sale ‘flouts regulations’

Federal authorities intervened on Tuesday in a bid to stop Swiss electronics retailer Media Markt from selling motorway tax stickers at a cut-rate price.

Norway parliament to force Afghanistan review
Norway

Norway parliament to force Afghanistan review

Norway's opposition moved on Tuesday to demand a review of the country's engagement in Afghanistan, with a clear majority of the country's MPs likely to back the proposal.

Spain frees 14 more Eta prisoners in rights row
Spain

Spain frees 14 more Eta prisoners in rights row

A Spanish court on Tuesday freed a further 14 jailed members of Basque armed separatist group Eta, a court source said, under a rights ruling that has outraged victims' families.

Top ten reasons to learn Italian
Italy

Top ten reasons to learn Italian

Many foreigners arrive in Italy for a taste of a new culture, only to find it's easy to get by in English. So what's the point of learning Italian? The Local has come up with 10 reasons why knowing even just a few words will make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Spanish ham slicer slashes Guinness record
Spain

Spanish ham slicer slashes Guinness record

A young Spanish cortador, or ham slicer, broke all records on Monday when he spent more than 25 hours at the knife.

Berlusconi lawmakers pull out of Italy coalition
Italy

Berlusconi lawmakers pull out of Italy coalition

Silvio Berlusconi's party formally withdrew its support for Italy's ruling coalition on Tuesday in a widely expected move on the eve of a vote to expel the billionaire tycoon from the Senate.

Christmas reopens sore of ‘Swedish history angst’
Sweden

Christmas reopens sore of ‘Swedish history angst’

As Christmas approaches and Swedes engage in a bout of uncharacteristic tradition, historian and liberal commentator David Lindén argues that a "history anxiety" rears up to stifle public debate about the country's less liberal and tolerant literary past.

Uproar over French plan to extend online spying
France

Uproar over French plan to extend online spying

Google and other internet giants have reacted angrily to the French government’s plans to extend its surveillance of emails, phone calls and online behaviour, as the National Assembly met on Tuesday to discuss the proposal.

Fifa boss blasts racist football fans in Spain
Spain

Fifa boss blasts racist football fans in Spain

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has said he was "sickened" to see some Real Betis supporters racially abuse their own player, Brazilian defender Paulao, in the Seville derby against Sevilla on Sunday.

Man on trial for voodoo exorcism rapes in France
France

Man on trial for voodoo exorcism rapes in France

A young Togolese man went on trial near Paris Tuesday charged with raping and assaulting three adolescents in voodoo exorcism sessions. The mother of the girls allegedly gave her consent to the rituals.

Woman hides in car to sober up after crash
Germany

Woman hides in car to sober up after crash

A woman hid in the boot of her car for a day-and-a-half after a minor crash - to avoid the police while sobering up.

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Spain

Spain hits 2013 debt market targets

Spain announced on Tuesday it had completed its programme aimed at raising €121 billion ($164 billion) from the debt markets to finance the state in 2013.

Paris ‘can rival London’ as Chinese business hub
France

Paris ‘can rival London’ as Chinese business hub

Paris could challenge London as a Chinese business hub, France's finance minister said on Tuesday, adding that upcoming deals would increase Chinese currency use in the French capital.

MPS approves €3 billion capital increase
Italy

MPS approves €3 billion capital increase

The board of troubled Italian lender Monte dei Paschi - the world's oldest bank - on Tuesday approved a capital increase of up to €3 billion to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.

‘Germany must say yes to more immigrants’
Germany

‘Germany must say yes to more immigrants’

The biggest threat to Europe’s top economy is not foreign competition but its low birth rate. It must open its borders to more immigrants, skilled and unskilled, says The Local's editor Tom Bristow.

Traditional family roles rule again in Germany
Germany

Traditional family roles rule again in Germany

Stay-at-home mums cooking lunch for the children while dads earn the money - Germans’ opinions on gender roles are more conservative today than they were in the 1990s, a survey revealed on Monday.

France set to send troops to ‘chaotic’ Central Africa
France

France set to send troops to ‘chaotic’ Central Africa

France announced on Tuesday that it would deploy hundreds of extra troops to its former colony the Central African Republic, after a warning from the United Nations that the strife-torn country was close to "complete chaos."

Italy’s ‘temp’ workers risk poverty in old age
Italy

Italy’s ‘temp’ workers risk poverty in old age

Millions of Italians in short-term jobs or those with sporadic contracts that offer few benefits could end up in poverty in old age, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a report on Tuesday.

Union spends €100K on fake designer gifts
Spain

Union spends €100K on fake designer gifts

Spain's biggest workers' union used EU funds meant for training courses for the unemployed to instead buy 700 counterfeit briefcases, a Spanish newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Gothenburg police arrest ten in gangland raids
Sweden

Gothenburg police arrest ten in gangland raids

Ten men with connections to the ongoing gang conflict in Gothenburg in western Sweden were arrested on Tuesday morning in a series of raids.

Rare African bird and mammal ‘close to extinct’
Switzerland

Rare African bird and mammal ‘close to extinct’

The giraffe-like Okapi and the White-winged Flufftail, one of Africa's rarest birds, are on the verge of extinction, conversation body the Swiss-based IUCN warned on Tuesday.

Prosecutors seek 30-year sentence for Knox
Italy

Prosecutors seek 30-year sentence for Knox

Italian prosecutors on Tuesday asked for a 30-year prison sentence for former US student Amanda Knox at a retrial where she is being judged in absentia for the murder of her housemate Meredith Kercher, Italian media reported.

Poverty rises despite more people in work
Germany

Poverty rises despite more people in work

As figures show an increase in poverty despite record employment rates, and the potential new government argues about a universal minimum wage, German job centres are suing employers for paying less than €2 an hour.

UK slams Spain in ‘diplomatic bag’ row
Spain

UK slams Spain in ‘diplomatic bag’ row

Britain has made a formal protest to Madrid after Spanish officials opened British diplomatic bags on the border with Gibraltar in a "serious infringement" of the Vienna Convention, the Foreign Office said on Tuesday.

Number of French Jews leaving for Israel soars
France

Number of French Jews leaving for Israel soars

The number of French Jews moving to Israel has rocketed in 2013 while at the same time the number of Jews from North America taking the same step has dropped by eight percent, new figures show. A weak French economy, a rise in anti-Semitism, and faith, are believed to be the reasons behind the hike.

Man shoots arrow at pram in Bergen park
Norway

Man shoots arrow at pram in Bergen park

A man has been arrested in Norway after he sent an arrow flying at a man pushing a pram in a Bergen suburb, missing his head by just 20cm.

First Melodifestivalen contestants revealed
Sweden

First Melodifestivalen contestants revealed

The contestants for Sweden's 2014 Melodifestival were announced on Monday, with one cross-dressing teenager already making waves as a favourite as he seeks revenge for last year's second place.

Italy ‘loses’ €2 billion Aquila rebuild fund
Italy

Italy ‘loses’ €2 billion Aquila rebuild fund

The town of Aquila still lies in ruins following the 2009 earthquake which killed 308 people, but the considerable funds set aside for its reconstruction have not been touched.

French taxman bills dealer for drug profits
France

French taxman bills dealer for drug profits

The notorious French taxman, renowned for being demanding, appears to have surpassed himself. According to reports on Tuesday he has claimed €80,000 in “small business” tax on the profits of a convicted drug dealer's trafficking. The dealer, however, was granted certain unusual tax allowances.

Second elderly couple commit suicide in Paris
France

Second elderly couple commit suicide in Paris

Just days after a couple, both aged 86, took their own lives in a luxury Paris hotel room, reopening a debate in France on euthanasia laws, reports emerged on Tuesday that another elderly couple, also in their eighties, had committed suicide.

‘Spanish nurses wipe backsides in Germany’
Spain

‘Spanish nurses wipe backsides in Germany’

The head of Spain's top nursing association said he was "ashamed" that Spanish nurses were leaving for Germany to do menial health care work at a time when Spain itself needs over 100,000 new nurses.

Berlusconi ‘will have clout even as an ex-MP’
Italy

Berlusconi ‘will have clout even as an ex-MP’

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi will continue to have clout even if he is expelled from parliament as expected on Wednesday, but he is more at risk of being arrested, an expert on Italian politics said.

Swedish birth makes history in transplant first
Sweden

Swedish birth makes history in transplant first

A Swedish woman who was made infertile due to cancer treatment made history on Monday morning when she gave birth to a baby girl following an ovarian transplant, the first successful birth of its kind in Sweden.

Italy on tight deadline for Pompeii restoration
Italy

Italy on tight deadline for Pompeii restoration

Italy has until the end of the year to apply UNESCO-enforced measures to upgrade Pompeii or face having the ancient site scrapped from the prestigious World Heritage list.

Bern outlines air base and arsenal closures
Switzerland

Bern outlines air base and arsenal closures

The Swiss army is shutting down three air bases and numerous other installations as part of a plan to meet plans to slim down the military by a third, the department of defence said on Tuesday.

Fake police target Spain’s unluckiest jeweller
Spain

Fake police target Spain’s unluckiest jeweller

A jeweller who's been the victim of countless robberies was lucky to keep his booty after a heist by two thieves dressed as Spanish military officers didn't go according to plan.

‘Norway will not ban circumcision’: Minister
Norway

‘Norway will not ban circumcision’: Minister

Noway's foreign minister has assured Jews worldwide that the country will not ban circumcision when it brings in new legislation next year.

Bad knots ‘turn Xmas trees into killers’
Germany

Bad knots ‘turn Xmas trees into killers’

Christmas trees badly tied to car roofs can turn into deadly weapons if a driver stops suddenly, Germany's motoring association has warned - after conducting a crash test to show the frightening results.

Bayer bids $2.4bn for Norway pharma firm
Norway

Bayer bids $2.4bn for Norway pharma firm

German pharmaceutical group Bayer has made a bid for its Norwegian partner and competitor Algeta, specialised in cancer treatments, for 1.8 billion euro ($2.4 billion), the Nordic company said on Tuesday.

Missing Swedish journos ‘may have lacked visas’
Sweden

Missing Swedish journos ‘may have lacked visas’

Two Swedish journalists who went missing on their way out of Syria at the weekend may have been arrested for not having proper visas, according to another journalist currently in the country.

‘Zurich is so exotic and glamorous for me’
Switzerland

‘Zurich is so exotic and glamorous for me’

American comedian Margaret Cho is performing in Zurich as part of her upcoming European ‘Mother’ tour. Here she tells The Local about her love of fondue, chocolate and how she pictures her Swiss audience.

A fifth of serving soldiers ‘have mental problems’
Germany

A fifth of serving soldiers ‘have mental problems’

One in five of German soldiers being sent on operations abroad have mental health problems before they go - and are far more likely to develop serious difficulties when they return according to a study published on Tuesday.

Italy eyes Russian cash to boost economy
Italy

Italy eyes Russian cash to boost economy

Italy will be eyeing Russian cash for its crisis-hit economy as President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Enrico Letta hold a meeting on Tuesday where they will unveil a €1 billion joint investment fund.

Morrissey to headline Nobel prize concert
Norway

Morrissey to headline Nobel prize concert

Norway's Nobel Peace Prize organisers have signed up Morrissey, the former Smiths lead singer, to headline the concert at next month's official prize-giving, in a sign he may have been forgiven by Norwegians for arguing that factory farming was worse than Anders Breivik's 2011 massacre.

Danes mock Berlusconi with ‘immunity’ juice
Italy

Danes mock Berlusconi with ‘immunity’ juice

As if Silvio Berlusconi wasn't having a tough enough week - denied a presidential pardon for a tax conviction and now facing a vote that could see him ousted from parliament - now the Danes have come up with a fruit juice slogan mocking Italy's former prime minister.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

It's off to western Sweden for our Property of the Week, a grand old estate from the mid-19th century.

‘I see bike lanes and I just think ‘Stoner”
Sweden

‘I see bike lanes and I just think ‘Stoner”

US comedian Margaret Cho is touching down in Stockholm as part of her latest European ‘Mother’ tour. She tells The Local about beautiful Swedes, her love of dill and what the audience can expect from her latest show.

‘Mentally ill’ man admits double murder
Sweden

‘Mentally ill’ man admits double murder

The man suspected of the brutal double murder in Ljungsbro at the beginning of November has confessed to the crime. Initial medical examinations meanwhile indicate that he is suffering from a serious mental disorder.

Spain and Argentina agree to YPF talks
Spain

Spain and Argentina agree to YPF talks

Argentina, Spain and Mexico have agreed to negotiate a deal on Buenos Aires' 2012 nationalization of Repsol's stake in YPF, the Economy Ministry said Monday.

Depleted Barça talk up chances against Ajax
Spain

Depleted Barça talk up chances against Ajax

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has said Ajax should take encouragement from the fact that four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi will miss their Champions League clash on Tuesday.

French zombie drama wins International Emmy
France

French zombie drama wins International Emmy

Critically-acclaimed French TV series 'Les Revenants' (The Returned) walked away with the award for best international drama series at Monday night's International Emmy Awards in New York.

Spain’s workers suffer in new mean, lean economy
Spain

Spain’s workers suffer in new mean, lean economy

Fearful of joining the one in four workers out of a job, Spanish employees are accepting ever deeper salary cuts as they pay the price of the economy's growing competitiveness.

Basel face Champions League Chelsea clash
Switzerland

Basel face Champions League Chelsea clash

Jose Mourinho has called on his Chelsea stars to show their killer instinct as the Blues look to clinch qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League football tournament at Basel on Tuesday.

‘I’m itching for Norwegian sweaters’
Norway

‘I’m itching for Norwegian sweaters’

US comedian Margaret Cho is touching down in Oslo as part of her European 'Mother' tour. She tells The Local about Norwegian lovers, sweaters and what the audience should expect from her latest show.

France takes on Corsican ‘mafia’ with mass arrests
France

France takes on Corsican ‘mafia’ with mass arrests

The French government said the 17 arrests made on the island of Corsica this week is a clear sign it is willing to take on and defeat the local "mafia". The arrests were linked to a series of bombings on the island in 2012.

Germany and US vow to repair NSA damage
Germany

Germany and US vow to repair NSA damage

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and US lawmakers vowed on Monday to try to get past a deep transatlantic rift created by mass US spying in Europe.

Old Eiffel Tower steps sold off at Paris auction
France

Old Eiffel Tower steps sold off at Paris auction

A piece of Parisian history went under the hammer on Monday when a 19-step section of the Eiffel Tower's original spiral staircase was sold at auction in Paris. The steps were expected to fetch around €30,000 but in the end went for a lot more.

Wreckage from Missoni plane recovered
Italy

Wreckage from Missoni plane recovered

Venezuelan authorities on Monday recovered the wreckage of the plane that crashed in the Caribbean with Italian fashion heir Vittorio Missoni, his wife and several others.

Berlusconi’s dinner with Putin sparks protest
Italy

Berlusconi’s dinner with Putin sparks protest

Russian President Vladimir Putin dined with scandal-tainted former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in Rome on Monday as dozens of protesters rallied in support of the jailed punk group Pussy Riot.

Säpo: WMD spies target Swedish universities
Sweden

Säpo: WMD spies target Swedish universities

Foreign powers interested in developing weapons of mass destruction are regularly targeting Swedish universities in hopes of obtaining sensitive technology, Swedish intelligence officials say.

Hormone makes men ‘high on girlfriend’
Germany

Hormone makes men ‘high on girlfriend’

The well-known 'cuddle hormone' oxytocin makes men in a relationship get a drug-like kick out of seeing their partner, German scientists say. It could be a major reason why people form exclusive partnerships, they suggest.

Your guide to German Christmas markets
Germany

Your guide to German Christmas markets

Across the country festive lights are twinkling on little huts, sausages are roasting and wine is being mulled - yes, this is the first week of advent and Germany's famed Christmas markets are opening. Here is our annual guide.

Princess flogs clothes on ‘Norway’s eBay’
Norway

Princess flogs clothes on ‘Norway’s eBay’

Crown Princess Mette-Marit is putting her old clothes up for sale on Bloppis, an auction site similar to eBay, showing that even the most glamorous of Nordic royals isn't averse to sourcing parts of her wardrobe on the high street.

The secret life of Stockholm’s Twitter cops
Sweden

The secret life of Stockholm’s Twitter cops

The Local's Oliver Gee joins Sweden's first social media police on the beat to find out why they've embraced Twitter, how their tweets have saved lives, and how their online habits have exposed the secret life of Swedish police.

China offers Volvo millions new loan deal
Sweden

China offers Volvo millions new loan deal

Car maker Volvo, the Swedish subsidiary of China's Geely Group, announced on Monday it had signed a second loan agreement with the China Development Bank as it aims to boost sales in the Chinese market.