Stolen IDs ferry asylum seekers to Sweden
Sweden

Stolen IDs ferry asylum seekers to Sweden

The man on the missing Malaysian Air plane who was reportedly travelling to Sweden has illustrated the trade in stolen passports. Seven percent of asylum seekers to Sweden present false ID documents to the authorities.

Brit held at Ticino border after dog sniffs coke
Switzerland

Brit held at Ticino border after dog sniffs coke

A 45-year-old Briton remains in detention after being caught in the Swiss canton of Ticino at the Italian border with 5.1 kilograms of cocaine and €1,000 in cash, Italian authorities said on Tuesday.

Masked Russians seized our gear: Norway journos
Norway

Masked Russians seized our gear: Norway journos

Masked guards seized computers and storage devices from three Norwegian journalists on Tuesday and labelled them as spies as they attempted to leave the Crimean peninsula for mainland Ukraine.

Wolf population on the rise in Sweden
Sweden

Wolf population on the rise in Sweden

The population of wolves in Sweden is growing, with experts announcing on Tuesday that there are currently an estimated 400 in Sweden.

Is France the best place to be unemployed?
France

Is France the best place to be unemployed?

With its maximum of three year’s worth of benefits and a cap of €6,100 per month in payments, France’s unemployment system is often thought of as one of Europe’s best places to be out of work, but is it true?

Bern cancels Swedish fighter-jet air show
Switzerland

Bern cancels Swedish fighter-jet air show

The Swiss government's eagerness to avoid graft accusations could explain why Switzerland cancelled plans for Swedish fighter jets to take part in an air show, reports from Stockholm said on Tuesday.

‘Spain faces 30,000 backstreet abortions’
Spain

‘Spain faces 30,000 backstreet abortions’

A key study suggests that an overwhelming number of women with unwanted pregnancies will resort to underground abortions in Spain and abroad if the country's strict new abortion law is passed in Parliament.

Swatch sues US retailer for ‘copycat’ watches
Switzerland

Swatch sues US retailer for ‘copycat’ watches

Swatch, Switzerland’s biggest watchmaker, has sued American discount retail giant Target for allegedly selling copycat watches.

Rome doctors left woman to abort baby in toilet
Italy

Rome doctors left woman to abort baby in toilet

A woman in Rome has accused doctors of abandoning her to give birth in a hospital toilet, allegedly because medical staff objected to her having an abortion.

‘Sexist’ aprons stun Women’s Day fun runners
Spain

‘Sexist’ aprons stun Women’s Day fun runners

A Spanish mayor has come under fire after he gave aprons and nail files to women at a race event to support International Women's Day.

Bolzano politicians ‘spent cash on sex toys’
Italy

Bolzano politicians ‘spent cash on sex toys’

Politicians in Bolzano, a city in Italy’s wealthiest province, South Tyrol, have come under fire after it emerged that sex toys were among some members' expense claims.

A to Z of The Local’s picture galleries
Spain

A to Z of The Local’s picture galleries

From food to fiestas, The Local has covered a great deal of Spain-related topics in its first year of picture galleries. Here is an easily accessible breakdown of our lists which doubles up as a crash course in everything Spanish.

French Property Face-off: Alps versus Riviera
France

French Property Face-off: Alps versus Riviera

For the second edition of French Property Face-off, readers have the tough choice between a cosy ski chalet in the French Alps and a pristine villa overlooking the Côte d'Azur on the French Riviera. Take a look through the slideshow and see which one you would go for.

‘Pear and parmesan’ is ice cream of the year
Germany

‘Pear and parmesan’ is ice cream of the year

Pear and parmesan has been named ice cream flavour of 2014, just in time for spring. Stallholders have raised eyebrows about this year's more left-field choice.

Parents charged over death of 3-year-old son
Norway

Parents charged over death of 3-year-old son

The father and mother of a three-year-old boy who died in a hospital in northern Norway last week were charged on Tuesday in connection with their son’s death.

Nude sailors strip in bid for Olympics glory
Spain

Nude sailors strip in bid for Olympics glory

Two Spanish Olympic sailing hopefuls have thrown caution to the wind by posing nude to raise their profile in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

Top French court rejects Sarkozy plea
France

Top French court rejects Sarkozy plea

Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy's was dealt a blow by France's top court on Tuesday, meaning his legal troubles stemming from a variety of scandals are set to continue and could harm his chances of a return to politics.

Do Indians like Sweden’s Indian restaurants?
Sweden

Do Indians like Sweden’s Indian restaurants?

"Indisk" food is nothing more than a label in Stockholm, many Indian expats complain. They let The Local in on two major no-nos in the quest to quench the Indian tastebuds with authentic flavours.

Germans learn to spend, spend, spend
Germany

Germans learn to spend, spend, spend

Consumers are splashing out more than ever in Germany with spending reaching a new high of €1.6 trillion in 2013, a 2.5 percent boost on the previous year and almost a third more than in 2000.

School ‘love-bombed’ after Nazi graffiti attack
Sweden

School ‘love-bombed’ after Nazi graffiti attack

Students whose school was bombarded with Nazi graffiti at the weekend were surprised on Tuesday to find the building had been "love-bombed" by Stockholm well-wishers.

Bayern boss Hoeneß ‘owed €27.2 million in tax’
Germany

Bayern boss Hoeneß ‘owed €27.2 million in tax’

UPDATE: Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeneß faced a damaging testimony in a tax trial on Tuesday when an official charged the German football legend had withheld incriminating evidence for over a year and avoided €23.7 million in tax.

Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week

A three-bedroom Stockholm apartment offers the discerning buyer a perfect example of how an attic conversion can serve the needs of a modern family.

Swiss freeze assets of Yanukovych’s entourage
Switzerland

Swiss freeze assets of Yanukovych’s entourage

Switzerland, which led a push to block assets of ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych and others, has frozen the holdings of nine more individuals including one of his sons.

Italy rejects quotas for women politicians
Italy

Italy rejects quotas for women politicians

Italy's parliament on Monday night voted against introducing quotas for the number of female MPs, an amendment put forward as part of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's hotly-contested electoral reform.

Obama calls Spanish PM to discuss Ukraine crisis
Spain

Obama calls Spanish PM to discuss Ukraine crisis

US President Barack Obama called Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday evening to discuss the crisis in Ukraine. Obama also offered support on the tenth anniversary of a terrorist attack in Spain in which 191 people died.

Italy returns to growth after two-year recession
Italy

Italy returns to growth after two-year recession

Italy returned to growth in the fourth quarter last year after its longest post-war recession, official data from the Istat agency showed on Tuesday.

Lingo cops beat sweet maker in jelly-baby battle
Norway

Lingo cops beat sweet maker in jelly-baby battle

Lexicographers in Norway are savouring a sweet victory after the country’s language council ruled against a confectioner that wanted the Norwegian word for jelly babies purged from dictionaries.

‘Expat mothers expect Italy to be like home’
Italy

‘Expat mothers expect Italy to be like home’

Moving countries can be a daunting process, especially with a young family. The Local talks to mother-of-two Kimberly Vanzi, the American founder of the Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network, about expat parenting in Italy.

Swiss cancel Swedish fighter-jet air show
Sweden

Swiss cancel Swedish fighter-jet air show

The Swiss government's eagerness to avoid graft accusations could explain why the Swiss cancelled Swedish fighter jets taking part in an air show, Swedish reports suggested on Tuesday.

Gordon Ramsay to help struggling Costa chefs
Spain

Gordon Ramsay to help struggling Costa chefs

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is looking for struggling UK expat restaurant owners in Spain's Costa del Sol to take part in his latest series of Kitchen Nightmares.

Strike threat hits Berlin’s biggest hospital
Germany

Strike threat hits Berlin’s biggest hospital

Ten thousand staff at Berlin’s biggest hospital could go on strike on Monday as talks between a union and management over better conditions and training for employees break down.

Nursery teacher ‘hit and insulted’ children
Italy

Nursery teacher ‘hit and insulted’ children

A teacher at a nursery school in the Lazio province of Viterbo has been placed under house arrest after being caught “hitting, insulting and threatening” a class of three-year-olds.

Two tonnes of hashish found on Spanish beach
Spain

Two tonnes of hashish found on Spanish beach

Spanish authorities found 62 bales containing close to two tonnes of hashish that washed ashore on Monday on a beach in one of Spain's exclaves in North Africa, police said.

Youths nabbed for theft of disabled MP’s chair
Switzerland

Youths nabbed for theft of disabled MP’s chair

Police in the canton of Thurgau have collared the young thieves of an electric wheelchair belonging to a disabled member of the Swiss parliament.

Terror groups call for Hollande’s assassination
France

Terror groups call for Hollande’s assassination

A well-known Al-Qaeda linked website called on "lone wolf" terrorists to assassinate President François Hollande and attack France in revenge for the country’s military interventions in Africa.

Paris cops issue 13,000 fines to fight pollution
France

Paris cops issue 13,000 fines to fight pollution

As part of an effort to fight "dangerous" levels of air pollution in the French capital, police in Paris have handed out around 13,000 speeding fines to drivers in recent days, authorities said on Tuesday.

Eataly clinches €120 million investment
Italy

Eataly clinches €120 million investment

Italian food company Eataly has sold a 20 percent stake to Tamburi Investment Partners (TIP), as part of a plan to list the rapidly-expanding retailer on the stock exchange in 2016/2017, the buyer said on Monday.

Brits snub British bulldog for ‘smarter’ Gallic breed
France

Brits snub British bulldog for ‘smarter’ Gallic breed

Cross-channel rivalry bared its claws again this week, this time in the world of dogs, with figures showing that Brits now prefer French bulldogs to the treasured British variety, because they are more intelligent and have less health problems.

‘Why the National Front has the momentum’
France

‘Why the National Front has the momentum’

All eyes are on France's far-right National Front party in the upcoming local elections as it puts forward its largest ever number of candidates. Is the anti-EU, anti-immigration party set for its big breakthrough and what will it mean for France?

Spanish-made solar telescope world’s biggest
Spain

Spanish-made solar telescope world’s biggest

Astronomers in Hawaii will soon have the chance to view the clearest image of the sun yet, thanks to a huge €216 ($300) million telescope designed and developed by a Spanish consortium.

Will anyone vote for these two men?
Germany

Will anyone vote for these two men?

The more power the EU Parliament gains, the less interest voters have in it. The introduction of “top candidates” for parties in May’s elections is supposed to change this, but who is going to vote for them, asks Michael Wohlgemuth.

Paris still world’s number one tourist destination
France

Paris still world’s number one tourist destination

Millions of foreign visitors flocked to Paris last year helping the French capital to maintain its title as the world's most popular tourist destination. However the French themselves seem to have fallen out of love with the City of Light.

Mussolini relative’s husband in sex probe
Italy

Mussolini relative’s husband in sex probe

The husband of politician Alessandra Mussolini, granddaughter of the Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, is embroiled in an investigation into underage prostitution in Rome, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

Federer’s wife set to have twins again: media report
Switzerland

Federer’s wife set to have twins again: media report

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka are expecting twins for the second time, according to a Swiss newspaper.

Spanish ‘supernanny’ to care for UK’s baby prince
Spain

Spanish ‘supernanny’ to care for UK’s baby prince

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate have hired a mysterious Spanish 'supernanny' to look after their eight-month-old baby Prince George, it emerged on Monday.

Iranian on Malaysia plane was going to Germany
Germany

Iranian on Malaysia plane was going to Germany

One of the passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 travelling with a stolen passport was an Iranian going to Germany, probably to see his mother, police said on Tuesday.

Germany: Baltic states can count on Nato
Germany

Germany: Baltic states can count on Nato

Three ex-Soviet Baltic states can count on the security provided by their membership of Nato and the EU, Germany said on Tuesday amid East-West tensions over the crisis in Ukraine.

Suicide teen ‘used web to load father’s gun’
Italy

Suicide teen ‘used web to load father’s gun’

A 17-year-old girl from the Sicilian province of Trapani, committed suicide after learning how to load a gun on the internet.

Mystery man on missing plane ‘headed to Sweden’
Sweden

Mystery man on missing plane ‘headed to Sweden’

A man believed to be travelling with a fake passport on Malaysian Airlines flight 370, which went missing last week, was on his way to seek asylum in southern Sweden, his relative said on Monday.

Zurich cost-cutting plan lops up to 800 jobs
Switzerland

Zurich cost-cutting plan lops up to 800 jobs

Zurich Insurance Group announced on Tuesday a three-year restructuring plan that could result in the cutting of up to 800 jobs around the world.

Holocaust: US fight for SNCF reparation goes on
France

Holocaust: US fight for SNCF reparation goes on

Families of Holocaust victims in the US continued their fight this week to force France's state owned rail firm SNCF to pay compensation over its role in transporting Jews to Nazi death camps. US lawmakers are threatening to derail an SNCF bid for a major public contract.

Swedish radio reporter shot dead in Kabul
Sweden

Swedish radio reporter shot dead in Kabul

Swedish reporter Nils Horner was killed in Kabul on Tuesday. The journalist was reportedly shot in the back of the head while carrying out street interviews.

US to boost troop presence in Spain
Spain

US to boost troop presence in Spain

Spain has approved plans to host an expanded US Marine Corps force that is designed to respond to crises in Africa and rescue American diplomats in emergencies, officers said on Monday.

‘The fear is always there’: Madrid terror survivor
Spain

‘The fear is always there’: Madrid terror survivor

Spain marks the 10th anniversary of the Madrid train bombings on Tuesday, but Antonio Gómez plans to stay away from the commemorations.

Missing Malaysia flight likened to Rio-Paris crash
France

Missing Malaysia flight likened to Rio-Paris crash

The mysterious disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines flight in south east Asia, has been likened to the tragic 2009 crash involving an Air France flight on its way from Rio di Janeiro to Paris. But there are differences between the two cases.

Swedish unemployment drops in new tally
Sweden

Swedish unemployment drops in new tally

The number of unemployed Swedes has sunk in official statistics compared to a year ago, a new review revealed on Tuesday.

House blast kills four, leaves 15 injured
Germany

House blast kills four, leaves 15 injured

UPDATE: The death toll following an explosion in an apartment block in northern Germany on Monday morning has risen to four. Fifteen other people were also injured.

Girl, 3, caught riding motorbike
Germany

Girl, 3, caught riding motorbike

A three-year-old girl was caught driving a motorbike in southern Germany on Sunday afternoon, landing her father in trouble with the police.

Fake passport holder ‘looked like Balotelli’
Italy

Fake passport holder ‘looked like Balotelli’

A Malaysian aviation official came under fire on social media Tuesday for evoking black Italian footballer Mario Balotelli when discussing two passengers who boarded a missing jet with stolen European passports.

Battle to water down minimum wage
Germany

Battle to water down minimum wage

As Germany's government gets down to business on its election pledge for a national minimum wage, fierce lobbying is also under way to limit any such measure as much as possible.

Spinach extract could be key to reducing obesity
Sweden

Spinach extract could be key to reducing obesity

A Swedish scientist revealed on Monday that a natural compound in spinach prevents food cravings and could be a key factor in reducing obesity.

Mum, I’m Swedish, right?
Sweden

Mum, I’m Swedish, right?

When my seven-year-old daughter asked me if she was Swedish or Iranian, I chose to dodge the question. She soon let me know what mistake I had made, writes Iranian-Swedish local politician Sepideh Erfani.