France and Ireland set for Six Nations title clash
France

France and Ireland set for Six Nations title clash

France and Ireland are set to do battle in Paris on Saturday in the climax of the Six Nations rugby tournament. Both teams know that victory could seal the title, with England also in with a chance.

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week
Italy

Gallery: The Local’s Property of the Week

Property developers take note: two islands are up for sale in Italy, one in the north-east and the other off the coast of Sicily.

Paris names the best baguette in the capital
France

Paris names the best baguette in the capital

Weighing in at less than 300 grams and standing under 65 centimetres tall, the heavy weight champion of Paris baguettes was named on Thursday in the Town Hall’s eagerly awaited annual competition. The winner will now bake for the French president for the next year.

‘Terror cell was biggest and most active in Spain’
Spain

‘Terror cell was biggest and most active in Spain’

The terror cell broken up on Friday by Spanish and Moroccan security forces was among the most active in Europe, the Spanish interior minister has said.

Italians fight drinking craze with books
Italy

Italians fight drinking craze with books

The drinking game Neknominate, which recently hit Italy's social media sphere, is facing fierce opposition from a group of booklovers intent on driving out the deadly trend.

VIDEO: Norway fans in awesome Sherlock skit
Norway

VIDEO: Norway fans in awesome Sherlock skit

Two Sherlock-obsessed Norwegian TV executives have cooked up what must be the best parody yet of the BBC's updated Holmes and Watson series. Warning: It's a bit risqué.

Welcome to Spain’s most exclusive restaurant
Spain

Welcome to Spain’s most exclusive restaurant

A Barcelona restaurant is giving a new twist to the concept of exclusivity by only having one table and letting clients choose the meals, cutlery and décor they want.

Gas blasts to polar bears – seven days in pics
Germany

Gas blasts to polar bears – seven days in pics

The past seven days have produced some rather varying images. The Local has run through some of the best.

Four face charges for Bonn bomb attempt
Germany

Four face charges for Bonn bomb attempt

German authorities on Friday charged four alleged Islamist militants for plotting a failed bomb attack at a railway station and the murder of a far-right anti-Muslim activist.

‘Åkesson must tell Swedes if he plans to join the National Front’
Sweden

‘Åkesson must tell Swedes if he plans to join the National Front’

Sweden's European Affairs Minister Birgitta Ohlsson argues that Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson must come out of his EU closet. Will the party join forces with the National Front or not?

‘Candy’ skyscraper to light up Stockholm
Sweden

‘Candy’ skyscraper to light up Stockholm

PICTURES: Architects have added several metres to a behemoth south Stockholm apartment block, and finally released the first set of drawings of what will become northern Europe's tallest block of flats.

Will Renzi’s medicine cure Italy?
Italy

Will Renzi’s medicine cure Italy?

Italy’s new prime minister Matteo Renzi has announced ambitious plans to transform the country, including cutting taxes. But while the move may help boost popularity, commentators say it will do little to cure Italy's ills.

Norway marks three years of war in Syria
Norway

Norway marks three years of war in Syria

Norway's foreign minister will on Friday evening lead a candlelit vigil from the roof of Oslo's Opera House to mark three years since the start of the Syrian civil war, a conflict which has displaced 40 percent of the population and left more than 146,000 people dead.

‘Italy is too harsh on journalists’: court
Italy

‘Italy is too harsh on journalists’: court

Italy must stop imprisoning journalists for defamation, the country's highest court has ruled, a move seen as a boost for press freedom following widespread criticism from rights groups.

Family kidnaps woman for forced abortion
France

Family kidnaps woman for forced abortion

A woman well into her sixth month of pregnancy was snatched from her home in France by her boyfriend and his family and driven towards Spain where they intended to carry out a forced abortion, prosecutors reported this week.

Porsche workers to get €8,000 each
Germany

Porsche workers to get €8,000 each

Luxury car maker Porsche will give its workers €8,000 each as it celebrates a record year. The Stuttgart-based firm reported operating profit in 2013 of €2.58 billion – a six percent rise on the year before.

French ire as Apple bans book over nude cover
France

French ire as Apple bans book over nude cover

US tech giant Apple has infuriated French publishers after it reportedly barred the online sale of a novel because the front cover featured a nude woman. An irate worker at the publishers told The Local: “How can they ban this and not Fifty Shades of Grey”.

Crimea vote: phoney, lawless and dangerous
Sweden

Crimea vote: phoney, lawless and dangerous

A secession referendum due to be held in Crimea this weekend is a dangerous farce, but it's not too late for Russia's president to end the crisis, argues Paul Johnston, British Ambassador to Sweden.

Iberia staffers agree to pay cut to end dispute
Spain

Iberia staffers agree to pay cut to end dispute

Spanish flag-carrier Iberia on Friday settled months of bitter dispute over layoffs and cutbacks by striking a final deal with unions to cut ground staff's salaries, managers said.

Vaud police detain 18 youths in ‘gang murder’
Switzerland

Vaud police detain 18 youths in ‘gang murder’

Eighteen young people aged 14 to 18 are suspected of assaulting other youths as part of an organized gang in Yverdon-les-Bains, say Vaud cantonal police, who are investigating the death of Dylan, a 17-year-old boy.

Spanish police ‘strip’ to protest work conditions
Spain

Spanish police ‘strip’ to protest work conditions

Police in the Spanish city of Valencia brought in strippers on Friday to draw attention to what they are calling "deplorable" working conditions.

Italian PM says EU stability pact is ‘stupid’
Italy

Italian PM says EU stability pact is ‘stupid’

New Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has branded the Stability Pact rules for eurozone economies "A Stupidity Pact."

Government U-turn on cuts to student grants
Sweden

Government U-turn on cuts to student grants

The Swedish government has pulled back from a much-criticized proposal to cut student grants, a budget saving that Rosenbad will now make up for with even higher alcohol taxes.

Swiss win mixed team event at Lenzerheide
Switzerland

Swiss win mixed team event at Lenzerheide

Switzerland beat the United States to win the mixed team event at the alpine skiing World Cup finals on home snow at Lenzerheide on Friday.

Leaked Sarkozy tapes must be removed: judges
France

Leaked Sarkozy tapes must be removed: judges

A news website was ordered on Friday to take down leaked recordings of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy that were secretly made during meetings with his advisors in 2011. Sarkozy and his ex-model wife Carla Bruni also won thousands in damages.

Spanish public debt hits new record in 2013
Spain

Spanish public debt hits new record in 2013

Spain reported Friday its public debt soared to a new record high in 2013 despite a slew of budget-cutting measures, ballooning to nearly 94 percent of the economy's entire annual output.

Italy marks three years since start of Syria war
Italy

Italy marks three years since start of Syria war

Italy's foreign minister and the mayor of Rome will on Friday participate in a candlelight vigil to mark three years since the start of the Syrian civil war, a conflict which has displaced 40 percent of the population and left more than 146,000 people dead.

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France

Paris pollution: ‘I’m having trouble breathing’

Paris, like much of northern France, is on maximum alert due to dangerously high levels of air pollution. Parisians who are having to deal with the dirty air on a daily basis are, unsurprisingly, unhappy and increasingly concerned, as several told The Local on Friday.

Spanish city honours El Greco 400 years on
Spain

Spanish city honours El Greco 400 years on

The Spanish city of Toledo on Friday welcomed back the master painter El Greco, whose vivid works have returned from around the world to adorn his adoptive city 400 years after his death.

How I enjoy the early German spring
Germany

How I enjoy the early German spring

It is the most glorious weather. Fifteen degrees (sixteen some days!) sunny, blue skies. The park’s grass is green and gold and purple and white, all the bulbs arriving early after a mild winter and what seems like an early spring.

Police break up terror cell with Syria links
Spain

Police break up terror cell with Syria links

Police in Spain and Morocco have dismantled a major terrorist cell that allegedly sent jihadist recruits to fight in Syria, Spain's interior ministry reported on Friday.

British Mata Hari spied for Germany in Spain
Spain

British Mata Hari spied for Germany in Spain

A British ballet dancer performing in neutral Spain during World War One was one of numerous females spies working for the Germans, a new book claims.

VIDEO: ‘UFO’ spotted flying over Rome
Italy

VIDEO: ‘UFO’ spotted flying over Rome

Two Italians are believed to have had a close encounter with a UFO after seeing a “bizarre object” flying in the blue skies of Rome in early February.

Crimea to spark WWIII? Germans ‘don’t care’
Germany

Crimea to spark WWIII? Germans ‘don’t care’

German politicians might be working hard to dissolve tension between Ukraine and Russia, but a recent poll revealed over half of Germans do not care whether the conflict sparks a third world war.

Bayern boss Uli Hoeneß resigns and heads to jail
Germany

Bayern boss Uli Hoeneß resigns and heads to jail

UPDATE: Bayern Munich’s boss Uli Hoeneß resigned from all his posts at the club on Friday morning and decided against appealing his sentence for tax evasion. It means he will now start a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence.

Spain’s rich–poor divide fastest growing in Europe
Spain

Spain’s rich–poor divide fastest growing in Europe

The gap between rich and poor has grown faster in Spain during the crisis than in any other country in Europe, but many austerity measures have helped put the brakes on this process, a new IMF report argues.

Muscular Swedish man ‘too big’ to be model
Sweden

Muscular Swedish man ‘too big’ to be model

Swedish Top Model competitor Kevin Triguero Montero has lashed out after being told he is "too muscular" for the fashion world in the Thursday episode of the hit show. He told The Local that designers should embrace a healthy physique.

Sixteen years in prison for ‘Missing Marina’ killer
Sweden

Sixteen years in prison for ‘Missing Marina’ killer

UPDATED: A Swedish court on Friday sentenced a man to 16 years in prison for killing his ex-girlfriend Marina Johansson, who was found dead two years after she went missing.

‘Made in Thailand’ French strips anger minister
France

‘Made in Thailand’ French strips anger minister

The fact the French national football team’s strip for the World Cup is 100 percent “Made in Thailand” has infuriated a French minister. He has called on the country’s football chiefs to come up with a “Made in France” version.

Munich football boss resigns after jail term
Switzerland

Munich football boss resigns after jail term

Bayern Munich’s legendary boss Uli Hoeness resigned from all his posts at the club on Friday morning and decided against appealing his prison sentence for evading taxes through Swiss bank accounts.

Berlusconi will run in European elections
Italy

Berlusconi will run in European elections

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's disgraced former premier, will stand as a candidate at the European Parliament elections in May, his political advisor has said.

Parental leave mix-up leaves expats struggling
Sweden

Parental leave mix-up leaves expats struggling

A Swedish-American couple facing lower than expected maternity-leave pay tell The Local why they feel let down by the Swedish social security system and how it deals with international families.

Major Swiss cities set to back ‘cannabis clubs’
Switzerland

Major Swiss cities set to back ‘cannabis clubs’

Adults may be legally able to seek out clubs in certain Swiss cities to buy state-certified cannabis, free of chemicals, for personal use under a pilot project being drafted.

‘Do people know Swedish cops are badly paid?’
Sweden

‘Do people know Swedish cops are badly paid?’

A police officer in western Sweden has made social-media waves after complaining about the low salaries of the national police force. He says it's time people realized that officers, just like nurses and teachers, have low salaries too.

City set to launch own domain name .berlin
Germany

City set to launch own domain name .berlin

Berlin will be the first city in the world to get its own domain name. Launching on Tuesday, .berlin already has 55,000 websites interested and other major metropolises will follow its lead.

Jewish NGO wants YMCA rapped for Israel boycott
Norway

Jewish NGO wants YMCA rapped for Israel boycott

The leading global anti-Semitism watchdog has called on the international Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) to denounce its Norwegian arm, after the group joined a boycott on goods and services made in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

SFI reform ‘threatens’ educated migrants: union
Sweden

SFI reform ‘threatens’ educated migrants: union

Swedish academics have warned the government that a cap on funding for Swedish for Immigrants classes would threaten vocational language courses for highly-educated migrants such as engineers and lawyers.

Locals launch campaign to block Utøya memorial
Norway

Locals launch campaign to block Utøya memorial

People living near the island of Utøya have launched a campaign to block a memorial planned to the victims of far-right extremist Anders Brievik, arguing that the winning proposal amounts to a "rape of nature".

Ferrari to open €100m theme park in Spain
Spain

Ferrari to open €100m theme park in Spain

Italian luxury sports carmaker Ferrari announced on Thursday it will open a 100-million-euro ($139 million) amusement park in 2016 with rides and a five-star hotel in Spain, its first such venture in Europe.

Business leaders attack coalition reforms
Germany

Business leaders attack coalition reforms

Germany’s business leaders launched an attack against the economic policies of the coalition government on Friday, ahead of talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Italian child chokes on Ikea hot dog
Italy

Italian child chokes on Ikea hot dog

A four-year-old boy is fighting for his life after choking on a hot dog at the restaurant of an Ikea store on the outskirts of Rome.

Spaniard gets pneumonia from e-cigarette abuse
Spain

Spaniard gets pneumonia from e-cigarette abuse

A patient in Spain caught pneumonia from smoking an electronic cigarette too much, the second ever recorded case of lung illness from the devices, the hospital treating him said on Thursday.

Solberg to up oil fund’s green tech holdings
Norway

Solberg to up oil fund’s green tech holdings

Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg has said that she plans to plough more of the country's oil money into renewable energy investments, using its vast $840bn oil fund to help combat climate change.

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Sweden

Crane crash in tunnel halts Stockholm traffic

Traffic in central Stockholm came to a grinding halt on Friday morning when a crane operator drove through a tunnel and got stuck.

Norway artist develops seagull drone
Norway

Norway artist develops seagull drone

This is not a seagull, but a work of art. Norwegian artist Anders Eiebakke has disguised a camera drone as a seagull, as part of his work warning of increasing surveillance.

Swedish army translator flees Afghanistan
Sweden

Swedish army translator flees Afghanistan

An Afghan interpreter who told The Local of his fight for asylum in Sweden has since fled his home country, after insurgents tortured a relative to find out where he was hiding.

Ferrari to open €100m theme park in Spain
Italy

Ferrari to open €100m theme park in Spain

Italian luxury sports carmaker Ferrari announced Thursday it will open a €100 million amusement park in 2016 with rides and a five-star hotel in Spain, its first such venture in Europe.

Chinese lose their taste for Bordeaux fine wines
France

Chinese lose their taste for Bordeaux fine wines

Are the Chinese losing their taste for Bordeaux wines? Exports for bottles of Bordeaux to China slid by six percent last year, meaning a worrying drop in sales figures of 1.4 percent overall.

French bank confirms commitment to Russia
France

French bank confirms commitment to Russia

Société Générale confirmed on Thursday the French bank's commitment to the Russian market and said any Western sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine would have a limited impact.

Law will restrict Balkan asylum seekers
Germany

Law will restrict Balkan asylum seekers

Germany is planning to restrict immigration from the Balkan states under a draft government bill. Asylum applicants could find their request turned down within a week under the new law.

Prisoner tattoo stamps emerge at Auschwitz
Germany

Prisoner tattoo stamps emerge at Auschwitz

Rare metal stamps used by the Nazis to tattoo prisoners at the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have surfaced in Poland.