DNA tests prove mystery memory man is Czech
Norway

DNA tests prove mystery memory man is Czech

The young amnesiac found in Norway whose identity was a mystery for almost four months is Czech, Norwegian police said Friday, after DNA tests confirmed the claims of relatives and acquaintances.

Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Sweden

Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden

Huddles of huggers littered the Central Station concourse in Stockholm, just ten days after The Local dissected The Swedish Hug. "I've spent my life wondering why people don't hug more," one flash mobster said.

Spain’s school dropout rate highest in Europe
Spain

Spain’s school dropout rate highest in Europe

Although Spain has made some progress in improving its school dropout rate in recent years, nearly one in four young Spaniards are still dropping out of school early — the highest rate in the European Union.

Why now is the time to buy a house in France
France

Why now is the time to buy a house in France

Buying a house in rural France is still the dream for many Anglos, particularly those from Britain and with prices having fallen and exchange rates improved, it seems now is a good time to buy once again. And there's some eye-catching deals out there.

Buying French property: Ten things to think about
France

Buying French property: Ten things to think about

Experts say now is a good time to follow your dream and buy a house in France. So to help you on your way The Local has put together a list of ten things to seriously think about when buying property in France.

How do expat families pick books for their kids?
Sweden

How do expat families pick books for their kids?

There's a small child shouting at me with glee. "Pippi lifts the horse! She lifts the horse!" Varnika, 4, was born in Sweden to Indian parents, who tell The Local why a mixture of Swedish and Indian literature keeps everyone happy.

Social Dems hike taxes in shadow budget
Sweden

Social Dems hike taxes in shadow budget

The main opposition party will reintroduce restaurant VAT and increase employers social security contributions if they form a government after the September elections.

The island carpenter with the Pope’s blessing
Italy

The island carpenter with the Pope’s blessing

When carpenter Franco Tuccio saw boat migrants arriving at his home on the island of Lampedusa, he decided to use his craft to draw attention to their suffering. He speaks to The Local about his work being blessed by the Pope and the impact it is having across Italy.

Palestinians sign up to Geneva Conventions
Switzerland

Palestinians sign up to Geneva Conventions

The Palestinian Authority has signed up formally to the Geneva Conventions, which set down the rules of warfare and humanitarian operations in conflict zones, the treaties' guardian Switzerland confirmed on Friday.

Top 10: dream jobs in Italy for expats
Italy

Top 10: dream jobs in Italy for expats

Italy may have one of the highest rates of unemployment in Europe, but in some areas there is a huge demand for workers, especially foreigners.

Munich police arrest Man United fans at airport
Germany

Munich police arrest Man United fans at airport

Police arrested four Manchester United football fans at Munich airport on Thursday and Friday, suspected of beating up two men before their side’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich.

Lindt’s teddies gain revenge over jelly bears
Switzerland

Lindt’s teddies gain revenge over jelly bears

German sweets maker Haribo suffered a legal setback on Friday when a court ruled that Swiss chocolate maker Lindt is not infringing on the patent of Haribo's "gold bear" jellies.

Merkel ‘believes’ in Greece after reforms
Germany

Merkel ‘believes’ in Greece after reforms

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday said she "firmly believed" there was untapped potential in Greece after years of tough austerity reforms that culminated in a bond comeback this week.

US football’s Redskins name called ‘offensive’
Switzerland

US football’s Redskins name called ‘offensive’

The Washington Redskins team name is a symbol of centuries of abuse faced by Native Americans, a human rights expert from the United Nation in Geneva said on Friday, without calling formally for it to be axed.

Haribo loses battle of the bears to Lindt
Germany

Haribo loses battle of the bears to Lindt

German sweet maker Haribo suffered a legal setback on Friday when a court ruled that Swiss chocolate maker Lindt is not infringing on the patent of Haribo's "gold bear" jellies.

David Cameron to catch Easter sun in Spain
Spain

David Cameron to catch Easter sun in Spain

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is set to visit the increasingly popular Canary Island of Lanzarote for Easter.

French free to call Marine Le Pen a ‘fascist’
France

French free to call Marine Le Pen a ‘fascist’

Marine Le Pen’s hard work in trying to soften the image of her National Front party was dealt a blow this week when a court rejected her bid to prevent opponents from calling her a “fascist”.

‘Day-care rapist’ pegged for two further assaults
Sweden

‘Day-care rapist’ pegged for two further assaults

The day-care intern who was taken into custody a week ago on suspicion of raping a child, but was then implicated in nine assault cases, may be responsible for yet another two incidents, the prosecutor revealed on Friday.

Abortion Travel agency: ‘We should never exist’
Spain

Abortion Travel agency: ‘We should never exist’

A women's lobby group has set up a fictitious travel agency offering all-inclusive 'abortion holidays' abroad as an ominous reminder of what Spanish women may be forced to do if a tough new law is passed in May.

Volkswagen not offering more money for Scania
Sweden

Volkswagen not offering more money for Scania

Volkswagen said on Friday that it would not increase its purchase bid for truck manufacturers Scania after the Swedish group dismissed the initial offer.

Oslo opens Munch room for priests to marry gays
Norway

Oslo opens Munch room for priests to marry gays

Oslo's City council has thrown open the august Munch room in Oslo City Hall to any priest who wants to bless a gay couple's marriage, in protest at the Church's decision not to allow gay marriage.

Spain’s part-time workers among EU’s unhappiest
Spain

Spain’s part-time workers among EU’s unhappiest

Spain's growing army of part-time workers are more dissatisfied with their job situation than almost anyone else in Europe, new EU figures on underemployment show.

Two men jailed for illegal wolf hunt
Norway

Two men jailed for illegal wolf hunt

Two men in Norway were jailed on Thursday for their part in organising an illegal wolf hunt in Norway's Hedmark country north of Oslo.

French hypnotist ‘raped clients during sessions’
France

French hypnotist ‘raped clients during sessions’

A French hypnotist faces sexual assault charges after allegedly raping two clients during consultations at his practice, according to media reports on Friday. Police are looking into the possibility of other victims.

‘I’ll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger’

‘I’ll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger’

Hoping to get back at Arnold Schwarzenegger after an argument over a date 46 years ago, a British expat in central Germany is on a quest to become the most written about man in the world.

Australian makes the world’s best Neapolitan
Italy

Australian makes the world’s best Neapolitan

An Australian man scooped the award for the making the world's best Neapolitan in the Pizza World Championship, held this week in Parma, while the best "classic" pizza can be found in the heel of Italy's boot.

Where are the eggs, please?
Germany

Where are the eggs, please?

With Easter around the corner, this week's Expat Dispatches from the Spoonfuls of Germany blog looks at how to turn eggs alcoholic.

Ex-call girl picked to embody Marie Antoinette
France

Ex-call girl picked to embody Marie Antoinette

When two French artists were given the job of finding a modern French women to embody the iconic historical figure of Marie Antoinette for a painting, needless to say there were a few eyebrows raised when they opted for notorious former underage escort girl Zahia Dehar.

Geneva unveils massive housing project plan
Switzerland

Geneva unveils massive housing project plan

Public input is being sought on a master plan for the redevelopment of railway and industrial land in Geneva that could accommodate 11,000 residential units for a canton struggling to deal with an ongoing housing shortage.

Knox trial puts fear into American students
Italy

Knox trial puts fear into American students

The imprisonment and trials of Amanda Knox, found guilty of murdering her British flatmate Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007, still discourages fellow American students from studying in the country, a new survey has found.

Ex-MP flees Italy ahead of mafia ruling
Italy

Ex-MP flees Italy ahead of mafia ruling

An ex-senator for Silvio Berlusconi's former People of Freedom party has fled Italy just days ahead of a court ruling on his jail sentence for charges related to links with the mafia.

Statoil makes new North Sea discovery
Norway

Statoil makes new North Sea discovery

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has made a new oil and gas discovery close to the 30-year-old Valemon find.

School kids hospitalized after ‘porno’ party
Germany

School kids hospitalized after ‘porno’ party

Dozens of school children at a “porno-themed” high school party were taken to hospital on Thursday for nausea and stomach aches. It was initially believed they were poisoned but no alcohol has been found.

France sees worrying rise in uninsured drivers
France

France sees worrying rise in uninsured drivers

Uninsured drivers in France were reponsible for nearly 200 road deaths last year, a new report revealed this week as the country sees a troubling increase in the number of motorists hitting the roads without insurance.

Spain’s tight-knit families a thing of the past
Spain

Spain’s tight-knit families a thing of the past

Despite Spain's reputation for being a family-oriented nation, new official figures have revealed some surprising facts about how Spanish society is becoming increasingly fragmented.

UN pins north Sweden’s murders on booze
Sweden

UN pins north Sweden’s murders on booze

Guns, booze, and domestic violence were among top factors in a new global study of murders. In Sweden, more than one in two killers had been drinking, possibly explaining why northerners stuck out on the murder chart.

Shell puts Ormen Lange upgrade on hold
Norway

Shell puts Ormen Lange upgrade on hold

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has postponed plans to install subsea gas compression on Norway's Ormen Lange field, one of Europe's largest, arguing soaring costs had undermined the economics.

Two killed in mountain plane crash
Germany

Two killed in mountain plane crash

UPDATE: Two men died when a light aircraft crashed into a weather station in central Germany on Friday morning.

Gay couple face court battle over marriage
Italy

Gay couple face court battle over marriage

The chief prosecutor of a Tuscan court has said he will challenge a decision to recognize a gay couple's marriage, hailed as historic by rights groups, arguing the ruling is illegal under Italian law.

‘Wanted: Busty women’: Job ad sparks storm
Spain

‘Wanted: Busty women’: Job ad sparks storm

The organizers of a major comic fair in Barcelona are fuming after a recruitment firm placed a job ad on their website for hostesses with a minimum bust measurement of 95 centimetres (37 inches).

Norway man finds adult toy in cod’s stomach
Norway

Norway man finds adult toy in cod’s stomach

Bjørn Frilund was gutting a large cod he'd caught, when he felt a big lump in its belly. As he cut in, he first found two semi-digested herrings. Then he pulled out a hefty orange vibrator.

Mystery deepens over boy’s death in Rome
Italy

Mystery deepens over boy’s death in Rome

The mystery has deepened into the death this week of a 16-year-old Swiss boy who succumbed to a knife wound during a school trip to Rome.

Ringier set to take over Le Temps newspaper
Switzerland

Ringier set to take over Le Temps newspaper

Ringier, the largest international media company operating in Switzerland, announced on Friday that it is is taking over Le Temps, the French-language newspaper based in Geneva.

No, France hasn’t banned work emails after 6pm
France

No, France hasn’t banned work emails after 6pm

Headlines in the Anglo press on Thursday suggested France’s latest measure to protect its "lazy, striking" workers was to ban them from checking emails after 6pm. Sadly for them, it wasn't quite true. On Friday their Gallic counterparts hit back and tried to put the record straight.

placeholder image
Sweden

Swedish teens injured in Polish bus crash

A Swedish bus crashed into a ditch in Poland on Friday morning, injuring at least five passengers, two of whom are Swedish teenagers. The Swedes were on the way to Slovakia to perform in an orchestra.

Brits to take over Spanish olive oil giant
Spain

Brits to take over Spanish olive oil giant

Spanish olive oil giant Deoleo said Thursday it has picked British group CVC Capital's takeover bid, which values the company at €439 million($605 million).

PSG: Injured Ibrahimovic heads to Sweden
France

PSG: Injured Ibrahimovic heads to Sweden

Paris-Saint Germain star Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nursing a thigh injury that has sent him back to his native Sweden, the football club announced this week. It's not clear how long the top scorer will be on the sidelines.

Swedbank goes offline in ‘technical’ crash
Sweden

Swedbank goes offline in ‘technical’ crash

One of Sweden's main banks, Swedbank, was hit on Thursday night by technical failures that saw all mobile and online banking shut down. The meltdown rendered all customer bank cards useless.

Students sell grades as school IT system hacked
Sweden

Students sell grades as school IT system hacked

Three Stockholm students are suspected of getting access to their schools IT system, then lowering the grades of pupils they disliked but also selling better grades to anyone wanting to pay.

Brit dies after ski slope crash in French Alps
France

Brit dies after ski slope crash in French Alps

A British man died on Thursday after he veered off the slopes at a French Alps ski resort. It's the latest in a series of fatal accidents this year for ski enthusiasts.

Italian woman dies after taking abortion drug
Italy

Italian woman dies after taking abortion drug

An Italian woman has died after taking an abortion pill. It is the first known death in Italy that could be linked to the controversial RU486 drug.

Protesters march against police violence in Spain
Spain

Protesters march against police violence in Spain

Hundreds of chanting demonstrators marched through the streets of Madrid on Thursday to protest against alleged police violence at a large anti-austerity demonstration in the Spanish capital last month.

Heartbleed programmer says he made a mistake
Germany

Heartbleed programmer says he made a mistake

A German computer programmer who wrote the Heartbleed code which has caused a worldwide online security scare has said he made a mistake.

Injured Ibrahimovic returns to Sweden
Sweden

Injured Ibrahimovic returns to Sweden

Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has returned to Sweden to be treated for a thigh injury that has seen him benched since last week, Paris Saint Germain announced on Thursday.

Inflation hits lowest level since 2010
Germany

Inflation hits lowest level since 2010

The rate of inflation in Germany, Europe's biggest economy, fell to its lowest level in more than three years in March, official final data showed on Friday.

Hitler’s face printed on 5,000 coffee mugs
Germany

Hitler’s face printed on 5,000 coffee mugs

A German furniture store has apologized after selling coffee mugs with a picture of Adolf Hitler printed on them. The motif of the Nazi dictator was mistakenly included by a designer in China. They could now go in a museum.

Italian PM meets Etihad boss over Alitalia deal
Italy

Italian PM meets Etihad boss over Alitalia deal

Etihad Airways boss James Hogan met with Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday, as his company nears a deal to purchase a stake in debt-laden Alitalia airline, Italian media reported.

Italy vows full support in heiress murder case
Italy

Italy vows full support in heiress murder case

Italy is ready to offer France "maximum collaboration" on solving the disappearance of an heiress in 1977, an Italian prosecutor said Thursday as the murder trial against her lover reached a climax.