Geneva’s green prisons chief ‘needed coaching’
Switzerland

Geneva’s green prisons chief ‘needed coaching’

The woman in charge of Geneva’s prisons from February 2012 until she resigned in December 2013 knew nothing about prisons and required training from two coaches at a cost of around 340,000 francs ($387,000), according to reports on Monday.

Surge in number of immigrants deported
Norway

Surge in number of immigrants deported

The number of illegal immigrants deported from Norway leapt 37 percent in the first three months of the year, as the country's new right-wing government brings in a more hardline policy.

Norway sends lost 1927 film back to China
Norway

Norway sends lost 1927 film back to China

Norway will hand to China a copy of "The Cave of the Silken Web", a classic Chinese film that had long thought to be lost, the National Library of Norway said on Monday. The delivery of the silent film from 1927 is expected to arrive in Beijing on Tuesday.

Policeman fined after video catches head kicks
Switzerland

Policeman fined after video catches head kicks

A Lucerne policeman caught by a security camera last year repeatedly kicking an alleged burglar in the head during a robbery investigation at a watch shop was fined on Monday for assault and abuse of authority.

Gender activists want law change in Italy
Italy

Gender activists want law change in Italy

Italy’s Movement of Transexxual Identity (MIT) is fighting to allow sex change without surgery in state civil records.

Seven surprising facts about Spain’s Holy Week
Spain

Seven surprising facts about Spain’s Holy Week

It's one of Spain's most exciting festivals, and also one of its most mysterious and passionate. Here The Local tells you everything you wanted to know about the country's Holy Week, or Semana Santa, but were too afraid to ask.

French scientists: We’ve lost SARS virus vials
France

French scientists: We’ve lost SARS virus vials

A routine inventory at the prestigious French research body Institut Pasteur in Paris revealed it has lost some 2,300 tubes containing samples of the potentially deadly SARS virus.

‘I want everyone to care about Italian history’
Italy

‘I want everyone to care about Italian history’

Darius Arya, from the US, has always had a passion for the ancient, so where better to pursue being an archaeologist than in Rome. With one eye on the capital's history and another on social media, Arya talks to The Local about how he's managed to carve himself a role as a multi-platform archaeologist.

French hotels told to report Eastern Europeans
France

French hotels told to report Eastern Europeans

Police in southern France have been accused of racism after asking local hotel owners to report the arrival of Eastern European guests, in a bid to crackdown on certain crimes like pimping. "You have to be realistic" said a police union leader.

Marine Harvest profits double
Norway

Marine Harvest profits double

Marine Harvest, the Norwegian salmon-farming company, has more than doubled its profits over the past three months, as tight demand led to soaring prices for its products.

Yara chairman steps down after bribery fine
Norway

Yara chairman steps down after bribery fine

The chairman of Norwegian fertiliser giant Yara is stepping down just months after police in Norway charged four former executives for corruption and the company agreed to pay Norway's biggest ever corporate fine.

Sweden backs Ukraine to repel militias
Sweden

Sweden backs Ukraine to repel militias

Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Monday that Russia needed to "back off" from its apparent destabilization strategy in Ukraine, adding if Sweden were in a similar situation it would do all it could to restore order.

Swedes replace credit cards with hand swipe
Sweden

Swedes replace credit cards with hand swipe

More than a thousand Swedish shoppers have signed up to make payments with a swipe of their hand, paying at machines in Lund that scan the unique pattern of their veins.

German jobs scheme shuts door on Spaniards
Spain

German jobs scheme shuts door on Spaniards

Germany said on Monday it was no longer accepting applications for a programme to attract young Europeans to its job market due to overwhelming demand from crisis-ravaged countries.

Germany shuts scheme for young unemployed
Germany

Germany shuts scheme for young unemployed

Germany said on Monday it would no longer accept applications for a programme to attract young Europeans to its job market due to overwhelming demand from crisis-ravaged countries.

Amazing eight-year-old channels Nancy Sinatra
Norway

Amazing eight-year-old channels Nancy Sinatra

Angelina Jordan, the Norwegian eight-year-old who wowed the world with her eerily perfect Billie Holiday cover last month, has done it again with a rendition of Nancy Sinatra's Bang Bang (my baby shot me down). It's so good, you suspect some trickery at play.

Paris bans Hitler auction after Jewish protest
France

Paris bans Hitler auction after Jewish protest

Authorities in France have scrapped a planned auction of personal effects belonging to Hitler and Hermann Goering after the country’s largest Jewish group, backed by the Culture Minister, lodged a complaint.

Ex-MP likely to stay in custody in Lebanon
Italy

Ex-MP likely to stay in custody in Lebanon

A former Italian senator, who was arrested in Lebanon on Saturday after allegedly fleeing Italy ahead of a mafia ruling, is likely to remain in custody there until Italy makes an extradition request.

Utøya survivor fights for payout
Norway

Utøya survivor fights for payout

A young man who was badly injured during the 2011 Utøya terror attack has been awarded less than a fifth of the compensation he asked from the government, a decision his lawyer claims has deprived him of his right to live a full life.

Global economy picking up speed: WTO report
Switzerland

Global economy picking up speed: WTO report

Global commerce is set to grow by 4.7 percent this year, the Geneva-based World Trade Organization said on Monday, with recovery in rich economies expected to mitigate risks in developing nations.

Desperation Post-it saves wife from abusive man
Sweden

Desperation Post-it saves wife from abusive man

A man has been sentenced to two years in prison after he was found guilty of locking in his wife in their own home. The woman was saved after she managed to throw a message out the window to the street below.

After 17 years France’s ‘mad cow’ probe to close
France

After 17 years France’s ‘mad cow’ probe to close

After nearly two decades of investigation, Paris prosecutors have recommended closing the probe into the spread of the deadly "mad cow" disease, advising that no charges should be brought. At least 27 people were killed in France by the disease at its height.

Refugee lives in a tree after camp torn down
Germany

Refugee lives in a tree after camp torn down

Protests are continuing in Berlin after the demolition of a refugee camp last Tuesday. Five refugees have gone on hunger strike and one woman lived in a tree for more than 100 hours.

‘Out with the king’: Demo to call for new republic
Spain

‘Out with the king’: Demo to call for new republic

Pro-Republican demonstrators will take to the streets of Spain on Monday calling for end to Spain's monarchy on the 83rd anniversary of the beginning of the last Spanish Republic.

Germany warns of war in Europe
Germany

Germany warns of war in Europe

Germany warned of war in Europe on Monday, with vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel stating the continent was being "dragged" into a "smouldering conflict" with Russia over Ukraine.

Enough! The murder of a Swedish football fan
Sweden

Enough! The murder of a Swedish football fan

A fortnight after a football fan died a violent death in Helsingborg, The Local’s Patrick Reilly joined the away fans at the first game in town since the killing - "It was, quite simply, the worst day in the club's history."

Easter pardon: Thieving banker walks free
Spain

Easter pardon: Thieving banker walks free

A Spanish banker jailed for stealing €30,000 ($41,000) from a client is one of 21 prisoners given a reprieve during this year's traditional Easter pardons in Spain, but opponents say the practice is an anachronism and should be stopped.

Student jumps to death from university building
Italy

Student jumps to death from university building

A 21-year-old student killed himself on Monday morning after jumping from a building at the University of Padua in the northern Italian region of Veneto.

French, British leaders decry Ukraine violence
France

French, British leaders decry Ukraine violence

French President François Hollande and British Prime Minister David Cameron have 'very firmly condemned' the violence in Ukraine between the government and pro-Russian separatist forces. Germany has also joined the fray..

‘The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany’
Germany

‘The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany’

Italian mobsters have infiltrated “every sector in Germany”, according to investigators, with the Sicilian mafia particularly active in the Rhineland.

330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Germany

330,000 sign up against TV licence fee

An online petition to Germany's Constitutional Court demanding the "flat rate" TV licence fee be scrapped has collected almost 330,000 signatures.

Spain’s ‘Jew Killer’ town eyes name change
Spain

Spain’s ‘Jew Killer’ town eyes name change

The mayor of Castrillo Matajudíos, or Castrillo 'Jew Killer' in English, is calling for his tiny Spanish village to be renamed after something less representative of its dark past.

French ministers hand out €12m in bonuses
France

French ministers hand out €12m in bonuses

Top French government ministers doled out a total of €12 million in bonuses to some 450 staff members last year, new data has revealed. The sum is unlikely to go down well with voters already livid over a moribund economy and record high unemployment.

‘The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany’
Italy

‘The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany’

Italian mobsters have infiltrated “every sector in Germany”, according to investigators, with the Sicilian mafia particularly active in the Rhineland.

‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France
France

‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France

VIDEO: US luxury brand Cadillac should not count on its new electric car selling well in France after its latest advert for the vehicle was blasted as “anti-French” and “lamentable”. See for yourself why and check out the response ad from Ford.

Expat house sales hit nine-year high in Spain
Spain

Expat house sales hit nine-year high in Spain

Bargain-hunting foreigners purchased one in every ten houses up for sale in Spain in 2013, as foreign investment into the country's embattled property sector soared to the highest levels in nearly 10 years.

Police tell Swedes to steer clear of Nazi demo
Sweden

Police tell Swedes to steer clear of Nazi demo

Central Sweden police have urged the public to keep a wide berth of an upcoming Nazi demonstration. About 300 officers will ensure the march doesn't escalate into a repeat of last year's violence.

‘Veneto and Treviso are full of vampires’: expert
Italy

‘Veneto and Treviso are full of vampires’: expert

The northern Italian provinces of Veneto and Treviso are “full of vampires”, with aspiring members of the cult being required to “drink human blood”, an expert in religious cults has claimed.

Sweden’s feminist party fêtes dramatic poll climb
Sweden

Sweden’s feminist party fêtes dramatic poll climb

Sweden's upstart feminist party on Monday welcomed news it had increased its voter support fivefold, but the social media savvy politicians still need a proper bump to get over the parliamentary threshold.

Could London’s bus-only streets work in Berlin?
Germany

Could London’s bus-only streets work in Berlin?

Berlin's transport authority is looking to London for inspiration in a bid to introduce bus lanes. Increasing traffic is, it said, making it difficult for buses and trams to make their stops on time.

France unveils plan to make life easier for firms
France

France unveils plan to make life easier for firms

Fifty recommendations on how to make life easier for companies in France - and thus spur business growth - are due out on Monday. Here is a sneak preview of some of the key proposals the government hopes will breathe some life into the stagnant economy.

Italy sees inflation slow down: official data
Italy

Italy sees inflation slow down: official data

Inflation in Italy has slowed again to 0.4 percent on a 12-month basis in March, official final data showed on Monday amid growing concern over Europe's deflation risk.

World spends less on arms: Swedish think tank
Sweden

World spends less on arms: Swedish think tank

The world again forked out less on weapons last year than the year before, but Russia stood out in statistics as one nation that has more than doubled its spending in the past decade.

Mass DNA tests of school boys to find toilet rapist
France

Mass DNA tests of school boys to find toilet rapist

French police trying to track down a rapist who attacked a schoolgirl in a dark toilet will start taking DNA samples on Monday from 500 male pupils and staff at a Catholic school in western France in a bid to identify the culprit.

‘Monkey Jesus’ restorer to star in music video
Spain

‘Monkey Jesus’ restorer to star in music video

The Spanish woman who attained global celebrity after she 'restored' a prize fresco of Jesus Christ known as Ecce Homo is about to see her career take another turn — as the co-star of a rock video clip.

Spanish builders made ‘slaves’ by German firm
Spain

Spanish builders made ‘slaves’ by German firm

Wages below the legal minimum, contracts in a language they don't understand and blackmail tactics to keep them quiet: just some of the problems a group of Spanish builders in Holland contracted by a German firm have decided to speak out against.

‘French regions aren’t the problem, it’s the towns’
France

‘French regions aren’t the problem, it’s the towns’

A decades-old plan to cut the number of French regions in half has once again reared its head and prompted a fierce row. The Local talks to two experts to find out whether a seemingly sensible move to cut bureaucracy will ever happen and whether it will do any good.

Five things I love about northern Sweden
Sweden

Five things I love about northern Sweden

Serial grump Paul Connolly has found a happy place in northern Sweden (and the land's cheap too). Honestly. In fact, he's listed five things worth loving about life near the Arctic Circle.

Spanish village holds ‘independence vote’
Spain

Spanish village holds ‘independence vote’

A village in Spain's Navarre region staged an unofficial referendum on Sunday on whether the region should join a hypothetically independent Basque Country and part company from the rest of Spain.

Glencore Xstrata sells stake in Peru mine
Switzerland

Glencore Xstrata sells stake in Peru mine

China Minmetals said on Monday that a consortium led by one of its subsidiaries MMG has agreed to buy Swiss-based Glencore Xstrata Plc's stake in the Las Bambas copper mine project in Peru for $5.85 billion.

‘Soft landing’ seen for Swiss property market
Switzerland

‘Soft landing’ seen for Swiss property market

The Swiss real estate market is headed for a “soft landing” more than a hard crash, says an expert from UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank.

Why you should teach English in Germany
Germany

Why you should teach English in Germany

For those looking for a career change or to simply experience life in Germany, teaching English may pave the path to success.

Sweden’s Blixt finishes second at Masters
Sweden

Sweden’s Blixt finishes second at Masters

Swedish golfer Jonas Blixt finished joint second at the Masters in Augusta on Sunday. He said he hoped his curse would end soon to make him the first Swede to ever win a major.

PSG lose at rivals Lyon to end dismal week
France

PSG lose at rivals Lyon to end dismal week

The week went from bad to worse for PSG on Sunday night when the league leaders went down 1-0 at rivals Lyon. The defeat, only their second of the season, came five days after PSG were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea.

Saab bids on Kockums to keep Sweden’s subs
Sweden

Saab bids on Kockums to keep Sweden’s subs

Saab announced on Monday that it had agreed with the German owner of Kockums to buy its Swedish submarine production sites. The understanding followed months of tensions, which culminated in staff poaching.

‘Good Pope John needed to be with people’
Italy

‘Good Pope John needed to be with people’

While he may not be widely known internationally, pope John XXIII holds a special place in the heart of many Italians and nowhere more so than in his homeland of Bergamo where he was born into a farming family.

Coalition argues over Saudi Arabia tank deal
Germany

Coalition argues over Saudi Arabia tank deal

An €18-billion deal to sell Saudi Arabia 800 tanks is causing tension within Germany’s coalition government.

Swedish MEPs play truant in Brussels
Sweden

Swedish MEPs play truant in Brussels

Half of Sweden's EU parliamentarians give every second committee meeting a miss, a new study into the MEPs' work habits revealed on Monday. One politician, however, had an almost perfect attendance record.

IVF patient pregnant with wrong baby
Italy

IVF patient pregnant with wrong baby

A woman who underwent fertility treatment at a clinic in Rome became pregnant with the twins of another couple after their embryos were mixed up, press reports said on Sunday.

German space centre ‘attacked by spies’
Germany

German space centre ‘attacked by spies’

Germany's aeronautics and space research centre has for months been the target of a suspected cyber attack by a foreign intelligence service, according to reports on Sunday.

Schumacher shows ‘small signs of progress’
Germany

Schumacher shows ‘small signs of progress’

Michael Schumacher is "showing small signs of progress", his spokeswoman said on Sunday, with the Formula One legend slowly recovering from devastating brain injuries suffered in a ski accident.