Union could take 1,300 Norwegian staff on strike
Norway

Union could take 1,300 Norwegian staff on strike

Norway's Parat Union has threatened to take more than 1,300 Norwegian Airlines employees out on strike if the airline does not agree to a joint collective bargaining agreement for the cabin crew by April 30.

Police free Norwegians jailed for wolf hunt
Norway

Police free Norwegians jailed for wolf hunt

The three Norwegians jailed last week pending trial for taking part in an illegal wolf hunt were released on Wednesday, allowing them to spend Easter with their families.

Norway’s Solli gets the weirdest yellow card ever
Norway

Norway’s Solli gets the weirdest yellow card ever

Norwegian footballer Jan Gunnar Solli displayed some unorthodox ball play on Monday evening, catching a pass by lifting up his football shirt and slipping the ball inside. Sadly, the referee didn't see the funny side and promptly served Solli with a yellow card,

Listeria prompts smoked salmon recall in France
France

Listeria prompts smoked salmon recall in France

A French seafood company recalled on Wednesday three batches of smoked salmon because they were contaminated with the dangerous bacteria listeria, which can cause a serious infection in pregnant women and older people.

French town takes knife fight to president
France

French town takes knife fight to president

Defiant residents of the French village of Laguiole - famous around the world for its knives - have appealed to their president to intervene on their behalf after they lost a trademark battle in court meaning they are barred from using its name on their own products.

Rising imports boost Spain’s trade deficit
Spain

Rising imports boost Spain’s trade deficit

Spain's trade deficit jumped by more than a third in February compared to the almost 20-year low it hit a year earlier, official data released on Wednesday shows.

Outcry as Italy auctions off ‘haunted island’
Italy

Outcry as Italy auctions off ‘haunted island’

Residents of Giudecca, an island in the Venice lagoon, are attempting to sabotage plans by the debt-laden Italian government to auction the lease of a neighbouring isle, said to be the most haunted place in Italy, in a bid to prevent it from being turned into “yet another luxury resort”.

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV
Sweden

Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off TV

A Swedish supermarket has decided to withdraw its Easter commercial, after Christians complained it made a mockery of communion - "They crossed the line." Sweden's advertising watchdog will now look into the case.

Fake terrorist jailed for extorting businessmen
Spain

Fake terrorist jailed for extorting businessmen

A man has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars after he pretended to be a member of Basque separatist group ETA in threatening letters sent out to 100 Spanish businessmen.

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal
Germany

Ex-minister jailed over F1 race track scandal

A former state finance minister was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison on Wednesday, having been found guilty of embezzling money in the scandal around the failed sale of the Nürburgring Formula One race track.

French parents laidback about kids’ education
France

French parents laidback about kids’ education

When it comes to stressing about the education of their children French parents are much more relaxed than their counterparts in other countries, a global survey revealed this week. And they are dead against paying for it, it seems.

Kerry bound for Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis
Switzerland

Kerry bound for Geneva talks on Ukraine crisis

US Secretary of State John Kerry left on Wednesday for Geneva for high-stakes talks on Ukraine, armed with the threat of more sanctions against Moscow if diplomacy fails, as tensions on the ground escalated sharply.

Spanish king’s plane breaks down again
Spain

Spanish king’s plane breaks down again

Spain's King Juan Carlos saw his return home from the Middle East on Wednesday delayed after the military plane he was travelling on experienced engine problems, the fifth such incident in recent months.

Two men stabbed and left to die on Turin street
Italy

Two men stabbed and left to die on Turin street

Police are searching for the killer of two men who were stabbed and left to die in the middle of a street in central Turin in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment
Germany

Upper Bavaria boasts lowest EU unemployment

Southern and central Bavaria have the lowest unemployment in the EU, according to figures released on Tuesday, with one business leader boasting the area has “de facto full employment”.

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut
Sweden

Dismemberment killer gets sentence cut

The 22-year-old man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend in northern Sweden had his sentence reduced on Wednesday, in part due to his "peculiar personality".

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Germany

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect".

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital
Sweden

School gas leak sends 25 to hospital

An elementary school in southern Sweden was evacuated on Wednesday and dozens of pupils were taken to hospital after the smell of gas spread through the rooms.

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
Germany

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine.

France unveils freeze on generous welfare system
France

France unveils freeze on generous welfare system

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls provided his most detailed account yet on Wednesday of the “collective” cuts France will make to trim its budget by €50 billion, including a freeze on state pensions. The sick, families and pensioners will all feel the pain.

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
Germany

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured".

Clashes as Rome police move to evict squatters
Italy

Clashes as Rome police move to evict squatters

Clashes broke out at an abandoned office block in Rome on Wednesday as scores of riot police moved to evict some 350 poor families who had occupied the building because of a chronic housing crisis in the city.

Punches thrown during packed Easter parade
Spain

Punches thrown during packed Easter parade

Holy Week celebrations in the Spanish city of Seville were marred by violence on Tuesday when a young man attacked an older man in a dispute over the best spot to watch a passing religious procession.

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits
Switzerland

Credit Suisse investment bank woes hurt profits

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said on Wednesday that its first quarter net profit took a heavy hit as its investment bank reeled from slumping trading in bonds.

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Germany

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections.

Spanish restaurant to be world’s most expensive
Spain

Spanish restaurant to be world’s most expensive

The Spanish party island of Ibiza will soon house the most expensive restaurant on the planet, where a meal for one will cost the (not so) lucky customer a staggering €1,500 ($2075).

Swedes vote for country’s nicest cock
Sweden

Swedes vote for country’s nicest cock

A Swedish churchwarden has reacted with joy upon finding out the parish has Sweden's nicest weathercock.

Pets to no longer be seen as just ‘chairs’ in France
France

Pets to no longer be seen as just ‘chairs’ in France

France took a major step this week towards upping the legal status of animals, which presently sees them classed the same as a chair, a lamp or any old 'personal property'. But cats and dogs will soon be judged as “sentient, living beings”. The change wasn't welcomed by all.

France OKs first women aboard submarines
France

France OKs first women aboard submarines

The last bastion of exclusively male jobs in the French military fell this week when the defence minister announced a pilot program to allow the first women to serve aboard nuclear-armed submarines. The minister also revealed an action plan to end sexual harassment in the armed forces.

Immigrants gatecrash ‘forgotten’ Spanish isle
Spain

Immigrants gatecrash ‘forgotten’ Spanish isle

Seven would-be immigrants arrived on the Spain's tiny Isla del Congresso on Monday, startling the small band of Spanish soldiers stationed on a neighbouring island.

Italian priest hits boy on scooter and flees
Italy

Italian priest hits boy on scooter and flees

A priest who allegedly knocked a boy off his scooter before fleeing the scene in his car in Ravenna, northern Italy, appears to have had a change of heart when he went to the hospital to inquire about his victim. He later handed himself in to police.

Car sales help boost Italy’s exports
Italy

Car sales help boost Italy’s exports

Italy's trade surplus rose to €2.6 billion in February thanks to a sharp increase in exports within Europe, particularly of cars, official data showed on Wednesday.

Trafficking victims failed by Austrian justice
Austria

Trafficking victims failed by Austrian justice

The Austrian justice system fails victims of trafficking by being too lenient with sentencing for traffickers, according to victim organizations. Victims of trafficking are rarely granted residence permits, and some are trafficked multiple times.

MP slams Italy migrant health care
Italy

MP slams Italy migrant health care

An Italian MP has slammed the treatment of migrants In Italy’s immigration reception centres after a young man from Gambia died at a centre in Sicily on Monday.

Norway PM backs gay church weddings
Norway

Norway PM backs gay church weddings

Norway's Prime Minister has declared her support for gay church weddings, although she argues the decision on whether to allow them is up to the Church of Norway.

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Germany

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions.

Grillo won’t apologize for ‘anti-Semitic’ post
Italy

Grillo won’t apologize for ‘anti-Semitic’ post

Politician Beppe Grillo has refused to apologize to Italy’s Jewish community after the press dubbed him an anti-Semite for publishing an adapted version of Holocaust survivor Primo Levi’s classic ‘If this is a man’.

Spain’s ‘corruption king’ turns violent in prison
Spain

Spain’s ‘corruption king’ turns violent in prison

The former treasurer of Spain's ruling Popular Party won't be allowed to walk the prison courtyard for nearly five months after directing insults at Civil Guard police officers and refusing to be handcuffed.

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Germany

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled.

Four missing skiers found dead in Norway
Norway

Four missing skiers found dead in Norway

Rescue teams on Wednesday morning found and brought home the dead bodies of all four of the skiers who went missing in Norway's Sunndalsfjella mountains on Monday afternoon.

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage
Switzerland

Ski champion announces same-sex marriage

Former Swiss alpine ski champion Sylviane Berthod has announced her engagement to marry another woman in a public way — on her Facebook page.

Greens push rich tax to finance schools
Sweden

Greens push rich tax to finance schools

Sweden's third largest party The Greens revealed its shadow budget on Wednesday, targeting schools and youth employment. High earners would have to pitch in more.

Badger gets stuck in car grille and survives
Norway

Badger gets stuck in car grille and survives

A badger in Norway got hit so hard in a car collision that it became wedged into the grille. But when the driver levered it out with a stick, to his amazement the animal scampered away into the nearby woods.

France mulls plan to tax foreign truck drivers
France

France mulls plan to tax foreign truck drivers

France’s much-maligned eco-tax charge on lorries that was scrapped late last year, could make a return, this time targeting foreign truck drivers, who could be asked to pay up at the border or even forced through the country's motorway tolls.

Milan pickaxe killer jailed for 20 years
Italy

Milan pickaxe killer jailed for 20 years

A migrant from Ghana who went on the rampage with a pickaxe in Milan last year, killing three people, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Catalan report is wrong on independence: EU
Spain

Catalan report is wrong on independence: EU

The European Union has once again said an independent Catalonia would be automatically left out of the EU, a day after lobby group for the region's government released a report arguing this would not be the case.

Holiday status updates ‘not a burglary risk’
Sweden

Holiday status updates ‘not a burglary risk’

Mythbusting Swedish researchers have found no link between gushing about your upcoming holiday online and returning to an emptied house. They told The Local that a trip to Ikea could be much more dangerous.

Austrian tourist falls six metres in Imperial Fora

Austrian tourist falls six metres in Imperial Fora

An Austrian tourist remains in a serious condition after plunging six metres from a parapet at the historic Imperial Fora (Fori Imperiali) site in Rome.

‘Guantanamo Bay torture case still open’: Judge
Spain

‘Guantanamo Bay torture case still open’: Judge

A Spanish judge on Tuesday defied pressure to scrap a probe into alleged torture in the US prison camp in Guantanamo Bay which targets former US president George W. Bush.

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft
Sweden

Woman charged after accusing beggar of theft

A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations.

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Sweden

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore, and has taken a step away from family tradition in their choice of venue.

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Germany

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers.

Ex-France international Makélélé faces tax probe
France

Ex-France international Makélélé faces tax probe

French tax authorities have asked their Swiss counterparts to start a probe into former France international footballer Claude Makélélé, who played for English club Chelsea and Spain's Real Madrid among others.

France will stick to EU debt target, minister says
France

France will stick to EU debt target, minister says

The new French finance minister vowed this week that his country would stick to the tight deficit reduction targets set by Brussels and rubbished speculation that Paris were hoping to persuade the EU to give them more time.

Original Jesus brings ‘Superstar’ to Rome
Italy

Original Jesus brings ‘Superstar’ to Rome

Ted Neeley, the original lead in "Jesus Christ Superstar", is back four decades on as the son of God in the hit musical in Rome, and hopes Pope Francis will be in the audience.

Dylan hate charge thrown out by French court
France

Dylan hate charge thrown out by French court

A court in Paris has thrown out a case against US singer Bob Dylan on charges of incitement to hatred filed after he was quoted allegedly comparing Croats to Nazis, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia
Switzerland

UK blocks Swiss deal with EU on Croatia

The UK has scuppered, at least temporarily, an agreement in principle between Bern and Brussels over the free movement of people between Switzerland and Croatia, the Swiss broadcaster RTS says.

‘Free range’ chicken farmer tricks customers
Germany

‘Free range’ chicken farmer tricks customers

UPDATE: A major producer of ethically certifified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the brand said it took swift action to deal with the case.

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden
Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden.