New prosecutor quits over ‘illegal’ charwoman
Switzerland

New prosecutor quits over ‘illegal’ charwoman

A woman nominated two weeks ago to become the canton of Ticino’s next attorney-general was forced to step aside on Tuesday over a scandal involving a clandestine cleaning lady hired to work in her home.

Progress’s Per Sandberg is ‘a pus boil’: colleague
Norway

Progress’s Per Sandberg is ‘a pus boil’: colleague

A damaging row has broken out within Norway's government Progress Party, with one of its most senior figures publicly denouncing its deputy leader as "a pussy boil" in the organization.

Bern reaches agreement with EU over Croatia
Switzerland

Bern reaches agreement with EU over Croatia

Relations between Switzerland and the European Union appeared to brighten on Tuesday when Brussels accepted a proposal from the Swiss over free movement of people with Croatia.

‘We’re not Japan’: Swedish Riksbank
Sweden

‘We’re not Japan’: Swedish Riksbank

The governing board of the Swedish central bank has sent a staunch rebuttal to the New York Times, after columnist Paul Krugman accused Sweden of monetary policy failures that turned the nation into a Scandinavian version of deflation-hit Japan.

Pole wins Tour de Romandie prologue race
Switzerland

Pole wins Tour de Romandie prologue race

Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski of the Omega Pharma team won the prologue to the Tour de Romandie cycling race on Tuesday in Ascona, a town in the Swiss canton of Ticino.

Swatch loses lawsuit against UBS over advice
Switzerland

Swatch loses lawsuit against UBS over advice

Swatch Group, the world's leading watchmaker, on Tuesday lost a lawsuit against Switzerland's largest bank, whose investment advice it says cost it millions of dollars.

Alstom: Intervention by government is all ‘noise’
France

Alstom: Intervention by government is all ‘noise’

As the future of French engineering jewel Alstom looks set to be decided in a bidding war between General Electric and Siemens, French ministers have tried to show they are in control of its destiny. But analysts say it's all for show and won’t change the outcome.

France charges linchpin in horsemeat scandal
France

France charges linchpin in horsemeat scandal

French prosecutors have filed fraud charges against a Dutch businessman at the centre of the European health scandal last year that saw horsemeat labelled as beef and sold to consumers.

Is now the right time to leave Spain?
Spain

Is now the right time to leave Spain?

With British and German expats leaving Spain in record numbers in 2013, The Local looks at the reasons for the exodus and ask if the dream of a better life in Spain really is dead in the water.

French prisons have most suicides in Europe
France

French prisons have most suicides in Europe

New data show France’s bursting prison system recently saw the highest number of prisoner suicides out of 45 European countries. Yet even outside jail French people are among the most likely in Europe the kill themselves.

Spanish opera singer faces music over fraud
Spain

Spanish opera singer faces music over fraud

Montserrat Caballé, the operatic soprano who famously sang 'Barcelona' with Freddy Mercury, has been charged with allegedly defrauding the Spanish tax system out of more than half a million euros.

ABB restructures after posting lower profits
Switzerland

ABB restructures after posting lower profits

The stock price of Swiss-Swedish engineering giant ABB headed into a tailspin on Tuesday after the company said its net profit dropped in the first quarter and announced a major overhaul of its struggling power systems unit.

Air France fury over month-long pilots’ strike
France

Air France fury over month-long pilots’ strike

France’s biggest pilots' union issued a call this week for members to join a month-long strike throughout May because they are unhappy about the rules surrrounding their right to strike. With delays and cancellations expected Air France says the walk-out will threaten its recovery.

Italian mother ‘stabs disabled son to death’
Italy

Italian mother ‘stabs disabled son to death’

A mother in Naples, southern Italy, has been accused of beating and stabbing her disabled son to death before attempting to take her own life, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

Can an airport be named after Rommel?
Germany

Can an airport be named after Rommel?

City authorities have voted to name Stuttgart's airport after former mayor Manfred Rommel, prompting fears foreigners might confuse the name with his father, the famous Third Reich general.

Anglos tell Twitter what’s weird about Italy
Italy

Anglos tell Twitter what’s weird about Italy

Settling in to Italian life has proved to be a challenge for some Anglos, who have been taking to Twitter to express their #Italyproblems and #Romeproblems. We’ve collected some of the most common headaches, touching on everything from cobblestones to flirty taxi drivers.

Brit with amnesia found dead in Spain
Spain

Brit with amnesia found dead in Spain

An elderly British man suffering from amnesia has been found dead on a cove in southern Spain a day after he was declared missing.

Italy’s crowded prisons among worst in Europe
Italy

Italy’s crowded prisons among worst in Europe

Italy has the second-highest level of prison overcrowding in Europe, a report published on Tuesday from the Council of Europe has revealed.

Frenchman, 85, dies fleeing retirement home
France

Frenchman, 85, dies fleeing retirement home

An 85-year-old Frenchman trying to flee from his retirement home fell to his death when the bed sheets he'd tied together to escape from his second floor came apart, according to media reports on Tuesday.

Germany’s most bizarre EU election posters
Germany

Germany’s most bizarre EU election posters

As May's European election looms large in eurocentric Germany, the streets have been packed with party political posters. Far from being dry and pious, some are surprisingly witty.

French government faces vote on cuts programme
France

French government faces vote on cuts programme

France's bid to embark on a programme of economic reform financed by big cuts in state spending faced a crucial parliamentary vote on Tuesday that was shaping up as a test of the Socialist government's credibility.

Turkish PM: German president is just a pastor
Germany

Turkish PM: German president is just a pastor

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday rejected criticism from Germany's president who said he was "scared" by the Turkey's recent spate of rights abuses.

Norway to launch world’s first Arctic whisky
Norway

Norway to launch world’s first Arctic whisky

A group of enthusiastic amateurs plans to launch the world's first Arctic whiskey distillery on the tiny island of Myken off the coast of far-northern Norway.

Sweden’s ABB sees net profit shrink 18 percent
Sweden

Sweden’s ABB sees net profit shrink 18 percent

Swiss-Swedish engineering behemoth ABB suffered a net profit drop of almost 20 percent in the first quarter this year, an announcement that sent share prices tumbling on Tuesday.

Vattenfall profit hike despite tepid winter
Sweden

Vattenfall profit hike despite tepid winter

In defiance of the mild winter and low energy prices, Swedish energy giant Vattenfall reported a sharp rise in first-quarter profits on Tuesday.

Huge Arctic island estate on sale in Norway
Norway

Huge Arctic island estate on sale in Norway

Fancy owning your own Arctic paradise more than twice the size of Manhattan, complete with coal mine, minor mountain chain and occasional polar bear?

Spain scores biggest drop in road deaths in EU
Spain

Spain scores biggest drop in road deaths in EU

Road deaths more than halved in European Union in the decade from 2001 to 2012 with Spain being the continent's greatest improver, figures released on Tuesday show.

France sets an example over fall in road deaths
France

France sets an example over fall in road deaths

The number of people killed on Europe’s roads in a year dropped by over 15,000 in ten years with France making more progress to improve road safety than most of the rest of the continent. Although there are still dangers out there on French roads.

Swedish lawyers track and charge net trolls
Sweden

Swedish lawyers track and charge net trolls

A Swedish team of pro bono lawyers who are fed up with net bullying want online trolls to take responsibility for their behaviour. The law firm has helped victims claim money from their aggressors.

Struggling Swedes beg in Spain’s tourist hotspots
Spain

Struggling Swedes beg in Spain’s tourist hotspots

A Swedish magazine sold by the homeless has caught the attention of national media in the Scandinavian country after it highlighted the plight of scores of destitute Swedes who beg in Spain's most popular tourist areas.

Pope ‘more popular than Colosseum’
Italy

Pope ‘more popular than Colosseum’

Italy is expecting the number of religious pilgrims to the country to hit seven million this year, generating €3.6 billion and likely making the Catholic Church a bigger draw for visitors than Rome's Colosseum.

‘I du not Sie the point of the German you’

‘I du not Sie the point of the German you’

Now let’s be honest here German speakers, do we really need both the du and Sie forms of address when talking to Germans? In my experience it causes nothing but embarrassment, anger and confusion.

Row over ‘obscene’ gay school book
Italy

Row over ‘obscene’ gay school book

Parents of teenagers at a high school in Rome have filed a complaint against teachers for making their students read a book about a girl who was brought up by two gay fathers, describing some of the book's contents as "obscene".

Good Samaritan fined for helping injured biker
Spain

Good Samaritan fined for helping injured biker

Karma didn't pay off for a Valencia man who was given two fines by local police for parking his car wrongly while aiding a motorcyclist in distress.

Scientists make rocket fuel from sunlight
Germany

Scientists make rocket fuel from sunlight

German and international researchers have succeeded in converting water, carbon dioxide and sunlight into kerosene, in a project that holds the possibility of producing completely renewable jet fuel.

Seven of the best: Spain’s top restaurants
Spain

Seven of the best: Spain’s top restaurants

Spain's El Celler de Can Roca was recently named the world's second best restaurant. The Local has rounded up all the restaurants that made the top 50 to give you an overview of the best places to eat in Spain.

Berlin’s airports are ‘operating at their limit’
Germany

Berlin’s airports are ‘operating at their limit’

The endless delays to Berlin’s new airport are being fully felt at the capital’s two existing flight hubs, both of which are bursting at the seams - and things could get worse.

Swedes produce online hit with time-lag goggles
Sweden

Swedes produce online hit with time-lag goggles

VIDEO: A Swedish broadband company has illustrated how annoying slow internet can be by putting Swedes in time-delay goggles and getting them to try everything from pancake flipping to ten pin bowling.

Jail for man who stabbed ‘unarmed’ neo-Nazi
Sweden

Jail for man who stabbed ‘unarmed’ neo-Nazi

An extreme-left activist was sentenced on Tuesday to six and a half years in prison after he stabbed a neo-Nazi in the back during December's riots in Kärrtorp.

In Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week
Sweden

In Pictures: The Local’s Property of the Week

Nine rooms, a huge garden, and sea views. All at a cost of 12 million kronor ($1.8 million). Sound interesting? Take a look inside.

Weak European demand hits Eni profits
Italy

Weak European demand hits Eni profits

Italian energy giant Eni reported a 14.3-percent drop in its adjusted net income for the quarter on Tuesday, due to weak European demand and reduced output from Libya.

‘Grillo is like Hitler’: Berlusconi
Italy

‘Grillo is like Hitler’: Berlusconi

Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday likened his political rival Beppe Grillo to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, the latest controversial comment of the Forza Italia leader’s European election campaign.

Donald Rumsfeld ‘gets Swiss social benefits’
Switzerland

Donald Rumsfeld ‘gets Swiss social benefits’

Donald Rumsfeld, the controversial former US secretary of defence, is receiving around 5,000 francs ($5,680) a year in benefits from the Swiss social security system (AHV), according to a news report.

French pilgrimage town Lourdes hit by quake
France

French pilgrimage town Lourdes hit by quake

Though seismic activity is relatively rare in France, a 4.7 magnitude quake hit the holy pilgrimage site of Lourdes on Tuesday. This latest quake comes less than a month after a similar one rattled southeastern France.

French restaurants fail to make world’s top ten list
France

French restaurants fail to make world’s top ten list

France may be renowned for its haute-cuisine but once again not a single eatery in the country made the top 10 of the world’s best restaurants as designated in a much-vaunted annual global survey. But a handful did make it into the top 50. Find out which ones.

‘The murder of your loved ones brings us joy’
Spain

‘The murder of your loved ones brings us joy’

Spanish police have arrested 17 people, including two minors, accused of promoting terrorism and humiliating terror victims on social media sites.

Scores of Swedes beg in Spain’s tourist hotspots
Sweden

Scores of Swedes beg in Spain’s tourist hotspots

A Swedish magazine sold by homeless people has caught the attention of the national media after it covered the homeless Swedes who beg in Spain's most popular tourist areas.

Italy has world’s third-best restaurant
Italy

Italy has world’s third-best restaurant

For the second year running, Massimo Bottura's restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, northern Italy, has won third place on a list of the world's 50 best restaurants.

Bankia profits soar 50 percent in first quarter
Spain

Bankia profits soar 50 percent in first quarter

Spain's state-owned bank Bankia, which was nationalized on 2012 to save it from collapse, said Monday its first-quarter net profit more than doubled from the same time last year.

Saudi Arabia slams Norway on human rights
Norway

Saudi Arabia slams Norway on human rights

Norway's human rights record came in for sharp criticism during a UN hearing on Monday, with Saudi Arabia and Russia weighing in to highlight the country's shortcomings.

Froome seeks second Tour de Romandie win
Switzerland

Froome seeks second Tour de Romandie win

Britain's Chris Froome will headline the Tour de Romandie cycling race, which begins on Tuesday, as the defending champion ramps up his preparations for the Tour de France in July.

‘The Dummies’ Guide to texting in Spanish
Spain

‘The Dummies’ Guide to texting in Spanish

Lost in virtual translation whenever a Spanish friend texts you? Here The Local offers a simple guide to SMS and Whatsapp shorthand so that you don’t have to keep writing '¿Qué?' after every message.

US man shoots German student, 17, dead
Germany

US man shoots German student, 17, dead

UPDATE: Tributes have been paid to a German high school exchange student who was shot dead by a US homeowner in Montana on Sunday.

PM goes bananas for anti-racism campaign
Italy

PM goes bananas for anti-racism campaign

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shared a banana with Cesare Prandelli, coach of the national football team on Monday as an anti-racism gesture in support of a Brazilian player.

Flood victim claims €6,000 for lost boots
Germany

Flood victim claims €6,000 for lost boots

The floods which hit eastern Germany last summer have led to some bizarre claims for relief, including one homeowner who wanted €6,000 for the loss of their Wellington boots.

Spain’s jobless rate rises in first quarter of 2014
Spain

Spain’s jobless rate rises in first quarter of 2014

Spain's unemployment rate climbed to nearly 26 percent in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed Tuesday, as millions searched in vain for a job in a halting recovery from recession, but the news was not all bad.

Germans fret over Ukraine, Schröder parties
Germany

Germans fret over Ukraine, Schröder parties

The Ukraine crisis may be rattling German consumers, according to a poll on Tuesday, but that did not stop the country's former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder hugging his old friend Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday night.

Norway girl mauled by off-duty police dog
Norway

Norway girl mauled by off-duty police dog

A policeman whose off-duty police dog mauled a seven-year-old girl in Norway last year is refusing to have the dog put down and has even brought it back home, leaving the girl and her family terrified.

Spanish restaurant lose ‘world’s best’ crown
Spain

Spanish restaurant lose ‘world’s best’ crown

Spain's El Celler de Can Roca was knocked off its perch as the world's top restaurant on Monday after Britain's Restaurant magazine awarded the 2014 prize to Denmark's Noma, but Spain still dominated the top ten.

Battle for Alstom: Saving jobs is key for Hollande
France

Battle for Alstom: Saving jobs is key for Hollande

French engineering group Alstom looked set to be the centre of a takeover tussle between US giant General Electric and Germany's Siemens on Tuesday as French President François Hollande said his chief concern was to protect jobs.

Paris: Base jumpers take to City of Light’s heights
France

Paris: Base jumpers take to City of Light’s heights

Base jumping is usually a thrill associated with the Alps, where some local authorities banned it over the deadly dangers involved. However like many cities around the world Paris, daredevils are taking the sport to the cities highest skyscrapers and monuments including the Eiffel Tower.

Statoil income soars a third on court win
Norway

Statoil income soars a third on court win

Norwegian oil giant Statoil has seen its operating income soar 35 percent on the back of strong results from its US gas business and a large payout after winning a commercial dispute.

Nordea profits rise despite low loan demand
Sweden

Nordea profits rise despite low loan demand

Swedish bank Nordea announced on Tuesday that its first quarter operating profits were over €1.1 billion ($1.5 billion), an increase from the same period last year.

Priest asks Pope to waive his celibacy vow
Germany

Priest asks Pope to waive his celibacy vow

A German Catholic priest has asked the Pope to release him from his oath of celibacy and refused calls from superiors to leave the priesthood after he admitted on TV he had an illegitimate daughter.

‘I did drugs and Sweden should get real’: Pirate Party founder
Sweden

‘I did drugs and Sweden should get real’: Pirate Party founder

After the founder of the Pirate Party was revealed to be among Sweden's European Parliament candidates who had used drugs, he tells The Local how Sweden needs to shape up and drop its "narcissistic" drug policy beliefs.