Swiss-Croatia deal only ‘temporary solution’: EU
Switzerland

Swiss-Croatia deal only ‘temporary solution’: EU

The Swiss federal government said on Wednesday it would give Croatians access to its labour market this summer, as it struggles to resolve a dispute with the European Union over new immigration restrictions.

New Swede named to Bern amid Gripen flap
Switzerland

New Swede named to Bern amid Gripen flap

Sweden appointed a new ambassador to Switzerland Wednesday, a day after a media report that the current envoy lobbied Swiss parliamentarians to promote the sale of Swedish fighter jets.

Swiss wins shortened Tour de Romandie stage
Switzerland

Swiss wins shortened Tour de Romandie stage

Michael Albasini of Switzerland won a shortened first stage in front of his home fans on the Tour of Romandie cycling race on Wednesday.

English job jargon invades French offices
France

English job jargon invades French offices

Head into any French office these days and you are likely to hear a mixture of French peppered with examples of classic English office jargon. The author of “The dictionary of New French” tells The Local why the tide of Anglicisms will not be resisted in French workplaces.

Dolce & Gabbana duo get 18-month jail sentence
Italy

Dolce & Gabbana duo get 18-month jail sentence

Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were on Wednesday sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax evasion, going against a prosecutor's call last month to have the pair acquitted.

Over 400 cops to patrol neo-Nazi May Day march
Sweden

Over 400 cops to patrol neo-Nazi May Day march

Almost 450 police officers will be on hand in the central Sweden town of Jönköping on Thursday in preparation for a potential repeat of last year's May Day flare-ups.

Why do Germans celebrate April 30th?
Germany

Why do Germans celebrate April 30th?

Germans will find any reason to celebrate, so before the anarchy on May 1st can begin, they like to bid the evil spirits of winter goodbye by dressing up as witches and warlocks and dance around bonfires.

Man nabbed riding back of airport train
Italy

Man nabbed riding back of airport train

A man was caught on Tuesday straddling the back of a train from Rome's central station, in a desperate attempt to catch his flight after the doors closed before he could get inside a carriage.

Bull bolts from abattoir, runs into butcher’s shop
Germany

Bull bolts from abattoir, runs into butcher’s shop

A rare crisis hit the town of Schmallenberg near Dortmund on Monday morning when a raging bull escaped from an abattoir, but then jumped through a butcher's shop window where he was shot.

Man drowns trying to save dog from well
Spain

Man drowns trying to save dog from well

A man in Catalonia was so determined to save his pet dog from drowning in a local well that he gave his own life while attempting to rescue it.

DSK to sue over new brothel named ‘DSK’
France

DSK to sue over new brothel named ‘DSK’

Notorious French philanderer Dominique Strauss-Kahn, or DSK as he is better known, is not very happy about a new sex club that opens this week. While that may sound surprising, the reason for his anger is because the new brothel is called 'DSK'.

Half of all Catalans want out of Spain: poll
Spain

Half of all Catalans want out of Spain: poll

Almost half of all Catalans would vote to become independent from Spain, a recent poll by a Catalan government research group shows.

Living in Germany – 10 signs you’ve been in Germany too long
Germany

Living in Germany – 10 signs you’ve been in Germany too long

If you’ve been living in Germany for any length of time, Germanisms will have surely crept into your mannerisms, speech and even the way you cook your pasta. Find out how German you've become.

Germany: Hostage talks with militia ‘difficult’
Germany

Germany: Hostage talks with militia ‘difficult’

UPDATE: Hopes have been dashed that eight observers, including four Germans, from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) who were captured by pro-Russian militia in Ukraine on Friday will shortly be freed.

Naked Swedish witches prepare to mount
Sweden

Naked Swedish witches prepare to mount

If you see a naked woman travelling backwards later today, it could be a drunk Swede using public transport on Walpurgis Night. It could also simply be one of our Swedes of the Week, the witches setting off for a date with the devil.

UK growth sees profits rise at Handelsbanken
Sweden

UK growth sees profits rise at Handelsbanken

Sweden's Handelsbanken posted growing profits on Wednesday in the first quarter, nudging slightly ahead of analysts' expectations.

Bullish Spain promises 600,000 jobs in two years
Spain

Bullish Spain promises 600,000 jobs in two years

Spain's government on Wednesday upgraded its economic outlook, tipping faster growth, a lower jobless rate and a slimmer public deficit.

Germany to probe exchange student death
Germany

Germany to probe exchange student death

German prosecutors will work with US police to investigate the shooting of a Hamburg exchange student in Montana, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday. His alleged killer, meanwhile, has received death threats.

Unemployment in Italy remains at record level
Italy

Unemployment in Italy remains at record level

The unemployment rate in Italy reached 12.7 percent in March, an initial estimate from national statistics agency Istat showed on Wednesday.

France condemns botched US execution
France

France condemns botched US execution

France added its voice on Wednesday to the outcry prompted by a bungled execution in the American state of Oklahoma and called on the United States to abolish its death penalty.

Costa Concordia removal project halted: media
Italy

Costa Concordia removal project halted: media

The mammoth project to refloat the doomed Costa Concordia cruise ship has been suspended until a decision is made over which port will scrap the wreck, Italian media said on Wednesday.

France’s new far-right mayors stir controversy
France

France’s new far-right mayors stir controversy

In their first month in power France’s historic crop of new far-right mayors have not been afraid to court controversy by introducing a range of measures that have provoked anger among their critics, as well as approval among their voters. Here are the 'highlights'.

Swedish king celebrates his 68th birthday
Sweden

Swedish king celebrates his 68th birthday

Hundreds of Swedes turned up at the royal palace on Wednesday to celebrate the king's birthday. His tiny princess granddaughters also chimed in, with one of them making an appearance on social media.

Embattled Catalan police roll out rubber bullet ban
Spain

Embattled Catalan police roll out rubber bullet ban

A ban of the use of rubber balls by police in Spain's Catalonia region came into force on Wednesday, at a time when the regional Mossos d'Esquadra police force is scrambling to clean up its tarnished image.

Ten most delicious Swedish foods
Sweden

Ten most delicious Swedish foods

Swedish food is, of course, a matter of taste. And many would argue that it's delicious. Our loyal followers on Twitter and Facebook shared what they thought were the best of them all.

Berlusconi to start care home work on May 9th
Italy

Berlusconi to start care home work on May 9th

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi will begin community service on May 9th and work with Alzheimer's patients, the director of the centre where he will serve his tax fraud punishment said on Wednesday.

Groom ‘kills bride’ ten days before wedding
Germany

Groom ‘kills bride’ ten days before wedding

A groom who allegedly strangled his wife-to-be to death ten days before they were due to get married appeared in court in Bavaria on Tuesday charged with murder.

Detained Italian diplomat is innocent: family
Italy

Detained Italian diplomat is innocent: family

The family of a senior Italian diplomat detained in the Philippines for alleged child abuse insisted on Wednesday he was innocent, as they accused authorities of misinterpreting his efforts to help homeless children.

”Worst rout ever’: Spain gloats after Madrid win
Spain

”Worst rout ever’: Spain gloats after Madrid win

Spain dreamed Wednesday of an unprecedented Madrid derby final to the Champions League, as the nation's sporting press gloated over Real Madrid's demolition of the mighty Bayern Munich

France looks set to ban e-cigarettes in public
France

France looks set to ban e-cigarettes in public

E-cigarettes could soon be banned from public places , such as bars and cafes, in France, as the country’s health minister reiterated her desire to tighten the laws around the use of the devices.

Jail for man who dangled immigrant off bridge
Sweden

Jail for man who dangled immigrant off bridge

A 21-year-old man was sentenced to jail on Wednesday for his involvement in an assault in Malmö when an immigrant man was nearly thrown off a bridge, all while the victim's 18-month-old son looked on.

Arrested: Man who threw banana at Dani Alves
Spain

Arrested: Man who threw banana at Dani Alves

The man who threw a banana at FC Barcelona Brazilian player Dani Alves, sparking a global anti-racism campaign, has been arrested by Spanish police.

Air France suspends black steward ‘for dreads’
France

Air France suspends black steward ‘for dreads’

An Air France flight attendant took his employer to court this week for discrimination after he was forbidden from flying because of his shoulder-length braided hair.

Progress could upset Oslo Olympic bid
Norway

Progress could upset Oslo Olympic bid

Grassroots activists in Norway's Progress Party plan to force party leaders to campaign against Oslo hosting the Winter Olympics in 2022 at the annual convention on the weekend.

Swiss have world’s highest prices: new study
Switzerland

Swiss have world’s highest prices: new study

Residents who find Switzerland to be a costly place to live now have more proof: the mountain country ranks as the most expensive nation on the planet, according to a new study from the World Bank.

Facebook craze to force every Norwegian into sea
Norway

Facebook craze to force every Norwegian into sea

A new cold-water bathing craze has spread so fast on Norway's social media since it was imported from the Faroe Islands a week ago, that the man who started it now fears no one in the entire country will escape.

EU’s eastward expansion ‘created 1m German jobs’
Germany

EU’s eastward expansion ‘created 1m German jobs’

The expansion of the European Union eastwards ten years ago was a “godsend” and has created one million jobs in Germany, the head of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) said on Wednesday.

Rihanna strips for racy shoot with French mag
France

Rihanna strips for racy shoot with French mag

Legendary French lads magazine “Lui”, described as the Gallic answer to Playboy, has caused a bit of a stir around the world by persuading US singer Rihanna to pose naked for a racy photo shoot.

Fish stunt costs far-right MP €2,500
Italy

Fish stunt costs far-right MP €2,500

An MP who waved a fish around Italy’s lower house of parliament was on Tuesday suspended for 12 days, cutting €2,500 from his daily allowance, a move the politician dismissed as a "prejudiced" punishment.

Spain confirms fastest growth in six years
Spain

Spain confirms fastest growth in six years

Spain on Wednesday reported its fastest economic growth in six years in the first quarter of 2014 despite the blight of a 26-percent unemployment rate.

Santander makes €4.7 billion bid for Brazil unit
Spain

Santander makes €4.7 billion bid for Brazil unit

Spanish banking giant Santander on Tuesday launched a bid to take full ownership of its Brazilian unit in an all-share deal worth up to €4.7 billion ($6.5 billion).

Jobless truck driver dies after setting self on fire
Italy

Jobless truck driver dies after setting self on fire

A 38-year-old father of two from the town of Filadelfia, in the southern Italian region of Calabria has died after setting himself on fire on Easter Sunday. It's only the latest case of self-immolation to shock the country in recent months.

Norway to share F-35 costs with UK
Norway

Norway to share F-35 costs with UK

Norway's air forces are to work with the UK on sharing costs around the expensive F-35 stealth fighter both have ordered from Lockheed Martin.

Youth leader ‘broke law’ with zombie Twitter push
Sweden

Youth leader ‘broke law’ with zombie Twitter push

UPDATED: Chairwoman of the Centre Party youth wing Hanna Wagenius was accused of breaking the law after her party urged members to tweet pictures of "zombie politics" May Day demonstrators with the hashtag #thewalkingred.

VIDEO: Spanish driver causes havoc in Belgium
Spain

VIDEO: Spanish driver causes havoc in Belgium

A Spanish van driver has caused havoc in the Belgian city of Leuven after he repeatedly crashed into shop windows and walls while trying to reverse down a narrow street.

Roller skier gets death threat from motorist
Norway

Roller skier gets death threat from motorist

Just days into the new season, Norway's roller skiers are already getting death threats from enraged motorists sick of them clogging up the country's narrow roads.

Stockholm students kept in dark over school threat
Sweden

Stockholm students kept in dark over school threat

Children at a central Stockholm school were met by police officers on Wednesday morning as the police investigate threats made against the school.

Paris: Woman pushed onto Metro tracks
France

Paris: Woman pushed onto Metro tracks

A homeless man was arrested by police on Tuesday after he shoved a woman onto the Metro tracks at a station in the French capital, in an apparent random act of aggression.

Real Madrid storm into Champions League final
Spain

Real Madrid storm into Champions League final

The 2014 Champions League final came one step closer to being an all-Madrid affair when Real Madrid notched up a historic 4-0 away win against title holders Bayern Munich in Tuesday's semi-final in Bavaria.

Tuscan town transformed into theatre hub
Italy

Tuscan town transformed into theatre hub

A theatre centre in an off-the-beaten path corner of Tuscany has become a creative hub for thespians from around the world, offering residencies for established drama professionals and courses for aspiring actors.

Community service is ‘ridiculous’: Berlusconi
Italy

Community service is ‘ridiculous’: Berlusconi

Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is in hot water with the justice system again after mocking the community service he has been ordered to do for tax fraud, media reports said on Tuesday.

Alstom approves €12.35b bid from General Electric
France

Alstom approves €12.35b bid from General Electric

The board of French engineering group Alstom voted on Tuesday to accept a €12.35 billion takeover bid from US giant General Electric for its energy arm. The move will not go down well with the French government, who have appeared to favour a rival offer from Siemens.

Surge in migrant arrivals in Spanish territory
Spain

Surge in migrant arrivals in Spanish territory

The number of undocumented migrants scrambling into Spanish territory bordering Morocco surged by nearly 50 percent in 2013, although the numbers trying to reach Spain by boat decreased, the government said on Tuesday.

Norwegian dried cod wins ‘Champagne status’
Norway

Norwegian dried cod wins ‘Champagne status’

A Norwegian delicacy has won the same exalted status as Champagne, Parma ham, and Feta cheese under European Union rules, with "Tørrfisk fra Lofoten" on Wednesday receiving a 'protected designation of origin'.

‘Kercher was not killed in sex game’: judges
Italy

‘Kercher was not killed in sex game’: judges

Amanda Knox and her Italian lover slayed British student Meredith Kercher after an argument spiralled out of control, an Italian court said on Tuesday.

Police fear for three missing Germans
Germany

Police fear for three missing Germans

New Zealand police said on Wednesday they held "very real concerns" about the fate of three Germans who went missing on a sailing trip two weeks ago.

French MPs give green light to €50 billion cuts
France

French MPs give green light to €50 billion cuts

There was relief for France's Socialist government and the Prime Minister on Wednesday when MPs in the lower house voted through a controversial package of economic reforms aimed at cutting state spending by €50 billion.

Government hits record low in voter support
Sweden

Government hits record low in voter support

The ruling government coalition has reached its lowest level of voter support since the Alliance was crafted in 2004, a new opinion poll revealed on Wednesday.

Who spends the most in luxury Berlin?
Germany

Who spends the most in luxury Berlin?

Foreign tourists in Berlin are splashing out more money than ever before in the capital, figures released on Tuesday show. But which nationalities are the biggest spenders?

Pep: Bayern Munich thrashing was my fault
Germany

Pep: Bayern Munich thrashing was my fault

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has admitted he was at fault as the holders suffered an historic 4-0 drubbing in the Champions League semi-final, second leg to Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

Asylum shelter scuffle leaves two injured
Sweden

Asylum shelter scuffle leaves two injured

UPDATED: Two people were seriously injured at a residence for asylum seekers near Askersund in central Sweden on Tuesday night, with Swedish police trying to piece together why an alleged fight between three residents broke out.

Why Swedish women rule planet pop
Sweden

Why Swedish women rule planet pop

Music boffin Paul Connolly has put his finger on the pulse of popular Swedish music and found the secret formula for the best acts - they're all women.