Zurich’s new rail line runs ‘without a hitch’
Switzerland

Zurich’s new rail line runs ‘without a hitch’

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) reported smooth functioning of its new Zurich underground station and commuter line, which opened to rush hour traffic on Monday following an opening celebration at the weekend.

Norway parliament debates begging ban
Norway

Norway parliament debates begging ban

The Norwegian parliament on Monday began debating controversial anti-begging legislation that critics say targets the country's Roma minority.

Schumacher faces life as invalid: Swiss specialist
Switzerland

Schumacher faces life as invalid: Swiss specialist

After coming out of a coma, Michael Schumacher, now receiving treatment in a Lausanne hospital, is destined to remain an invalid for the rest of his life, a Swiss medical specialist says.

Danish cinnamon rolls escape EU ban
Denmark

Danish cinnamon rolls escape EU ban

A near national panic took hold in November when EU regulators threatened to limit the amount of coumarin in Danish cinnamon rolls, but a creative reclassification by the national bakers' association has saved the day for pastry fans.

Germany dominate Portugal in World Cup
Germany

Germany dominate Portugal in World Cup

Thomas Müller scored a hat-trick as Germany thrashed Portugal 4-0 to leave Cristiano Ronaldo's dreams of dominating the World Cup in tatters on Monday.

France to experiment with lower speed limits
France

France to experiment with lower speed limits

In an effort to further reduce the number of road deaths, France plans to cut speed limits on certain roads that are particularly dangerous. The move comes despite the country hitting a record low in the number of traffic fatalities.

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Switzerland

Pro-Russians spark Eastern Ukraine exodus

An estimated 34,000 Ukrainians have been forced to leave their homes as a violent pro-Russian insurgency rages in the east of the country, the United Nations in Geneva says.

France has ‘third highest tax burden in EU’
France

France has ‘third highest tax burden in EU’

France is synonymous with taxes and a new report released on Monday has revealed that France’s tax burden is now in the top three in Europe when compared to the percentage of its GDP.

Italy’s rebel leader ready to talk to establishment
Italy

Italy’s rebel leader ready to talk to establishment

The strong anti-establishment stance of Beppe Grillo, the leader of the Five Star Movement (M5S), softened over the weekend as the comedian announced he is willing to hold talks with Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Migrants held back in German job market
Germany

Migrants held back in German job market

US vice president Joe Biden suggested Germany was “xenophobic” last week. His comments caused a lot of debate among our readers. But was he right? Are immigrants hindered in the job market? JobTalk takes a look.

British troops close base in ‘Pied Piper’ town
Germany

British troops close base in ‘Pied Piper’ town

With a parade, a band and fireworks, the British military base at Hamelin in Lower Saxony became the latest to close on Saturday in the UK's plan to withdraw all forces from Germany by 2020.

‘Bank of Spain to blame for crisis’: EU chief
Spain

‘Bank of Spain to blame for crisis’: EU chief

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso blasted Spain's central bank on Monday for glossing over problems in the country's banks before a near melt-down in the sector.

Kaiser’s early love of sea surfaces in sketches
Germany

Kaiser’s early love of sea surfaces in sketches

Wilhelm II was usually portrayed in heavily decorated army uniform, but the last Kaiser's heart yearned for the sea and German naval power from an early age, a series of newly discovered childhood drawings shows.

Hypnotised patient sings through throat surgery
France

Hypnotised patient sings through throat surgery

Surgeons in France used hypnotism to perform an operation on a singer’s throat, so she would be able to sing throughout the surgery allowing them to make sure her vocal chords were not damaged. It’s been described as a world’s first.

Spain’s king-to-be poses with daughters
Spain

Spain’s king-to-be poses with daughters

Spain's royal family has published photos on Twitter showing king-to-be Prince Felipe posing with his daughters, as both pro- and anti-monatchy attention turns to Thursday's forthcoming enthronement ceremony.

‘You’re no rapist if you think it’s a game’: court
Sweden

‘You’re no rapist if you think it’s a game’: court

An appeals court ruled on Monday that a man was not guilty of raping a woman because he had "no intent to rape her" during a session of violent sexual intercourse he thought was part of a game.

Erdogan urged to take a ‘sensitive approach’
Austria

Erdogan urged to take a ‘sensitive approach’

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner has called on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take a "sensitive approach" during his visit to Vienna on Thursday and Friday this week.

France hits British ski teacher with €30k fine
France

France hits British ski teacher with €30k fine

A British ski instructor at the centre of a cross-channel row over free trade was slapped by a French court on Monday with a €30,000 fine for teaching in France without a licence. The teacher could land in prison if he doesn't pay up.

‘Beggar symphony’ to play at Almedalen
Sweden

‘Beggar symphony’ to play at Almedalen

A dozen Romanian street musicians are set to perform Sweden's national anthem at the nation's largest political event.

Wurst’s manager drops stand-up Poier
Austria

Wurst’s manager drops stand-up Poier

Conchita Wurst’s manager Rene Berto has parted ways with another of his clients - the Austrian stand-up comedian Alf Poier, after Poier made homophobic remarks about Wurst.

Fall in birth rate hits Italy’s population growth
Italy

Fall in birth rate hits Italy’s population growth

Italy’s population grew by just 30,000 last year due to a drop in the number of births as well as thousands of people fleeing the country in search of work, the national statistics agency reported on Monday.

Norway sees freak June snowfall
Norway

Norway sees freak June snowfall

A blast of ice-cold wind from the North Pole is sending temperatures plummeting across northern Norway, with the city of Tromsø on Monday seeing June snowfall for the first time in living memory.

Spanish Ikea fans camp out for cash prizes
Spain

Spanish Ikea fans camp out for cash prizes

Over 50 people, mostly dressed in Ikea's signature blue and yellow, are camping out in the summer sun in the hope of winning cash prizes for being the first customers in the Swedish furniture chain's new establishment in Valencia.

French rail strike: What’s all the fuss about?
France

French rail strike: What’s all the fuss about?

The French rail strike which has crippled the country’s train network for almost a week shows no sign of ending. With the planned reform, that provoked the industrial action, set to go before parliament on Tuesday, The Local asks what is causing all the fuss?

Norway tax rate falls below France and Italy
Norway

Norway tax rate falls below France and Italy

Norway's tax-to-GDP ratio dropped to 42.2 percent in 2012, meaning that, despite its reputation as a high tax Scandinavian country, it now has a lower overall tax rate than both France and Italy.

The women behind Germany’s football stars
Germany

The women behind Germany’s football stars

Behind the talent of Germany's football World Cup squad are many beautiful and successful women. Who is the striking beauty that lights Bastian Schweinsteiger's fire, or the wife that prefers horses to Hermes?

Austria’s taxes among highest in EU
Austria

Austria’s taxes among highest in EU

A new survey by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, shows that Austrians pay one of the highest rates of labour taxation in the EU - at 57.4%, third only to Sweden (58.6%) and the Netherlands (57.5%).

Austrian dishes expats find hard to stomach
Austria

Austrian dishes expats find hard to stomach

Austrian cuisine tends to be hearty, flavoursome, and with a multitude of desserts. Typical dishes mix Central European textures and flavours in a way that is unique and sometimes, for non-natives, takes a little getting used to.

Banned: anti-king demo won’t spoil parade
Spain

Banned: anti-king demo won’t spoil parade

The Spanish government has refused to allow a march in Madrid on Thursday by republicans which was scheduled to coincide with the enthronement parade of Prince Felipe.

Radio service to refund TV licence fees
Sweden

Radio service to refund TV licence fees

TV-fee collectors Radiotjänst did a u-turn on Monday, stating all TV licence fees paid for computers will be refunded - but it will "take all summer".

French rail strike: Unions extend action again
France

French rail strike: Unions extend action again

UPDATED: Rail unions voted on Monday to continue their crippling strike against a planned reform of France's rail sector, meaning the industrial action is the longest to hit the railways since 2010. The strike was expected to disrupt the first day of France's end-of-school exams.

Sweden has highest taxes on labour in EU
Sweden

Sweden has highest taxes on labour in EU

Sweden tops the EU when it comes to labour taxes with a rate of 58.6 percent, new statistics showed on Monday.

French cave paintings vie for Unesco status
France

French cave paintings vie for Unesco status

The site of ancient cave paintings in France, which are some of the world's oldest, is expected to be granted Unesco World Heritage protection this week. The cave is nearly twice as old as France's famous Lascaux grotto.

Dozens injured in riot on Berlin street
Germany

Dozens injured in riot on Berlin street

Police and cleaning squads ushered a battered Berlin street back to normal life on Monday after a weekend rampage by left-wing radicals injured more than two dozen people. Police arrested 24 people.

Italy’s tax burden is higher than in Norway
Italy

Italy’s tax burden is higher than in Norway

Italy’s tax-to-GDP ratio reached 44.0 percent in 2012, higher than that of Norway, EU figures released on Monday show.

Miley Cyrus waves wrong flag at Spanish concert
Spain

Miley Cyrus waves wrong flag at Spanish concert

The American singer demonstrated a better grasp of 'twerking' than of Spanish regional geography when she waved the flag of the autonomous Basque Country during her recent concert in Barcelona, capital of the independence-seeking Catalonia.

Out of coma Schumacher taken to Swiss hospital
Switzerland

Out of coma Schumacher taken to Swiss hospital

Formula One legend Michael Schumacher is nearer to returning to his Swiss home after coming out of a coma and leaving a French hospital, where he received treatment following a skiing accident in December 2013.

Father and son charged for eatery arson
Sweden

Father and son charged for eatery arson

A father and his 17-year-old son were formally charged on Monday for arson and extortion against celebrity Swedish chef Melker Andersson.

Woman removes breasts and womb after gene test
Norway

Woman removes breasts and womb after gene test

A woman in Norway has chosen to have her breasts, uterus and ovaries removed after genetic screening revealed that she was had the same gene defect which led Hollywood star Angelina Jolie to have a double mastectomy.

Spain pardons cop who filmed sex attack
Spain

Spain pardons cop who filmed sex attack

Spain's Justice Minister has caused outrage after he pardoned a suspended Civil Guard officer who filmed his friend sexually harassing a woman. The officer is the son of a member of Spain's ruling Popular Party.

‘Burned out’ Neuchâtel cabinet minister quits
Switzerland

‘Burned out’ Neuchâtel cabinet minister quits

Neuchâtel cabinet minister Yvan Perrin, former national vice-chairman of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (UDC) and longtime MP, has resigned after being hospitalized several times following reported “burnout” problems.

Frieze stolen from famed Florence church
Italy

Frieze stolen from famed Florence church

A wooden frieze stolen over the weekend from the Santa Croce church in Florence, the burial place of Renaissance artist Michelangelo and one of Italy's most important churches, was found on Monday on a nearby street.

Michael Schumacher no longer in coma
Germany

Michael Schumacher no longer in coma

UPDATE: Formula One champion Michael Schumacher was transferred from a French hospital to a facility in Switzerland on Monday after emerging from a coma following his devastating ski accident in December.

Schumacher wakes from coma and leaves France
France

Schumacher wakes from coma and leaves France

Motor racing legend Michael Schumacher has left hospital in the French city of Grenoble after coming out of a coma, his spokeswoman revealed on Monday. Reports says he will continue his recovery at a hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Nine traditions added to ‘cultural heritage’
Austria

Nine traditions added to ‘cultural heritage’

The Austrian UNESCO commission has added nine traditions to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. These include a group of ballad singers from Traunkirchen, epiphany carollers from Metnitz, and a folk dance from Salzburg.

Italian teen dies after climbing onto train
Italy

Italian teen dies after climbing onto train

A 14-year-old boy has died after climbing on top of a train in Genoa province, north-east Italy, national media reported on Monday.

‘Swedes are quite similar to the Chinese’
Sweden

‘Swedes are quite similar to the Chinese’

A Chinese woman in Gothenburg explains how Swedes and similar to her fellow countrymen back home, and dissects the three phases of learning a language as a translator.

New Labour leader calls for zero-emission Norway
Norway

New Labour leader calls for zero-emission Norway

The new leader of Norway's Labour Party has called for the country to become the world's first zero-emission nation in an unexpectedly radical speech that signalled a sharp change in the party's climate policy.

Stress tests ‘too strict’ for Austrian banks
Austria

Stress tests ‘too strict’ for Austrian banks

The new stress tests which Europe's banks are being subjected to might be too strict, the head of the Austrian central bank, Ewald Nowotny, warned in a newspaper interview Monday.

Strache against Turkish Matura
Austria

Strache against Turkish Matura

The leader of the right-wing FPÖ party, Heinz-Christian Strache has said that he hopes a new, right-wing faction in the European Parliament will be formed no later than June 24th.

Treviso hotel guests evacuated after fire
Italy

Treviso hotel guests evacuated after fire

The fire brigade was on Monday morning fighting to save a hotel in Treviso, in north-east Italy, after it went up in flames due to an electrical fault.

Spanish pilots ordered to speak only English
Spain

Spanish pilots ordered to speak only English

The Spanish Air Security Agency is preparing a controversial new law which will order all pilots and air traffic controllers in Spanish airspace to speak only English.

Soldier suffers 90 pc burns on shortcut home
Germany

Soldier suffers 90 pc burns on shortcut home

A soldier was in a life-threatening condition on Monday after trying to take a shortcut home across a train track in Frankfurt am Main in the early hours of Sunday morning.

French cop ‘tries to bribe Brazilian police’
France

French cop ‘tries to bribe Brazilian police’

The reputation in Europe that police in Brazil are crooked and open to bribery is not quite true as one French police officer, caught with marijuana, found out to his dismay. His story can serve as an example to other fans partying in Brazil.

Lawyer arrested over Geneva murder of ex-wife
Switzerland

Lawyer arrested over Geneva murder of ex-wife

Police arrested a 35-year-old lawyer from Vienna who is suspected of shooting dead his ex-wife in a Geneva apartment building over the weekend, cantonal authorities said.

Expats keen but cricket still puzzles Austrians
Austria

Expats keen but cricket still puzzles Austrians

The gentleman's game of cricket, re-introduced to Austria 40 years ago, is experiencing something of a renaissance. The Local Austria looks into the action, while wondering how to translate 'googly' into German.

Obama thanks Spain’s King for being US friend
Spain

Obama thanks Spain’s King for being US friend

US President Barack Obama phoned Spain's King Juan Carlos on Sunday to congratulate him on his "historic" reign and thank him for being a friend of the United States.

Swedish city mulls homework ban
Sweden

Swedish city mulls homework ban

UPDATED: Homework may be a thing of the past for some Swedish students, as one city aims to do away with all homework starting later this year.

Jens Stoltenberg dances out of Norway politics
Norway

Jens Stoltenberg dances out of Norway politics

Norway's former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg pogoed his way out of Norwegian politics on Saturday to the raucous strains of Norwegian rocker Åge Aleksandersen.

‘Simplify the life of the honest taxpayer’: Padoan
Italy

‘Simplify the life of the honest taxpayer’: Padoan

Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan on Sunday promised to revamp Italy's bureaucratic system, rewarding the "honest taxpayer" as a way of sparking economic growth.

Vodafone to buy Italy’s Cobra Automotive
Italy

Vodafone to buy Italy’s Cobra Automotive

British mobile phone giant Vodafone said on Monday it planned to buy Italian firm Cobra Automotive Technologies for €145 million ($196 million).

Lawyer arrested for murder of ex-wife
Austria

Lawyer arrested for murder of ex-wife

A 35-year-old lawyer from Vienna currently working in Germany is strongly suspected of having shot his 42-year-old ex-wife in Geneva on Saturday night according to a report in Kronen Zeitung.

Spain breaks up jihadist ‘Guantanamo’ ring
Spain

Spain breaks up jihadist ‘Guantanamo’ ring

Spanish police arrested eight people in a pre-dawn raid in Madrid on Monday, breaking up a jihadist recruitment network led by a former Guantanamo Bay inmate, the government said.

US and Russia reluctant to ditch nukes
Sweden

US and Russia reluctant to ditch nukes

A Stockholm think tank said on Monday that the reduction of the world's nuclear arms is slowing because the US and Russia lack 'real commitment' in giving up their bombs.

Mystery man gunned down in central Sweden
Sweden

Mystery man gunned down in central Sweden

A man in central Sweden was found in a car park with several bullet wounds across his body. The man is in hospital.

‘We’re cautiously optimistic about Buffon’
Italy

‘We’re cautiously optimistic about Buffon’

The doctor for Italy’s national football team said he is “cautiously optimistic” that star goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon will soon be fit to play after an ankle injury.

French ‘jihadist recruiter’ arrested in Berlin
France

French ‘jihadist recruiter’ arrested in Berlin

Germany's federal police on Sunday announced the arrest of a French national suspected of fighting for radical jihadists in Syria.

Kaymer becomes first German to win US Open
Germany

Kaymer becomes first German to win US Open

Germany's Martin Kaymer won the 114th US Open on Sunday, firing a final-round one-under par 69 to complete a wire-to-wire triumph by an eight-stroke margin at Pinehurst.

Rescuers move injured cave explorer
Germany

Rescuers move injured cave explorer

UPDATE: Rescuers transporting an injured explorer in Germany’s deepest cave have made better than expected progress and completed the first two stages of the operation. The first photos of Westhauser in the cave have also been released.

Milan man killed family over unrequited love
Italy

Milan man killed family over unrequited love

UPDATED: A 31-year-old man killed his wife and two children because he was in love with someone else, it was revealed on Monday.

Germany seek to keep stranglehold on Portugal
Germany

Germany seek to keep stranglehold on Portugal

Germany kick-off their World Cup campaign on Monday aiming to continue their domination of Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal at recent major tournaments.

UN to hear whistleblower retaliation appeal
Austria

UN to hear whistleblower retaliation appeal

The United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT) will hold an open hearing on the whistleblower retaliation case of James Wasserstrom in Vienna, on Thursday June 19th.