France top group after draw with Ecuador
France

France top group after draw with Ecuador

France qualified for the knock-out phase of the World Cup after a 0-0 draw with Ecuador at the Maracana stadium in Rio di Janeiro on Wednesday. France will now play Nigeria in the last 16.

Swiss beat Honduras to advance in World Cup
Switzerland

Swiss beat Honduras to advance in World Cup

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri erased his side's lingering World Cup pain in Manaus on Wednesday, scoring a hat trick to see off Honduras 3-0 and secure a daunting last-16 tie against Lionel Messi's Argentina.

New citizenship test a piece of cake: expats
Denmark

New citizenship test a piece of cake: expats

After numerous delays, a more modern citizenship test was offered for the first time this month. The Local asked two prospective Danish citizens what they thought about the update.

French airport strike called off by union
France

French airport strike called off by union

UPDATED: A six-day strike by French air traffic controllers was called off on Wednesday evening after talks between trade union chiefs and the government. Aviation authorities in France said air traffic will return to normal on Thursday.

Fake World Cup trophies seized at Paris airport
France

Fake World Cup trophies seized at Paris airport

French customs agents seized 30 knockoff World Cup trophies at a Paris airport on Wednesday, destined to be sold to football fans throughout France, who might have fancied getting their own hands on the famous cup.

Austrian Shiites dispute IGGiÖ representation
Austria

Austrian Shiites dispute IGGiÖ representation

A group of Shiites say they will start a court case contending that they are not represented by the publicly recognised Austrian Islamic Community (IGGiÖ).

‘Too short’ would-be pilot sues Lufthansa
Germany

‘Too short’ would-be pilot sues Lufthansa

A woman who sued German airline Lufthansa for not giving her a job because she was too short lost her court case on Wednesday.

‘I can’t get enough of Austrians’
Austria

‘I can’t get enough of Austrians’

Holly is a 25-year-old American who lives in Vienna with her husband and cat (and a baby on the way). She works for a non-profit organization teaching English to both children and adults through various programmes.

Fiat sacks four over fake CEO suicide
Italy

Fiat sacks four over fake CEO suicide

Four factory workers at the Italian car manufacturer Fiat have been fired for enacting the fake suicide of CEO Sergio Marchionne in retaliation for the suicide of a colleague in May.

Air force blames dead pilot for crash
Germany

Air force blames dead pilot for crash

The German air force said on Wednesday it believes a fatal military plane crash on Monday was the fault of the dead pilot. Police are now almost certain both pilot and passenger were killed.

Indecent exposure charge for cycling legend
Denmark

Indecent exposure charge for cycling legend

Brian Holm has denied charges that he exposed himself to a minor but has put his political career on hold while the case is ongoing.

The coach who took Italy to Brazil
Italy

The coach who took Italy to Brazil

Cesare Prandelli resigned on Tuesday after four years at the helm of the Italian football team. As the squad packs up to come home from the World Cup, The Local takes a look at the career of their former head coach.

Learning German – the top 12 embarrassing beginner’s mistakes

Learning German – the top 12 embarrassing beginner’s mistakes

With its long words, tricky pronunciation and false friends, the German language can easily lead the learner into a world of embarrassment. Here are 12 of the best from our readers. Warning: Some are a little naughty.

Swedish football fan wins big after Suarez bite
Sweden

Swedish football fan wins big after Suarez bite

A Swedish football fan pocketed some cool winnings to the tune of 14,000 kronor ($2,080) after betting that Uruguay striker Luis Suarez would take a bite out of someone at the World Cup in Brazil.

EU Greens elect Lunacek as candidate
Austria

EU Greens elect Lunacek as candidate

The Greens faction in the European parliament (EFA/European Free Alliance) has unanimously elected the Austrian Greens EU MP Ulrike Lunacek as their candidate for president of the parliament.

‘Unacceptable’ overcrowding at camp
Austria

‘Unacceptable’ overcrowding at camp

The hopeless overcrowding of Austria's primary refugee centre in Traiskirchen, about 20km south of Vienna, is "unacceptable" for both people living in the area and refugees, Lower Austria's governor Erwin Pröll has said.

Do the French really work less than most of EU?
France

Do the French really work less than most of EU?

New data says French workers put in the second fewest hours per year in Europe - some 239 hours less than their UK counterparts. But does the study, which some will use as fuel to bash France's oft-ridiculed 35-hour work week, overlooks some key points?

Spanish EU bank boss quits amid scandal
Spain

Spanish EU bank boss quits amid scandal

The vice president of the European Investment Bank, Magdalena Alvarez, announced her resignation from the post Wednesday even as she protested her innocence of suspected corruption in Spain.

Greeks con German gamblers out of €36.5m
Germany

Greeks con German gamblers out of €36.5m

Greek police said on Wednesday they had caught two men suspected of operating a fake lottery in Germany that had swindled some €36.5 million from players over a three-year period.

Art lover stole sculptures worth €52,000
Austria

Art lover stole sculptures worth €52,000

A man from Salzburg who is serving a prison sentence for property offences is also an art thief, police have discovered.

Swiss government plugs Horizon funding gap
Switzerland

Swiss government plugs Horizon funding gap

The federal government has approved interim measures to fund Swiss researchers participating in the EU’s Horizon 2020 who have been denied funding from Brussels.

British embassy flies the rainbow flag
Norway

British embassy flies the rainbow flag

The British Embassy in Oslo has decked itself in rainbow colours in support of the Europride festival taking place in Oslo this week.

Tarantula found on golf course
Austria

Tarantula found on golf course

A woman golfer got quite a shock while playing a round of golf at the Schloss Tillysburg golf course at St. Florian, near Linz, when she discovered a tarantula spider lurking near the fairway.

A fifth of Spain’s new freelancers are foreigners
Spain

A fifth of Spain’s new freelancers are foreigners

Almost a quarter of a million expats accounted for 20 per cent of the newly registered 'autonomo' self-employed workers in Spain in the last 12 months, some 6.2 per cent more than in the year before.

Five injured on Spain-bound Ryanair flight
Spain

Five injured on Spain-bound Ryanair flight

Five people on board a Ryanair flight from Dublin to the Catalan city of Reus have been injured after severe turbulence caused them to be "catapulted from their seats".

Church fights neo-Nazis with picnic and bells
Sweden

Church fights neo-Nazis with picnic and bells

A Swedish neo-Nazi party will be attending Almedalen this week - prompting representatives from across the political spectrum to protest with a multicultural picnic while the local church bells chime.

Zoo preserves dead cub for school groups
Switzerland

Zoo preserves dead cub for school groups

A bear cub that was euthanized by Bern’s Dählhölzli Zoo in April is to be stuffed and displayed as part of the zoo’s educational offering.

Facebook stalker sentenced to two months
Austria

Facebook stalker sentenced to two months

A 15-year-old girl who stalked a boy the same age via Facebook has been sentenced to two months in prison and psychotherapy treatment.

Conchita to headline Stockholm Pride
Austria

Conchita to headline Stockholm Pride

Austrian bearded lady Conchita Wurst, winner of Eurovision 2014, is set to inaugurate the 16th annual Stockholm Pride festival in July.

French doctor acquitted of euthanasia deaths
France

French doctor acquitted of euthanasia deaths

A French doctor was acquitted on Wednesday of killing seven terminally patients in hospital, a decision that drew applause in the courtroom. The ruling comes as France continues to grapple with the idea of legalized euthanasia.

Italian explorer wins €41k Rolex prize
Italy

Italian explorer wins €41k Rolex prize

An Italian explorer has won 50,000 Swiss francs (€41,000) to fund expeditions in South America, one of five winners of the 2014 Rolex Awards for Enterprise.

Etihad saves crippled Alitalia with stake deal
Italy

Etihad saves crippled Alitalia with stake deal

Abu Dhabi airline Etihad Airways tied up a deal to rescue debt-laden carrier Alitalia on Wednesday by taking 49.0 percent of the Italian company.

Taxi driver sentenced for sexual abuse
Austria

Taxi driver sentenced for sexual abuse

A Viennese taxi driver on trial for allegedly sexually abusing two teenagers has been accused by a third woman, who recognised him as she sat in on the court proceedings in May. He was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison.

Pilfered Chinese money paid for French vineyards
France

Pilfered Chinese money paid for French vineyards

China's official auditor has found misused government money was used to buy over a dozen French vineyards and pay for an unauthorized junket to Las Vegas. One of the firms involved is one of the biggest Chinese owners of famed Bordeaux estates.

Record year for drug busts: police
Denmark

Record year for drug busts: police

Police say that the increased pressure put on the drug trade, particularly in Christiania, has paid off big.

Zidane named Real Madrid feeder coach

Zidane named Real Madrid feeder coach

France legend Zinedine Zidane has been appointed coach for next season of Real Madrid's feeder team, third-division side Castilla, the club said Wednesday.

Spain sends stolen booty back to Colombia
Spain

Spain sends stolen booty back to Colombia

Spain is to return almost 700 archaeological artefacts, worth a total of €5.15 million ($7 million), to Colombia after seizing them eleven years ago during a drug-trafficking investigation then storing them in a museum.

IN PICTURES: To the top of Copenhagen
Denmark

IN PICTURES: To the top of Copenhagen

Christiansborg's palace has opened its tower to the public for the first time ever. The Local took the climb to the top of Borgen to check it out.

Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
Norway

Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet

A Norwegian football fan has cashed in a cool 5,600 kroner ($900) on a 32 kroner bet, after making a prescient wager that Uruguay striker Luis Suarez would take a bite out of someone at the World Cup in Brazil.

Germany mulls lifting ‘Mein Kampf’ ban
Germany

Germany mulls lifting ‘Mein Kampf’ ban

Reprinting or selling Adolf Hitler's “Mein Kampf” is illegal in Germany, but with the copyright term on the 90-year-old book set to run out next year, lawmakers are mulling whether to ban or reprint the highly controversial work.

First gay marriage to be registered in Naples
Italy

First gay marriage to be registered in Naples

The first gay marriage will be registered in Naples on Monday after the city’s mayor made it obligatory for his administration to record the marriages of same-sex couples who wed abroad.

Fake engineer made Berlin Airport fire system
Germany

Fake engineer made Berlin Airport fire system

The man responsible for designing the fire safety system at Berlin’s new airport - the main reason for the continuing delays to the calamitous €5 billion project - has admitted he was not a qualified engineer.

Swedish teachers feel least valued: OECD
Sweden

Swedish teachers feel least valued: OECD

Half of Swedish teachers would not choose the same profession if given the choice again, a new study revealed, and only five percent think their work is appreciated.

France vow to go for the win against Ecuador
France

France vow to go for the win against Ecuador

France only need a draw against Ecuador in their final group match on Wednesday but Les Bleus' coach Didier Deschamps has vowed his team will go for the win against the South Americans. Several French players are set to be rested with the next round in mind.

Anti-Putin rainbow parade embraces Vienna
Austria

Anti-Putin rainbow parade embraces Vienna

An eclectic group of protesters - transgender, gay and straight - took advantage of Russian President, Vladimir Putin's brief visit to Vienna on Tuesday afternoon to demonstrate against Russia's harsh anti-gay propaganda laws.

New website reveals Swiss inequalities
Switzerland

New website reveals Swiss inequalities

Switzerland is the best country for safety and jobs but is one of the most unequal societies when it comes to disposable household income, according to a new website that measures regional well-being.

Football Association to take NRK to court
Norway

Football Association to take NRK to court

Norway's Football Association has threatened to take state-owned broadcaster NRK to court for copyright violation after it started showing 90 second excerpts of each of the country's Elite League games.

Salzburg kindergarten teachers plan strike
Austria

Salzburg kindergarten teachers plan strike

According to the ORF, kindergarten teachers in the city of Salzburg are planning a one-day strike for Wednesday, July 2nd.

Police bust international ‘tractor ring’
Austria

Police bust international ‘tractor ring’

Upper Austrian police, together with investigators from Lower Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, have arrested a group that had been stealing tractors and other agricultural machinery on a large scale and selling them online.

Royal plan to raze loved barn ‘disappointing’
Norway

Royal plan to raze loved barn ‘disappointing’

Norway's Crown Prince and Princess are planning to rip down the much-loved traditional barn on their Royal estate in Asker, in a move described as "very disappointing" by a local conservationist.

Confirmed: King’s sister will go on trial
Spain

Confirmed: King’s sister will go on trial

A Spanish judge ruled on Wednesday that King Felipe VI's sister, Princess Cristina, and her husband must face fraud charges, opening the way to an unprecedented criminal trial.

‘If you don’t like strikes stop coming to France!’
France

‘If you don’t like strikes stop coming to France!’

A strike by French air traffic controllers has caused travel misery for thousands of passenges across Europe this week. Here we've allowed readers to vent their anger over the walk-out and hopefully ease their frustration. Although some are backing the strike.

Merkel: We’re Europe’s driver for growth
Germany

Merkel: We’re Europe’s driver for growth

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany continues to prop up Europe's economy but warned that the continent's debt crisis is not over yet in a speech to the German parliament on Wednesday.

Ukrainian FM speaks out against gas pipeline
Austria

Ukrainian FM speaks out against gas pipeline

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pawlo Klimkin has spoken out against the South Stream gas pipeline project, which will transport gas from Russia to Austria while circumventing Ukraine starting in 2017.

Berger thrown off flight after ‘rampage’
Austria

Berger thrown off flight after ‘rampage’

The Austrian actor Helmut Berger has been escorted off an Air Berlin flight after misbehaving. He had been planning to fly from Düsseldorf to his home in Salzburg.

Spanish mayor charged with setting town on fire
Spain

Spanish mayor charged with setting town on fire

The mayor and the councillor for public celebrations of a town in eastern Spain have been charged with setting off an illegal fireworks display which resulted in a massive hillside blaze.

Fingerprints ID knife-wielder as Irish ex-con
Germany

Fingerprints ID knife-wielder as Irish ex-con

UPDATE: German authorities confirmed on Thursday the man who knifed three people before being killed on a motorway in western Germany on Monday was Enda McLaughlin, an Irishman recently released from prison in Cork.

Suarez risks World Cup ban after Italy bite
Italy

Suarez risks World Cup ban after Italy bite

UPDATED: Uruguay star Luis Suarez faces expulsion from the World Cup for biting another player as FIFA confirmed it had opened disciplinary proceedings against him on Wednesday.

Swedish woman’s texts could clear Assange
Sweden

Swedish woman’s texts could clear Assange

A revision to Swedish law means that Julian Assange's prosecutors must hand over evidence against him - including text messages from one of the Swedish women at the centre of the case saying she did not want to press charges against him for rape.

‘Right move to close down elite school’: court
Sweden

‘Right move to close down elite school’: court

A Swedish court ruled on Wednesday that the country's school inspectorate was right to close down prestigious boarding school Lundsberg, where pupils used a hot iron to scald a newly enrolled student in a hazing ritual.

Solberg ‘most chatty’ leader on Twitter
Norway

Solberg ‘most chatty’ leader on Twitter

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is more likely to respond to a tweet from one of her followers than any other leader in the Western world, according to this year's Twiplomacy study from PR agency Burson-Marsteller.

IN PICTURES: Spain’s festival of fire
Spain

IN PICTURES: Spain’s festival of fire

Beach bonfires, athletic horses and satirical wax figures took over many corners of Spain on Monday and Tuesday night to mark St. John's Eve (San Juan), a popular celebration around the world which calls in the arrival of summer.

Ruling party fight hard for ex-king’s legal shield
Spain

Ruling party fight hard for ex-king’s legal shield

Spanish ruling party lawmakers on Tuesday defied opposition resistance to push ahead with new legal protections for ex-king Juan Carlos, who lost his total immunity when he quit the throne.

French foreign minister crowned king of Twitter
France

French foreign minister crowned king of Twitter

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has proved he has his finger on the pulse after being crowned the most well-connected foreign minister on social media site Twitter, taking the mantle from Sweden's notoriously prolific tweeter Carl Bildt.

Credit Suisse banker hides $100m losses
Switzerland

Credit Suisse banker hides $100m losses

A former senior Credit Suisse investment banker was sentenced on Tuesday in New York for hiding around $100 million in losses on sub-prime mortgage bonds in the 2007 US housing market collapse.

French rail reform given green light after strikes
France

French rail reform given green light after strikes

Despite two weeks of crippling rail strikes, that are still rumbling on, French MPs gave the green light on Tuesday to the controversial rail reforms that had sparked the walk-out.

Police clear refugees from Berlin school
Germany

Police clear refugees from Berlin school

UPDATE: Some forty refugees and protesters were still resisting attempts on Wednesday afternoon by hundreds of police officers to clear them from a former school in Berlin which has been occupied for more than 18 months.

Carl Bildt loses Twitter crown to French minister
Sweden

Carl Bildt loses Twitter crown to French minister

Sweden's Carl Bildt, who last year was ranked as the world's best connected foreign minister on Twitter, lost his crown on Wednesday to France's Laurent Fabius, a study revealed.

Pope second to Obama in Twitter popularity
Italy

Pope second to Obama in Twitter popularity

Pope Francis is the second-most popular world leader on social media website Twitter, behind US President Barack Obama but far ahead of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, according to a study released on Wednesday.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
France

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
Germany

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
Italy

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
Spain

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
Sweden

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
Norway

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

The Local launches new website in Denmark
Switzerland

The Local launches new website in Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Introducing… The Local Denmark
Austria

Introducing… The Local Denmark

It’s known internationally for its Nordic noir, high standard of living and great beer – but how much do we really know about Denmark? As The Local expands to Scandinavia’s most southerly nation we hope to bring less-publicized aspects of this country to the English-speaking world.

Welcome to The Local Denmark
Denmark

Welcome to The Local Denmark

Today Denmark becomes the ninth and newest country to carry The Local banner. We look forward to bringing you a mix of hard news, provocative opinion and fun features that will shine a light on a country that serves as a bridge from the Continent to Scandinavia.

Tourist numbers in Sweden on the rise
Sweden

Tourist numbers in Sweden on the rise

Swedish tourism is a growing industry, fresh statistics have found, with a four-percent increase in visitors to Sweden last year.

‘The bridge made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen’

‘The bridge made Malmö a suburb of Copenhagen’

As The Local launches in Denmark we catch up with some Danes who have swapped smørrebrød for smörgås to find out the pros and cons of life over on the Swedish side of the bridge.

European court blocks French life support ruling
France

European court blocks French life support ruling

Just hours after a top French court gave the go-ahead on Tuesday to remove life support from a man in a vegetative state the European Court of Human Rights stepped in to block the decision and urged a delay pending a review of the case.

Uncle appeals for calm after Napoli fan dies
Italy

Uncle appeals for calm after Napoli fan dies

A 29-year-old Napoli fan, who was shot outside Rome’s Olympic Stadium ahead of a football match in early May, died early on Wednesday morning.

Horse caught on speed camera saves driver
Germany

Horse caught on speed camera saves driver

A horse in central Germany has been caught on a speed camera in a 50km/h zone, but authorities say they haven’t discovered the next Seabiscuit.

Prandelli resigns after Italy’s World Cup exit
Italy

Prandelli resigns after Italy’s World Cup exit

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli and federation president Giancarlo Abete left Italian football rudderless on Tuesday as both announced their resignations after the Azzurri failed to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup.

Klinsmann ready for ’emotional’ German clash
Germany

Klinsmann ready for ’emotional’ German clash

Jürgen Klinsmann said on Tuesday he expects emotions to run high when his US team meets his German homeland in what he called a once-in-a-lifetime World Cup clash.

Jagland voted Council of Europe head
Norway

Jagland voted Council of Europe head

The Council of Europe announced on Tuesday that it had elected Thorbjørn Jagland to a second five-year term at the head of the pan-European body, which recently played an active role in the Ukraine crisis.

Swedish couple helps beggars buy house
Sweden

Swedish couple helps beggars buy house

A Swedish couple walked by a beggar on the street. Instead of dropping pocket change into a paper cup, they decided to help on a more dramatic scale.

No new Copenhagen metro in 2018 as planned
Denmark

No new Copenhagen metro in 2018 as planned

The head of the company responsible for expanding Copenhagen's metro system has admitted for the first time that the project will not be completed on time. Noise complaints and work stoppages have delayed the massive project, but for how long?

Eight great songs about Sweden
Sweden

Eight great songs about Sweden

How many international artists have serenaded Sweden in song? Paul O’Mahony hunkers under his headphones for eight great tracks, one of which perhaps counts more as diatribe than courtship.

Putin defends South Stream decision
Austria

Putin defends South Stream decision

Russian President Vladimir Putin hit back Tuesday at Western criticism of South Stream, saying the planned pipeline would benefit both the EU and Moscow and reduce Europe's dependence on gas flowing through crisis-hit Ukraine.