Austria pledges to house 1500 Syrian refugees
Austria

Austria pledges to house 1500 Syrian refugees

At a high level meeting in Geneva on Friday, Austria pledged to resettle 1500 Syrian refugees over the next year.

Norway cycling legend Hushovd to quit
Norway

Norway cycling legend Hushovd to quit

Norwegian cycling legend and former world champion Thor Hushovd announced on Friday he will quit the sport after the world championships in September. ´

Spain tops EU travel destination rankings
Spain

Spain tops EU travel destination rankings

Spain was the most popular overseas destination for people living within the European Union in 2012, while the vast majority of Spaniards didn't leave the country when travelling, official figures released on Friday show.

Anti-gay mob throw faeces at Rome centre
Italy

Anti-gay mob throw faeces at Rome centre

A gang threw excrement at the office of a gay organization in Rome, while shouting death threats against people inside, Italian media reported on Friday.

Juncker named next EU Commission president
Germany

Juncker named next EU Commission president

Jean-Claude Juncker was named the next president of the EU Commission on Friday afternoon in an appointment which has caused a rift between Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

What’s on in Spain: July
Spain

What’s on in Spain: July

With July just round the corner, The Local has put together some of the best cultural, musical and downright crazy events happening around Spain to keep you entertained in this hot summer month.

The Italian explorer training astronauts
Italy

The Italian explorer training astronauts

Earlier this week, Francesco Sauro won a €41,000 grant from the Swiss luxury watch maker, Rolex, to explore caves in South America. He speaks to The Local about how his childhood adventures in Italy led to expeditions to some of the world's most ancient caves.

Twelve things tourists do that annoy Parisians
France

Twelve things tourists do that annoy Parisians

Parisians get a bad name for their supposed unfriendly treatment of tourists, but what if us visitors are partly to blame for the that famed surly welcome from the locals? Here are 12 things tourists do that can wind up the French, according to our readers.

David Alaba: ‘Living the dream’
Austria

David Alaba: ‘Living the dream’

As football mania seizes the world The Local profiles 22-year-old David Alaba, who plays for German club Bayern Munich and holds Austria's record as the youngest player to play for the national team.

Swedish prince to marry ‘Paradise Hotel’ girlfriend
Sweden

Swedish prince to marry ‘Paradise Hotel’ girlfriend

Sweden's most famous bachelor is no longer eligible. Prince Carl Philip got engaged on Friday to girlfriend Sofia Hellqvist.

Italian police pinch Peppa Pig perpetrator
Italy

Italian police pinch Peppa Pig perpetrator

A man was caught on Thursday trying to steal a stash of figurines of Peppa Pig, the protagonist of the British children’s cartoon of the same name, from a news kiosk in Milan.

New guidelines for fasting Swedish Muslims
Sweden

New guidelines for fasting Swedish Muslims

Having previously had to fast from dawn to dusk during the endless summer days, Muslims living in northern Sweden have now received fresh guidelines for when they can start and break the fast during Ramadan.

Top poker millionaire found dead in Slovenia
Austria

Top poker millionaire found dead in Slovenia

A Vienna-based poker star who played in high-stakes games for hundreds of thousands of euros has been found dead in Slovenia. He reportedly went to the country to meet a group of players.

TUI creates world’s biggest travel operator
Germany

TUI creates world’s biggest travel operator

German travel group TUI and its British subsidiary TUI Travel said on Friday that they had agreed to a tie-up that will create the world's biggest tourism operator.

Spain’s drugs business worth €18 million a day
Spain

Spain’s drugs business worth €18 million a day

The illegal drugs industry is an €18-million ($24.5 million) a day business in Spain and worth a staggering €300 billion a year, the country's interior minister said on Thursday.

Poker star missing for a week in Slovenia
Germany

Poker star missing for a week in Slovenia

A German poker star who played in high-stakes games for hundreds of thousands of euros has been missing in Slovenia for almost a week. He reportedly went to the country to meet a group of players.

Swiss-based tobacco giant appeals to EU court
Switzerland

Swiss-based tobacco giant appeals to EU court

Swiss-based tobacco giant Philip Morris International said on Friday that it would contest new rules on tobacco sales at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Swedish boy builds snowman in late June
Sweden

Swedish boy builds snowman in late June

A freak hailstorm in southern Sweden prompted a young Swedish boy to get creative and build a snowman with a little help from his dad, who told The Local all about their feat.

Lightning strikes Bråvalla music festival
Sweden

Lightning strikes Bråvalla music festival

Lightning struck at Sweden's largest musical festival on Friday afternoon. One man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Thorning-Schmidt: ‘Europe needs Britain’
Denmark

Thorning-Schmidt: ‘Europe needs Britain’

Ahead of the expected appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker, the Danish prime minister said the EU needs to "get back on track". Analysts say that David Cameron's opposition on Juncker could pay off in Thorning-Schmidt's favour.

Researchers took organs from accident victims
Norway

Researchers took organs from accident victims

Government researchers in Norway removed the organs of 1,000 accident victims, without asking their relatives, to build up a biobank of control tissues for their experiments, the country's VG newspaper has reported.

Zookeeper beats to death ostrich then blames pony
France

Zookeeper beats to death ostrich then blames pony

A zookeeper has been convicted after using a shovel to beat an ostrich to death at a French zoo. As if that wasn't bad enough he then tried to pin the blame for the bird's killing on an ageing pony.

‘Suarez ban is excessive’: Giorgio Chiellini
Italy

‘Suarez ban is excessive’: Giorgio Chiellini

The Italian defender bitten by Luis Suarez earlier this week has said the four-month football ban handed to the Uruguayan striker is “excessive”.

Denmark out of Mali but back into Afghanistan
Denmark

Denmark out of Mali but back into Afghanistan

While a Hercules transport aircraft and 40 soldiers prepare to leave Mali despite the UN's request to extend the mission, Denmark agrees to send 76 men and three helicopters to assist German troops in Afghanistan.

Høie promises to reform sex change law
Norway

Høie promises to reform sex change law

Norway's health minister has pledged to push through laws to allow transgender people to change their gender in the country's population register without being castrated or otherwise sterilized.

Family with 3-week-old baby evicted in Madrid
Spain

Family with 3-week-old baby evicted in Madrid

Spanish police have arrested six people who were trying to stop the eviction of a family with three children, the youngest only 20 days old, from their home in Madrid on Friday.

Landlord shot dead in rent dispute
Germany

Landlord shot dead in rent dispute

A 41-year-old man was shot dead in Duisburg after he cut off electricity and water to a tenant who was late with his rent, police said on Friday.

Lawmakers cut green energy subsidies
Germany

Lawmakers cut green energy subsidies

German lawmakers agreed to cut renewable energy subsidies on Friday as the government seeks to keep its green "energy transformation" on track and curb rising prices.

Madrid police bust ring of ‘back street’ doctors
Spain

Madrid police bust ring of ‘back street’ doctors

Spanish police busted a Chinese gang accused of carrying out back-street abortions, surgery and dentistry in 'deplorable' home clinics, the force said on Friday.

Will France finally bring in anonymous CVs?
France

Will France finally bring in anonymous CVs?

A French law that would oblige job applicants to submit CVs anonymously to big firms seemed like an enlightened idea at the time. But eight years on it has still never been enforced, but it could be finally set to see the light of day.

A German soldier’s life behind WWI lines
Germany

A German soldier’s life behind WWI lines

Saturday June 28th marks 100 years since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo which sparked World War I. We mark the anniversary by showing rare photos from a German soldier of everyday life behind the front lines.

Record rainfall swamps Oslo
Norway

Record rainfall swamps Oslo

The torrential rainfall that descended on Oslo on Thursday smashed all historical records, with a colossal 44.5mm of rain falling in just a single hour between four and five on Thursday afternoon.

Italians shun foreign holiday adventures
Italy

Italians shun foreign holiday adventures

More than three-quarters of Italians choose to stay at home for their holidays, rather than travelling abroad, EU figures released on Friday show.

Tour de France: Wiggins dropped from Team Sky
France

Tour de France: Wiggins dropped from Team Sky

British cycling fans will be dismayed at the news on Friday that Bradley Wiggins has not been picked to race in this year's Tour de France. THe former winner has been dropped by Team Sky.

Danish travellers stick close to home
Denmark

Danish travellers stick close to home

When Danes get away, they're most likely to hop in the car for a short trip and then head back just a few days later. Eurostat's newly-released tourism statistics show that Denmark is far and away the top destination for Danes, followed by neighbouring Germany and Sweden.

Kitten has lucky escape from car engine
Austria

Kitten has lucky escape from car engine

A kitten that climbed inside a car’s engine and got trapped inside a plastic panel has been rescued by the fire department in Pinkafeld (Burgenland).

Sweden helps secure UN deal for Syrian migrants
Sweden

Sweden helps secure UN deal for Syrian migrants

Migration Minister Tobias Billström has played a key role in convincing other countries to follow Sweden's example by taking in more Syrian refugees at a UN conference being held in Switzerland.

Top ten: Italy’s gay-friendly holiday hotspots
Italy

Top ten: Italy’s gay-friendly holiday hotspots

Italy has a long way to go on issues like same-sex marriage, but it's still home to plenty of beautiful places that provide fun in the sun for gay tourists. We've got a rundown of ten of the best.

She’s back: Wallström for foreign minister?
Sweden

She’s back: Wallström for foreign minister?

Former EU commissioner Margot Wallström is eyeing a re-entrance to the Swedish political stage - and could very well be the nation's next foreign minister.

Note to fans: Don’t sing, don’t paint your face
Germany

Note to fans: Don’t sing, don’t paint your face

German "fan fever" is running high with their football team’s success in the World Cup, but some authorities are spoiling the fun. Fans have been told to keep quiet and one state has declared German flag face paint dangerous.

Weapons stash found in Lower Austria
Austria

Weapons stash found in Lower Austria

A weapons stash has been found in Stockerau (Lower Austria) after police arrested a couple for stealing petrol.

UK ‘scaremongering’ over ‘dangerous’ Ibiza
Spain

UK ‘scaremongering’ over ‘dangerous’ Ibiza

A UK safety campaign warning Brits on the Spanish holiday island of Ibiza not to walk home alone has been slammed by local businessmen and politicians as "false" and "excessive".

Fury as French hotel tax set for fivefold increase
France

Fury as French hotel tax set for fivefold increase

Hotel owners in France were howling in protest on Friday over a proposed 500 percent increase in the country's hotel tax. The hike would be even more severe in Paris, which sees some 30 million foreign visitors a year.

Summer traffic jams set to begin this weekend
Switzerland

Summer traffic jams set to begin this weekend

Authorities are warning of traffic jams on Swiss roads starting on Friday when school holidays begin in several cantons, including Geneva and Graubünden.

Faymann urges solution in Ukraine conflict
Austria

Faymann urges solution in Ukraine conflict

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has called for a peaceful solution in the Ukraine crisis during a ceremony marking the beginning of World War I a hundred years ago.

Corruption still ‘widespread’ in medicine
Austria

Corruption still ‘widespread’ in medicine

Transparency International (TI) has criticized Austria for doing too little to target corruption. A report said that “black sheep” were still especially prevalent in the health sector.

Almedalen 2014: What’s it all about?
Sweden

Almedalen 2014: What’s it all about?

Sweden's annual political extravaganza is set to dominate the headlines for the next week and is now a bona fide Swedish institution. But what's it all about really? The Local seeks answers.

The silent minaret of Graz
Austria

The silent minaret of Graz

Anyone who has holidayed in a Muslim country knows the sound of the muezzin reciting the adhan, calling the faithful to prayer five times per day. But with only 20,000 believers in the predominantly Christian city of Graz, another solution needed to be found.

Renzi backs Juncker for EU Commission chief
Italy

Renzi backs Juncker for EU Commission chief

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Thursday said he was willing to back Jean-Claude Juncker to become the new European Commission president, aligning with his German counterpart but going against the wishes of the UK government.

Monaco heiress relative admits role in her murder
France

Monaco heiress relative admits role in her murder

The son-in-law of a murdered heiress, one of the richest in Monaco, has admitted to being involved in the brazen daytime attack in which she was killed. Suspicious bank transactions allegedly drew investigations' attention to the suspect.

Italian football fans back their Dutch neighbours
Italy

Italian football fans back their Dutch neighbours

Italians are now throwing their support behind The Netherlands after their national team was ousted from the World Cup earlier this week, according to an online poll by the daily newspaper, La Stampa.

Zero inflation: Prices freeze in stagnant Spain
Spain

Zero inflation: Prices freeze in stagnant Spain

Spain reported Friday a zero-percent annual inflation rate in June, even as the European Central Bank fights off a deflationary threat hanging over the region.

Sweden onside as EU set to give Juncker top job
Sweden

Sweden onside as EU set to give Juncker top job

Jean-Claude Juncker looks certain to get majority approval on Friday to take the top job at the European Commission after opposition to his candidacy fell away, with a Swedish turnaround leaving David Cameron isolated.

UK bans Eurotunnel’s cross-Channel ferry link
France

UK bans Eurotunnel’s cross-Channel ferry link

MyFerryLink Cross-Channel ferries, that are owned by Eurotunnel, have been banned from continuin its service between Calais and the UK port of Dover, competition authorities in London confirmed on Friday. The firm was given six months to end the service.

Spanish dad killed in Argentina custody row
Spain

Spanish dad killed in Argentina custody row

A young Spaniard has been murdered in Argentina where he had gone to collect his six-year-old daughter after winning a legal battle for her custody, officials said on Friday.

Denmark to overhaul green card scheme
Denmark

Denmark to overhaul green card scheme

With too many educated foreigners ending up as cleaners and taxi drivers, the government has announced a wide-ranging plan to tighten up the requirements to receive a green card while also making it easier for Danish companies to attract foreign talent.

Burkhalter hails release of Ukraine observers
Switzerland

Burkhalter hails release of Ukraine observers

Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), on Friday hailed the release of four of the organization's observers, including one Swiss, abducted in east Ukraine a month ago. But he demanded the freeing of others still being held.

Silo with 40,000 tonnes of sugar on fire
Germany

Silo with 40,000 tonnes of sugar on fire

Firefighters are battling a huge fire which has caused several millions of euros worth of damage in a sugar silo in central Germany and disrupted trains.

Warning against ‘Kremlin attack on OMV’
Austria

Warning against ‘Kremlin attack on OMV’

Opposition centre-left Greens member Peter Pilz has warned against the Russian gas giant Gazprom trying to gain a foothold in the Austrian oil and gas company OMV. Gazprom has denied the reports.

Meth murderer sentenced to 20 years
Austria

Meth murderer sentenced to 20 years

A 37-year-old man who beat his step-father to death with a heavy wooden bench was sentenced on Thursday in the Linz Regional Court to 20 years in prison.

Swedish boy charged for chocolate milk swastikas
Sweden

Swedish boy charged for chocolate milk swastikas

A 15-year-old boy was charged on Friday for drawing swastikas on a church wall - with chocolate milk.

Jubilant Algeria fans take over Champs-Elysées
France

Jubilant Algeria fans take over Champs-Elysées

Thousands of Algeria fans took to the streets of cities across France on Thursday night to celebrate their team's historic qualification for the knock-out stages of the World Cup. While the mood remained mainly festive there were outbreaks of trouble with police making 74 arrests.

Messi’s Swiss shadow: ‘It’s OK to be underdogs’
Switzerland

Messi’s Swiss shadow: ‘It’s OK to be underdogs’

Centre-back Fabian Schär says Switzerland welcome their underdogs tag and are relishing the chance to create a World Cup upset in their last 16 clash against Argentina on Tuesday.

Spy row as agency steps up Facebook checks
Germany

Spy row as agency steps up Facebook checks

Opposition politicians on Friday demanded government clarification of reports German secret services spied for the NSA. It came as intelligence chiefs confirmed closer surveillance of social network users.

Three moped riders run over policeman
Sweden

Three moped riders run over policeman

A policeman was taken to hospital on Friday morning after being run over by three mopeds.

‘Wiretaps will not be restricted’: Orlando
Italy

‘Wiretaps will not be restricted’: Orlando

The use of wiretaps, which the Italian police have for years depended on to ensnare mafiosi and corrupt politicians, will not be restricted as part of judicial reforms, Italy’s justice minister said on Thursday.

Sales agent jailed for cooking man’s head
Germany

Sales agent jailed for cooking man’s head

A sales agent who chopped up a bank clerk and cooked his head after killing him in a bizarre sex game was jailed for less than four years by a Berlin court on Thursday.

France sees big jump in number of unemployed
France

France sees big jump in number of unemployed

Despite promises made by the President François Hollande to stem the rise in unemployment, the number of registered jobless in France jumped significantly in May,the latest figures reveal. The figures are bad, France's PM Manuel Valls admitted.

‘USA against Germany split my identity’
Germany

‘USA against Germany split my identity’

"It is at times like these that I question my identity. Am I an American? Am I becoming German?" American teacher and blogger Kathleen Ralf, who has lived in Frankfurt for five years, looks at how the World Cup has challenged her loyalties.

Italians fall out of love with marriage
Italy

Italians fall out of love with marriage

There were fewer than 200,000 weddings in Italy last year, the lowest level since records began, national statistics agency Istat said on Thursday.

Madrid show shines light on El Greco heritage
Spain

Madrid show shines light on El Greco heritage

Madrid's top art museum the Prado has unveiled a major exhibition about the master painter El Greco, exploring his influence on modern greats such as Picasso, Francis Bacon and Jackson Pollock.

Spain’s new king reaches out to Catalonia
Spain

Spain’s new king reaches out to Catalonia

Spain's new King Felipe VI reached out on Thursday to Catalonia, urging "collaboration" in the region where an independence drive has raised tensions with Madrid.

Danish hostage released in Ukraine
Denmark

Danish hostage released in Ukraine

The OSCE observer, captured by pro-Russian rebels a month ago, was let go as part of ongoing peace talks. The foreign ministry said that Danish man was doing well and called for the four remaining OSCE hostages to be released immediately.

31st Danube Island Festival kicks off Friday
Austria

31st Danube Island Festival kicks off Friday

Friday sees the start of the 31st annual Vienna Danube Island Festival (Donauinselfest). Over three million visitors are expected in the course of three days, making this one of the world's largest outdoor music festivals.