Negative interest rates comment softens franc
Switzerland

Negative interest rates comment softens franc

The Swiss franc dipped against other currencies, including the euro and the dollar, on Wednesday after a representative of the central bank of Switzerland said it is prepared to introduce negative interest rates to restrain the currency.

Freight train kills car driver in collision
Austria

Freight train kills car driver in collision

A collision between a car and a freight train claimed the life of the driver at an ungated level crossing in St. Peter am Hart, in the district of Braunau in Upper Austria on Wednesday afternoon.

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Switzerland

‘Wage hikes needed’ to boost global economy

The global economy will see only modest growth this year, a Geneva-based UN agency said on Wednesday, calling for wage hikes to boost the demand and investment needed to move towards true recovery.

French favour booting Brits from EU: Poll
France

French favour booting Brits from EU: Poll

A new poll says a majority of French people believe Britain should be booted out of the European Union, rather than have its concerns taken into account by Brussels. It's a question sparked by a possible referendum on Britain's membership in the EU.

VIDEO: Goats invade Spanish train station
Spain

VIDEO: Goats invade Spanish train station

Railway authorities in a city in Catalonia are still trying to figure out how a herd of 17 goats managed to first get into a train station and then onto the tracks.

20-min hailstorm causes flash flood in Spain
Spain

20-min hailstorm causes flash flood in Spain

Dramatic photos and videos have emerged of the flood damage caused by Tuesday's short but intense hailstorm in the Spanish city of Teruel.

‘It’s a lie and it hurts me’: Hollande responds
France

‘It’s a lie and it hurts me’: Hollande responds

France's President François Hollande provided his strongest rebuke yet of the tell-all book from his ex-partner which mercilessly attacks him on personal and political fronts. Hollande, in particular, categorically denied ever referring to France's poor as the "toothless."

Scammers attack Paris’s top cop at tourist hotspot
France

Scammers attack Paris’s top cop at tourist hotspot

Even Paris’s most senior policeman isn’t immune to the 'bracelet' scammers who prey on hordes of tourists in the capital every day, it would seem. The top cop was himself recently attacked while on an official visit to observe the crooks at work in Montmartre.

Thousands mourn Italian nuns killed in Burundi
Italy

Thousands mourn Italian nuns killed in Burundi

Thousands of mourners in Burundi celebrated the lives of three Italian nuns brutally murdered this week, in tearful farewells before their bodies were taken to Democratic Republic of Congo for burial.

Air France pilots won’t fly to Ebola-hit countries
France

Air France pilots won’t fly to Ebola-hit countries

Panicked pilots at Air France are refusing to fly to Ebola-hit countries, just weeks after flight attendants at France's flagship carrier objected to flying to West African countries battling the deadly virus.

Dane makes first remarks in hacker case
Denmark

Dane makes first remarks in hacker case

The Danish man accused alongside Pirate Bay co-found Gottfrid Svartholm Warg made his first public comments since being arrested in June 2013.

Hahn is neighbourhood commissioner
Austria

Hahn is neighbourhood commissioner

Incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has named Austrian Johannes Hahn (ÖVP) as the new EU neighbourhood and enlargement negotiations commissioner.

Village expands its self-built broadband network
Germany

Village expands its self-built broadband network

Shunned by government and big telecom companies, a group of villagers in rural northwest Germany is set to expand the super-fast internet network they built to a second village. The Local's Tomas Urbina went to meet the villagers as they prepare to put shovels in the ground.

Ferrari: champ on road, flop on racetrack
Italy

Ferrari: champ on road, flop on racetrack

Fiat's decision to cut loose Ferrari president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo on Wednesday highlights the challenges facing the luxury sports car brand, amid record international sales but a pitiful Formula One performance.

Swedish woman attacked by bear
Sweden

Swedish woman attacked by bear

A Swedish woman was rushed to hospital on Wednesday after she was attacked by a bear in northern Sweden.

VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Germany

VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth

The European Space Agency released an ultra-high-resolution video of the Earth on Wednesday shot from orbit on the International Space Station by German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

Outcry over asylum home in Styrian village
Austria

Outcry over asylum home in Styrian village

A new centre for asylum seekers has caused an uproar in the village of Spital am Semmering, Styria, after residents and local politicians said they were not consulted in the matter.

Austrian blind couple told they can’t adopt
Austria

Austrian blind couple told they can’t adopt

A blind Austrian couple who have been fighting for years for the right to adopt a blind child have been told by Austria’s high court that it has no jurisdiction in their case.

Spain’s ‘Caveman’ MEP named EU’s energy man
Spain

Spain’s ‘Caveman’ MEP named EU’s energy man

Spanish MEP Miguel Arias Cañete, whose sexist comments during a political debate in May went viral, has been named the EU’s new energy and climate commissioner, a key job with the Ukraine crisis threatening gas supplies from Russia.

Immigrants speak out as election looms
Sweden

Immigrants speak out as election looms

With elections on Sunday and immigration a hotter topic than ever, we head inside an asylum centre in southern Sweden to find out more.

Cheap flight tickets fail to curb SAS losses
Sweden

Cheap flight tickets fail to curb SAS losses

Despite filling a record number of seats, the Scandinavian airline continues to struggle financially.

Italian companies see jump in hiring prospects
Italy

Italian companies see jump in hiring prospects

Italian hiring prospects have shown marked improvement over the past year, a new survey has found, which one expert tells The Local could boost foreigners’ chances of getting a job in Italy.

Germans want cooler relations with USA
Germany

Germans want cooler relations with USA

Germans want more independence from the United States in security and diplomacy affairs, according to a major survey released on Wednesday, which showed negative attitudes towards the USA have hardened.

Cheap flight tickets fail to curb SAS losses
Denmark

Cheap flight tickets fail to curb SAS losses

Despite filling a record number of seats, the airline continues to struggle financially due to increased pressure from competition.

Mother of abandoned newborn found
Austria

Mother of abandoned newborn found

The mother of a newborn baby left abandoned in the stairwell of a Vienna apartment block has been tracked down by police.

Vestager gets influential competition post
Denmark

Vestager gets influential competition post

Denmark's former economy minister will head up one of the European Commission's most important portfolios. "Very large tasks to solve', she says after the appointment.

Malmström is Europe’s new trade minister
Sweden

Malmström is Europe’s new trade minister

Cecilia Malmström was given the post of the EU's Trade Minister on Wednesday, marking the Swedish politician's second term in the European Commission.

Minister attacks Shell’s oil and Adidas’ jerseys
Germany

Minister attacks Shell’s oil and Adidas’ jerseys

UPDATE: Germany’s development minister Gerd Müller attacked the production practices of Shell and Adidas on Tuesday, suggesting indirectly that German consumers should boycott some of the companies' products. Adidas has hit back with a furious response.

Ex-French minister lands key EU leader position
France

Ex-French minister lands key EU leader position

France's ex-finance minister landed a coveted job in the European Commmision, officials announced on Wednesday, saying Pierre Moscovici will be the commissioner for economic affairs.

Busted: soldiers and cops in huge drug ring
Spain

Busted: soldiers and cops in huge drug ring

Three soldiers, one Civil Guard officer and a policeman have been arrested in connection with a highly sophisticated cocaine and hash smuggling ring busted on Tuesday in different parts of mainland Spain.

Day-care paedophile put in psychiatric care
Sweden

Day-care paedophile put in psychiatric care

A 21-year-old intern who was charged for 60 counts of molesting children at a pre-school has been put into psychiatric care-

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France

Hot French TV shows break export record

France's TV shows are so successful abroad right now that export sales of French 'télé' broke a record last year. What's even more interesting is who is buying the shows because one of the biggest consumers doesn't even speak French.

Italy will not be ‘entry gate’ for Isis: Alfano
Italy

Italy will not be ‘entry gate’ for Isis: Alfano

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano has promised to block Islamic jihadists from entering Europe, while also saying Italy’s Christian past makes the country a target for Isis militants.

Nun killer suspect: convent was on my land
Italy

Nun killer suspect: convent was on my land

The man arrested for raping and murdering three elderly Italian nuns in a convent in Burundi has reportedly confessed to the crime, claiming that the convent was on land that belonged to his family, local police said on Tuesday.

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Austria

Girls lured to Syria with ‘false promises’

Two teenage girls from Vienna who attempted to leave Austria to travel to Syria to join Islamic State (Isis) jihadists had no intention of committing terrorist acts and were lured by “false promises”, Austria’s Interior Ministry has said.

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Germany

12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte

Wallets and purses can feel a bit empty after all the summer fun. With this in mind, The Local List looks at some of the top attractions in Berlin which you can do for free (or for less than the price of a latte at least).

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Austria

Lynx cubs in Carinthia and Upper Austria

Two lynx cubs have been spotted in Carinthia and Upper Austria, according to a report from an Austrian WWF team.

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France

Topless ‘Femen’ cleared of Notre Dame charges

Radical feminists were acquitted of all charges related to their topless protest at Paris's landmark Notre Dame Cathedral, which drew worldwide attention. However, some security guards accaused of manthandling the Femen activists didn't get off so easy.

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France

France to blow off EU debt limits until 2017

Setting the stage for a possible conflict with Brussels and Berlin, France said on Wednesday it's putting off deficit reduction targets for two years. The delay comes as France struggles with a flat economy and political instability.

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Denmark

Paper travel cards given yet another lifeline

Five billion kroner and 15 years later, the Rejsekort system still can't knock out the old paper punch cards.

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Denmark

VIDEO: Dane catches gigantic blue marlin

It took him two hours and 45 minutes, but fisherman Thomas Eldor Petersen was able to reel in a monstrous catch off the coast of the Azores.

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Spain

Madrid’s gaffe mayor won’t run again in 2015

The wife of former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar, Ana Botella, has chosen not to run for Madrid’s next municipal elections after a term in office plagued by scandals and criticism.

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Austria

Animal rights activists call for Cesar boycott

Austrian animal rights activists are calling for people to boycott controversial dog trainer Cesar Millan, when he appears at the Vienna Stadthalle on September 12th and 13th.

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Switzerland

WHO warns of Ukraine’s ‘immense’ health needs

Conflict-torn Ukraine is facing a health emergency, with no stocks of any vaccines and dire shortages of many medicines, the Geneva-based World Health Organization warns.

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Germany

Lufthansa cancels flights as Munich pilots strike

Lufthansa was forced to cancel 140 flights on Wednesday as pilots went on strike at Munich Airport to protest against changes to their pensions.

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Germany

International school teachers strike in Munich

UPDATE: Teachers at one of Bavaria’s top international schools held a warning strike on Wednesday in a protest over pay.

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Austria

Agreement on Klimt portrait of Gertrude Loew

Austria's Klimt Foundation has come to an agreement with the heirs of Klimt’s Portrait of Gertrude Loew, which ended up in the hands of the Gestapo, that the painting will be restituted.

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Switzerland

Forecasts for Swiss growth turn less bullish

Forecasters are revising downwards their outlook for growth in the Swiss economy this year and in 2015.

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Austria

Death threat triggered by misdiagnosis

An Austrian man was arrested by the Cobra armed police in Linz on Tuesday morning for making threats against the life of his doctor, after the latter misdiagnosed an allergic condition as pancreatic cancer.

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Denmark

Danish Muslim groups condemn ‘barbaric’ Isis

An umbrella organisation of Muslim groups has spoken out against the jihadist group's "brutality" and "misuse of Islam" and an anti-Isis march has been planned in Copenhagen.

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France

French leader didn’t pay his rent for three years

France's freshly fired trade minister didn't pay his rent for some three years and was threatened with eviction before finally coming up with the money. The news comes just after 'tax irregularties' ended his mere two-week stint in the reshuffled cabinet.

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France

France set to be world’s top wine producer

A lousy grape harvest in Italy has meant the Italians will cede their spot as the largest producer of wine in the world to France, which saw a healthy crop for the first time in several years.

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Austria

Austrian taxi drivers protest against Uber

Vienna's taxi drivers held a protest on Tuesday in Mariahilferstrasse against the US online ride coordination service Uber, claiming it will damage their business.

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Italy

‘Ebola’ patient in Italy has malaria

Doctors in the central Italian region of Marche have said that the Nigerian resident in Italy who was hospitalized on Tuesday with suspected Ebola is suffering from malaria.

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Sweden

Fine for pre-school shooting threat man

A man has been ordered to pay damages after he told teachers that he was going to get a gun and "shoot everyone" at his son's pre-school.

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France

French president headed to Iraq, summit planned

As the international community focuses on how to deal with Islamic extremists, French President François Hollande will visit Iraq this week. At the same time France will host a conference on how to deal with the threat posed by jihadist groups.

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Italy

Ferrari’s Montezemolo leaves top job

The president of the Italian Ferrari luxury sports car company, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, is to leave his post on October 13, the Fiat auto group announced on Wednesday, just days after the executive said he wanted to stay.

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Sweden

Strong growth for IKEA at home and abroad

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has reported growth in annual sales, boosted mainly by improved performance in China and a recovery in Europe.

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Spain

Spain’s Santander Bank CEO Emilio Botín dies

The Chairman of Spain’s Grupo Santander Bank died on Tuesday aged 79, the country’s financial regulation agency announced.

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Norway

Pupils stranded upon glacier overnight

A group of school children and their teacher were stranded overnight on a mountaintop in Norway after bad weather prevented their descent on Wednesday.

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Sweden

Microsoft in talks to buy Swedish game maker

Microsoft is in talks to buy the Swedish company behind the popular Minecraft video game, say reports.

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Germany

Why some Bavarians want a Scottish ‘Yes’

One group in Germany is taking a particularly keen interest in the Scottish referendum on independence - the Bavarian Party. The separatist party's chairman tells The Local why he is rooting for the Scottish nationalists.

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Italy

Euro 2016 hopes raised as Italy beats Norway

Simone Zaza and Leonardo Bonucci were on target as Italy eased to a 2-0 win in their opening Euro 2016 qualifying Group H fixture away to Norway in Oslo on Tuesday.

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Austria

Art thieves score €2 million payday

A group of unknown art thieves scored a €2 million payday recently, when a retired academic's personal art collection was looted in Vienna.

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Italy

Italy set to lose crown of biggest wine producer

Italy's 2014 wine harvest will be the smallest since 1950 and is set to cost the country its crown as the world's biggest producer by volume to France, the country's leading farmers organization said on Tuesday.

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Denmark

Young Danes just say no to drugs

Less than four percent of Danes aged 16-24 report using hard drugs like cocaine, amphetamines and ecstasy. Hard drugs are no longer cool or accepted among young people, a drug researcher said.

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Germany

Schäuble’s balanced budget dream in danger

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble may miss his target of a balanced national budget in 2015, the Kiel-based Institute for the Global Economy (IfW) said on Wednesday.

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Italy

Zero growth in 2014 as Renzi loses optimism

Italy's economy will register "around zero" growth over the course of 2014, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi admitted on Tuesday.

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Sweden

Reinfeldt ‘open’ to opposition deals

UPDATED: With just days to go until Sweden's election, the gap between the main blocs is continuing to narrow as Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says he's open to deals with the opposition.

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Germany

Bremen chemical blast damages 40 homes

UPDATE: A massive chemical explosion injured several people and damaged buildings and homes in the town of Ritterhude, near Bremen, on Tuesday night. All 14,000 people in the town were warned to stay indoors.

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Norway

10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast

A 10-tonne shark, thought to be one of the largest ever found, was discovered floating dead off the coast of North Norway on Monday.

Italy beat Norway in Euro 2016 opener
Norway

Italy beat Norway in Euro 2016 opener

Simone Zaza and Leonardo Bonucci were on target as Italy eased to a 2-0 win in their opening Euro 2016 qualifying Group H fixture away to Norway in Oslo on Tuesday.