Sweden’s coalition on verge of collapse
Sweden

Sweden’s coalition on verge of collapse

Sweden’s coalition government was facing a defeat in parliament and a possible snap election after failing to get enough support for its budget in advance of a crucial vote in parliament on Wednesday afternoon.

Fire guts bookstore in Fribourg’s city centre
Switzerland

Fire guts bookstore in Fribourg’s city centre

An investigation is under way into a fire on a narrow street in the city of Fribourg’s historic Old Town that severely damaged a bookstore on Tuesday, police said.

Sanctions against Serbia and Albania upheld
Switzerland

Sanctions against Serbia and Albania upheld

Serbia and Albania's appeals against sanctions handed down over their abandoned Euro 2016 qualifier were rejected by Swiss-based UEFA on Tuesday.

Work on new Zurich streetcar line set to begin
Switzerland

Work on new Zurich streetcar line set to begin

Work is set to begin in May next year on a 130-million-franc ($134-million) streetcar line in the city of Zurich after voters approved funding from the canton.

Drunken art theft ‘marked World Cup victory’
Germany

Drunken art theft ‘marked World Cup victory’

A Nuremberg court on Tuesday handed down suspended jail sentences to two students who tried to steal a painting worth €900,000 in July during a drunken celebration of Germany's World Cup victory.

French Socialist to leave €5.4m fortune to state
France

French Socialist to leave €5.4m fortune to state

A French Socialist politician, embarrassed by revelations of her €5.4 million fortune, says she plans to leave it to the French state.

World’s biggest tortilla record up in air
Spain

World’s biggest tortilla record up in air

Opposition groups in the northern Spanish city of Vitoria have described as "ridiculous" the local council's bid to enter the Guinness Book of Records by cooking the world's biggest potato omelette after reports the dish was cooked incorrectly.

Oslo tries to block Uber car-sharing service
Norway

Oslo tries to block Uber car-sharing service

The city of Oslo said Monday it had filed a police complaint against Uber, recently launched in Norway, claiming the car-sharing service did not have all the required permits.

Parisians snap up ‘butt plugs’ after ‘Tree’ fiasco
France

Parisians snap up ‘butt plugs’ after ‘Tree’ fiasco

Rightwing outrage and vandals put an end to the inflatable "Tree" artwork in Paris that was said to resemble a giant sex toy. But the controversy piqued Parisians' sexual curiosity and sent many - both men and women - rushing to buy real "butt plugs"

Once again: Vienna at heart of global crisis
Austria

Once again: Vienna at heart of global crisis

In this editorial, The Local's Paul Gillingwater argues that a new great European war may have just indirectly been triggered by events at OPEC in Austria - for the third time.

French MPs back motion to recognize Palestine
France

French MPs back motion to recognize Palestine

Deputies in the French parliament voted on Tuesday in favour of recognizing the state of Palestine in a highly symbolic motion. Israel immediately warned that the vote would harm the peace process.

Atlético Madrid kick out hooligan fan group
Spain

Atlético Madrid kick out hooligan fan group

Spanish football team Atlético Madrid has cut all ties with its Frente Atlético fan club after the group was involved in a violent brawl that led to the death of a rival fan on Sunday morning.

Why company bosses in France have had enough
France

Why company bosses in France have had enough

As business owners in France hold a week-long uprising against red tape and taxes, the head of one of the main unions behind the action told The Local why business leaders in France are at their wits end.

EU court hits Italy with giant illegal waste fine
Italy

EU court hits Italy with giant illegal waste fine

The EU's top court slapped Italy with a giant €40 million fine on Tuesday for ignoring a seven-year-old ruling and failing to clean up illegal waste sites.

The Eritrean regime is very happy with Denmark
Denmark

The Eritrean regime is very happy with Denmark

Habtom Yohannes, a Dutch journalist of Eritrean origin, writes that the Danish Immigration Service's "flimsy and harmful report" on Eritrea is playing right into the regime's hands.

German troops to tip new Nato ‘spearhead’
Germany

German troops to tip new Nato ‘spearhead’

Amid rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine, Nato foreign ministers met in Brussels on Tuesday to accelerate the formation of a rapid response force due to include 4,000 German troops.

PM calls crisis talks as budget poised to fail
Sweden

PM calls crisis talks as budget poised to fail

UPDATED: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven invited the four centre-right parties to emergency late-night talks on Tuesday after the nationalist Sweden Democrats' said they will support the opposition shadow budget bill. The decision has rocked Swedish politics, and could lead to a change of government.

Was Helmut Schmidt an ‘impeccable Nazi’?
Germany

Was Helmut Schmidt an ‘impeccable Nazi’?

It's a perennial question about the Nazi period: When does going with the flow for survival become willingly paddling the canoe? The debate resumed this month with publication of a new book citing above-average assessments of the ex-chancellor's military service under Adolf Hitler.

Will Renzi really kick-start sclerotic Italy?
Italy

Will Renzi really kick-start sclerotic Italy?

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is pressing on with moves to make it easier for companies to hire and fire. But even supporters say the reforms are too modest - while sceptics claim that Italy can never be reformed.

Romanian couple spent years on Danish balcony
Denmark

Romanian couple spent years on Danish balcony

Two Romanians who came to Denmark in 2009 were exploited by their Serbian employers, who worked them 18 hours a day.

Homeowners fear new repayment rules
Sweden

Homeowners fear new repayment rules

Swedish property owners are worried that proposals to get them to repay more on their loans could end up hitting them in the pocket and lowering the value of their homes according to a new poll.

Spain officially free of Ebola: WHO
Spain

Spain officially free of Ebola: WHO

Spain is officially free of Ebola as of Tuesday, according to the criteria set out by the World Health Organization.

Zlatan backtracks after snubbing Swedish king
France

Zlatan backtracks after snubbing Swedish king

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spun on his goal-scoring heels and agreed to meet the Swedish King and Queen for a banquet in Paris, after previously turning down an invitation to dine with the royals.

Denmark to reform upper secondary schools
Denmark

Denmark to reform upper secondary schools

Under a government proposal, getting in to upper secondary school will become harder and students will need to focus more on maths and science.

Zlatan backtracks on King’s banquet snub
Sweden

Zlatan backtracks on King’s banquet snub

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has spun on his goal-scoring heels and agreed to meet the Swedish King and Queen for a banquet in Paris, after previously turning down an invitation to dine with the royals.

Five tasty cheap eats in Sweden’s Gothenburg
Sweden

Five tasty cheap eats in Sweden’s Gothenburg

Gothenburg’s eating and drinking scene is one of the most exciting in Sweden. But it can be tricky to dine out without breaking the bank. For this week's Local List, Steve Vickers from travel guide Routes North presents some top tips for cheap eats that will make your mouth water.

Government ‘won’t rule out’ grand coalition
Spain

Government ‘won’t rule out’ grand coalition

The head of Spain's ruling party has said the Spanish government would consider forming a grand coalition "in the German style" with Spain's main opposition party, the Socialists, if it fails to obtain an absolute majority in the upcoming 2015 elections.

Ex-Rome mayor in city hall mafia probe
Italy

Ex-Rome mayor in city hall mafia probe

Former Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno is one of 100 people being investigated over a mafia-type organization which infiltrated city hall, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

Paris puts 10,000 domain names up for grabs
France

Paris puts 10,000 domain names up for grabs

Fancy getting your hands on a .paris domain name? Companies already have had the chance to snatch them up but now 10,000 of them have also been made available to the general public.

Ten tips for finding the perfect rental in Denmark
Denmark

Ten tips for finding the perfect rental in Denmark

The housing market in Denmark’s largest cities – particularly Copenhagen – is characterised by rising prices and a shortage of available homes. But it’s still possible to find a property that is perfect for you and within your budget if you follow these ten tips.

600 migrants storm Spain’s African border
Spain

600 migrants storm Spain’s African border

Some 600 African migrants charged at the border fence separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco on Tuesday and 30 managed to climb over, Spain's government said.

Swedish schoolboy told to pay massive legal bill
Sweden

Swedish schoolboy told to pay massive legal bill

A Swedish boy who was left seriously injured after a set of football goalposts fell on top of him has been ordered to pay 545,000 kronor ($74,000) after losing a dispute with his local municipality.

Vienna unemployment: ‘34.7 percent foreigners’
Austria

Vienna unemployment: ‘34.7 percent foreigners’

Confidential documents from Vienna’s Employment Service (AMS) have been leaked to the Kronen Zeitung newspaper - revealing that 55.1 percent of unemployed people in Vienna have a migration background, and that every third unemployed person is a foreigner.

French families sue after babies switched at birth
France

French families sue after babies switched at birth

Two baby girls were mixed up by maternity hospital workers in France and grew up in the wrong families. Twenty years on, the families want €12 million in compensation.

Firefighters free child from washing machine
Germany

Firefighters free child from washing machine

An eight-year-old girl had to be prised out of a washing machine using washing-up liquid by Munich firefighters on Monday evening.

Woman beaten by man dressed as Krampus
Austria

Woman beaten by man dressed as Krampus

A 37-year-old woman who was beaten with a stick during a traditional Krampuslauf procession in Hallein, Salzburg, had to be treated in hospital because she was so badly bruised.

‘Show off’ Schettino testifies at trial
Italy

‘Show off’ Schettino testifies at trial

UPDATED: Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino told a court on Tuesday that he was showing off when he steered the cruise ship onto rocks off the Italian island of Giglio, triggering a disaster in which 32 passengers and crew died.

Woman locks herself in freezer to commit suicide
France

Woman locks herself in freezer to commit suicide

A 57-year-old French woman committed suicide this week by locking herself in her own freezer, police sources told AFP on Tuesday.

‘Foreign fighter’ is Norway’s word of 2014
Norway

‘Foreign fighter’ is Norway’s word of 2014

The word "Fremmedkriger" (foreign fighter) was voted Word of the Year by the Language Council of Norway on Tuesday.

No thanks: Spanish chef snubs Michelin star
Spain

No thanks: Spanish chef snubs Michelin star

The chef at Casa Julio restaurant in Valencia has decided to renounce his coveted Michelin star due to the pressure that came with it.

Flamenco doll factory loses fight for survival
Spain

Flamenco doll factory loses fight for survival

An iconic factory which produced flamenco dolls in the Andalusian town of Chiclana has finally shut down after 86 years in existence, claiming it is a victim of competition from Asia.

Sweden must push harder for a green planet
Sweden

Sweden must push harder for a green planet

The world's governments are in Lima, Peru this week to lay the foundations for a new United Nations Convention on Climate Change. Sweden must play a more assertive role to push for change, says Svante Axelsson from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

Geneva transit drivers plan second strike
Switzerland

Geneva transit drivers plan second strike

Geneva commuters are facing the threat of another transit strike this week to follow one staged last month that ground public transport to a halt for 24 hours.

Lufthansa pilots’ strike enters second day
Germany

Lufthansa pilots’ strike enters second day

Pilots' union Vereinigung Cockpit is maintaining its strike through Tuesday, with almost all long-distance services cancelled.

Thousands protest asylum policy in Dresden
Germany

Thousands protest asylum policy in Dresden

More than 7,000 opponents of Germany's policy towards asylum seekers marched in the eastern city on Monday evening.

Sweden school slammed for slut shaming test
Sweden

Sweden school slammed for slut shaming test

What do you call a girl who sleeps around? The answer is a 'mattress' according to a controversial test designed for school pupils studying sex education in west Sweden.

Swedish woman in ‘butcher’ murder trial
Sweden

Swedish woman in ‘butcher’ murder trial

A woman who is accused of killing and then cutting up a female love rival goes on trial today in a case that has stunned a small Swedish town.

Putin shelves South Stream pipeline project
Austria

Putin shelves South Stream pipeline project

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on a visit to Turkey, has unexpectedly announced that Russia is shelving the multi-billion-euro South Stream pipeline project to deliver Russian gas to Europe, blaming the EU for throwing obstacles in its path. [Updated with OMV reaction.]

Austrian actor honoured with Walk Of Fame star
Austria

Austrian actor honoured with Walk Of Fame star

Austrian double-Oscar winner Christoph Waltz was honoured with a star on Tinseltown's storied Walk of Fame on Monday - with Quentin Tarantino first in line to pay tribute.

At last: Spain’s ‘Mr Shady’ goes behind bars
Spain

At last: Spain’s ‘Mr Shady’ goes behind bars

Carlos Fabra, the man responsible for Spain's infamous 'ghost airport' in Castellón finally went to prison on tax fraud charges on Monday, after a decade-long legal battle and a lengthy appeals process.

Eni risks huge losses as Russia ‘scraps’ gas deal
Italy

Eni risks huge losses as Russia ‘scraps’ gas deal

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday suggested the South Stream gas deal with Europe is to be scrapped, putting a multi-billion investment from energy company Eni at risk.

Corsica: The best place in the world to go in 2015
France

Corsica: The best place in the world to go in 2015

National Geographic Traveler magazine says the sun-drenched Mediterranean island, famed for its stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountains, is at the top of its list of places to go next year. Another French spot also made the top 20.

Snowden journalist gets whistleblowing prize
Germany

Snowden journalist gets whistleblowing prize

American journalist Glenn Greenwald, who was the first to report Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by US intelligence services, received a prize in memory of the anti-Nazi resistance on Monday.

Deadly secret hidden in firewood
Austria

Deadly secret hidden in firewood

A 22-year-old woman from Gmunden in Upper Austria narrowly escaped with her life after a fragmentation grenade exploded inside her wood burner on Sunday.

Video: Russian jet nearly hits Nato jet over Norway
Norway

Video: Russian jet nearly hits Nato jet over Norway

Startling video footage has been released of an airborne incident where a Russian jet fighter came close to colliding with a Nato F-16 over the skies of Norway, this week.

French tourists hurt in Cuba bus crash
France

French tourists hurt in Cuba bus crash

Forty-one French tourists and two locals were injured in Cuba Monday when the bus they were traveling in hit another vehicle, media reports and diplomatic sources said. Seven are said to be in a serious condition.

Danish activist sentenced in Bahrain
Denmark

Danish activist sentenced in Bahrain

Danish-Bahraini activist Maryam al-Khawaja was sentenced to one year in a Bahraini prison on charges of assaulting a police officer.

Top Swedish songs of the month: December
Sweden

Top Swedish songs of the month: December

The Local's resident music guru Paul Connolly is back with a selection of his favourite Swedish tracks to see you through December and into 2015. No Christmas songs. No Swedish Idol pop tracks. Enjoy!

‘Creating community is key to my business’
Austria

‘Creating community is key to my business’

Beate McLatchie is originally from Innsbruck, Austria but moved to Bali in 1992 and spent over 20 years there, raising a family, running a yoga and wellness company and building villas. She has now returned to Vienna to set up a yoga studio and spoke to The Local about feeling like an expat in her own country.

PST underestimate number of terror fighters from Norway
Norway

PST underestimate number of terror fighters from Norway

Government security authorities believe that more than 140 foreign fighters have left Norway for Syria and Iraq since autumn 2012. That is more than double the number they assumed at first, it was announced on Tuesday.

Swedish House Mafia stars reunite for summer
Sweden

Swedish House Mafia stars reunite for summer

Almost two years after Swedish House Mafia split up, two of the DJs from Sweden's biggest electronic super group have reunited and are set to perform in their home country next summer.

Italian Ebola patient’s health ‘worsens slightly’
Italy

Italian Ebola patient’s health ‘worsens slightly’

The health of an Italian doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone "worsened slightly" on Monday as he underwent a second blood transfusion from a survivor of the disease.

Jobless queues 14,688 shorter in November
Spain

Jobless queues 14,688 shorter in November

A total of 14,688 people left Spain's jobless queues in November, leaving the total number of people registered as looking for work at 4,512,166, official employment ministry figures released on Tuesday show.

WHO lowers Ebola death toll after counting ‘error’
Switzerland

WHO lowers Ebola death toll after counting ‘error’

The Geneva-based World Health Organization on Monday said more than 6,000 people had died from Ebola and not nearly 7,000 as earlier reported, blaming "an error" in numbers out of Liberia.

Isis supporters: We shot Dane in Saudi Arabia
Denmark

Isis supporters: We shot Dane in Saudi Arabia

A group that supports the terrorist group Isis in Saudi Arabia has claimed credit for the November shooting of a Danish man in the Saudi capital.

‘Merkozy’ to ride again at CDU conference

‘Merkozy’ to ride again at CDU conference

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy will attend the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) conference in Cologne and rekindle his partnership with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Original ‘Little Prince’ painting to be auctioned
France

Original ‘Little Prince’ painting to be auctioned

An original watercolour illustration from Antoine de Saint-Exupery's timeless classic "The Little Prince", one of the world's best-ever selling books, is to be auctioned in Paris next week.

Jewels no money can buy on show in Florence
Italy

Jewels no money can buy on show in Florence

Diamond and ruby-studded jewellery crafted by celebrated Italian master goldsmiths Mario and Gianmaria Buccellati and inspired by Renaissance great Benvenuto Cellini are going on show for the first time.

Most-wanted Nazi dead, say Holocaust hunters
Germany

Most-wanted Nazi dead, say Holocaust hunters

A Nazi war criminal who topped most wanted lists over the Holocaust is "almost certain" to have died in Syria four years ago, a Nazi-hunting group said Monday.

First tests of Novartis suspect flu jab negative
Italy

First tests of Novartis suspect flu jab negative

The Italian Pharmaceutical Agency (Aifa) said on Monday it has now been notified of 19 deaths among people who had recently taken a Novartis flu vaccine, but that initial testing had ruled out contamination of two batches of the drug which were taken out of circulation last week.

US trial begins after German student shot
Germany

US trial begins after German student shot

A 30-year-old man is on trial in Missoula, Montana after allegedly placing a trap for thieves in his garage and killing a German exchange student.

Swedish PM: I’ll quit if Alliance budget wins
Sweden

Swedish PM: I’ll quit if Alliance budget wins

Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has pledged to step down if the budget proposed by the opposition Alliance parties wins in parliament on Wednesday.

Sweden receives first ‘Ice bucket’ money
Sweden

Sweden receives first ‘Ice bucket’ money

A million kronor ($135,000) raised by participants in the viral ice bucket challenge has been distributed to research studies on neurodegenerative diseases.