Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud
Switzerland

Ex-banker admits lying over French tax fraud

A man who acknowledged lying when he served as a key witness in a major French tax fraud investigation was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison term in the Swiss canton of Ticino on Friday.

Eritreans protest against disputed Danish report
Denmark

Eritreans protest against disputed Danish report

Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers march through Copenhagen to denounce the results of Denmark's controversial fact-finding mission to the east African country.

False bomb alarm snarls Christmas train travel
Denmark

False bomb alarm snarls Christmas train travel

In a nearly identical repeat of a 2013 incident, a bomb threat at Odense Station shut down train traffic across Denmark for hours on the year's busiest travel day.

French ex-airline boss: Missing MH370 a cover up
France

French ex-airline boss: Missing MH370 a cover up

A former airline boss is making waves in France after he claimed that the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March had been covered up, and that the aircraft was likely hijacked by a hacker and possibly shot down by the US.

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising
Sweden

Sweden seeks ban on foreign booze advertising

Two powerful Swedish lobby groups have turned to the European Commission to try and get a complete ban on alcohol advertising on television, after it emerged some channels were dodging the ban by being registered abroad.

‘It’s going to be a roller-coaster ride’
Denmark

‘It’s going to be a roller-coaster ride’

In the latest instalment of our entrepreneur series, The Local speaks to Jesper Buch, the co-founder one of Scandinavia's leading online fashion retailers and founder of Just-Eat, which went from being a company founded in a basement to having offices across Europe.

Attack on ruling party HQ targeted ‘all politicians’
Spain

Attack on ruling party HQ targeted ‘all politicians’

Updated: The man who rammed a car loaded with gas bottles into the headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party in Madrid on Friday morning has said any party could have been the target of the attack as "all politicians are the same".

Housemaid jailed for killing boss over will
Norway

Housemaid jailed for killing boss over will

A Norwegian housemaid who was set to inherit a fortune from her millionaire employer has lost her appeal against her conviction for his murder.

French mayor wins battle to keep nativity scene
France

French mayor wins battle to keep nativity scene

As the annual Christmas battle over nativity scenes rages in France, it was a victory for the traditionalists in southern Montpellier on Friday as a court refused to order the removal of a town hall creche.

Gaza doc named Norway’s person of year
Norway

Gaza doc named Norway’s person of year

A outspoken Norwegian doctor whose efforts to treat Palestinians wounded in the Gaza conflict garnered worldwide attention has been named person of the year by the country’s largest tabloid, Verdens Gang (VG).

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law
Germany

Ethics Council rejects assisted suicide law

The German Ethics Council said the law should not be changed to permit assisted suicide in a paper published on Friday.

Nine migrants die in Strait of Gibraltar
Spain

Nine migrants die in Strait of Gibraltar

Moroccan authorities on Friday recovered the bodies of three babies and six adults who died while trying to cross to Spain in a small boat.

Brit wanted for Spain murder caught in UK
Spain

Brit wanted for Spain murder caught in UK

A UK man wanted by Spanish police in connection with the Alicante murder of a fellow Brit in April has been arrested while trying to enter the UK in a light aircraft.

Ice Music taps Texas troubadour for new tunes
Sweden

Ice Music taps Texas troubadour for new tunes

The world's "coolest concert" is set for a Texas twist in 2015 when Luleå's innovative Ice Music welcomes American musical talent from Austin, home of the South By Southwest (SXSW) music festival.

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin
Germany

Abandoned themepark needs 14m says Berlin

The iconic ruined themepark in the centre of Berlin - a long-time favourite of hipster adventurers - needs a clean-up costing at least 14 million euros, the Berlin government has revealed.

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer
Germany

Police nab Nuremberg station bomb hoaxer

Officers in Nuremberg arrested a man on Thursday evening after he called in a false bomb threat against the main train station

Santa bikers ride through Paris for orphans
France

Santa bikers ride through Paris for orphans

There was a whole lot of revving and red hats going on in central Paris on Thursday evening when some 3,000 bikers dressed up as Santa - or his little helpers – rode through the City of Lights for the 12th year in a row in support of the orphaned children of firefighters.

Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas
Sweden

Video: The best & worst of Swedish Christmas

What's the best thing about Christmas in Sweden? The worst? And perhaps most importantly, the tastiest? The Local's Paul O'Mahony hits the Old Town's Christmas market as the first snow of the season falls to find out more.

China’s Fosun ups bid for France’s Club Med
France

China’s Fosun ups bid for France’s Club Med

Chinese conglomerate Fosun on Friday sweetened its offer for French holiday group Club Med, raising it by nearly €100 million, in a move to try to trump an Italian rival in what has been described as the longest bidding war in Parisian stock market history.

Top Ten: French Christmas traditions
France

Top Ten: French Christmas traditions

Every country does Christmas slightly differently, and the French - who, to their credit, rarely do things like the rest of the world - naturally have their own Christmas traditions, that they have just about held on to over the years.

Angela, David…and Nigel
Germany

Angela, David…and Nigel

The rise of UKIP broke up what had been a good 2014 for Cameron and Merkel.

‘I will not be here in ten years’: Pope Francis
Italy

‘I will not be here in ten years’: Pope Francis

Pope Francis on Friday said he will not still be in the Vatican in ten years time, during a meeting with athletes and officials from the Italian National Olympic Committee.

Top 12 German sayings
Austria

Top 12 German sayings

The Local List shines a little light on some of the charming eccentricities of the German language.

Italy’s Chianti region hit by earthquakes
Italy

Italy’s Chianti region hit by earthquakes

Several mini-earthquakes with a maximum magnitude of 4.1 shook Italy's famous Chianti wine region on Friday.

The top ten classic ‘Made in France’ gifts
France

The top ten classic ‘Made in France’ gifts

Christmas shopping can be challenging when it comes to finding authentic ‘Made in France’ gifts. Here's a list of classic ones to take home. Warning: Some might be more more tacky than tasteful.

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine
Sweden

Second baby on the way for Princess Madeleine

UPDATED: Sweden's Royal Court has announced that Princess Madeleine is pregnant with the second child of her financier husband Chris O'Neill.

Most Catalans say no to independence: new poll
Spain

Most Catalans say no to independence: new poll

For the first time since Catalonia’s independence drive began to pick up momentum in 2012, more people are against independence from Spain than in favour of such a move, a new poll run by the regional government shows.

Man torches warehouse full of African migrants
Spain

Man torches warehouse full of African migrants

Police in Barcelona have arrested a young man who allegedly set fire to a warehouse with 14 African migrants inside after they failed to pay rent on the property.

Far-right mayor barred over campaign finances
France

Far-right mayor barred over campaign finances

A French court on Friday barred a mayor from France's far-right National Front party from practicing politics for a year, citing a "particularly serious infringement" of the country's campaign financing rules.

‘Dr Death’ corpse museum gets go-ahead
Germany

‘Dr Death’ corpse museum gets go-ahead

A Berlin court has said that infamous human taxidermist Gunther von Hagens can open a museum in the capital - over objections from local officials.

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech
Germany

Phorms bilingual schools boast top-notch tech

As parents fret over children’s internet habits, a network of bilingual schools in Germany shows that putting computers in the classroom from an early age yields positive results.

Cocaine channeled to heart of Venice by mob
Italy

Cocaine channeled to heart of Venice by mob

Police on Friday arrested ten people accused of running a cocaine trafficking operation with its criminal headquarters in the heart of Venice.

Swedish ‘butcher’ murderer gets 16 years
Sweden

Swedish ‘butcher’ murderer gets 16 years

A Swedish woman who killed and then hacked up a female love rival has been sentenced to 16 years in prison and also ordered to pay damages to the victim's family.

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid
Sweden

Minecraft creator beats Beyonce in mansion bid

UPDATED: Swedish billionaire Markus Persson is reported to have outbid the likes of Jay-Z and Beyonce with his half billion kronor offer ($70 million) for a 2,000-square-metre Beverly Hills mansion.

‘Girl power’ for Austria’s Eurovision
Austria

‘Girl power’ for Austria’s Eurovision

The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest - to be hosted by Austria in May - will be presented by three women, with this year’s winner Conchita Wurst in the Green Room.

Gang found drug mules in jobless queues
Spain

Gang found drug mules in jobless queues

A gang of Nigerian drugs traffickers has been busted for recruiting mules from Spanish unemployment queues, as well as for trafficking drugs into Japan disguised as sweets.

Truckers lift roadblock near Paris
France

Truckers lift roadblock near Paris

French truck drivers on Friday lifted an overnight roadblock of heavy vehicle traffic on the A10 highway that connects Paris with the south-western city of Bordeaux. The truckers staged the action to demand higher minimum pay.

Bankrupt Danish firm exec wanted in Italy

Bankrupt Danish firm exec wanted in Italy

A high-ranking employee of OW Bunker is wanted for fraud by Italian authorities and may also be involved in a case that implicates members of the Italian navy.

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope
Switzerland

Swiss spills beans about guarding the pope

Although better known today for their colourful uniforms than their centuries-old reputation as fearless warriors, the Swiss Guards remain a powerful symbol of the Vatican. The Local speaks to David Geisser, one of the latest recruits, about a career protecting popes.


Austria seeks €3.5 billion from BayernLB
Austria

Austria seeks €3.5 billion from BayernLB

Austria has filed a lawsuit against BayernLB on the grounds that it believes it was misled by the German lender over the true financial state of the Hypo Alpe Adria bank, which had to be nationalised in 2009.

Rent hikes threaten Spain’s unique shops
Spain

Rent hikes threaten Spain’s unique shops

Around 200,000 people could lose their jobs just after Christmas when Spain scraps its current system of protected rents for small businesses. Critics worry the move could also turn Spain's high streets into bland, chain-store dominated affairs.

Networks scramble to patch mobile security
Germany

Networks scramble to patch mobile security

IT experts led by Berlin-based Karsten Nohl said on Thursday they had discovered security flaws in the mobile phone networks that would allow attackers to read users' messages.

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show
Sweden

Bildt works as babysitter on Swedish reality show

Former Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has been given a cautious thumbs up for his child-minding abilities after appearing on a Swedish Celebrity Babysitter show.

Baby born in Milan to clinically dead mother
Italy

Baby born in Milan to clinically dead mother

In what has been hailed a miracle, a baby boy has been born to an Italian woman pronounced clinically dead in October.

Chinese firm trumps Italian bid for Club Med
Italy

Chinese firm trumps Italian bid for Club Med

Chinese conglomerate Fosun raised its offer to buy French holiday group Club Med on Friday, as it strives to win the longest bidding war in Paris market history against an Italian tycoon.

French economy to lift in 2015, but not jobs
France

French economy to lift in 2015, but not jobs

In its latest forecast, France's national statistics agency predicts that the French economy will experience a slight boost next year, much thanks to lower oil prices and a weaker euro, but warns it won’t be enough to reverse the country’s soaring unemployment.

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink
Switzerland

Massive write-downs soak Axpo in red ink

Swiss utility company Axpo said on Friday that eroding wholesale prices for electricity have forced it to write down 1.5 billion francs on the value of its power plants and energy supply contracts.

Armed robbery at Vienna jewellery store
Austria

Armed robbery at Vienna jewellery store

An upmarket jewellery shop in Vienna’s 1st district was robbed on Thursday afternoon by two masked men who attacked and injured a security guard.

Italian president confirms resignation ‘imminent’
Italy

Italian president confirms resignation ‘imminent’

President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday confirmed his resignation is “imminent”, paving the way for a new head of state to be voted in early next year.

French zoo offers ‘night at home’ with polar bear
France

French zoo offers ‘night at home’ with polar bear

Forget trekking to the Arctic. French tourists are opting for the luxury way to spend the night with a polar bear: beside a log fire not far from home. And the only thing on ice is the champagne.

Top mistakes tourists make in Austria
Austria

Top mistakes tourists make in Austria

We've all been there. New country, new culture. It's so easy to make mistakes, either embarrassing, or potentially fatal. The Local's François Badenhorst takes a look at some of the more common errors tourists make.

Turkish ‘spies’ arrested at Frankfurt airport
Germany

Turkish ‘spies’ arrested at Frankfurt airport

Three men suspected of being Turkish agents have been arrested by police, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

How studying in the UK is different to France
France

How studying in the UK is different to France

From Freshers week to dressing up, Parisian journalist Priscillia Charles, who recently spent a year studying in the North East of England, points out the main differences between student life on both sides of the Channel.

‘French Kim Kardashian’ Nabilla leaves jail
France

‘French Kim Kardashian’ Nabilla leaves jail

A French reality star often referred to as the Gallic Kim Kardashian was released from jail under legal supervision on Thursday as she awaits trial for the attempted murder of her boyfriend.

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November
Germany

Tax take jumps 7.3 percent in November

Germany collected 7.3 percent more in tax in November 2014 than the same month last year thanks to the strengthening economy, the Finance Ministry said in its monthly report on Thursday, while pollsters found rising consumer confidence.

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia
Sweden

Ikea packs up furniture sales in Russia

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has called a temporary halt on sales of its kitchen furniture and appliances in Russia as it couldn't cope with the extra demand brought on by the fall in the Russian rouble.

Artisans cry foul as Pope shuts down scrollmakers
Italy

Artisans cry foul as Pope shuts down scrollmakers

Rino Pensa and son have been making papal parchments for decades, crafting hand-painted blessing scrolls in Italy which are purchased by the faithful around the world to celebrate marriages, baptisms and anniversaries.

Banks vow negative rates won’t be passed on
Switzerland

Banks vow negative rates won’t be passed on

Major banks in Switzerland say they have no intention of charging small savers negative interest rates in the wake of the Swiss National Bank’s decision this week to charge such rates to financial institutions.

Denmark’s coastline suddenly much longer
Denmark

Denmark’s coastline suddenly much longer

The Danish tourism industry has a little problem – albeit a good one – as new measurements show the nation's coastline is nearly 20 percent larger than previously thought.

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting
Germany

Ramelow bunks off his first Bundesrat sitting

Controversial new Thuringia minister-president Bodo Ramelow of the Left (Linke) party missed his first session of Germany's second house of parliament, the Bundesrat, to go on holiday with his family.

Trio kills dog after failed robbery attempt
Sweden

Trio kills dog after failed robbery attempt

Police in northern Sweden are on the hunt for three men who assaulted a dog owner and then kicked his pet dog to death, in what was reportedly a failed mugging attempt.

Swedish PM hits out at refugee benefit proposal
Sweden

Swedish PM hits out at refugee benefit proposal

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has criticised a proposal by the Christian Democrats to reduce the costs of the asylum process, suggesting the idea may play into the hands of the nationalist Sweden Democrats.

VIDEO: Danish singer tops the US charts
Denmark

VIDEO: Danish singer tops the US charts

Feel like dancing? Here's the song from Copenhagen native Nabiha that has made its way to number one on the Billboard Dance Chart.

Danish union: EU obesity ruling ‘a great victory’
Denmark

Danish union: EU obesity ruling ‘a great victory’

The European Union's highest court ruled that obesity can be considered a "disability" if it hinders an overweight person's performance at work.

Austrian hiker missing in New Zealand
Austria

Austrian hiker missing in New Zealand

A 21-year-old man from Austria, David Schopf, went missing while hiking in the Tararua Forest Park in New Zealand on Wednesday.