New Year Concert success belies Nazi past
Austria

New Year Concert success belies Nazi past

The Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Day concert was broadcast to over 90 countries around the world - but few know of its Nazi origins.

Why migrant smugglers are using ‘ghost ships’
Italy

Why migrant smugglers are using ‘ghost ships’

People traffickers have dramatically raised the stakes by using freighters to carry hundreds of migrants to Europe at a time, then jumping ship as the vessels steam towards shore.

Traffickers made over $1m on one ‘ghost ship’
Italy

Traffickers made over $1m on one ‘ghost ship’

People smugglers likely raked in more than $1.0 million from the hundreds of desperate migrants crammed into just one of the "ghost ships" abandoned off the coast of Italy this week, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday.

Swedish Security Service goes viral with first tweet
Sweden

Swedish Security Service goes viral with first tweet

Sweden's Security Service Säpo posted its first tweet on Friday, with a cheeky enough message to make headlines across Sweden.

Mother arrested over deaths of two tots
Switzerland

Mother arrested over deaths of two tots

A woman has been arrested after the bodies of her two toddlers were found in a house in Flaach, in the canton of Zurich, on New Year’s Day.

Sweden rallies after trio of mosque fire attacks
Sweden

Sweden rallies after trio of mosque fire attacks

Thousands of people turned up to anti-racism rallies in Sweden's major cities on Friday afternoon following three arson attacks on mosques.

Calais shuts night shelter as temperatures rise
France

Calais shuts night shelter as temperatures rise

Authorities in Calais on Friday shut down a night shelter set up to shield migrants from the freezing weather as they camp out in the northern French port city in the hope of smuggling themselves onto a truck or a car into Britain.

Worries over rising costs at Stuttgart project
Germany

Worries over rising costs at Stuttgart project

As the controversial Stuttgart train station rebuild languishes far from finished in the face of ever-rising costs, the Green and Left joined forces on Friday to demand a new cost-benefit analysis.

Are mosque fires end of ‘paradise’ Sweden?
Sweden

Are mosque fires end of ‘paradise’ Sweden?

Three torched mosques within a week led to demonstrations across the country on Friday in support of Muslims. The Local's Oliver Gee watched the Stockholm rally unfold and spoke to leading campaigners about what should happen next.

Man jailed for selling deadly fireworks
Denmark

Man jailed for selling deadly fireworks

A northern Jutland man will be held in remand for four weeks on charges that he sold a powerful and illegal type of firework that cost three men their lives on New Year's Eve.

French tweeter’s Burger King challenge backfires
France

French tweeter’s Burger King challenge backfires

A French Twitter user from the northern city of Lille has quite literally had to eat her words after she offered to treat her followers with the Burger King meal of their choice if the fast-food chain came to her city. This week, Burger King personally replied it was doing just that.

Merkel to fly to London for Cameron summit
Germany

Merkel to fly to London for Cameron summit

Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Britain next week for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, her office announced on Friday - with a possible 'Brexit' high on the agenda.

Spain road deaths hit record low in 2014
Spain

Spain road deaths hit record low in 2014

The number of people who died on Spain's roads fell to a record-low 1,131 in 2014, official figures published on Friday show.

Italian doctor cured of Ebola to leave hospital
Italy

Italian doctor cured of Ebola to leave hospital

UPDATED: An Italian doctor who caught Ebola in Sierra Leone has recovered from the disease and his antibodies are being sent back to west Africa to help combat the disease.

Fire tragedy ferry arrives in Brindisi
Italy

Fire tragedy ferry arrives in Brindisi

The Italian-owned ferry in which at least 13 people died in a dramatic fire in stormy Mediterranean seas was towed into the Italian port of Brindisi on Friday as investigators try to determine if there are any more bodies on board.

Hundreds without power as storm Svea spreads
Sweden

Hundreds without power as storm Svea spreads

Trains and ferries were delayed and hundreds were left without electricity in western and southern Sweden on Friday as a strong storm - called Svea - swept through the region.

‘Warzone’ Berlin New Year video goes viral
Germany

‘Warzone’ Berlin New Year video goes viral

Sometimes it's hard to explain to outsiders just how crazy Berlin goes on New Year's Eve.

EU vows to fight migrant ‘ghost ship’ tactic
Italy

EU vows to fight migrant ‘ghost ship’ tactic

The EU vowed on Friday to fight people smugglers' new tactic of abandoning "ghost ships" full of migrants off European coasts.

Man lay dying in subway elevator for five hours
Austria

Man lay dying in subway elevator for five hours

A 58-year-old man lay seriously ill from a heart attack in an elevator at one of Vienna's busiest subway stations, with passengers and Wiener Linien staff ignoring him for up to five hours on Boxing Day.

Outcry after Rome police call in sick on NYE
Italy

Outcry after Rome police call in sick on NYE

The Italian government is threatening to take disciplinary action against Rome municipal police after just one in five showed up for work on New Year’s Eve.

Italy’s luxury brands defy economic crisis
Italy

Italy’s luxury brands defy economic crisis

Italy’s luxury brands defied the country’s economic downturn to record impressive growth in 2014, according to the latest research by a Milan consultancy firm.

Austrian cop denied right to carry gun off-duty
Austria

Austrian cop denied right to carry gun off-duty

According to an official ruling of the Tyrolean Provincial Administrative Court just before Christmas, police officers in that state do not automatically have the right to carry a gun when off-duty, even if they feel threatened.

Cop dies after being pushed onto train tracks
Spain

Cop dies after being pushed onto train tracks

A policeman has died after being pushed into the path of an oncoming commuter train in the centre of Madrid while the man who pushed him remains in hospital seriously injured.

Denmark prepares to wage cyber warfare
Denmark

Denmark prepares to wage cyber warfare

After seeing defence secrets and sensitive business information fall into the hands of foreign hackers, Denmark is ready to strike back.

More party-goers opt to be driven home
Switzerland

More party-goers opt to be driven home

A record number of people took advantage of the Nez Rouge service in December, handing over their car keys to a volunteer driver after a night out.

French railway gears up to install Wi-Fi on trains
France

French railway gears up to install Wi-Fi on trains

France’s state-owned rail group, the SNCF, is set to equip its high-speed trains with wireless internet technology, the country’s IT minister announced on Friday. The move comes just months after she publicly shamed the company about its lack of Wi-Fi on Twitter.

Lone child migrants to Sweden double in 2014
Sweden

Lone child migrants to Sweden double in 2014

Around 7,000 unaccompanied refugee children arrived in Sweden in 2014, twice as many as the year before. And some parts of the country aren't coping, according to reports.

Ex-Bayern boss freed on day release
Germany

Ex-Bayern boss freed on day release

Tax-evading former Bayern Munich boss Uli Hoeness has been freed on day release, it emerged Friday - just seven months after being jailed for hiding some 28.5 million euros from the tax authorities.

Only one in ten Swedes trusts religious leaders
Sweden

Only one in ten Swedes trusts religious leaders

Just one in ten people living in Sweden trust the country's religious leaders, while medical staff and judges remain among the most respected professionals, according to a new opinion poll.

French investigators join AirAsia search mission
France

French investigators join AirAsia search mission

French investigators will on Friday assist in the underwater search for the stricken AirAsia plane which crashed into the Java Sea with 162 people on board on December 28th.

Formula One: Marciello named Sauber test driver
Switzerland

Formula One: Marciello named Sauber test driver

Italian Raffaele Marciello has been named Sauber's test and reserve driver for the 2015 season, the Swiss stable announced on Wednesday.

Isis a real danger to Spain: foreign minister
Spain

Isis a real danger to Spain: foreign minister

Conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa are the main security threats to Spain, the country's foreign minister has said, as Spain takes its seat as a non-permanent member of the UN's security council.

New Year…New U-Bahn price hikes
Germany

New Year…New U-Bahn price hikes

Train and bus prices have been hiked across Germany's biggest cities to coincide with start of the year, making that return to work all the more miserable.

Girl dies after shooting herself with dad’s gun
Italy

Girl dies after shooting herself with dad’s gun

A northern Italian town is in mourning after an 11-year-old girl appeared to have accidentally shot herself dead with her father’s pistol on Thursday.

Vandals cover anti-‘love lock’ panels with graffiti
France

Vandals cover anti-‘love lock’ panels with graffiti

See-through panels that were mounted on an iconic Parisian pedestrian bridge to prevent it from being weighed down by thousands of padlocks have been covered in graffiti by vandals, prompting critics to compare the historic landmark to the New York subway.

‘Sweden’s Islamophobia is getting stronger’
Sweden

‘Sweden’s Islamophobia is getting stronger’

Omar Mustafa, President of Sweden's Islamic Association, speaks to The Local about the recent spate of mosque attacks and the rise of Islamophobia across Sweden.

Sommaruga lauds ‘bold’ Swiss democracy
Switzerland

Sommaruga lauds ‘bold’ Swiss democracy

Swiss president for 2015, Simonetta Sommaruga, extolled Switzerland’s system of direct democracy in a TV and radio address to mark the new year.

France bond yields hit fresh historic lows
France

France bond yields hit fresh historic lows

Borrowing rates in France, Spain and Italy fell to fresh historic lows on Friday in thin holiday trading, as investors eyed possible new anti-deflation measures from the European Central Bank.

2014 ‘worst on record’ for Venice high tides
Italy

2014 ‘worst on record’ for Venice high tides

High tides are nothing new in Venice and tourists are often seen donning waterproofs and carrying their umbrellas when the high water overflows onto the charming alleys surrounding its historic sites.

Hoff’s 150kmh taxi ride to make New Year gig
Germany

Hoff’s 150kmh taxi ride to make New Year gig

Baywatch star and singing legend David Hasselhoff was forced to make a mad-dash 150 kilometres an hour taxi ride to make it in time for his New Year's eve star turn at the Brandenburger Gate, it emerged Friday.

Madrid Atocha bomb scare ‘a false alarm’
Spain

Madrid Atocha bomb scare ‘a false alarm’

Updated: A man arrested for threatening to blow up a suburban train as it entered Madrid's Atocha station on Friday morning is suffering psychiatric problems, Spain's interior ministry said on Friday.

Italy bond yields hit fresh historic lows
Italy

Italy bond yields hit fresh historic lows

Borrowing rates in France, Spain and Italy fell to fresh historic lows on Friday in thin holiday trading, as investors eyed possible new anti-deflation measures from the European Central Bank.

CSU wants failed asylum-seekers deported faster
Germany

CSU wants failed asylum-seekers deported faster

Asylum applications should be processed in six weeks, not the current eight months – and failed applicants deported quicker, according to a draft resolution from the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Friday.

‘I came to Madrid airport to sleep and stayed’
Spain

‘I came to Madrid airport to sleep and stayed’

It may seem like something out of the Hollywood film The Terminal, but for around 40 homeless people, Madrid's Barajas Airport is the closest thing they have to a place to live.

TV channel ‘ruins’ NYE countdown with ads
Spain

TV channel ‘ruins’ NYE countdown with ads

Andalusia's public television station, Canal Sur, cut to an ad break just as the clocks struck midnight, angering viewers who were ready and waiting for the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at the 12 chimes of midnight.

Tone of debate makes immigrants want to leave
Denmark

Tone of debate makes immigrants want to leave

A recent opinion poll shows that three fourths of immigrants have considered leaving Denmark because of the tone of the immigration debate but a leading politician says that the debate is only addressing real problems.

Spain’s top news in 2015: The Local’s predictions
Spain

Spain’s top news in 2015: The Local’s predictions

What will be the front page stories in Spain in 2015? And who, or what, will hog the limelight? The Local has gazed into the crystal ball to make predictions about what the country can expect in the year to come.

Draghi says price risks rising in eurozone
Germany

Draghi says price risks rising in eurozone

The eurozone faces a growing risk of unstable prices, the head of the European Central Bank said in an interview Friday, at a time when concerns are mounting the bloc could slip into deflation.

Wind warnings issued for six Danish bridges
Denmark

Wind warnings issued for six Danish bridges

2015 is off to a windy start, leading to warnings to avoid bridges and prepare for storm-strength winds throughout the country.

France sees drop in New Year car-burning rituals
France

France sees drop in New Year car-burning rituals

The French government on Thursday reported a 12-percent drop in the number of cars torched on New Year's Eve - a ritual among revellers in the country's high-rise suburbs.

Italy mounts rescue for ‘drifting’ migrant ship
Italy

Italy mounts rescue for ‘drifting’ migrant ship

UPDATED: The Italian navy took control of a drifting cargo ship filled with 450 migrants drifting off the coast of Calabria on Friday.

Top economist refuses France’s highest honour
France

Top economist refuses France’s highest honour

France's influential economist Thomas Piketty, author of the bestseller "Capital in the 21st Century", on Thursday refused to accept the country's highest award, the Legion d'honneur, to criticize the Socialist government in power.

Hopes fade of finding missing Scot still alive
Switzerland

Hopes fade of finding missing Scot still alive

Almost four months after he went missing in Switzerland, the family of Fergus McInnes are losing hope that he will be found alive.

Six stories that will grip Germany in 2015
Germany

Six stories that will grip Germany in 2015

The Local has been looking into its crystal ball to see what events are likely to dominate the German news agenda this year.

‘Kidnapped Italians in Syria’ appear in video
Italy

‘Kidnapped Italians in Syria’ appear in video

Two women identifying themselves as Italian aid workers kidnapped in Syria have appeared in a video urging their government to seek their release.

German firms hurting over Russia sanctions
Germany

German firms hurting over Russia sanctions

Hundreds of German companies active in Russia are suspending or will cancel projects due to international sanctions over Ukraine and the weakened rouble.

Five snappy barber shops in Stockholm
Sweden

Five snappy barber shops in Stockholm

Sweden's capital is embracing a barbershop revival with a growing numbers of hairdressers providing hot towel shaves and other pampering services for men. Alex Farnsworth has been combing through the city in search of some of the top spots.

Jurassic Park fan finds rare dinosaur remains
Sweden

Jurassic Park fan finds rare dinosaur remains

A high school student from southern Sweden who discovered the remains of Sweden’s first known carnivorous dinosaur has been speaking about his discovery.