HSBC leaker calls for whistle-blower protection
Switzerland

HSBC leaker calls for whistle-blower protection

The man who stole the trove of secret files that sparked a global scandal over banking giant HSBC's alleged assistance to wealthy tax dodgers called on Monday for more protections for whistleblowers.

Lone German skier buried by avalanche
Switzerland

Lone German skier buried by avalanche

Searchers recovered the body of a 47-year-old German backcountry skier on Monday a day after he was engulfed by an avalanche in the Staldenried area of the Valais Alps.

Norwegian hid $300m in secret Swiss account
Norway

Norwegian hid $300m in secret Swiss account

A single client associated with Norway had $293.4m parked in a Swiss bank account with the international banking giant HSBC, new ‘Swiss Leaks’ data has revealed, more than all the other Norwegian clients with secret accounts at the bank combined.

Swiss Leaks scoop started on a USB drive
Switzerland

Swiss Leaks scoop started on a USB drive

The damaging Swiss Leaks revelations are rooted in a massive cache of whistleblower data handed to two overwhelmed French reporters who decided they would need the help of an international collective to decrypt it.

Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Norway

Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin

Germans are notorious for baring all at beaches across Europe, but on Sunday, five Norwegians hit back, jogging across Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz wearing nothing but jackets and rucksacks.

Guards investigated after child ‘assault’ in Malmö
Sweden

Guards investigated after child ‘assault’ in Malmö

UPDATED: Two security guards at Malmö's main train station who were filmed apparently banging a nine-year-old boy’s head into a stone floor are being investigated by police.

Banking giant HSBC fights another scandal
Switzerland

Banking giant HSBC fights another scandal

Europe's biggest bank HSBC is fighting off claims that it helped rich clients globally dodge taxes through its Swiss arm — the latest in a long line of scandals to hit the group.

Ronaldo slammed for karaoke after defeat
Spain

Ronaldo slammed for karaoke after defeat

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo drew criticism in the changing room by partying for his 30th birthday, and being filmed singing karaoke, hours after a 4-0 defeat by rivals Atlético, media reported on Monday.

Integration drives wedge between Swedish liberals
Sweden

Integration drives wedge between Swedish liberals

Sweden should consider reducing the number of refugees it takes in to protect the welfare state, leading members of the opposition Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) say. But the idea has led to a row within the party.

Schettino ‘saved lives’ in Concordia tragedy
Italy

Schettino ‘saved lives’ in Concordia tragedy

Lawyers defending Costa Concordia skipper Francesco Schettino called on Monday for his acquittal on manslaughter charges, saying their client may have saved many lives in the 2012 disaster.

France’s top baker stung for working too much
France

France’s top baker stung for working too much

A French baker has won our latest 'Only in France' award after he fell foul of the law for keeping his boulangerie open seven days a week - one day too many according to the rules.

Meet the high flyer who leaps across Paris
France

Meet the high flyer who leaps across Paris

In his latest video a French freerunner presents a view of Paris you’ve never seen before and probably never want to, when he turns the rooftops of Paris into his own personal obstacle course. He tells The Local he feels safer up high than on the streets below.

Brit held for killing man filming his daughter
Spain

Brit held for killing man filming his daughter

A British man has been arrested on suspicion of killing a German man who he caught filming his young daughter in a restaurant in the upmarket resort of Sotogrande.

Dalai Lama stiffed by Danish leaders
Denmark

Dalai Lama stiffed by Danish leaders

Before she came to power, Helle Thorning-Schmidt said she would "of course" meet with the Dalai Lama as prime minister. But the Tibetan leader is coming to Copenhagen this week and neither she nor her foreign minister will see him.

Nude reality show to hit French TV screens
France

Nude reality show to hit French TV screens

Television audiences in France can expect a cheeky surprise in the coming weeks, when a new reality programme featuring contestants dating in the nude, hits the screens. Has reality TV in France hit a new low or will viewers turn on in their droves?

Why travel is broken – and how to fix it
Sweden

Why travel is broken – and how to fix it

Next week, TEDx Stockholm will be hosting its biggest set of talks yet. For a taster of what’s to come, we caught up with the Stockholm-based American travel writer Doug Lansky, who will be speaking about why tourism is destroying the planet.

Pensioner stole undies worth €1,100
Austria

Pensioner stole undies worth €1,100

A 74-year-old woman from Leoben in Upper Austria has been charged on suspicion of having carried out 33 robberies over the past two years - stealing mainly lingerie and booze.

Marseille: Police fired upon as PM due to visit
France

Marseille: Police fired upon as PM due to visit

Armed police surrounded a neighbourhood of Marseille on Monday after police were fired upon by gunmen armed with kalashnikovs. The incident comes as Prime Minister Manuel Valls was due to visit the city, to talk about the improved crime rate.

Wawrinka returns to Rotterdam indoor event
Switzerland

Wawrinka returns to Rotterdam indoor event

Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka said on Monday that he is happy to shake up his February schedule as he makes a return to the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament for the first time in a decade.

Meet the robot tweeting and biting commuters
Sweden

Meet the robot tweeting and biting commuters

An all-action bronze sculpture is channelling locally-sourced tweets and reading them aloud at Stockholm Central Station. The Local catches up with artist Tove Kjellmark to find out more.

‘Speeding’ emergency doctor can drive again
Germany

‘Speeding’ emergency doctor can drive again

After outpourings of public support, prosecutors in Munich on Monday have lifted the fine and driving ban an on-call emergency doctor was to get for speeding on his way to an urgent situation.

Vice-Chancellor rejects Greek reparations claim
Germany

Vice-Chancellor rejects Greek reparations claim

Germany's economy minister on Monday rejected calls by Greece's new prime minister for Berlin to pay reparations for the Second World War damages by the Nazis, insisting the issue was concluded 25 years ago.

Top French chef slams ‘staff mistreatment’ claim
France

Top French chef slams ‘staff mistreatment’ claim

The French chef with more Michelin stars to his name than anyone else in the world has defended his company after an ex-employee said staff members were treated like dogs.

Danish teens’ annual wild Prague party underway
Denmark

Danish teens’ annual wild Prague party underway

It’s becoming a regular tradition for hordes of Danish teenagers to head to Prague during their week-long winter break. But for a large number of the students, the trip is not about taking in the culture of the Czech capital but rather getting drunk and rowdy.

Church threatened over pro-Muslim service
Sweden

Church threatened over pro-Muslim service

UPDATE: Representatives of the Swedish Church say they have received threats after a church in Malmö announced plans to hold a service in support of Muslims during a demonstration by the anti-Islam group Pegida.

Italy football coach faces sport fraud trial
Italy

Italy football coach faces sport fraud trial

Antonio Conte, the coach of Italy’s national football team, could face a sporting fraud trial as part of an investigation into match-fixing.

‘Norway gov could fall over refugee kids’
Norway

‘Norway gov could fall over refugee kids’

A senior figure in Norway’s anti-immigrant Progress Party has warned that a no-confidence motion against Justice Minister Anders Anundsen over refugee children, if carried out, would “automatically” cause the ruling right-wing coalition to collapse.

‘Swiss leaks’ gives up data on 4,000 Spaniards
Spain

‘Swiss leaks’ gives up data on 4,000 Spaniards

Some 4,000 Spaniards, among them the racing driver Fernando Alonso and Emilio Botin, the late president of Banco Santander had swiss bank accounts, the new "Swiss leaks" revelations show.

Bond meets Snowden: The HSBC whistleblower
Italy

Bond meets Snowden: The HSBC whistleblower

Hervé Falciani - the Italian-French whistleblower behind Sunday's "breathtaking" revelations that have rocked HSBC and unearthed 100,000 tax cheats - has been compared to Edward Snowden, but the man himself prefers to liken himself to James Bond.

‘Something had to be done’ says founder
Germany

‘Something had to be done’ says founder

In our ongoing feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life - the story behind his successes, major challenges and how being an entrepreneur changed him forever. This week, Sparsh Sharma talks to Stéphane-Bertin Hoffmann, co-founder at Berlin-based Sciencebite.

HSBC Swiss bank claims spark UK political fight
Switzerland

HSBC Swiss bank claims spark UK political fight

Claims that banking giant HSBC helped rich clients to dodge taxes — including criminals and sponsors of terrorism — through its Swiss private bank started a political firefight in Britain on Monday as the main parties sought to blame each other for not acting.

Students kick off local NFGL networks
Sweden

Students kick off local NFGL networks

Ambitious and dedicated students have started eight different local NFGL networks throughout Sweden. SI News spoke with all of the network leaders about their motivation and plans.

Bond meets Snowden: The HSBC whistleblower
France

Bond meets Snowden: The HSBC whistleblower

Hervé Falciani - the whistleblower behind the latest "breathtaking" revelations that have rocked HSBC and unearthed 100,000 tax cheats - has been compared to Edward Snowden, but the man himself prefers to liken himself to James Bond.

Austrian gets life for murdering step-daughter
Austria

Austrian gets life for murdering step-daughter

An Austrian man has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany for the murder of his 22-year-old step-daughter, whom he sexually abused for years.

Sun, sea and sequins as carnival hits Tenerife
Spain

Sun, sea and sequins as carnival hits Tenerife

Tenerife is swimming in sequins as the annual Santa Cruz carnival comes to town, bringing the spirit of Rio to the Canary Island during six weeks of festivities.

Hackers target Swedish job centre’s website
Sweden

Hackers target Swedish job centre’s website

Sweden's Employment Agency was on Monday targeted in a cyber attack for the third consecutive day.

Far-right bid to woo Sicilians met with eggs
Italy

Far-right bid to woo Sicilians met with eggs

Matteo Salvini's bid to win support for his Northern League party has been met with a volley of eggs in Sicily, where protesters have not forgotten the far-right leader's rhetoric against southern Italy.

Snow and wind cause Vienna airport delays
Austria

Snow and wind cause Vienna airport delays

Snow and wind are causing delays at Vienna’s Schwechat Airport, with many planes having problems taking off and landing due to a strong crosswind, a spokesman told the Austrian Press Agency on Monday.

Italian man dies while visiting wife’s grave
Italy

Italian man dies while visiting wife’s grave

An elderly Italian man died after falling over in a cemetery near Treviso while visiting his wife’s grave, Italian media reported.

Inditex drops sale of cruel ‘angora’ garments
Spain

Inditex drops sale of cruel ‘angora’ garments

Inditex has agreed to a permanent ban on angora wool in all its stores worldwide bowing to pressure from animal rights groups.

Rural flight threatens to ‘break Denmark in half’
Denmark

Rural flight threatens to ‘break Denmark in half’

Denmark has long been fighting a losing battle against urbanization but the numbers of Danes leaving rural areas for the cities has grown significantly in recent years.

Football club condemns fans’ Nazi banners
Germany

Football club condemns fans’ Nazi banners

Secomd-tier league football team Erzgebirge Aue has apologised to RB Leipzig and the team's founder, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz, after Aue fans displayed a banner showing the Austrian entrepreneur in Nazi uniform.

Footballer in secret bank account scandal
Sweden

Footballer in secret bank account scandal

International banking giant HSBC helped hundreds of rich Swedes, including a former national football champion, dodge taxes. More than 500 Swedes have become embroiled in a scandal of secret assets amounting to more than 800 billion kronor.

Stars shine in Berlinale weekend events
Germany

Stars shine in Berlinale weekend events

PHOTO GALLERY: Berlinale continued its parade of stars in the German capital as celebrities debuted their new films in fancy suits and dresses over the weekend for the 65th Berlin Film Festival.

Greece sparks Italy spat over ‘bankruptcy’ claim
Italy

Greece sparks Italy spat over ‘bankruptcy’ claim

A Greek exit from the euro would see the euro collapse like a house of cards, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis warned in comments that triggered a spat with Italy.

Sweden one of EU’s heavyweights
Sweden

Sweden one of EU’s heavyweights

Sweden is one of the EU's great powers along with Germany and the United Kingdom. According to a think tank it was one of the most influential countries in the Union in 2014.

Foreign minister pledges support in Ukraine
Spain

Foreign minister pledges support in Ukraine

Spain’s foreign minister is en route to Kiev to show support for Ukraine as Spain commits to leading a new rapid action Nato force.

Charlie Chaplin’s Oscar stolen in Paris
France

Charlie Chaplin’s Oscar stolen in Paris

"Well informed thieves" in Paris have stolen several possessions once owned by Charlie Chaplin, including a set of pens and his honorary Oscar - which has been valued at €1 million.

Red Bull boss subjected to Nazi slur
Austria

Red Bull boss subjected to Nazi slur

Second-division German side Erzgebirge Aue has apologised to RB Leipzig and Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz after Aue fans displayed a banner showing the Austrian entrepreneur in Nazi uniform.

Italy’s Muslims in ‘burn in mosques’ letter threat
Italy

Italy’s Muslims in ‘burn in mosques’ letter threat

An Islamic centre in northern Italy has received a letter warning Muslims they will "burn in the mosques" if they don't leave the country.

Billionaire Safra key to HSBC Swiss bank origins
Switzerland

Billionaire Safra key to HSBC Swiss bank origins

One of the key figures singled out by the investigation into the data leak of HSBC’s Swiss unit was a man described as a “colossus of the finance world” who helped establish the Geneva-based private bank that enabled wealthy people from around the world to evade taxes.

Lost skiers in dramatic Dachstein rescue
Austria

Lost skiers in dramatic Dachstein rescue

Three cross country skiers from Vienna had to be rescued from the Dachstein mountain in Upper Austria on Sunday, after getting lost in a blizzard. The skiers made a snow cave to shelter in until the rescue team arrived.

Strike forces police to close Hamburg airport
Germany

Strike forces police to close Hamburg airport

Security personnel's “warning strike” over pay at three German airports has led to travel chaos, with tens of thousands of passengers hit by cancelled flights and police barracading doors at Hamburg Airport.

Poll: ‘Islam does not belong in Austria’
Austria

Poll: ‘Islam does not belong in Austria’

A new survey on how Islam is viewed in Austria suggests that anti-Muslim sentiment has risen sharply in the wake of the Paris shootings, with 69 percent of those polled saying they did not believe that Islam belongs in Austria.

Brit among four dead in Italian avalanches
Italy

Brit among four dead in Italian avalanches

Two foreigners, including a British and a Dutch man, and two Italians died in avalanches in northern Italy over the weekend, after days of heavy snowfall, national media reported.

HSBC’s French clients ‘hid €5.8b’ from tax man
France

HSBC’s French clients ‘hid €5.8b’ from tax man

International banking giant HSBC helped around 6,000 rich French lawyers, artists, businessmen and even a World Cup winner dodge taxes, new explosive reports claim. HSBC's private bank has already been charged in France in connection to a major tax fraud probe.

Pegida offshoot fails to draw Dresden crowds
Germany

Pegida offshoot fails to draw Dresden crowds

Pegida offshoot Direct Democracy for Europe (DDfE) failed to take off on Sunday when only 500 people showed up to a Dresden demonstration instead of the 5,000 it had planned for. Meanwhile, the original movement prepares for its first meeting in two weeks.

Denmark ignored hidden Swiss fortunes for years
Denmark

Denmark ignored hidden Swiss fortunes for years

The international banking giant HSBC helped hundreds of wealthy Danes dodge taxes and the Danish tax authority did nothing about it, new ‘Swiss Leaks’ revelations show.

Greek PM ‘optimistic’ about deal with EU
Austria

Greek PM ‘optimistic’ about deal with EU

Update: Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras flew into Vienna on Monday for a brief meeting with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, of the Social Democrats.

Six Sweden nuts who have never been to visit
Sweden

Six Sweden nuts who have never been to visit

Can you fall in love with a country without ever having been there? The Local has spoken to six of our readers who are obsessed with Sweden and all things Swedish...but have never stepped foot in the Nordic nation.

‘Two cultures help you see the bigger picture’
Spain

‘Two cultures help you see the bigger picture’

In the latest installment of My Spanish Career The Local chats to South Korean fashion designer, Angela Bang. Based in Barcelona, Bang has shown her collections at Madrid and Barcelona fashion week and is one of Spain’s most exciting young designers.

Miliband ‘unfair’ over Gib tax haven slur
Spain

Miliband ‘unfair’ over Gib tax haven slur

Gibraltar´s Chief Minister has accused Ed Miliband of being "unfair" after the Labour leader branded the Rock a "tax haven".

Over 7,000 Italians on Swiss ‘tax dodge’ list
Italy

Over 7,000 Italians on Swiss ‘tax dodge’ list

The Swiss arm of British bank HSBC may have helped over 7,000 Italians, including the ex-Formula One team boss Flavio Briatore, hide their wealth from the authorities.

Driving schools and cabbies protest in France
France

Driving schools and cabbies protest in France

Driving schools in France staged a nationwide protest on Monday, causing traffic chaos in and around several French cities including Paris. There was also disruption on roads in Paris prompted by the latest taxi drivers' protest and one by motorbike riders.

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Sweden

Feb. 19: Crosstalks, an international academic talkshow (Stockholm)

Majority of Danes want tougher border controls
Denmark

Majority of Danes want tougher border controls

A majority of residents supports the implementation of permanent border controls and the Danish People's Party has vowed to give the people want they want – even if it means violating the Schengen Agreement.

Figures show 2014 was record year for exports
Germany

Figures show 2014 was record year for exports

Trade with the United Kingdom and other EU partners played a big role in Germany's record exports, which totalled €1.134 trillion in 2014, the Federal Statistics Agency (Destatis) said on Monday.

Race heats up for German Olympic bid spot
Germany

Race heats up for German Olympic bid spot

Berlin has said it is ready to put up €2.5 million in its bid to host the 2024 or 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, in hopes that the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) chooses the capital over Hamburg.

Ibrahimovic rescues PSG against leaders Lyon
France

Ibrahimovic rescues PSG against leaders Lyon

Zlatan Ibrahimovic rescued a point for Paris Saint-Germain in their top-of-the-tableclash with league leaders Lyon on Sunday night after scoring a controversial penalty.

Stockholm producer Max Martin picks up Grammy
Sweden

Stockholm producer Max Martin picks up Grammy

Sweden enjoyed Grammy success in Los Angeles, with three Swedes picking up awards at the prestigious ceremony on Sunday night, including producer Max Martin who is behind some of the biggest hits in pop music.

No Grammy wins for Norway
Norway

No Grammy wins for Norway

None of the six Norwegian acts nominated for a Grammy this year came out victorious, although only one of the them — R&B artist Jarle Bernhoft — even bothered to attend the ceremony.

French Socialists beat Le Pen’s far right in key vote
France

French Socialists beat Le Pen’s far right in key vote

France's ruling Socialists on Sunday narrowly won a key by-election, beating the far-right National Front candidate in what was President Francois Hollande's first major ballot test since the Paris attacks.

‘The art scene in Sweden is less competitive’
Sweden

‘The art scene in Sweden is less competitive’

Artist Stuart Mayes, 46, left London for Sweden three and a half years ago and is not planning to move back. Despite the death of his half-Swedish partner, Stuart’s love affair with Sweden remains solid, as he tells Odessa Fardipour for this week's My Swedish Career.

Emergency peace talks planned for Wednesday
Germany

Emergency peace talks planned for Wednesday

Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to meet with her French, Russian and Ukrainian counterparts on Wednesday in a frantic bid to halt escalating bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine.

France shock Italy to reach Fed Cup semis
Italy

France shock Italy to reach Fed Cup semis

Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia stunned the world's top doubles pairing to give France a shock Fed Cup win over Italy in Genoa on Sunday.