Swiss central bank readies for Grexit ‘crisis’
Switzerland

Swiss central bank readies for Grexit ‘crisis’

The Swiss National Bank (SNB) is preparing for the possibility of a “crisis scenario” if Greece leaves the eurozone, the central bank’s chairman told German-language state broadcaster SRF on Thursday.

Sepp Blatter charity football tourney still on
Switzerland

Sepp Blatter charity football tourney still on

Despite a deepening corruption scandal at Fifa, an annual charity event carrying the outgoing president Sepp Blatter's name will go ahead, organizers said on Thursday.

Michelle Obama: ‘We can do better’ in obesity fight
Italy

Michelle Obama: ‘We can do better’ in obesity fight

US First Lady Michelle Obama visited the World Expo in Milan, which is themed this year on food, on the lookout for ideas to help fight childhood obesity.

UK drivers warned after tensions rise in Calais
France

UK drivers warned after tensions rise in Calais

With thousands of migrants massed in Calais desperately attempting to get to the UK, driving to the port has become hazardous and Britons are being urged to take care as the summer peak season starts.

Danish chain hit for hogging ‘Jensen’ name
Denmark

Danish chain hit for hogging ‘Jensen’ name

Jensen’s Bøfhus, Denmark’s largest steak restaurant chain, has seen its losses triple after customers deserted it for bullying a seafood restaurant in a remote rural corner of the country into dropping 'Jensen’s' from its name.

Germans learn to give right royal welcome
Germany

Germans learn to give right royal welcome

Four German contestants have won the chance to meet Queen Elizabeth II when she comes to Berlin next week. On Thursday the British ambassador taught them the dos and don’ts of meeting Her Maj.

Gazprom plans new gas pipeline to Germany
Germany

Gazprom plans new gas pipeline to Germany

Russian gas giant Gazprom on Thursday agreed to a plan with Shell, E.ON and OMV aimed at building a new gas pipeline to Germany, the companies said in a statement.

Ikea cracks down on French fan’s website
France

Ikea cracks down on French fan’s website

A French blogger and Ikea fanatic has incurred the wrath of Swedish furniture giant after he created a website called Ikeapedia in the chain's honour.

The Local’s top moments from a very royal week
Sweden

The Local’s top moments from a very royal week

It's been a right royal week in Sweden, with the birth of Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf taking place just two days after Prince Carl Philip got hitched to Sofia Hellqvist. Here are our favourite moments.

Infanta Cristina flogs mansion to raise bail
Spain

Infanta Cristina flogs mansion to raise bail

Spain's Infanta Cristina and her husband have sold their Barcelona mansion, reportedly worth nearly €7m ($8 million), in a fraud scandal that has embarrassed the monarchy, a court said on Thursday.

How to mount Etna from your sofa
Italy

How to mount Etna from your sofa

To celebrate the two-year anniversary since Sicily's Mount Etna was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site, June 21st, Google has added detailed photos of the volcano to it Street View feature.

Essen to be 2017 ‘Green Capital’ of Europe
Germany

Essen to be 2017 ‘Green Capital’ of Europe

The German city of Essen has been named the European Green Capital for 2017 at a ceremony on Thursday in the current capital Bristol in the UK.

Raids after suspect Swedish helicopter deal
Sweden

Raids after suspect Swedish helicopter deal

Police officers have raided the headquarters of the Swedish Maritime Administration, following corruption claims linked to a one billion kronor deal to buy seven helicopters.

Kidnappers return ‘Screw King’ billionaire’s son
Germany

Kidnappers return ‘Screw King’ billionaire’s son

Police recovered the son of billionaire Reinhold Würth unharmed on Thursday after he was kidnapped the day before, launching a manhunt for those behind the crime.

French warn UK: ‘Brexit could be your Waterloo’
France

French warn UK: ‘Brexit could be your Waterloo’

On the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, France's leading daily newspaper Le Monde has taken the chance to tell Britain if it decides to leave the EU it would be as crushing a defeat as Waterloo.

Massive strawberry heist ahead of Midsummer
Sweden

Massive strawberry heist ahead of Midsummer

Thousands of boxes of strawberries have been stolen from a farm in Vinslöv, in Skåne, southern Sweden, with the search for the thieves gripping Swedes planning to feast on the fruits over Midsummer.

UK artist Tracey Emin airs views at Art Basel
Switzerland

UK artist Tracey Emin airs views at Art Basel

British artist Tracey Emin seems stressed and ruffled as she weaves through crowds of deep-pocketed collectors to reach three of her pieces on prominent display at Art Basel.

Did the men of Pompeii have a penis problem?
Italy

Did the men of Pompeii have a penis problem?

A first century fresco in the ruins of Pompeii could reveal an embarrassing truth about ancient Roman men, an Italian researcher told The Local.

And the most common expat name in Spain is…
Spain

And the most common expat name in Spain is…

Spain’s office of national statistics has revealed the most common expat names in Spain, with Moroccan and Romanian names dominating the pack.

Waterloo victor would have been ‘pro-Europe’
Spain

Waterloo victor would have been ‘pro-Europe’

The Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo two centuries ago, would have been "pro-European" had he been alive today, insists his great-great-great-grandson, the current Duke.

As it happened: Denmark gets centre-right govt
Denmark

As it happened: Denmark gets centre-right govt

Denmark's election resulted in a stronger-than-expected right-wing coalition, with the Danish People's Party as the largest 'blue' party and Lars Løkke Rasmussen returning to the Prime Minister's office.

Locals say ‘non’ to plans for a Paris ‘Central Park’
France

Locals say ‘non’ to plans for a Paris ‘Central Park’

An architect who plans to build the "Central Park" of Greater Paris has come under fire, as 10,000 people have raised their voices against the plan.

France skips Waterloo to honour De Gaulle
France

France skips Waterloo to honour De Gaulle

While the rest of Europe marked the anniversary of Waterloo on Thursday, France and its president preferred to commemorate a very different moment in French history, one that is a little easier to celebrate, perhaps.

Salzburg embraces gay traffic lights
Austria

Salzburg embraces gay traffic lights

The Austrian city of Salzburg has unveiled its own gay-themed pedestrian traffic lights after the flashing signals specially installed in Vienna for the Eurovision Song Contest proved a hit.

Bus drivers ‘not racist’ for refusing immigrants
Italy

Bus drivers ‘not racist’ for refusing immigrants

Bus drivers in Milan are refusing to transport migrants because of fears they will catch diseases, but have insisted the move was not racially motivated.

Swedish nationalists score record support
Sweden

Swedish nationalists score record support

The Sweden Democrats now have the support of one in five Swedish voters, according to two major polls released on Thursday demonstrating record backing for the nationalist party.

Five odd Swedish things to taste at Midsummer
Sweden

Five odd Swedish things to taste at Midsummer

The Local brings you the low-down on the five weirdest Swedish foods we hope you try during Midsummer Eve celebrations.

Airline crew refuse to deport Afghan woman
Austria

Airline crew refuse to deport Afghan woman

The crew of an Austrian Airlines plane refused to deport an Afghan woman who is due to be returned to Bulgaria in accordance with the Dublin Regulation.

Seabed gives up Spanish Armada wreck cannons
Spain

Seabed gives up Spanish Armada wreck cannons

Storms off the west coast of Ireland have disturbed the seabed to reveal two 16th century cannons wrecked from the Spanish Armada.

Police send helicopter to rescue Papa Smurf
Germany

Police send helicopter to rescue Papa Smurf

A police helicopter and patrol cars were called to assist a 'lifeless body' in Düsseldorf that turned out to be less of an emergency than they expected.

‘Toe-thumb’ girl wins €75k for ruined future
Spain

‘Toe-thumb’ girl wins €75k for ruined future

A student in Spain who had one of her toes transplanted to replace a thumb damaged in a traffic accident has won compensation of €75,300 because the injury shattered her dreams of becoming a hairdresser.

Public urinator sprays man with tear gas
Germany

Public urinator sprays man with tear gas

A man confronting a drunk watering his front garden in Duisburg got more than he bargained for when the culprit retaliated with a tear gas attack.

Lego looking for alternatives to plastic
Denmark

Lego looking for alternatives to plastic

The Danish company plans to invest massively in R&D to find a more environmentally sustainable material to produce the much-loved building bricks.

Grass mower runs over body on Donauinsel
Austria

Grass mower runs over body on Donauinsel

A gruesome discovery has been made on Vienna’s Donauinsel island - the body of a 31-year-old woman, hidden in tall grass.

Merkel warns Greece: it’s time to show willing
Germany

Merkel warns Greece: it’s time to show willing

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that while she wanted to keep Greece in the eurozone, it was time for the country to make some compromises with its neighbours.

Solar team seek ‘weather window’ to leave Japan
Switzerland

Solar team seek ‘weather window’ to leave Japan

The pilot of a Swiss solar-powered plane trapped in Japan by the country's rainy season said on Thursday that he is prepared to wait two more months for a weather window, but may eventually have to give up for the year.

Perfume industry riled at PM’s ‘cosmetic changes’
Spain

Perfume industry riled at PM’s ‘cosmetic changes’

Spain's prime minister is poised to unveil a cabinet reshuffle and the fact that he has promised them to be "not merely cosmetic changes" have earned criticism from a very unlikely corner: the Spanish perfume association.

Violence forces 60 million to flee homes: UN
Switzerland

Violence forces 60 million to flee homes: UN

Conflicts and violence raging around the world sent the number of people forced to flee their homes soaring to a record 60 million last year, the Geneva-based United Nations Refugee Agency said on Thursday.

Bad bank Heta has €7 billion capital hole
Austria

Bad bank Heta has €7 billion capital hole

Austria’s “bad bank” Heta Asset Resolution, set up to hold the non-performing assets of the failed Hypo Alpe Adria bank, requires an additional capital injection of €7 billion ($7.9 billion), according to the latest financial statement.

French government faces no-confidence vote
France

French government faces no-confidence vote

France's Socialist government faces a parliamentary vote of no confidence on Thursday over a key package of reforms designed to energise the country's sluggish economy.

How Italy is bringing its ghost towns back to life
Italy

How Italy is bringing its ghost towns back to life

Earthquakes or unemployment drove the original inhabitants away; now some of Italy’s ghost towns are being revived as trendy holiday spots or even hippy artists’ communes. And if that doesn’t work? Flog it on eBay.

Weak euro takes toll on Swiss exports in May
Switzerland

Weak euro takes toll on Swiss exports in May

The strength of the franc against the euro continues to impact Swiss trade, driving exports down 11 percent in May from the same month a year earlier, figures released by the government on Thursday show.

Retiring politicians: ‘Sad’ and ‘negative’ election
Denmark

Retiring politicians: ‘Sad’ and ‘negative’ election

Two political veterans who will not be running in this election complain that it has been conducted at a low level and that the campaigns on both sides have been overly negative.

Opposition leader slams ‘negative campaign’
Denmark

Opposition leader slams ‘negative campaign’

The leader of Denmark’s opposition has attacked Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt for running a negative campaign which “copy-pasted” key Liberal Party policies, in a brief interview with The Local on the morning of the country’s election.

First food bank set to open in Swedish capital
Sweden

First food bank set to open in Swedish capital

Sweden has a reputation for equality, but a growing pay gap has has led to the country's first "social supermarket" being planned for Stockholm, offering discounted donated food to residents.

How 400 Germans won the Battle of Waterloo
Germany

How 400 Germans won the Battle of Waterloo

On June 18th, 1815, 400 Hanoverian soldiers were the only thing standing between defeat and victory for the alliance against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

Michelle Obama pushes health food diet in Milan
Italy

Michelle Obama pushes health food diet in Milan

US First Lady Michelle Obama arrived on Wednesday with her mother and daughters in Milan, where she is set to push her healthy food agenda at the World Expo.

France bans earphones for drivers and cyclists
France

France bans earphones for drivers and cyclists

France has announced that motorists, and even cyclists, won't be allowed to use headphones while driving from the 1st of July.

Artist’s fury as Versailles ‘vagina’ vandalised
France

Artist’s fury as Versailles ‘vagina’ vandalised

UPDATED: The British-Indian artist behind the controversial "Queen's Vagina" sculpture at Versailles has blasted an "intolerance towards art in France", after the installation was vandalised.

Europe commemorates 200 years since Waterloo
France

Europe commemorates 200 years since Waterloo

The battlefield of Waterloo in Belgium will resonate to a huge sound-and-light show on Thursday as Europe marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's defeat. Although the French have been accused of snubbing the event.

NSU terror suspect speaks for first time
Germany

NSU terror suspect speaks for first time

Beate Zschäpe, the only living member of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) terror cell, spoke before the court in Munich on Wednesday for the first time in her years-long trial.

Art Basel: Art for art’s sake — or for cash?
Switzerland

Art Basel: Art for art’s sake — or for cash?

The halls of Art Basel, the world's largest contemporary art fair, brim with elegantly dressed collectors all searching for something special — and, increasingly, financial investors just after a good deal.

Chinese tourists injured in Obwalden bus crash
Switzerland

Chinese tourists injured in Obwalden bus crash

Eight Chinese tourists and a tour leader were injured when an Italian bus carrying 40 people crashed after leaving the road between Engelberg and Grafenort in the canton of Obwalden, police said on Thursday.

Wikipedia recognized with top Spanish prize
Spain

Wikipedia recognized with top Spanish prize

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia was on Wednesday awarded Spain's Princess of Asturias award for international cooperation.

Catalan ministers step down over independence
Spain

Catalan ministers step down over independence

Three ministers from the junior party in the coalition that runs Catalonia pulled out of the regional government due to disagreements over its push to break away from Spain.

MPs set out assisted suicide bill
Germany

MPs set out assisted suicide bill

A group of MPs from the German coalition government presented a bill on Wednesday which would hand doctors the right to perform assisted suicide.

Cocaine worth €75m seized in northern Italy
Italy

Cocaine worth €75m seized in northern Italy

Italian police announced on Wednesday they had seized 185 kilograms of cocaine at the port of Genes.

Russia warns of ‘risks’ should Sweden join Nato
Sweden

Russia warns of ‘risks’ should Sweden join Nato

A top Russian official has told a leading Swedish newspaper that the country would be likely to face military action if it were to join Nato.

Italy’s migrant drama moves from sea to stage
Italy

Italy’s migrant drama moves from sea to stage

"I'm a funny man," says the Nigerian asylum-seeker. "Sometimes when I was watching TV or a movie, I would think, 'I could do better than that guy'.

Frontex opens Sicily hub to tackle migrant crisis
Italy

Frontex opens Sicily hub to tackle migrant crisis

EU border agency Frontex on Wednesday launched its first so-called "hotspot" in Sicily designed to bring together European and international actors to help Italy tackle the Mediterranean migrant crisis.

Tyrant or visionary? The French view of Napoleon
France

Tyrant or visionary? The French view of Napoleon

Thursday marks the 200th anniversary since Napoleon's final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. But even two centuries on French opinion is still divided over the former Emperor the English called "Boney".

Swedes in boozy ‘don’t drink and dive’ video
Sweden

Swedes in boozy ‘don’t drink and dive’ video

A Swedish synchronized swimming team have performed their world champion routine while drunk – to highlight the dangers of drinking and diving during the summer months.

Steinmeier: Europe divided on refugees
Germany

Steinmeier: Europe divided on refugees

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that EU member states remain "far from consensus" on how to distribute refugees between them.

What’s on in Sweden: June 18th – 25th
Sweden

What’s on in Sweden: June 18th – 25th

Sweden's most talked-about music event is here, as is an annual festival for fans of the original master of Nordic Noir. That's on top of a holiday that will see even your normally quiet Swedish friends turned into party animals.

The things you really need to know about Napoleon
France

The things you really need to know about Napoleon

As Europe marks 200 years since Napoleon's French army was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, we've pulled out a few of the more quirkier facts about him including, perhaps the real reason why he was known as the “little corporal”.

Why happy endings don’t make us happy
Denmark

Why happy endings don’t make us happy

The Local's opinion columnist Jessica Alexander writes that if you really want to feel better about yourself, you should skip the sugary Hollywood films and opt for a Danish downer.

Swedish prosecutor cancels Assange talks
Sweden

Swedish prosecutor cancels Assange talks

Swedish prosecutors have scrapped an appointment to question Julian Assange in London this week over sex allegations, the WikiLeaks founder's lawyers have told Sweden's main news agency.

Waterloo still taboo for the French 200 years on
France

Waterloo still taboo for the French 200 years on

There will be no high-ranking French officials attending this week's gigantic commemoration for the 200-year anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. Is it really just a case of the French being sore losers?

Swedish PM boycotts Denmark’s election day

Swedish PM boycotts Denmark’s election day

Sweden’s Social Democrats are not sending a single senior politician to support their sister party on the day of Denmark’s election, in what is being seen as a protest against the harsh tone on immigration that has characterised the campaign.