‘We don’t want an arms race’: Stoltenberg
Norway

‘We don’t want an arms race’: Stoltenberg

Nato head Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that the alliance does not want to get dragged into an arms race with Russia but it had to boost its defences to counter Moscow's "aggressive actions" in Ukraine.

Norway jobless at nine-year high: report
Norway

Norway jobless at nine-year high: report

Norway’s unemployment rate has hit a nine-year high on the back of the downturn in the oil industry, with 4.2 percent of the workforce without jobs, Statistics Norway has reported.

No fake mobile stations in central Oslo: PST
Norway

No fake mobile stations in central Oslo: PST

Norway’s intelligence services have thrown cold water on shock claims that fake mobile base stations have been set up around Norway’s parliament to eavesdrop on politicians’ conversations.

America’s Monsanto still wants to buy Syngenta
Switzerland

America’s Monsanto still wants to buy Syngenta

US agriculture and seed giant Monsanto restated its hope to acquire Syngenta Wednesday despite repeated rejections by the Swiss company, calling the deal the "logical next step for our business."

Greek minister slams Swiss over tax evasion
Switzerland

Greek minister slams Swiss over tax evasion

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has taken a swipe at Switzerland for providing only limited information about wealthy tax evaders from cash-strapped Greece who are believed to have stashed billions of euros in Swiss banks.

As it happened: Royal Banquet at Bellevue
Germany

As it happened: Royal Banquet at Bellevue

We followed the build-up to the royal banquet at the Presidential Palace in Berlin on Wednesday as top dignitaries arrived. The Queen was ten minutes late!

Prosecutors seek 5-year jail term for Berlusconi
Italy

Prosecutors seek 5-year jail term for Berlusconi

Prosecutors in Naples on Wednesday asked the judge in Silvio Berlusconi's latest corruption trial to send the former prime minister and media tycoon to jail for five years.

Aristocrat to be exhumed for DNA paternity test
Spain

Aristocrat to be exhumed for DNA paternity test

A judge has ordered the exhumation of one of Spain’s most notable aristocrats to determine whether a woman who claims part of his inheritance is really his daughter.

Obama tells Hollande: Snooping will stop
France

Obama tells Hollande: Snooping will stop

Revelations that the US spied on three French presidents sent shockwaves around France on Wednesday. Here's a look at how the day's events unfolded.

Sweden invests millions to take sting out of pests
Sweden

Sweden invests millions to take sting out of pests

The Swedish government is set to invest another five million kronor ($604,671) to fight the country's surging mosquito population, it was announced on Wednesday.

Germans say US doesn’t respect freedom: poll
Germany

Germans say US doesn’t respect freedom: poll

Germans are more negative about the United States than the rest of Europe, but still largely support Americans' efforts to fight Isis, according to a new poll.

Denmark’s asylum seeker numbers up again
Denmark

Denmark’s asylum seeker numbers up again

A new report from the Danish Immigration Service showed on Wednesday that 2015 is on pace to be another record year for the number of migrants who came to Denmark seeking asylum.

What the Queen really has in her handbag
Germany

What the Queen really has in her handbag

German media has been speculating for days about what the Queen might carry in her favourite black leather handbag. But what she's really smuggling into Germany this week is a bit too big to fit inside one tiny leather purse.

Italian grandfather, 91, completes middle school
Italy

Italian grandfather, 91, completes middle school

A 91-year-old Italian grandfather has finally completed middle school after a lifetime spent working and looking after his family.

Summer heat finally forecast for Sweden
Sweden

Summer heat finally forecast for Sweden

Grey days and rain clouds have so far put a wet blanket on the Swedes' summer spirit. But the sun is waiting just around the corner, forecasters promised on Wednesday.

Crowds turn out for ‘first chance’ to see Queen
Germany

Crowds turn out for ‘first chance’ to see Queen

Despite overcast skies and unseasonally cold weather, Berliners flocked in their thousands to catch a glimpse of Queen Elisabeth II on the first day of her State Visit to Germany on Wednesday. But a glimpse was all they would get.

UBS trader in UK’s biggest fraud out of jail
Switzerland

UBS trader in UK’s biggest fraud out of jail

Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli, jailed for seven years for gambling away $2.3 billion in Britain's biggest ever fraud, has been released from prison, a source said on Wednesday.

Passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Germany

Passengers tell fake racists where to get off

"Seat reserved for Germans only": A provocative experiment on a bus in Essen has examined how members of the public react to racial discrimination. A worthwhile study of racism in German society or pointless confrontation?

US Spying: Fake French shock fools no one
France

US Spying: Fake French shock fools no one

While the French political world reacted with anger and shock – at least publicly – to the revelations that the US spied on the country's presidents and demanded firm action, the reality is, while they may have been a little angry, no one was truthfully shocked.

Russia’s Italian rip-offs offend at World Expo
Italy

Russia’s Italian rip-offs offend at World Expo

The Italian farmers association Coldiretti has warned of a growing number of counterfeit Italian goods in Russia after a fake Italian cheese was discovered in the Russian pavilion at the World Expo.

Juve sign Pereyra for €14 million
Italy

Juve sign Pereyra for €14 million

Italian champions Juventus have handed Argentinian Roberto Pereyra a four-year permanent deal after impressing at the Turin giants while on loan from Udinese.

Nestlé chief Bulcke battles Maggi ‘black eye’
Switzerland

Nestlé chief Bulcke battles Maggi ‘black eye’

Nestlé chief Paul Bulcke says he has drawn the lessons from India's shock ban on its Maggi instant noodles over a health scare and is now trying to salvage the image of the Swiss-based food giant.

Brittany village named France’s favourite
France

Brittany village named France’s favourite

A French television programme has revealed France's favourite village.

Hamburg homeowner shoots intruder dead
Germany

Hamburg homeowner shoots intruder dead

A Hamburg homeowner shot dead a masked man who broke into his house on Tuesday night. It was the third such fatal incident to have taken place in the last half year.

Copenhagen to get new mega-mosque
Denmark

Copenhagen to get new mega-mosque

The construction of a new mosque in the Nordvest district is expected to begin in 2017 and will be funded by private "no strings attached" donations, the Islamic Society in Denmark said.

France rejects ‘a la carte’ Europe for Britain
France

France rejects ‘a la carte’ Europe for Britain

France's economy minister has warned against the creation of an "a la carte" European Union but said he was willing to discuss reform proposals put forward by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Rents in Austria up 15 percent in five years
Austria

Rents in Austria up 15 percent in five years

Residential rents in Austria have risen by a whopping 15.1 percent in the last five years, according to new figures from government agency Statistik Austria.

Swedish discrimination exposed in bus video
Sweden

Swedish discrimination exposed in bus video

A social experiment exposing class discrimination in Sweden has called the Nordic country's image as a tolerant nation into question. The Local spoke to a member of the duo behind the viral sensation.

The priest singing his way to stardom in Spain
Spain

The priest singing his way to stardom in Spain

As The Voice reaches its finale on Wednesday, this year's most memorable contestant chats to The Local about his Twitter fan club, his love of Miley Cyrus and why the church needs to follow his hip example.

Last minute: euthanasia patient changes mind
Italy

Last minute: euthanasia patient changes mind

Italian pro-euthanasia campaigners on Tuesday said that a terminally ill patient who travelled to Switzerland to end their life changed their mind at the last minute.

Why are young Swedes leaving home later?
Sweden

Why are young Swedes leaving home later?

Young people in Sweden's biggest cities are living at home for longer, but remain among the quickest in Europe to fly the family nest.

US embassy in Paris is ‘home to secret spy nest’
France

US embassy in Paris is ‘home to secret spy nest’

Reports in France suggest the US spied on French presidents from a secret spy nest on the roof of its embassy in Paris, which stands just a stone's throw from the Elysée palace.

Teacher in custody for sex and drugs charges
Austria

Teacher in custody for sex and drugs charges

A secondary school teacher from Styria who was suspended in May after allegations that she gave some of her students drugs and sexually abused them is being held in custody after making a partial confession.

San Juan: The morning after the night before
Spain

San Juan: The morning after the night before

The clean-up operation was underway after a night in which hundreds of thousands of people across Spain celebrated the summer solstice with a festival of fire.

Paris: Shabby Gare du Nord set for makeover
France

Paris: Shabby Gare du Nord set for makeover

The Gare du Nord train station in Paris - once dubbed "the squalor pit of Europe" - is set for a major facelift, officials announced on Wednesday. It will even include a gourmet restaurant.

Berlusconi woos Salvini to form alliance
Italy

Berlusconi woos Salvini to form alliance

Italy's former premer Silvio Berlusconi and leader of the resurgent Northern League met for a three-hour dinner in Berlusconi's villa at Arcore to discuss a possible strategic alliance.

Thorning to represent Denmark at EU summit
Denmark

Thorning to represent Denmark at EU summit

As Venstre leader Lars Løkke Rasmussen continues work to form a government, Helle Thorning-Schmidt will be attending this week's EU summit on Denmark's behalf.

Un-bear-lievable! Bear filmed on late night run
Spain

Un-bear-lievable! Bear filmed on late night run

A driver in northern Spain got more than he bargained for recently when a sprinting brown bear was caught in his headlights.

Business confidence hits unexpected slump
Germany

Business confidence hits unexpected slump

The mood surrounding the German economy somewhat clouded over, as a leading indicator of the business climate slumped for the second month running.

Europe identity at risk over migrant crisis: Italy
Italy

Europe identity at risk over migrant crisis: Italy

Europe needs to find a solution to the migrant crisis or risk losing its identity, Italy's Matteo Renzi warned on Wednesday ahead of a key EU summit, as tensions rose over the asylum issue.

Sweden’s Alicia Vikander joins new Bourne movie
Sweden

Sweden’s Alicia Vikander joins new Bourne movie

Swedish rising supernova Alicia Vikander is set to star opposite Matt Damon in the fifth Jason Bourne film, her agent told The Local on Wednesday.

Denmark is the world’s top country: economist
Denmark

Denmark is the world’s top country: economist

Scottish economist John Kay argues that Denmark, and not the United States or China, is the world's 'Top Nation'.

Begging ban rejected by Swedish government
Sweden

Begging ban rejected by Swedish government

Sweden won't make it illegal to beg, but will introduce a package of measures designed to limit vulnerable EU migrants making money on the country's streets.

Global insurance sector bounces back: Swiss Re
Switzerland

Global insurance sector bounces back: Swiss Re

The global insurance industry gained momentum last year, as economies improved and the long suffering life insurance sector returned to growth in Europe and Japan, says a Swiss study released on Wednesday.

UK boosts border checks for Calais migrant crisis
France

UK boosts border checks for Calais migrant crisis

Britain will increase screening of arrivals at Dover and create a task force to tackle people smugglers, officials said on Wednesday, as growing numbers of migrants step up efforts to cross the Channel.

Half Zurich police candidates flunk German
Switzerland

Half Zurich police candidates flunk German

More than half of candidates for the Zurich cantonal police force fail to qualify because their knowledge of the German language is inadequate, officials say.

Norway MP warned for Russian spy contacts
Norway

Norway MP warned for Russian spy contacts

Norway’s Police Security Service (PST) has warned an MP from the populist Progress Party about his excessive social contact with suspected Russian intelligence officers, Norway’s VG newspaper has reported in an investigative article.

Previously uncast Rodin sculpture fetches $1.1m
France

Previously uncast Rodin sculpture fetches $1.1m

A sculpture by renowned French artist Auguste Rodin, only cast in bronze for the first time last year, fetched more than $1 million at a London sale.

Hungary’s anti-migrant decision ‘unacceptable’
Austria

Hungary’s anti-migrant decision ‘unacceptable’

Austria has slammed Hungary’s decision to suspend a key EU rule that says it must take back asylum seekers who first enter Hungary but travel onto other countries - and warned of "negative" consequences.

As it happened: The Queen’s first day in Berlin
Germany

As it happened: The Queen’s first day in Berlin

Queen Elizabeth II has a packed programme in Berlin on Wednesday. Check back here throughout the day for regular updates.

Truck driver dies after slamming into pillar
Switzerland

Truck driver dies after slamming into pillar

Police in the canton of Basel-Country are investigating the crash of a truck that killed its 47-year-old driver on Tuesday after the vehicle ploughed head-on into the concrete pillar of an underpass.

Activists launch anti-whaling action in Faroes
Denmark

Activists launch anti-whaling action in Faroes

The annual whale hunt is about to get underway on the autonomous Faroe Islands and Sea Shepherd will once again will try to disrupt the "barbaric" ritual.

Gabriel radically slashes weapons exports
Germany

Gabriel radically slashes weapons exports

The German government significantly cut back on the licenses it gave for weapons sales in 2014, fulfilling a promise from vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel to be more rigorous in arms sales.

Amnesty launches Spain anti-eviction campaign
Spain

Amnesty launches Spain anti-eviction campaign

Rights group Amnesty International has launched its first campaign against evictions, tackling the widespread problem in crisis-hit Spain.

Eurostar resumes after Channel Tunnel chaos
France

Eurostar resumes after Channel Tunnel chaos

Cross-Channel Eurostar train services resumed on Wednesday after they were suspended the day before when hundreds of protesting French ferry workers set fire to tyres on the tracks.

French CEO: Stockholm needs more direct flights
Sweden

French CEO: Stockholm needs more direct flights

Sweden has been a magnet for foreign investment and people seeking a great work-life balance - but a lack of connectivity threatens to derail the trend. Isabelle Ducellier, Nordic CEO of French distiller Pernod Ricard - which owns Absolut vodka - tells The Local more.

Vet who used puppies as drug mules arrested
Spain

Vet who used puppies as drug mules arrested

A Venezuelan vet who allegedly implanted bags of liquid heroin inside puppies to smuggle drugs into America has been arrested in northwestern Spain.

Murdered schoolgirl’s family speaks of loss
Sweden

Murdered schoolgirl’s family speaks of loss

UPDATED: Relatives of Lisa Holm, 17, who went missing and was found dead earlier this month have spoken for the first time about losing a happy, shy daughter who loved to travel.

Multicultural Rome: one in eight born abroad
Italy

Multicultural Rome: one in eight born abroad

Rome has become a multicultural city with one in eight of its legal residents now coming from overseas, according to a new report.

Denmark nabs Olympic spot with U21 group win
Denmark

Denmark nabs Olympic spot with U21 group win

Young Danes moved a step closer to becoming European champs on Tuesday night and punched their tickets for Rio with a convincing win over Serbia.

Germany being ‘used’ by Egypt says jailed journo
Germany

Germany being ‘used’ by Egypt says jailed journo

Jailed Al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour arrived back in Qatar on Tuesday, blaming his controversial two-day detention in Germany on pressure from the Egyptian government.

Spying on French presidents: What the Wikileaks docs reveal
France

Spying on French presidents: What the Wikileaks docs reveal

Here's a closer look at some of the key details revealed by the Wikileaks documents that showed the US had wiretapped three French presidents.

United States ‘spied on three French presidents’
France

United States ‘spied on three French presidents’

The United States spied on three French presidents including François Hollande through its controversial NSA program, according to explosive new reports in France.

Nazi-looted masterpiece up for auction
Germany

Nazi-looted masterpiece up for auction

A Nazi-looted painting that was hidden for decades is being auctioned by Sotheby's Wednesday in a rare sale as investigators work painstakingly to identify the origins of hundreds of other works from the same haul.

Huge nuclear reactor set to close in Sweden
Sweden

Huge nuclear reactor set to close in Sweden

One of Sweden’s biggest nuclear reactors, Oskarshamn 2 looks set to close in the next few years, the German energy group which runs it has announced.

Regrets but no remorse for Sicily’s mafia veteran
Italy

Regrets but no remorse for Sicily’s mafia veteran

More than two decades in prison spent studying and writing has made convicted Sicilian killer Giuseppe Grassonelli a changed man.

Swede jailed in US for global hacking software
Sweden

Swede jailed in US for global hacking software

A Swedish man who created a malware programme that infected half a million computers around the world has been jailed for 57 months in New York for computer hacking.

Ten Swedish phrases you only hear in summer
Sweden

Ten Swedish phrases you only hear in summer

Summer always leaves foreigners baffled by Swedes' unique seasonal habits. Here's The Local's guide to navigating small talk when the sun comes out.