Blocher still pulls strings for party he boosted
Switzerland

Blocher still pulls strings for party he boosted

Populist pontificator Christoph Blocher, known for his virulent campaigns against immigration, the European Union and Islam, is not running in Switzerland's upcoming elections, but remains the country's most talked-about politician.

French union wants 35-hour work week cut to 32
France

French union wants 35-hour work week cut to 32

Forget the 35-hour week. It’s too long says France’s leading trade union, which has launched a campaign calling for a 32-hour week to create jobs and save posts under threat.

Child poverty rate increasing in Austria
Austria

Child poverty rate increasing in Austria

An increasing number of children in Austria are being brought up in relative poverty, according to a new report that warns young people are suffering due to rising inequality around the world.

Populist right seen boosting number of MPs
Switzerland

Populist right seen boosting number of MPs

The Swiss head to the polls Sunday to vote in a new parliament, with the populist right seen as likely to strengthen its already dominant position amid concerns over migrants and asylum rules.

Lapland ski complex to become refugee hub
Sweden

Lapland ski complex to become refugee hub

More than 600 asylum seekers are set to move into the world's most northerly ski resort as Sweden struggles to find enough temporary accommodation for record numbers of new arrivals.

Inside the Spanish startup world: 13 takeaways from the ecosystem
Spain

Inside the Spanish startup world: 13 takeaways from the ecosystem

Just what is going on in the Spanish startup scene? The Local takes a look.

Refugee crisis to cost Austria €1 billion in 2016
Austria

Refugee crisis to cost Austria €1 billion in 2016

The spiralling refugee crisis will cost Austria €1 billion ($740 million) in 2016, the finance ministry announced on Wednesday, as the country expects 85,000 new asylum-seekers by the end of this year.

‘It’s OK to watch porn at lunch’: Italy’s top court
Italy

‘It’s OK to watch porn at lunch’: Italy’s top court

Italy’s top court has ruled that an employee of Fiat did nothing wrong when he watched porn films during his lunch break, and so could not be sacked.

Mystery Swedish dump of stinky sauerkraut
Sweden

Mystery Swedish dump of stinky sauerkraut

Nine smelly barrels discovered on an allotment south of Stockholm last week were initially thought to be filled with toxic waste, but officials say that the containers were in fact packed with sauerkraut, the pickled cabbage dish loved by Germans.

Calais refugees hide in truck… with a polar bear
France

Calais refugees hide in truck… with a polar bear

Refugees who snuck into a truck in France's northern port of Calais were given the fright of their lives when it emerged the lorry contained a polar bear, which was being transported to a UK zoo.

German women fear family’s impact on career
Germany

German women fear family’s impact on career

A new study shows that German women are some of the most pessimistic in the developed world about the effect starting a family will have on their career.

Wacky animal phrases to goose your German
Germany

Wacky animal phrases to goose your German

Are you suffering from a raging tomcat after a heavy night out? Or are people saying you've got a bird and you just don't understand what they mean? Germany certainly doesn't hold back when it comes to animal-based idioms. We take a look at a few of the funniest.

Nordic teams jostle for places in Euro 2016
Denmark

Nordic teams jostle for places in Euro 2016

Denmark, Sweden and Norway are all vying for a spot in Euro 2016 in France next summer, but the Scandinavian rivals could knock one another out at the playoff stages.

Hollande’s ex stops book being made into movie
France

Hollande’s ex stops book being made into movie

The ex-girlfriend of French President Francois Hollande, Valerie Trierweiler, said on Wednesday that she has stopped her tell-all book about their time together being made into a movie.

Nordic teams jostle for places in Euro 2016
Sweden

Nordic teams jostle for places in Euro 2016

Sweden, Norway and Denmark are all vying for a spot in Euro 2016 in France next summer, but the Scandinavian rivals could knock one another out at the playoff stages.

‘Unprecedented’ reaction to royal boob job story
Denmark

‘Unprecedented’ reaction to royal boob job story

The Danish Royal House made the unusual move of sending out a press release to counter a gossip magazine's report that Princess Marie had undergone breast enhancement surgery.

SNCF to show ‘humanity’ to ticketless refugees
France

SNCF to show ‘humanity’ to ticketless refugees

French rail operator SNCF has been forced to deny suggestions it is allowing refugees to travel en masse for free on trains across France after a leaked memo to staff provoked anger from those on the right.

‘Dozens’ of VW managers behind emissions scam
Germany

‘Dozens’ of VW managers behind emissions scam

An internal investigation at Volkswagen (VW) has revealed that at least 30 managers were involved in the company's cheating on emissions testing for its diesel vehicles, Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday.

Meryl Streep to helm Berlinale 2016 jury
Germany

Meryl Streep to helm Berlinale 2016 jury

Berlin's world-renowned film festival, the Berlinale, on Wednesday announced Meryl Streep as its jury president for the 2016 event.

Spanish archbishop warns against ‘Trojan horse’ threat from refugees
Spain

Spanish archbishop warns against ‘Trojan horse’ threat from refugees

A Spanish archbishop has called into question whether Spain should be welcoming refugees, asking "are they completely trustworthy?"

French PM moves to pacify protesting police
France

French PM moves to pacify protesting police

UPDATED: France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced new measures to appease protesting police on Wednesday, who said they were fed up with a lack of resources and an ineffective justice system.

Immigrant kids may soon be ‘de facto’ Italians
Italy

Immigrant kids may soon be ‘de facto’ Italians

Italy’s Lower House has backed new legislation granting citizenship to babies born in Italy to foreign parents.

Property prices rocket despite crash warning
Sweden

Property prices rocket despite crash warning

Sweden's housing market is continuing to heat up, despite warnings from top economists that the situation is a bubble waiting to burst.

Can ‘collegial’ Swiss government stay intact?
Switzerland

Can ‘collegial’ Swiss government stay intact?

For the first time since 1928 the Swiss federal government will next month conclude a four-year term without any changes in the seven-member lineup. Can the team stay together?

Daughter of maid sacked for affair with landowner  wins recognition
Spain

Daughter of maid sacked for affair with landowner wins recognition

A 69-year-old woman stands to inherit a fortune of €3 million after DNA proved that she was the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy Andalusian landowner.

Spain’s Nazi-built airfield will be ‘cutting edge’ drone research centre
Spain

Spain’s Nazi-built airfield will be ‘cutting edge’ drone research centre

The Ministry of Defence and Galicia’s regional government will fund the €55 million facility - one of the few in Europe dedicated to drone research.

PM: ‘I am ready to listen to all suggestions’
Sweden

PM: ‘I am ready to listen to all suggestions’

Stefan Löfven gave an olive branch to leaders of the opposition in a heated parliament debate on Wednesday which focused mainly on the escalating refugee crisis.

Iron Age sacrificial site uncovered in Denmark
Denmark

Iron Age sacrificial site uncovered in Denmark

Danish archaeologists have uncovered well-preserved traces of an entire Iron Age community, including several bogs filled with the skeletons of human and canine sacrifices.

‘Prince William’ baby name blocked in France
France

‘Prince William’ baby name blocked in France

France's most popular baby names for 2015 were revealed on Wednesday, together with a few names that fell foul of the law, including that of a prince.

Italians probe American habits in hilarious video
Italy

Italians probe American habits in hilarious video

A video by BuzzFeed about Italians' mostly stereoptypical habits has been met with a hilarious response in Italy.

ChemChina close to completing Pirelli deal
Italy

ChemChina close to completing Pirelli deal

ChemChina has completed the acquisition of just under 87 percent of Pirelli's ordinary shares, leaving it within touching distance of its goal of delisting the iconic Italian tyremaker.

Police warn parents to never post child photos
Germany

Police warn parents to never post child photos

Police in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, have warned parents in the town not to post pictures of their children online where they can be seen by anyone – sparking massive debate among social media users.

Leading academics slam Hamburg Olympic bid
Germany

Leading academics slam Hamburg Olympic bid

Leading Hamburg academics have blasted city authorities for misleading the public about the true costs of the Olympic Games they intend to host in 2024.

Just 30 minutes on a refugee boat is terrifying
Germany

Just 30 minutes on a refugee boat is terrifying

On Tuesday, German MPs, journalists and others took to the Spree river in a boat once used by refugees to get an idea of what dangerous Mediterranean crossings are like. The Local's Hannah Butler was amongst the boat's passengers - and was shocked by what she experienced.

Pope says sorry for latest Vatican scandals
Italy

Pope says sorry for latest Vatican scandals

Pope Francis apologized on Wednesday on behalf of the Catholic Church for a series of scandals which have recently shaken the city of Rome and the Vatican.

French porn star furious over airline’s tweet
France

French porn star furious over airline’s tweet

A French porn actress had a very public spat with an airline this week all after the company's tweet to explain a delayed flight included a joke about her choice of career.

Dancing tampon song to teach kids about periods
Sweden

Dancing tampon song to teach kids about periods

UPDATED: A rapping and singing children's television presenter and four dancing tampons feature in a new video designed to teach Swedish children to celebrate menstruation.

France recognizes first ‘gender neutral’ person
France

France recognizes first ‘gender neutral’ person

A court in central France has officially registered a person as being "gender neutral" rater than either male or female - the first ruling of its kind in France.

Only one Spaniard has broken the one billion view barrier on YouTube
Spain

Only one Spaniard has broken the one billion view barrier on YouTube

The video site has released a list of its most viewed videos on its tenth anniversary and only one Spaniard makes the list... can you guess who the hero is?

British man dies while swimming off Italy’s Elba
Italy

British man dies while swimming off Italy’s Elba

A British tourist died while swimming off the coast of the Italian island of Elba on Tuesday.

Hansen calls on Norway to halt Arctic oil work
Norway

Hansen calls on Norway to halt Arctic oil work

James Hansen, the campaigning climate scientist, has called on Norway to halt oil drilling in the Arctic to prevent "a dismal future on a planet that will become less and less habitable and governable".

Federer crashes early out of Shanghai Open
Switzerland

Federer crashes early out of Shanghai Open

Seventeen-time Grand Slam tennis champion Roger Federer crashed out to little-known Spanish left-hander Albert Ramos-Vinolas in a major shock in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Danish winter: Wet and mild or extra cold?
Denmark

Danish winter: Wet and mild or extra cold?

Depending on which service is to be believed, Denmark is either in for a winter that will be much colder that usual or one that will be wet and dreary as usual.

Norway in Euro 2016 play-offs after Italy loss
Norway

Norway in Euro 2016 play-offs after Italy loss

Norway's national football have failed to secure an automatic qualifying spot in next year's Euro 2016 after the unbeaten Italian side vanquished them 2-1 at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday evening.

Controversial Spanish starchitect wins European Architecture Prize
Spain

Controversial Spanish starchitect wins European Architecture Prize

Santiago Calatrava has been announced as the 2015 winner of the European Prize for Architecture. The Local takes a look at some of his best work.

Djibril Cissé: ‘I’d nothing to do with sex tape plot’
France

Djibril Cissé: ‘I’d nothing to do with sex tape plot’

Former French international footballer Djibril Cissé has insisted he is innocent a day after he was arrested and questioned over an alleged plot to blackmail fellow footballer Mathieu Valbuena with a sex tape.

Low-lying regions see first snow of the year
Germany

Low-lying regions see first snow of the year

The German Weather Service (DWD) reported snow in some low-lying areas of the country on Tuesday night, marking the low point of this week's cold snap.

Denmark centre stage in US presidential debate
Denmark

Denmark centre stage in US presidential debate

As Democratic candidates squared off for their first debate of the US presidential campaign, Denmark took a central role in the opening minutes.

Madrid striker Ronaldo wins fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer
Spain

Madrid striker Ronaldo wins fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo admitted on Tuesday he felt no satisfaction despite winning a record fourth Golden Boot as the top scorer in Europe's domestic leagues last season.

Florenzi inspires Italy in Norway fightback
Italy

Florenzi inspires Italy in Norway fightback

Alessandro Florenzi inspired Italy to a late fightback that saw the Azzurri stun Norway 2-1 in their final Euro 2016 qualifier at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday to finish top of Group H.

Majority say Germany can’t ‘manage’ refugees
Germany

Majority say Germany can’t ‘manage’ refugees

A poll published on Tuesday showed that a majority of Germans think that there are too many asylum seekers in the country and that Chancellor Angela Merkel is wrong to say "we'll manage this".

Anger as French atlas places Crimea in Russia
France

Anger as French atlas places Crimea in Russia

Ukraine's ambassador to France has voiced his "shock" at the new 2016 edition of a French atlas which features a map showing "Crimea as being part of Russian territory."

Swiss residents world’s wealthiest: bank report
Switzerland

Swiss residents world’s wealthiest: bank report

Residents of Switzerland are the wealthiest in the world but the country also has one of the highest levels of inequality among developed nations, a report from Credit Suisse says.

Austria jails ‘atrocious’ people smuggler
Austria

Austria jails ‘atrocious’ people smuggler

A people smuggler who crammed 42 refugees into just six square metres in the back of a lorry was sentenced to three years in jail in Austria on Tuesday.

Bild declares war on internet adblockers
Germany

Bild declares war on internet adblockers

Germany's biggest newspaper Bild shuttered its online service on Tuesday to users who have installed so-called adblocker software.

Italy probes CEO of firm run by Blatter’s nephew
Italy

Italy probes CEO of firm run by Blatter’s nephew

A sports marketing company run by the nephew of embattled Fifa chief Sepp Blatter has confirmed its CEO in Italy is under investigation as prosecutors probe the sale of Serie A television rights.

Gothenburg shaken by suspected grenade blast
Sweden

Gothenburg shaken by suspected grenade blast

Gothenburg police are investigating an explosion in the suburb of Biskopsgården, which has been hit by multiple attacks in the past year amid rising concerns about gang crime in the city.

Wild boar goes on rampage through Malmö
Sweden

Wild boar goes on rampage through Malmö

Police were called in after a wild boar ran amok through central Malmö, Sweden's third-biggest city. It was understood to still be at large early on Wednesday morning.

Lion dissection is ‘incredibly Danish’
Denmark

Lion dissection is ‘incredibly Danish’

The Local's opinion columnist and 'The Danish Way of Parenting' author Jessica Alexander writes cutting up a lion in front of school kids is just a manifestation of Danes' honest approach to life.

Swedish words that just sound wrong in English
Sweden

Swedish words that just sound wrong in English

Swedish is a fun language to learn, but there are some words which can bring a blush to English-speakers' cheeks. Here are eight words which we still find awkward to use in conversation.