The Local’s year in review
Germany

The Local’s year in review

As 2010 kicks off, The Local takes a look back at some of the stories that caught our attention during the past year in Germany.

Tenants association fears impending apartment shortage
Germany

Tenants association fears impending apartment shortage

The German national tenants association (DMB) has warned the government that unless investment in new construction is increased, the country could face an acute housing shortage in urban areas in the next two or three years.

Punk legend Hagen writes of journey to Jesus
Germany

Punk legend Hagen writes of journey to Jesus

German punk pioneer and scandal queen Nina Hagen said on Thursday she is writing a book about Jesus.

Two men explode flat with home-made fireworks
Germany

Two men explode flat with home-made fireworks

Police on Thursday said two men were injured by an explosion while making fireworks in their apartment. The severely damaged flat apparently contained a substantial cache of pyrotechnical equipment.

Deep freeze disrupts trains
Germany

Deep freeze disrupts trains

Long-distance rail-links were disrupted across Germany on Thursday, as ice on overhead contact wires affected Inter-city services between Amsterdam and Berlin and between Hamburg and Cologne.

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Sweden

Swedes change last names in droves

Despite occasional interference by the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket), Swedes have set a new record in changing their last names.

Two men missing on the Zugspitze
Germany

Two men missing on the Zugspitze

Rescue workers and police are searching for two climbers who went missing two days ago on Germany’s highest mountain, the Zugspitze, in southern Bavaria.

Officials call airport duty-free shops a security risk
Germany

Officials call airport duty-free shops a security risk

German security and aviation officials on Thursday said duty-free shops in airports pose a security risk as they sell potentially dangerous items like razors, cigarette lighters and flammable alcohol and perfume.

‘Vaginal corona’ makes 2009 word list
Sweden

‘Vaginal corona’ makes 2009 word list

The Swedish Language Council's (Språkrådet) has added slidkrans (vaginal corona) to its list of official Swedish words following successful lobbying by a sexual rights group. In total, the council added 30 new words to its linguistic roster.

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Sweden

Taking naked pictures of sleeping teen not a crime: court

A court in Halmstad on the southwest coast of Sweden has dismissed charges against a man who reportedly took a photo of a 17-year-old girl's genitals while she was sleeping. The court said that the incident was was not a punishable offense.

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Sweden

Swedish companies shun foreign ownership

At a time when Sweden's largest automakers, Saab and Volvo – both owned by American companies – are up for grabs, Swedish companies remain sceptical about foreign ownership.

China to back Geely purchase of Volvo
Sweden

China to back Geely purchase of Volvo

The Chinese government will support the sale of Swedish automaker Volvo to Geely Automobile, the company said on Thursday.

Merkel warns of bumpy economy in 2010
Germany

Merkel warns of bumpy economy in 2010

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned in a New Year's television address to be broadcast on Thursday that the effects of the country's worst post-war recession would drag into 2010.