What’s On in Sweden: February 12th – 18th
Sweden

What’s On in Sweden: February 12th – 18th

What’s on in Sweden: Jedi Mind Tricks and Joyce Carol Oates in Stockholm, thousands of kisses in Gothenburg and Beethoven in Blue Jeans in Malmö.

Rösler vows high drug prices to fall
Germany

Rösler vows high drug prices to fall

Big pharmaceutical firms have been put on notice that the government plans to crack down on high drug prices, with German Health Minister Philipp Rösler vowing Wednesday to bring prices “under control.”

Klein addresses closed Kunduz air strike inquiry
Germany

Klein addresses closed Kunduz air strike inquiry

Colonel Georg Klein, the German commander who ordered the controversial air strike that killed up to 140 Afghans last year, appeared before an parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday after defending his actions publicly through his lawyer.

Rhineland jesters try to get Munich to lighten up for Karneval
Germany

Rhineland jesters try to get Munich to lighten up for Karneval

Maybe it's the ''calming'' effect of all that Bavarian beer, but the relatively sedate approach to Karneval in Munich has the excitable folks from Cologne worried. So they've decided to do something about it.

‘Backward’ rental market must be fixed: expert
Sweden

‘Backward’ rental market must be fixed: expert

The wait for a rental apartment in Stockholm averages 104 weeks, rising to as much as 20 years for attractive areas, according to a new report published this week.

Politician blames transvestite alter ego for sunny island freebie
Sweden

Politician blames transvestite alter ego for sunny island freebie

High profile Centre Party member of parliament Fredrick Federley passed the buck to Ursula, his transvestite alter ego, when put on the spot for accepting an all expenses paid trip to Gran Canaria.

Golden handshake for sacked pharmacy chief
Sweden

Golden handshake for sacked pharmacy chief

Stefan Carlsson, CEO of Sweden's state-run Apoteket pharmacy chain, is to receive a 5.4 million kronor ($740,000) severance payment after being asked to leave his post in August of this year.

Leading Germany’s kids down a dead-end street
Germany

Leading Germany’s kids down a dead-end street

Germany’s highest court has ruled Hartz IV welfare payments unconstitutional because children only receive a percentage of adult benefits. But Tissy Bruns from Der Tagesspiegel doubts the decision will end up helping poorer kids.

Politicians defend Hartz IV following high court ruling
Germany

Politicians defend Hartz IV following high court ruling

Senior government figures defended the maligned Hartz IV welfare system on Wednesday as political fallout continued following the German high court's ruling that the programme is unconstitutional.

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Sweden

Nordea sees profits fall

Nordic banking group Nordea has reported an operating profit of €592 million ($815 million) for the final quarter 2009, down on a profit of €781 million in the corresponding period of last year.

SEB slashes bonuses as profits fall
Sweden

SEB slashes bonuses as profits fall

Swedish bank SEB has reported an operating profit of 564 million kronor ($77 million) for the fourth quarter 2009, down on the 4.03 billion kronor in the corresponding period of 2008.

Support for Merkel’s coalition flagging
Germany

Support for Merkel’s coalition flagging

Voter support for the two parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s struggling centre-right coalition has fallen to its lowest level since 2001, a poll published Wednesday found.

Police bust Vietnamese human-trafficking ring
Germany

Police bust Vietnamese human-trafficking ring

Police busted open a Vietnamese people-smuggling ring on Wednesday morning, raiding 17 houses across three German states and arresting three men believed to be the ringleaders.

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Sweden

‘Meat glue’ approval draws criticism

Sweden's approval of thrombin - a new so-called meat glue, has drawn criticism from consumer groups and politicians alike who fear that consumers stand to be misled.

Stockholm to host NHL opener
Sweden

Stockholm to host NHL opener

Stockholm has been named as one of three cities which will play host to the six opening games of the National Hockey League next season.

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Sweden

Mum endures c-section without anaesthetic

A woman has reported Lund University Hospital to Sweden's Medical Responsibility Board (HSAN) after being subjected to a caesarian section without the benefit of an anaesthetic.

Bundeswehr launches investigation into hazing
Germany

Bundeswehr launches investigation into hazing

Reports of ritual hazing at a Bundeswehr mountain infantry training camp surfaced on Wednesday, spurring Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg to urge an investigation into the mistreatment of young recruits.

Rampaging ‘wild cows’ near A1 autobahn shot dead
Germany

Rampaging ‘wild cows’ near A1 autobahn shot dead

Police said on Wednesday they were forced to shoot two cows that went on a rampage in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia when they threatened to endanger traffic.

Sweden to send more troops to Afghanistan
Sweden

Sweden to send more troops to Afghanistan

Sweden plans to reinforce its contingent of troops in Afghanistan with 30 soldiers to be dispatched during next week, according to a Swedish Armed Forces statement.

Berlin eyes ‘firewall’ to contain Greek debt crisis
Germany

Berlin eyes ‘firewall’ to contain Greek debt crisis

Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, is examining how to build a "firewall" to prevent the Greek debt crisis tearing through the countries that use the euro, media reports said on Wednesday.

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Sweden

‘IMF solution an option for Greece’: Borg

Sweden's finance minister Anders Borg has raised the prospect of the International Monetary Fund as a possible solution to the debt crisis in Greece.