Germany plays down spat with Greece
Germany

Germany plays down spat with Greece

Germany sought Friday to play down growing tensions with Greece over the debt crisis and war reparations ahead of a crunch meeting next week between the leaders of both countries.

Cologne to flood metro tunnel as Rhine rises
Germany

Cologne to flood metro tunnel as Rhine rises

Cologne city officials announced on Friday that they would flood a metro tunnel under construction over the weekend to keep stable as water levels rise rapidly in the Rhine River due to spring snowmelt.

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Sweden

Woman threatened to set fire to her children

A woman was taken into psychiatric care on Friday afternoon after threatening to set fire to herself and her three children in an apartment in Karlskrona in southern Sweden.

VW profits plummets 80 percent in 2009
Germany

VW profits plummets 80 percent in 2009

Volkswagen, the biggest European carmaker, said Friday that 2009 profit plunged by nearly 80 percent in the global slump but predicted that sales and operating profit would rebound this year.

Bringing 3D television to a living room near you
Germany

Bringing 3D television to a living room near you

Three-dimensional TV pioneers are predicting groundbreaking new technology will be in most German living rooms within just a few years and that it will revolutionise storytelling and live sport without the need for funky 3D glasses.

Bus driver in bitter fight for sartorial rights
Sweden

Bus driver in bitter fight for sartorial rights

Bus drivers in Umeå in northern Sweden have taken to the streets to protest uniform regulations requiring them to wear a tie to work.

Majority supports Westerwelle in controversial welfare debate
Germany

Majority supports Westerwelle in controversial welfare debate

More than half of German voters back Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle’s robust attacks on Germany’s welfare system, saying his fiery rhetoric has been justified, a poll released on Friday revealed.

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Sweden

Economists reject ‘housing bubble’ report

Economists from state-owned mortgage lender SBAB have rejected as unfounded warnings from the National Housing Credit Guarantee Board (BKN) that Sweden stands on the precipice of a house price crash.

Firms under scrutiny over GPS spying
Sweden

Firms under scrutiny over GPS spying

The Swedish Data Inspection Board (Datainspektionen) has announced the launch of a project to review how companies and municipalities use GPS positioning technology to track their staff.

Win Ocean Colour Scene concert tickets from The Local
Germany

Win Ocean Colour Scene concert tickets from The Local

Care to see some Britpop in Berlin or Munich? Win tickets to a concert by Ocean Colour Scene at the Hard Rock Cafe by subscribing to The Local’s weekly newsletter.

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Sweden

Public bodies to accept thousands of interns

To meet labour market policy goals the Swedish Alliance government is now demanding that public authorities accept thousands of interns.

Warmer winds carry falling ice warning
Sweden

Warmer winds carry falling ice warning

A sudden change in the weather in Sweden has led to a heightened risk of icy roads, while pedestrians are urged to watch out for falling ice and snow from buildings.

Lousy 2009 results pressure Bayer shares
Germany

Lousy 2009 results pressure Bayer shares

German pharmaceutical giant Bayer saw its shares plunge Friday after the group reported poor 2009 results amid what it called a difficult environment.

Hunters urge calm as wolves return to Bavaria
Germany

Hunters urge calm as wolves return to Bavaria

The ÖJV ecological hunters’ association urged Bavarians on Friday to remain calm following confirmation that a lone wolf has been spotted near the southern community of Brannenburg.

Malmö mayor says unaware of level of attacks on Jews
Sweden

Malmö mayor says unaware of level of attacks on Jews

Malmö mayor Ilmar Reepalu conceded that he has not been sufficiently well informed about the vulnerable situation faced by Jews after meeting with community leaders on Thursday.

Munich’s answer to Lent: stronger beer
Germany

Munich’s answer to Lent: stronger beer

Lent might be a period of abstinence, but Bavarian monks decided centuries ago that drinking highly alcoholic beer helped their fasting. Thomas Barkley explains Munich's Starkbierzeit tradition.

Bundestag backs Afghan troop boost amid protest
Germany

Bundestag backs Afghan troop boost amid protest

The German parliament on Friday voted overwhelmingly in support of a new mandate to extend the nation’s military mission in Afghanistan and send up to 850 extra troops.

German banks to avoid Greek state bonds
Germany

German banks to avoid Greek state bonds

In further signs of the finance world’s shattered confidence in Greece, major German banks plan to stop buying government-backed investments in the ailing country, business daily Financial Times Deutschland reported Friday.

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Sweden

Hemp farmer wins state pay out

A hemp farmer in Halland in western Sweden has won a court ruling stating that his crop was illegally seized by the Swedish state.

Victorious Viktoria puts Germany in top spot
Germany

Victorious Viktoria puts Germany in top spot

Germany consolidated its place on top of the Olympic Games medal table on Thursday thanks to a gold won by Viktoria Rebensburg in the women's giant slalom, her country's first in the event for 54 years.

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Sweden

Opposition parties pull away: poll

The left-green opposition coalition has increased its lead over the Alliance government, a new poll on Friday shows.

Travellers given discount after transport turmoil
Sweden

Travellers given discount after transport turmoil

Stockholm transport authority, SL, has introduced a temporary discount on its monthly passes as compensation for weeks of transport turmoil.