Reinfeldt ‘concerned’ over Saab deal collapse
Sweden

Reinfeldt ‘concerned’ over Saab deal collapse

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Thursday he was worried about the failure of Chinese rescue funding for the Saab-Spyker auto group but stressed the state would not step in to rescue the cash-strapped brand.

Ballack left out of squad – again
Germany

Ballack left out of squad – again

Michael Ballack's international exile continues after he was left out of the 23-man Germany squad announced Thursday for the friendly against Uruguay and next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Lena fatigue dampens interest in Eurovision
Germany

Lena fatigue dampens interest in Eurovision

Television networks ARD and ProSieben are struggling to drum up interest for the early rounds of the Eurovision Song Contest, with apparent “Lena fatigue” affecting the lead-up to the Saturday’s final in Düsseldorf.

Activist couple rewarded for sole resistance to neo-Nazis
Germany

Activist couple rewarded for sole resistance to neo-Nazis

A couple who offer the sole resistance in an East German village dominated by neo-Nazis, has been given the prestigious Paul Spiegel Award for Civic Courage.

Judge fines frog-killer for illegal gun possession
Germany

Judge fines frog-killer for illegal gun possession

A man who was so irritated by the croaking of his neighbour’s frogs that he shot two of them was fined €1,500 by a German court on Thursday, for illegal possession of firearms.

Football club fined for firework that hit referee
Sweden

Football club fined for firework that hit referee

The Swedish Football Association (Svenska fotbollsförbundet) has ordered Stockholm-based club AIK to pay a fine of 150,000 kronor ($24,500) for an incident in which a referee was hit by a firework thrown from stands, forcing the match to be abandoned.

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Sweden

Father in u-turn over lesbian daughter eviction

A woman from Helsingborg, in the south of Sweden, was facing eviction from a flat she had been renting from her father for 16 years because he didn't approve of her "lesbian activity".

What’s on in Germany: May 12 – 18
Germany

What’s on in Germany: May 12 – 18

This Week's Highlights: New sculptures in Cologne, a Wagner festival in Leipzig, and Naughty By Nature takes the mic in Munich.

Kretschmann sworn in as first Green premier
Germany

Kretschmann sworn in as first Green premier

Winfried Kretschmann was sworn in as state premier of Baden-Württemberg on Thursday, the first Green politician to hold such an office, after turfing out the conservative Christian Democratic Union who had held power there for nearly 60 years.

Volvo Cars reports sales, profits boost
Sweden

Volvo Cars reports sales, profits boost

Swedish automaker Volvo reported a profit of 2.34 billion kronor ($369 million) for 2010, marking a massive swing back into profit compared 2009.

Nazi guard Demjanjuk convicted but set free
Germany

Nazi guard Demjanjuk convicted but set free

Former Nazi camp guard John Demjanjuk was set free by a Munich court on Thursday, despite receiving a five-year jail term for helping to murder at least 28,000 people at Sobibor death camp in Poland.

Hochtief managers bow before Spanish owners
Germany

Hochtief managers bow before Spanish owners

Germany’s biggest construction company Hochtief was effectively taken over by Spanish firm ACS on Thursday after the last opponent on the supervisory board bowed to the greater power of ACS and said he would not stand for re-election.

BMW pays big bonuses for bumper 2010
Germany

BMW pays big bonuses for bumper 2010

In a sign of the soaring fortunes of the auto industry, BMW is paying a hefty bonus to its workers after a two-year break in profit-sharing, the company announced on Thursday.

Low turn out fears in Swedish election re-run
Sweden

Low turn out fears in Swedish election re-run

As a county council election re-run beckons in western Sweden, there are fears that a record low proportion of the electorate will bother to cast their votes.

Swedish kids’ reading skills hit by computer use: report
Sweden

Swedish kids’ reading skills hit by computer use: report

A new study from Gothenburg University shows that the falling levels of reading skills among Swedish school children may be connected to an increase in screen-based activities.

Germany slams Denmark over border control
Germany

Germany slams Denmark over border control

Germany has slammed Denmark’s unilateral decision to reintroduce tighter border controls, warning that it breaches Europe’s cherished Schengen agreement allowing free movement.

Food prices on the rise as inflation tops two percent
Germany

Food prices on the rise as inflation tops two percent

Food prices in Germany increased dramatically over the last year, with coffee and chips up to 40 percent more expensive this year than in 2010 according to a study by information service Preiszeiger.

Swedish pharmacy jabs 12 with same needle
Sweden

Swedish pharmacy jabs 12 with same needle

After mistakenly pricking twelve people with the same surgical instrument during a regular health check, a local branch of Swedish pharmacy chain Doc Morris is now trying to contact those who might have been affected.

Saab abandons deal with China’s Hawtai
Sweden

Saab abandons deal with China’s Hawtai

Chinese rescue funding for the Saab-Spyker auto group collapsed on Thursday throwing Swedish Saab back into deep financial crisis without keys to the crucial Chinese market.

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Switzerland

Swiss lift Moussa Koussa sanctions

Switzerland said on Wednesday it had lifted financial sanctions against former Libyan foreign minister and defector Moussa Koussa following a similar move by the European Union.

Sweden’s <i>hemspråk</i>: teaching kids their parents’ language
Sweden

Sweden’s hemspråk: teaching kids their parents’ language

As Sweden continues to grapple with how best to integrate its ever-growing foreign born population, The Local's Karen Holst looks at one way in which Swedish schools address the needs of children with a mother tongue other than Swedish.

Man loses licence for driving with dog
Switzerland

Man loses licence for driving with dog

A man in western Switzerland has lost his driving licence after he was caught driving with dog on his lap, according to reports.

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Switzerland

New taskforce to tackle asylum rush

Switzerland's Justice Ministry has announced it is setting up a special taskforce to deal with asylum application and immigration.

German ice hockey hopes melt in face of red-hot Swedes
Germany

German ice hockey hopes melt in face of red-hot Swedes

German ice hockey hopes melted on Wednesday night as the national team were thoroughly beaten 2:5 by giants Sweden, ending the Teutonic world championship campaign in the quarter final.

Denmark resumes Sweden border controls
Sweden

Denmark resumes Sweden border controls

Denmark decided on Wednesday to resume controls at its Swedish and German borders, prompting calls for an explanation from the European Commission warning against any challenge to the freedom of movement in Europe.

Koch-Mehrin resigns due to plagiarism row
Germany

Koch-Mehrin resigns due to plagiarism row

Free Democrats MEP Silvana Koch-Mehrin resigned from all her party positions, and her job as Vice President of the European Parliament on Wednesday evening in the wake of a scandal of alleged plagiarism in her doctoral thesis.

Woman found pregnant despite abortion
Sweden

Woman found pregnant despite abortion

A woman who had undergone an abortion continued to suffer morning sickness and pile on the weight and a further examination, three months later, showed that she was still pregnant.

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Sweden

Nursing home hushed sex abuse claims

Despite repeat reports from employees that an elderly patient suffering from Alzheimer's was the victim of sexual abuse by another patient, the head of a nursing home in northern Sweden declined to inform the police, according to a report by Sveriges Television (SVT).

Call goes out for bird census volunteers this weekend
Germany

Call goes out for bird census volunteers this weekend

Germans are being asked to spy on their neighbours over the weekend and report them to the authorities – but rather than an intrusive extension of this year's official census, it's an annual bird count.