Merkel and Sarkozy prepare next EU summit
Germany

Merkel and Sarkozy prepare next EU summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will receive French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin on January 9 to prepare for a European Union summit on January 30, it was confirmed on Monday.

Teachers ‘need help to fight youth extremism’
Germany

Teachers ‘need help to fight youth extremism’

Attempts to prevent young Germans from getting into right-wing extremism are failing because of poor coordination and sporadic financing say experts.

Iconic Swiss mountain lights up for first train ride
Switzerland

Iconic Swiss mountain lights up for first train ride

Switzerland will mark the 100 years since the construction of a railway up one of the main summits of the Bernese Alps, the iconic Jungfrau, with the illumination of its north face until Sunday.

More extreme weather heading toward Sweden
Sweden

More extreme weather heading toward Sweden

A new low pressure area with strong winds and precipitation is on the way toward Sweden. It will pass over central Sweden on Wednesday and will bring rain and snow over most of the country, as well as a risk of gale force winds in the south and along the coast.

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Switzerland

Swiss deny visa to Syrian president’s cousin

Switzerland's highest court has refused to lift an entry ban on a cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was seeking to travel to the country to fight sanctions imposed by Bern.

Raoul Wallenberg – Sweden’s Not-So-Favourite Son
Sweden

Raoul Wallenberg – Sweden’s Not-So-Favourite Son

The Swedish government has announced that it will designate 2012 as the official "Raoul Wallenberg Year" and the honour is more than deserved.

98-year-old woman beaten to death
Norway

98-year-old woman beaten to death

Police have arrested and charged a male suspect over the murder of Hilda Feste, 98, who was found beaten to death in her apartment in Os, south-western Norway, on Sunday evening.

Swedish teen shells out for giant lobster
Sweden

Swedish teen shells out for giant lobster

19-year-old Sofia Sandgren from Mölle in Skåne county decided that her love for all things seafood was enough to shell out 4,500 kronor ($652) for a giant lobster, in order to treat her family to a cracking New Year’s dinner.

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Norway

High school pupils on strike over drunk teacher

Pupils at a school in southern Norway have gone on strike in protest against a teacher who allegedly turned up drunk in the classroom, and their school’s failure to take the problem seriously.

‘Anonymous’ declares ‘Blitzkrieg’ on neo-Nazis
Germany

‘Anonymous’ declares ‘Blitzkrieg’ on neo-Nazis

“Anonymous” hackers have declared “Blitzkrieg” on neo-Nazis for the New Year, disabling a number of their websites and publishing lists of extreme-right supporters.

Tax shake-up means up to €160 more in 2012
Germany

Tax shake-up means up to €160 more in 2012

The New Year has started prosperously for German workers, who will see their annual income increase by up to €160 thanks to tweaks made to the tax system.

Employment numbers hit new record
Germany

Employment numbers hit new record

The number of employed people in Germany hit a new record in 2011, said official statistics published on Monday, with more than half a million jobs created last year in Europe's top economy.

New law gives transport operators the green light
Sweden

New law gives transport operators the green light

The government is to allow private transport companies to provide public bus services, in a bid to improve services and prompt people to use public transport.

Art listing Hitler as ‘freely elected’ attacked
Germany

Art listing Hitler as ‘freely elected’ attacked

A work of art in the Reichstag building which includes Adolf Hitler in a list of “freely and democratically” elected members of the German parliament has been repaired after someone attacked it.

Spicy invention protects dogs from wolf attacks
Sweden

Spicy invention protects dogs from wolf attacks

Body armour filled with flaming Indian spices mixed with anti-freeze is the latest invention to protect dogs from wolf attacks when hunting in the Swedish woods.

Swedes choose social media over texting
Sweden

Swedes choose social media over texting

Text messaging seems to have become a thing of the past when social media savvy Swedes wanted to wish their loved ones a Happy New Year.

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Sweden

Swedish Santa gets windfall for Christmas

Aside from the occasional snack, it's not common for Santa Claus to be the receiver of gifts at Christmas, but this year one lucky Santa in northern Sweden had a bit of a windfall after a gifted betting slip turned out to be a winner.

Polish ambassador: too easy to nick German cars
Germany

Polish ambassador: too easy to nick German cars

Poland’s ambassador to Germany says it is too easy to steal German cars – and this is why so many of them end up across the border in his country.

Ingves: Interest rates stable all year
Sweden

Ingves: Interest rates stable all year

The head of Sweden's central bank has said he expects Sweden's interest rates to remain at their current low level in 2012, but warned banks that they must be more open about how much they earn from lending to customers.

Nazi figurines for sale on French website
France

Nazi figurines for sale on French website

A website run by a senior police officer's wife has been selling figurines of top Nazis.

Car rental scheme hit by vandalism
France

Car rental scheme hit by vandalism

One month after its launch there are reports that Paris' innovative car rental scheme has been hit by vandalism problems.

Screen star Belmondo and ex-wife burgled
France

Screen star Belmondo and ex-wife burgled

Burglars broke into the Paris mansion of French screen star Jean-Paul Belmondo over the New Year weekend and also robbed his former wife who has a flat there, police said on Sunday.

Evacuees returning after massive landslide
Norway

Evacuees returning after massive landslide

Evacuees have begun returning home after a landslide forced them to flee their homes outside Trondheim on Sunday.

Baby boom pushes population to 65 million
France

Baby boom pushes population to 65 million

The highest birth rate in Europe has helped increase the French population to more than 65 million people, according to official statistics expected this month.

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France

DR Congo condemns Paris attack on lawmaker

The Congolese government has condemned an attack on the country's Senate chief in Paris allegedly by supporters of President Joseph Kabila's rival and called in France's envoy to explain the incident.

Sarkozy kicks off election year with warning
France

Sarkozy kicks off election year with warning

Facing a tough election fight in four months, French President Nicolas Sarkozy kicked off the new year warning voters that 2012 was "full of risks" and that France's future will hang in the balance.

President ‘used threats to try to stop scandal story’
Germany

President ‘used threats to try to stop scandal story’

Embattled German President Christian Wulff has been accused of trying to block the first reports of his financial affairs by threatening criminal charges against journalists working on the story – leaving a furious rant on an answering machine.

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Sweden

Driver targets police in hit-and-run attack

An unknown driver injured a police officer in Klippan, southern Sweden, in a hit-and-run attack, after being pulled over at a routine check on New Year's Eve.

Rise in shootings puts strain on Malmö police
Sweden

Rise in shootings puts strain on Malmö police

After the latest incident where a 15-year-old died from shot wounds to the head and chest on Sunday evening, police say that the situation in Malmö is “strained”.

‘Making it’ by interpreting culture
Germany

‘Making it’ by interpreting culture

The Local's series "Making it in Germany" presents John Magee, a consultant who bridges the gap between American and German culture for large companies.

Juholt slammed for ‘failing’ Social Democrats
Sweden

Juholt slammed for ‘failing’ Social Democrats

Following continued bad results in polls for the Social Democrats, party member and former minister Ylva Johansson in her blog on Sunday criticized both the party and leader, Håkan Juholt, for the low confidence of voters.

Berlin wants ‘concrete’ nuke action from Iran
Germany

Berlin wants ‘concrete’ nuke action from Iran

Germany has called for "concrete and verifiable" action from Iran over its nuclear drive, after Tehran signalled it was willing to resume negotiations with the international community.