Snippets from the European Press

Danish police say don't defrost car with toaster Credit: Danish Police

Denmark: Toast roast POLICE in Denmark “strongly discouraged” drivers from kitchen appliances to warm up the batteries of electric vehicles when temperatures plummet.  They said the fire that destroyed an EV in Stenlille near Copenhagen was probably caused by the toaster its owner left overnight under the bonnet of his car.

Strike two MEMBERS of 3F Transport, Denmark’s largest trade union came out on strike in sympathy with workers at Sweden’s Tesla plant, where the company refuses to recognise the IF Metall union’s collective bargaining rights. Swedish postal workers, painters, electricians and dockers have also launched secondary action.

Norway: At a price NEWLY-INTRODUCED tuition fees at Norwegian universities for students from outside the European Economic Area or Switzerland has resulted in a sudden drop in foreign admissions.  Depending on the university, fees can range from 150,000 to 370,000 Norwegian kroner (€12,786 to €31,537)) per year.

Deep down THE Norwegian government gave permission to allow deep-sea mining in some areas in the Arctic despite opposition from environmentalists.  “We need minerals to lead a green transition with fuel cells, solar panels, electric cars and mobile phones,” Marianne Sivertsen Naess a Labour MP told the media.

Italy: He stays ITALY will not return the Palombaro Discus Player, a Second Century Roman copy of a Greek bronze which Hitler bought from a private owner in 1938 and was returned to Italy in 1948.  Germany now wants it back but  Culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano said it would leave Italy “over my dead body.”

No change ITALY’S governing parties voted against an opposition proposal to introduce a minimum wage, bringing the country into line with other EU countries.  Wages are determined through collective bargaining but 20 per cent of workers are not covered by this and many of them earn less than €9 an hour.

Belgium: Stay-at-home THE Belgica, a scientific research vessel built two years ago and costing €54 million, will be able to put to sea for just four months each year owing to lack of funding.  The VRT News channel reported that Science Policy minister, socialist MP Thomas Dermine, confirmed the Belgica would sail only 128 days in 2024.

Bird flu BELGIUM reported an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu on a poultry farm in Diksmuide in the northwestern part of the country near the French border, the World Organisation for Animal Health announced on December 4. This first outbreak of season killed 95 birds and required the slaughter of another 20,100.

Germany:  Covid plot A 39-YEAR-OLD German suspected of forming an armed group opposed to Covid restrictions was arrested in Portugal on December 5.  The Koblenz authorities claim he led the Paladin group which used a 3D printer to produce weapons and trained together to take armed action against pandemic measures.

Low marks GERMAN pupils have performed badly in the first post-pandemic Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey carried out in 81 countries.  Apart from Asia, education standards fell worldwide while in Germany, students achieved lower marks for maths, reading and science than in 2019.

Netherlands: A big ask MAASTRICHT’S Natural History Museum asked France to return the fossilised skull of its Mosasaurus hoffmanni, a marine reptile between 10 and 15 metres long.  Plundered by French troops during the 1794 siege of Maastricht. the Mosasaurus has been displayed in the Natural History Museum in Paris ever since.

Boarding pass GREENPEACE protesters staging a sit-down aboard the Coco, a Canadian deep-sea exploration vessel prospecting between Mexico and Hawaii, must leave, but may continue to protest outside the ship, Dutch judges ruled.  The case was heard in Amsterdam, as Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise is registered there.

France: Frog shock FRANCE is the world’s leading importer of frogs’ legs and the conditions in which frogs are caught and slaughtered in Indonesia were recently revealed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and published in Le Monde. PETA revealed that the trade was also decimating Europe and Asia’s amphibian populations.

Vape veto THE French parliament voted unanimously on December 4 to ban the single-use, disposable electronic cigarettes so popular with young.  Aside from the need to reduce health risks the new law, which will come into effect in September 2024, sets out to lessen the environmental impact of the discarded vapes.

Finland: Drones gone CUSTOMS officials revealed that two Finnish companies are accused of selling 3,500 drones worth more than €2 million to Russia, together with equipment worth €600,000.  The same officers have also been investigating the export, without the necessary permits, of anti-drone technology to Kazakhstan via Russia.

Going bust FINLAND had 85 bankruptcies in the 48th week of this year, the highest since data information provider Asiakastieto Oy began tracking insolvency figures in 2019.  By the end of this year the company predicts that more than 2,700 businesses, many of them in the construction sector, will have gone into administration.


Ireland: Home sweet home THE Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) revealed that buyers need a combined minimum income of €127,000 to pay for a Greater Dublin house with three bedrooms, dropping to €85,000 in the northwest.  An average three-bedroomed house in Ireland, now costs €397,000, the SCSI said.

Irish accent IRISH-LANGUAGE film Kneecap, the original story of the “riotous and ground-breaking” Belfast rap trio of the same name, holds its world premiere on the opening night of the iconic Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January next year.  It will also be first Irish-language film to be shown in Sundance.

Portugal: An EU first A METRO train made in China, the EU’s first, now operates in Porto after its December 6 official inauguration. One of the train’s first passengers was Portugal’s prime minister, Antonio Costa , who stressed the government’s “substantial” €50 million investment in the project, made available from the EU’s recovery fund

Sweden: Light fantastic NOVEMBER and December are providing the most intense Northern Lights displays seen for many years in Sweden.  Peak solar activity was not expected until January, one tour operator told the Swedish media, citing guides with more than a decade’s  experience who said they had never seen spectacles like this year’s.

First time A COOPERATION agreement with the US permits joint exercises while forging military links before Sweden joins Nato.  This opens the door to US military operations and clarifies the legal status of US military personnel, while providing access to deployment areas and prepositioning military materiel, the Pentagon said.




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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at