News Snippets from the European Press

News Snippets from the European Press

MIMOSA: Colourful but invasive Photo credit: University of Coimbra

Portugal: Space invader WILD mimosa, also known as acacia, was threatening native plants and ecosystems in riverside zones, a University of Coimbra (UC) research team warned. The investigators found that streams flowing through mimosa woods supported fewer micro-organisms and less aquatic wildlife than the streams in native woodland.

Denmark: Fur flies FUR, feathers and the coats of wild animals have all been banished from Copenhagen Fashion Week which is held each year in January and August.  The ban targets crocodile skins and ostrich feathers amongst other items, although World Animal Protection Danmark explained that the veto does not apply to cowhide leather.

Food for all DENMARK has a secure food supply chain, University of Copenhagen researchers found, with a “high degree” of self-sufficiency if supplies were disrupted. Speaking recently in Brussels, Agriculture minister Jacob Jensen confirmed that Denmark would be able to provide the population with “correct nutrients” during a crisis.

Norway: Fun time THE government announced a crackdown on the “russ” celebrations held when pupils graduate from high school.  With “pornography, drugs and huge budgets” now involved, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said he intended to introduce changes to regulate when the “russ” partying starts and what goes on during the festivities.

Shell shock EGGS are so scarce that Agriculture minister Geir Pollestad had to promise in late March that there would enough to go round at Easter.  The problem began in 2023 when farmers were offered compensation to reduce output to prevent over-production but supermarket shelves emptied as demand from the food industry has grown.

Italy: Oh deer! ISAIA, a deer that became a tourist attraction after he began roaming through Cortina’s street markets a year ago, has been moved to nearby woods “for his own good”, Civil Protection councillor Stefano Ghezze said. Isaia was growing new antlers and there were fears of “unforeseeable events” as he grew bigger, Ghezze explained.

Hormone moan BRITISH women complained that Italy’s public health system did not cover hormone replacement treatment (HRT) and prescriptions were available only from private doctors.  Some lamented that their current solution of flying back to the UK for HRT medication every six months was becoming too expensive to continue.

Belgium: Poll position THE Constitutional Court ruled that it is obligatory for the country’s teenagers aged 16 and 17 to vote in the June 2024 European elections. Until this year, voting was mandatory only for the over-18s but the requirement has now been extended to all those of voting age, which was lowered to 16 in June 2023.

Macabre find THE Brussels’ authorities are investigating how a human skull, recently discovered by a police patrol, came to be hidden in bushes in Duden Park.  A pathologist attending the scene found no signs of violence but laboratory tests will attempt to ascertain the cause of death while DNA analysis should help to identify the victim.

Germany: Border checks WHILE Europe ups its terrorism threat level, Germany is introducing border controls as it prepares to host the Euro 2024 championships in June.  Announcing the precautionary measure, Interior minister Nancy Faeser stressed that security would be stepped up to ensure “the best possible protection” for the international event.

Chocced out THE cost of cocoa bean imports has soared, Germany’s Federal statistics office Destatis reported on March 26, with January 2024 prices 73.4 per cent higher than they were in January 2023. Most of Germany’s cocoa imports come from the Ivory Coast in West Germany where failed harvests have affected prices, Destatis said.

Netherlands: Well-heeled ACCORDING to the last available figures from Statistics Netherlands, Amsterdam is the country’s most prosperous municipality with a difference between assets and liabilities that works out at €9,046 per inhabitant.  This is 70 times higher than Vlissingen, the municipality with the lowest relative wealth of €129 per head.

Trans spat Anca Zijlstra and Aileen de Graaf resigned from the Dutch Women’s Darts Team as they no longer wished to play with trans woman Noa-Lynn van Leuven. “When you are embarrassed to turn out for the Netherlands because a biological man is on the women’s team, you know it is time to go,” Zijlstra wrote on Facebook.

France: Game on THE mayor of the downmarket Saint-Ouen suburb where the Olympic village will be housed said the local council would ensure that the poor would benefit from the 2024 Games’ €6 billion renovation programme. “I won’t make same mistake as London,” Karim Bouamrane declared. “Instead life will improve for everyone.”

Family ties TWENTY-SEVEN half-siblings born between 1981 and 1984 in different parts of France discovered they were related after 42-year-old Maud joined a genealogy website.  Her DNA results led her to the others, all of whom have embarked  on a mission to solve the mystery of whether their biological father had been a “serial sperm donor.”

A KIBBLE vending machine that uses AI-powered sensors is now in use in Finland as part of a pilot scheme to reduce the amount of wasted dog food. The kennel-shaped vending machine, which is automatically disinfected once the pooch has sampled, means that dog-owners can let their pet try the food before buying.

Finland: Yes and no MOST Finns backed the recent strikes organised by the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), a survey by national broadcaster YLE found, with 51 per cent saying they approved of the industrial action.  Forty-one per cent did not sympathise with the strikers, while 8 per cent preferred not to comment.

Try it first A KIBBLE vending machine that uses AI-powered sensors is now in use in Finland as part of a pilot scheme to reduce the amount of wasted dog food. The kennel-shaped vending machine, which is automatically disinfected once the pooch has sampled, means that dog-owners can let their pet try the food before buying.

Ireland: Lost urn POLICE in Wicklow asked via Facebook for information that could help them return an urn inscribed with “Dad” and a 2019 date to its rightful owner.  The urn, which was handed in by a member of public at the Bray garda station on March 22, was “clearly” of significant sentimental importance, the police appeal said.

Pure water THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said water is still safe to drink in areas with high levels of trihalomethanes (THMs), produced during water treatment.  The EPA’s Programme manager said that more than half of the 25 supplies used by 300,000 people would be resolved by late 2024 and the remainder in 2026.

Sweden: 5G fail ERICSSON announced that the cost-cutting measures which it announced earlier in 2024 included plans to lay off 1,200 staff in Sweden. Customers had spent considerably less than anticipated on new 5G devices, particularly in the US where the system had failed to take off as expected, industry insiders said.

Warming up MOST of the Swedish want to keep the krona although the latest survey by Gothenburg University revealed that support for the euro is growing.  The number of people who believed it was a good idea to switch to the euro increased from 16 per cent in 2022 to 30 per cent in 2023, the investigators found.

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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