News Snippets from the European press

News Snippets from the European press

Caption: CYCLING: More vulnerable on Netherlands roads than drivers Photo credit: CC/ Jorge Royan

Netherlands: Pedal alert  TRAFFIC accidents took the lives of 684 people in the Netherlands in 2023, 61 fewer than during 2022, although for the fourth consecutive year the majority of victims were cyclists, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) announced.   Of the 270 cyclists involved, 40 per cent were riding an e-bike and almost half were over the age of 75.

Denmark: Cobbled up FAMILIES in Copenhagen’s Christiana district, tired of drug trafficking and its associated violence, took matters into their own hands by tearing up the cobbles in the street where cannabis sellers openly set up their stalls to prevent their return. The event was attended by the city mayor and Denmark’s Justice minister.

Fjord’s demise A CROWD of 1,000 lined the banks of the Vejle Fjord to attend an open-air “funeral” for this inlet which is badly polluted by agricultural runoff from factory farming. Last year, this country had the heaviest deoxygenation in 25 years,” Christian Fromberg, who organised the event for Greenpeace, told the AFP news agency.

Norway: Quality time PEACEFUL Vadso in the Arctic Circle near the Russian border is seeking European Commission permission to introduce a time zone with 26-hour days.  Wenche Pedersen admitted she was unsure how the MOREtime project would work but said it would offer visitors and prospective residents the chance to enjoy quality time.

Good figures FIGURES from Statistics Norway (SSB) showed inflation of 3.9 per cent for the year ending March 2024. Growth had slowed for the third consecutive month, the ASS said, pointing out that with the exception of September 2023, this was the first time twelve-month inflation had dropped below 4 per cent since January 2022.

Italy: Stamp honour MINISTERS approved plans for a postage stamp commemorating the late Silvio Berlusconi, former prime minister and an often-scandalous tycoon who died in June 2023, aged 86. “He was a great Italian who served and honoured the Republic in all his roles,” declared senator Licia Ronzulli from the Forza Italia party.

Top marks ITALY’S higher education system was ranked seventh-best in the world and the second-best in the European Union according to the latest QS World University Rankings. Globally, Italy followed the US, the UK, China, Germany and Canada while inside the European Union, it was overtaken only by Germany.


Belgium: Cold comfort ALTHOUGH temperatures rose to 24 degrees in early April, people visiting or living on the coast were reminded that sea swimming was banned until there were lifeguards on the beaches.  The Coastal Rescue Service added that despite the fine weather, the water was still exceptionally cold “and would not be healthy for swimmers.”

Doing business KAZAKHSTAN and Belgium agreed to create a joint business forum during Trade official Kairat Torebayev’s visit to Brussels, which included talks with Rose Donck from Belgium’s Foreign Trade Agency. Two hundred companies from both countries will take part in talks scheduled to take place in Belgium throughout 2024.

Germany:  Getting on A REPORT by the Bertelsman Foundation based on figures provided by the Federal Statistical Office found that Germany was getting older, with increased ageing evident in almost all states.  The same report revealed that the percentage of over-65s would increase from 22 per cent in 2020 to 28 per cent by 2040.

Out of joint THE next Oktoberfest in Munich will be “cannabis-free” although the drug was partially decriminalised throughout Germany on April 1.  Regional president Markus Soder, recently declared that although millions of litres of beer would be consumed during the annual celebration, Bavaria would not become a “stoner’s paradise.”


France: Backfire CANDIDATES in this year’s European elections disagree over using TikTok during their campaigns.  Socialist Raphaël Glucksmann has given up his 60,000 followers as he did not want to “play the fool” while Samuel Lafont, a strategist for the nationalist Reconquete party, said that Glucksman “was shooting himself in the foot.”

Meaty problem THE Council of State, France’s top administrative court, suspended a government decree banning the use of 21 terms like “steak” or “ham” frequently applied when labelling plant-based products.  The court said there was “serious doubt” regarding the ban’s legality and it now awaits a ruling from the EU’s Court of Justice.

Finland: Evasive action POPULAR YouTuber Beata Rodas, known for her gaming and lifestyle advice, is suspected of evading €80,000 euros in taxes, the Iltalehti newspaper reported.  The 29-year-old, who has 385,000 subscribers allegedly conducted business under her professional name without filing a 2019-2020 tax return.

Radio star JANNE MAKELA, a researcher at Helsinki’s University of the Arts, maintained that state radio Yleisradio was instrumental in disseminating the music of classical composer Jean Sibelius.  Showcasing the country’s cultural offerings on a global stage “significantly enhanced” Sibelius’s stature, Makela concluded.

Ireland: North and South A REPORT by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) found that women in Ireland were more likely to earn less  than those working in Northern Ireland.  The report’s authors suggested that Northern Ireland had a narrower gender pay gap owing to its higher percentage of female public sector workers.

Stormy weather STORM KATHLEEN, which swept across Ireland on April 6, left thousands of homes and businesses without electricity, affecting 34,000 customers at one point.   Dozens of flights had to be cancelled as the Met Eireann weather service issued a Status Yellow gale as gusts reached up to 110 kilometres per hour.

Portugal: Flights off THE inauguration of the first direct connection between the Algarve and the US has been postponed and all the planned flights between Faro and Newark have been removed from the airline’s 2024 schedule.  Citing “airline sources”, the Simple Flying website said the launch is now planned for the summer of 2025.

Logo fail EDUARDO AIRES, Portugal’s leading graphic designer, was paid €74,000 to create a new logo for the current government’s predecessors. Criticised as “unpatriotic” and “woke” when it was introduced, the logo has now been withdrawn, while Aires lamented that his design had been turned into “a projectile weapon.”

Sweden: Think again THE Folklisten party (The People’s List) started by a former Christian Democrat MEP Sara Skyttedal and Jan Emanuel, an ex-Social Democrat national MP, will include eliminating asylum rights in its manifesto for the European elections.  The party also proposes to renegotiate Sweden’s European Union membership.

Bomb scare A 17-YEAR-OLD, believed to be a “runner” for a gang was detained and remanded after he was spotted carrying at least two kilos of dynamite through Gothenburg Central Station, a local newspaper reported.  A police officer present at the arrest said afterwards that the explosives were ready to be ignited.

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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