News Snippets from the European Press

 ANGELA MERKEL: German Chancellor from 2005 to 2021 Photo credit: CC/European People’s Party  

Germany: Coming soon FORMER Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 700-page memoirs will be published on November 26, almost three years after she ended her 16 years in office.  Titled “Freedom.  Memories 1954-2021, Merkel’s book will look back on the 35 years she spent in East Germany and another 35 in reunified Germany.

Denmark: Motorway vote DANISH MPs are expected to vote in favour of constructing a 20-kilometre motorway over Limfjord despite warnings from the Roads Directorate that it would entail a loss of 188 million kroner (€16.17 million).  Supporters maintain that the new road will bring much-needed economic growth to Aalborg and North Jutland.

Dual-purpose DENMARK’S Technical University and the municipal energy company on Bornholm Island are collaborating on a scheme to use excess power from streetlamps to charge electric vehicles.  The lampposts’ LED bulbs use only a fraction of their capacity, which could be harnessed for other purpose, engineer Mads Aarup said.

Norway: Phased out SVALBARD, located between mainland Norway and the North Pole, will close its last coal mine in Longyearbyen this summer as the archipelago turns to renewable energy.   But as local miners and employees linked to the mine will lose their jobs, the transition is not expected to be entirely trouble-free, industry sources said.

Summer strike PILOTS working for Norwegian Air Shuttle said they would strike in June if agreement over salaries and working conditions has not been reached by the end of May. An official from the union representing the pilots revealed that there was a “strong risk” of industrial action if pilots’ calls for a better work-life balance were not met.


Italy: Match point NOW-RETIRED tennis player Camila Giorgi, who rose to 26 in the world rankings in 2018, is under investigation for not paying income tax in 2016.  The 32-year-old allegedly failed to declare all her earnings and was declared officially “missing” when tax officials were unable to locate her and serve her with a summons.

Holy orders FORTY-NINE Vatican Museums employees are petitioning for improved working conditions and warned they would take legal action if their requests were ignored.  Not only do they lack basic rights, they said, but they have been obliged to repay the salaries they received during the pandemic by working off the debt.

Belgium: Voted out GHENT’S public transport company had to move one of its bus stops after the municipal authorities put up huge billboards with posters for the forthcoming elections in front of it.  City hall explained that it was easier and quicker to move the bus stop, which is much-used on weekdays, than to shift the billboards.

Soon solved THIRTY children having a swimming lesson at the municipal pool in Mechelen were immediately evacuated after they all began feeling unwell owing to strong chlorine fumes.  Once outside they soon felt better, a police spokesman said, and although paramedics attended to five children, no-one was taken to hospital.

Netherlands: Fine idea AN Enschede councillor who recently visited Singapore wishes to copy the country’s hefty fines equivalent to €410 for anybody seen dropping litter in the street. Malkis Jajan wants to introduce €1,000 fines to make Enschede “the cleanest city in Europe”, adding that the current fines were “too low to have any impact.”

Who’s afraid THE wolf that now approaches people in Ermelo was clearly being fed on the meatballs and hamburgers repeatedly found in a local car park, a wolf expert told the media.  The authorities now want permission to shoot wolves with paintball guns to scare them off, as they increasingly showed little fear of the public.

France: On alert PARISIANS were startled on May 13 when an official message appeared on their mobiles, accompanied by loud ringing even on quiet mode.   All were advised to obtain a QR code that would give them access to secured areas between July 18 and 26 as Paris prepared for the Olympics starting on July 26.

Undecided FRANCE has not yet decided whether to accept the US Space Command’s offer to participate in its Operation Olympic Defender initiative to boost defence and deter hostility in space.  If it were to join, France said, it would not be willing to cede operational control of its military space assets to the US.

Finland: Stress buster WITH anxiety sky-high amongst teenagers  since the pandemic, a Janakkala high school hoped to improve matters by providing free porridge before classes begin after they learnt that many pupils were skipping breakfast.  The school has also started to organise weekly relaxation and meditation breaks in the gym.

Pedal power A RECENT survey found that employees with bicycles obtained through workplace schemes used them “significantly” more than the average cyclist in Finland. According to the service which provides the bicycles, they averaged an annual 1,217 kilometres, compared with the national average of 234 kilometres.

Ireland: No hurry REGINA DOHERTY, a senator for the Fine Gael party, said it was not always easy to get the police to make an appearance after calling them.  “I’m not being disrespectful but we all know how difficult it is when you ring the guards to get them to show up for something that’s happening outside your house now,” she said.

Film fame THIS year’s Cannes Film Festival features five Irish films as well as several others that have chosen Ireland for locations.  “We are a small country to get around, but very diverse,” Steven Davenport, head of US Production and Partnerships at Screen Ireland which is based in Los Angele, told Variety magazine.

Portugal: Hard choice AN Almada court acquitted a pilot instructor of negligent manslaughter after killed an adult and a child when he crash-landed on Caparica beach in August 2017 .  On detecting engine failure, the pilot said that he chose to land on the beach instead of the sea as this would probably have killed him and his passenger.

New airport Prime Minister Luis Montenegro announced that Portugal would build a new international airport in Alcochete, 40 kilometres from Lisbon, to replace Humberto Delgado airport in the city centre. Situated on the site of a military airfield, the new airport would be completed by 2034, Montenegro said.

Sweden: Smoke-free TWO leading convenience store chains are phasing out cigarette sales and will eventually stop all sales, they announced.  Fewer than 5 per cent of the population now smoke, although cigarettes account for more than half their tobacco sales which include nicotine pouches as well as nicotine-and smoke-free products.

High water THE SMHI meteorological office warned that fast-melting snow was rapidly filling the streams, ditches and watercourses which flow into larger rivers in northern Sweden. Vasterbotten province had to be put on orange alert owing to rising levels on the Savaran, Dalkarlsan, Ricklean and Hertsangersalven rivers.

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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