News Snippets from the European Press

News Snippets from the European Press

Caption:  HERITAGE SITE: 16th century Jeronimos Monastery in Belem Photo credit: Marshall Henrie

Portugal: No charge On International Museum Day on May 18, when entry was free of charge, Culture minister Dalila Rodrigues announced that it would soon be possible to visit any of Portugal’s 38 heritage sites having to pay. The scheme incorporating a mobile app would be implemented “before long”, Rodrigues said. 

Denmark: Foodora leaves The Foodora food and groceries delivery service which operates in northern Europe announced that it was leaving Denmark where it launched in late 2022 and now covers most of the country.  Citing “economic developments”, Foodora said it would redistribute the company’s resources to other active markets

Less red tape The government announced that it would save one thousand man-years of work in 2025 by cutting down on bureaucracy, with further savings in coming years. Finance minister Nicolai Wammen said that having asked Denmark’s towns, cities and regions to streamline procedures, the state also had to play its part.

Norway: Don’t intrude Norway’s Consumer Council opposed proposals to introduce a social media age limit although spokeswoman Inger Lise Blyverket said she understood the government’s wishes to protect children and young people.  But age verification was so intrusive that the Consumer Council “simply could not support it,” she added.

Cold War A research conference ending on June 3 in the Arctic town of Bodo could be targeted by intelligence agencies, the authorities believe. The Police Security Service (PST) warned that spies from some of the countries attending would be especially interested in the participants who possessed sensitive information.

Italy: No cameras Italy has approximately 11,130 speed cameras but after new regulations come into force, local prefectures and not town halls will be responsible for their locations.  The updated rules will also include the removal of speed cameras on roads in built-up areas where there is a speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour or lower.

Tragic fall Three members of the Guardia di Finanza (GdF) force’s Alpine Rescue unit, aged 22, 25 and 3, died during a climbing exercise in Val di Masino.  A rocky spur gave way as they negotiated the Asteroid Precipice and the three men, who were roped together, fell 30 metres as their colleagues looked on, unable to intervene.

Belgium: Rolling stock Thirty people in two carriages of a train that was being uncoupled at Mechelen station found themselves leaving the station  without a driver, only coming to a halt when a quick-thinking passenger pulled the emergency cord. Other trains were then halted while the passengers were safely evacuated, rail operator NMBS said.

New batch BELGIUM could develop antibiotics capable of tackling growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), now that existing medicines are ineffectual and only 10 new drugs were approved worldwide between 2017 and 2023. It was vital to secure support and incentives, said Antwerp University’s Professor Herman Goossens.

Germany: New residents APPROXIMATELY 200,100 people became naturalised German citizens in 2023, more than at any time since the beginning of this century and a 19 per cent increase on 2022.  Fifty-six per cent, of whom more than half were male, were from Romania, Syria, Turkey, Iraq or Afghanistan, with an average age of 29.3 years.

No jab MEMBERS of Germany’s armed forces no longer need to provide proof that they have been vaccinated against Covid 19, an obligation introduced in November 2021.  This requirement has been droppedon the advice of the military advisory committee and replaced with a “strong recommendation” in favour of vaccination.

Netherlands: Top job Dick Schoof, a 67-year-old senior official at the Netherlands Justice ministry with no current links to a political party, is on course to head the coalition government.  As a former head of Dutch intelligence, Schoof is an an expert on security and migration, which are key issues for the four members of the coalition.

Going ahead: Judges in The Hague revoked a permit to drill for natural gas off  the North Sea island of Schiermonnikoog following an appeal from environmentalists in April.   Despite the potential risks to nature, the permit has been restored after the drilling firm provided more information, the Economic Affairs ministry announced.

France: Quiet please Eighty per cent of the Paris region’s 9.7 million inhabitants endure noise levels exceeding the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, a monitoring organisation said. Noise pollution increased the risk of serious diseases in the area and had an annual social cost of €43 billion, according to Bruitparif.

DNA clues Investigators from France’s Cold Case Unit requested fresh DNA analyses of evidence in the 2012 shooting of a British family and a French cyclist in a remote Alpine village.  Detectives believe that re-examining clothing, cigarette ends and fragments of the gun used could throw fresh light on the murders.

Finland: Dug up Particpants in the Crowdsorsa mobile phone game can earn up to 25 per cents a square metre for removing non-native plants like Himalayan balsam and lupins from the Helsinki countryside. Every helping hand was needed, the city’s Environment department explained, as mechanical removal was impractical.

Lagging behind Helsinki was at risk of being overtaken by Denmark, Norway and Sweden in wooing tourism during the post-pandemic era, a study carried out by the city’s Tourism Foundation concluded.  Foreign visitors accounted for fewer than two million overnight stays in 2023, just 78 per cent of the total registered in 2019.

Ireland: US visitor Birdwatchers from all over the country and even the UK are descending on Belcarra (County Mayo) to see the North American yellow-crested night heron which has been spotted in Ireland for the first time. Experts believe the bird must have arrived after it was caught up in one of last autumn’s hurricanes.

Gun law Transport minister Eamon Ryan is to introduce legislation that will permit random checks of civil aircraft and non-military planes to ensure that neither weapons nor ammunition are on board. Although the law already prohibits this on Irish soil without an exemption, the current law does not allow for random checks.

Sweden: Storm damage Two buildings located between Gothenburg and Boras were struck by lightning on May 27 during violent thunderstorms, although firefighters soon had both fires under control and there were no reports of injuries.  Several areas in western and central Sweden were also affected by flooding during the torrential downpours.

 Sweet music STIM, Sweden’s performing rights organisation, announced record revenues of 3.095 billion krona (€269.6 million) for 2023, an increase that was 14 per cent up on the previous year.  Forty-two per cent of STIM’s income came from digital sources, which rose by 8 per cent to 942 million krona (€82.07 million).

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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