Snippets from the European Press

Snippets from the European Press

Caption:  OSLO: Holidays often begin on the DFDS ferry to Copenhagen Photo credit: CC/Ole Brastad  

Norway: Sail away Taking the DFDS ferry between Oslo and Copenhagen is often the starting point for Norwegians planning to travel by car to Europe, but although the link will remain it is soon to have a new owner.  DFDS announced that it would now be concentrating on cargo shipment, logistics and other passenger routes in Europe.

Denmark: I spy The Russian embassy called for the immediate release of woman charged with enabling a “foreign intelligence service” to operate in Denmark despite a lack of evidence.  Moscow accused the Copenhagen government of persecution and claimed that Russians and those with pro-Russian views were at risk of reprisals.

Recovery time In an interview four days after a man struck Denmark’s prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s arm with his clenched fist in a Copenhagen square, she admitted, “I’m not quite myself yet.”  Shaken by the assault and concerned about the tone of political debate, she said she had needed time with her family afterwards.

Italy: Long wait ITALIANS who are now 30 will need to work until they are almost 70, according to the Social Security and Pensions department’s recently-updated pension simulator. Anyone born in 1994 who started work in early 2022 will have to pay in for a minimum of 20 years before they can retire at the age of 69 years and 10 months.

Mafia mayor Giuseppe Falcomata, mayor of Reggio Calabria, the Calabria region’s principal city, is under suspicion for possible links to the ‘Ndrangheta, the Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper revealed.  Falcomata and regional councillor Giuseppe Neri have both been named by police investigating a mafia-related voting fraud.

German: Beetlemania Volunteers for the Bonn Science Shop (WILA Bonn), an NGO, are counting insects to assist scientists wanting to assess the way that climate change is affecting the survival of insects in urban areas.  The task was harder than it looked, collaborators agreed, and required “a passion for nature and an eye for detail.”

In the army Thirteen years after Germany phased out national service, Defence minister Boris Pistorius outlined plans for an updated version based on voluntary participation, not conscription.  Candidates will complete a questionnaire, after which the most suitable and motivated would be accepted after a medical examination.

Netherlands: AI benefits Afas, a software firm based in Leusden, is the first large Dutch company to change over to a four-day week although it will continue to pay employees for five days’ work.  The company whose 13,000 clients include leading construction and maritime groups, said the change was possible thanks to artificial intelligence.

Mind the gap For the third year running, the Netherlands occupied 28th place on the World Economic Forum’s gender gap index, although its 77.5 per cent total was 0.2 below 2023’s score.  As it has for a decade, Iceland was ranked first with 93.5 per cent, followed by Finland (87.5 per cent) and Norway (87.5 per cent) in second and third places.

France: Poll risk President Emmanuel Macron’s snap election could affect France’s credit score by increasing political instability,  ratings agency Moody’s warned. Given the current polarised political environment, the agency said, the winner was unlikely to have an absolute parliamentary majority and would inherit a “challenging” fiscal picture.

Fire alarm The Palace of Versailles was briefly evacuated on June 11 after smoke was detected during renovations to the roof over the original part of the château built in 1623. The Versailles press office said afterwards that firefighters dealt rapidly with the smoke and there was no damage to the building or its collections.

Finland: Too cheap GIANT queues formed outside an Oulunsalo filling station whose electronic noticeboard announced unleaded 95 petrol at €0.00 per litre and diesel at €0.02. Drivers soon learnt that “if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t” as the garage had to explain the automatic display prices were the result of a technical glitch.

Oil fears THE Transport and Communications ministry asked the European Maritime Safety Agency to boost its pollution response network amid fears of a “dark fleet” oil spill in the Baltic. Owing to international sanctions, Russia was now transporting oil in older, under-insured vessels prone to oil spills, the ministry said.

Ireland: Stay-at-home The high price of housing, a shortage of properties and expensive rentals is making it difficult for many people, especially first-time buyers, to find somewhere to live, according to a recent survey. Young adults are particularly affected, with two-thirds still living with their parents, the highest proportion in Europe.

Fire raiser A 38-year-old part-time security guard was arrested and charged with criminal damage after setting fire to the crypt of St Michan’s church in Dublin.  The alarm was raised and the fire soon controlled but water damage has ruined priceless and irreplaceable treasures, including ancient mummified remains.

Portugal: At peace Portugal is still peaceful but slightly less peaceful than last year, having slipped one notch to be ranked seventh behind Iceland, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland.  Portugal achieved its best-ever third position on the Global Peace Index in 2019, but has slid slowly downwards since then.

Safe haven Fifteen Ukrainian fighters injured on the country’s eastern front arrived on June 14 to recover at a new rehabilitation centre in Aldeia Nova (Ourem).  Located in a former seminary, the centre is an initiative of the UAPT Ukrainian refugee association and has been restored with help from several companies and associations.

Sweden: Speak up Speaking to Sveriges Radio, Migration minister Maria Malmer Stenergard said citizenship conditions should be tightened up to ensure that foreigners wish to integrate.  The government is also considering extending the five-year residency requirement to eight years and introducing a Swedish language test for applicants.

Makeup peril The Swedish Chemicals Agency reported Swedish brand, Caia Cosmetics, owned by influencer Bianca Ingrosso for using toxic chemicals in an eyeliner pencil.  The eyeliner contained PFAS, manmade compounds that are hard to break down and have been found to harm human health and the environment.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca province 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