News Snippets from the European Press

News Snippets from the European Press

Caption: TRAPPIST BREWERY: Traditional method and updated equipment Photo credit: Westmalle Brewery

Belgium: Special brew THE Westmalle Brewery in Kempen Abbey, one of four run by Trappist monks, opens to visitors for the first time on September 25 and 16 although the 750 available tickets sold out immediately.  Westmalle’s 50 employees, supervised by the abbey community, produce an annual 120,000 litres of Extra, Double and Triple Beer.

Denmark: Not suspicious FIRE broke out at offices in Bagsvaerd leased by pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, makers of weight-loss drug Wegovy.  Apparently caused by gas canisters on the roof, this was the third recent blaze to affect the company’s premises although investigators have ruled out criminal activity or a link between the fires.

Going under KING FREDERIK inaugurated the first phase of the future 18-kilometre Fehmarnbelt road and rail tunnel below the Baltic linking southern Denmark and northern Germany on June 17.  Once completed in 2029, the rail crossing via will cut the present 45-minute sea journey by ferry to around seven minutes by train.

Norway: Road closed TROLLSTIGEN, the winding mountain road and pass that is a major tourist attraction in More og Romsdal near Mold, remained closed for several days following a rockslide that damaged a car on June 16.  The popular route had already suffered various rockfalls last spring and its reopening was delayed until June 7.

No pause NORWAY has increased controls over adoptions from abroad but will allow them to continue pending a government review into the legality and ethics of past adoptions.  Although the Child Welfare Services had recommended a halt, Children and Families minister Kjersti Toppe said she saw no need for an interim pause.

Italy: Too hot AGRICULTURAL output fell by 1.8 per cent in 2023 owing to weather conditions affected by climate change which brought widespread flooding and wildfire last summer, Statistics Agency (Itstat) revealed.  Wine and fruit production were the worst-affected with respective reductions of 17.4 and 11.2 per cent.

Not needed MORE than 100 people have launched a collective lawsuit to fight construction of a bridge over the Messina Strait connecting Sicily and mainland Italy, arguing that it would be “unconstitutional and unfeasible” and a waste of public money. Critics also said the bridge increased the risk of mafia infiltration into the mainland.

Germany: New angle LUFTHANSA subsidiary, Lufthansa Technik, which maintains, repairs and overhauls civilian and commercial aircraft, hopes to get involved in providing the same services for military aircraft.  Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created new business areas while boosting established companies, the parent company said.

Amazon staff AMAZON announced a €10 billion investment supporting the expansion of its logistics network and cloud infrastructure across Germany. The online giant is also creating 4,000 new jobs and by the end of this will have 40,000 permanent employees in roles of all kinds at all levels in more than 100 German towns and cities.

Netherlands: A SURVEY by the AD newspaper and Autotrack found that fines for ignoring road signs excluding speeding and parking, had practically doubled over the past 10 years, rising from 420,000 in 2014 to 763,000 in 2024.  Of these, 79,600 went to Amsterdam, followed by Rotterdam (45,600) and The Hague (27,900).

Keen to stay A HUMPBACK whale seen swimming close to the Netherlands coast was not necessarily confused, as some animal-lovers feared.  A Dolfin SOS spokesperson who saw the whale said a humpback could easily navigate shallow coastal waters and, if food was plentiful, it was likely to remain some time.

France: Show’s over THE iconic Normandie cinema in the capital’s Champs-Elysees, once famous for its gala premieres, closed its doors on June 13 after 90 years.  Cinema chain UGC blamed the decision to close the Normandie on a decline in business and a “very steep” rise in the rent charged by the building’s owners, the Qatari royal family.

Barcelona start PLANS are already being made for the 2026 Tour de France bicycle race which, after years of  negotiating by Barcelona city council, will start in the Catalan capital.  The choice was announced on June 18, when mayor Jaume Collboni also revealed that three stages would be held in Cataluña between July 4 and 6.

Finland: Jab offer THE Social Affairs and Health ministry announced that bird flu vaccines will soon be available for people considered to be at risk from the disease.  Those in line for the jab include vets and staff working with poultry or fur animals, as well as those people who would be most vulnerable if they contracted avian influenza.

Big anniversary TURKU, Finland’s oldest cit, is to have a museum focusing on History and the Future to celebrate its 800th anniversary in 2029.  The new museum’s design competition was won by Finnish firm, Sigge Architects, who city mayor Minna Arve said had exemplified the values of a city that always looked to the future.

Ireland: In theory DUBLIN resident Alina Glont was accused of posing as a theory driving test candidate, enabling others to obtain licences between September 2019 and June 2021.  The 42-year-old faces charges of conspiracy following an investigation launched in March 2021 by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB).

Outsiders AN Education Inspectorate report found that a third of secondary school pupils considered that they did not belong at school or felt that they could not express themselves there. The same recently-released study found that one-tenth of primary and special needs students also expressed similar sentiments.

Portugal: In trust A FORMER deputy bank manager from Cartaxo (Alentejo), who is now in Brazil but unlocatable by the authorities, is being tried in absentia for diverting €576,000 from clients’ accounts to his own.  The six customers whose cash was siphoned off told police that they had “total confidence” in him at the time.

Flower power UNIVERSITY OF PORTO (FCUP) researchers are investigating the possible health benefits of edible flowers, in particular carnations and pansies.  They are now looking into the best way of eating them in order to maximise the benefits of what the FCUP team described as a possible “new trend in dietary patterns.”

Sweden: Work it out THE minimum salary for obtaining a work permit will inevitably rise after Statistics Sweden (SCB) updated the average basic salary to 35,600 kronor (€3,168) a month.  As the work permit threshold is based on 80 per cent of the average wage, it will now be necessary to earn at least 28,480 kronor (€2,535) a month.

Why not me AHMADREZA DJALALI a Swedish-Iranian doctor from the Karolinska Institute, has spent 3,000 days in an Iran prison, accused of espionage.  Following the recent release of two Swedish citizens in a prisoner swap, Djalali accused Sweden’s prime minister of leaving him behind and excluding him from the deal.


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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