News Snippets from the European Press

News Snippets from the European Press

LINGONBERRIES: No radioactivity present, STUK confirmed Photo credit: Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK)

Finland: Berry safe The Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) found that traces of radioactivity from 1950s and 1960s nuclear tests, as well as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, remained in Finland’s environment but did not pose health risks. The country’s wild lingonberries, cloudberries and bilberries are safe to eat, STUK said.

Denmark: Happy here The latest YouGov Eurotrack survey carried out in Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the US revealed that many of the participants took a negative view of their homeland.  Denmark was the exception, where 47 per cent believed that their country was in a better state than other western nations.

In the saddle Municipal and national bicycle lanes will receive 334 million kroner (€44.78 million) in government funding for 69 projects that include five new lanes split between Zealand and Jutland. Transport minister Thomas Danielson noted that fewer people now cycled and said that a countrywide scheme would address the issue.

Norway: Safety first More and Romsdal county council decided to close the winding Trollstigen mountain road until the end of 2024 following six rockfalls in 10 days.  After geologists inspected the road, which did not reopen until June 7, the authorities decided closing it was essential before someone was seriously, or fatally, hurt.

Icon for sale Oslo city hall is selling the capital’s emblematic Tryvannstarnet radio tower that was built on a hilltop above the city in 1962 and funded by the city, the military, the original state telephone company and Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).  The tower is valued at anywhere between 14 and 42 million krone (€1.9 and €3.7 million).

Italy: Tit-for-tat Italy’s media were included in the European sites that can no longer be accessed from Russia in response to the EU’s decision to block Russia’s Ria Novosti, Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta.  State broadcaster Rai, the La7 television channel and the La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers are all affected.

Storm surge Firefighters were called out on 30 rescue operations after the River Secchia in the Emilia Roma region burst its banks during severe storms and torrential rain on the night of June 25.  There was damage to infrastructure and agriculture while occupants of homes built on the area’s flood plains had to be evacuated.

Belgium: En route The Vatican has released the official logos for Pope Francis’s visit to Belgium and Luxembourg in late September.  The logo for Belgium where Francis will visit three cities, features a stylised map of the country with figures of different ages and culture, and the motto “En route avec Esperance” (Travelling in Hope).

Website The Nurscia Albomaculata spider, a species never seen before in Belgium, was spotted on a verge next to the Brussels Orbital motorway in Brabant. The Natuurpunt association said that the spider, which is less than one centimetre long, probably reached the country on a car, lorry or coach from Southern Europe.

Germany: Counting up  A census published on June 25 revealed a population of 82.7 million, 2.5 million more since the 2011 census, but 1.4 million less than expected, the Federal Statistics Office said.  The shortfall was most pronounced amongst the 10.9 million foreign population, whose total was around one million lower than believed.

Sent back Cabinet ministers gave the go-ahead to a draft law making it easier to send individuals who express support for terrorism back to countries like Afghanistan and Syria, despite undemocratic conditions there.  The move is a reaction to the online hate posts that applauded the Hamas attack on Israel and other terrorist violence.

Netherlands: Honesty pays A homeless man who found a wallet containing €2,000 and handed it to the police received an award at the time, plus countless offers of help.  Hadjer Al-Ali has now set up a GoFundMe account which has raised more than €30,000 and which he intends to use to rent a house and put his life on the right course.

Night flights Amsterdam city hall has decided to take a tougher stance on Schiphol airport and wants flights reduced to a maximum of 400,000 each year, 40,000 fewer than were proposed in December 2023.  The city authorities also want all flights halted between 11pm and 7am and a ban on all private jets.

France: Nasty memento A record number of dengue fever cases were reported during the first six months of 2024, with at least 2,666 people returning from abroad with the disease.  Just over three-quarters of the cases, which can prove fatal if not treated, were found to originate in the Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Going nuclear Paris start-up company Jimmy Energy is studying a project that would use a small nuclear reactor to provide heat for a Cristal Union sugar refinery. Reactors like these could eventually provide low-carbon energy for factories whose industrial activities needed fossil fuels, particularly gas, in the past.

Ireland: RTE makeover National broadcaster RTE will cut 400 jobs through a €50 million redundancy programme over the next five years as it aims to obtain a €20 million government bailout.  At present, personnel costs account for 51 per cent of operating costs and RTE hopes to reduce this to 45 per cent by 2029.

Off the hook A woman of 44, who made a false insurance claim for more than €35,000 after staging a sham collision with another vehicle, was spared jail and her three-year sentence was suspended in full.  She had pleaded guilty, explaining that she needed cash after her son was paralysed in a separate but serious road accident.

Portugal: Ultrafine risk Research by environmental group ZERO found that living near Lisbon airport increased the risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes and dementia. ZERO cited the ultrafine particles emitted by aircraft, which an EU study has linked to the health issues of people living near Europe’s 32 busiest airports.

Water lost The Algarve lost 25 million cubic metres of the water in its domestic distribution  network in 2022, enough for half the area’s families, the Deco Proteste consumer group said, due to ageing or inadequate infrastructure.  Concessionary companies did not spend enough on stemming water losses, DECO said.

Sweden: Bargain offer Goten (population 5,000) hopes to attract more residents by offering land for 1 krona (€0.08) per square metre to compensate for a low birth rate and its ageing population.  Without clarifying whether Swedish residency or nationality were required, local mayor Johan Mansson said “absolutely everyone” was welcome.

Swift turnover Taylor Swift’s three Stockholm concerts last May boosted the city’s economy by 848 million kronor (€75.46 million) in tourist spending and another 431 million kronor (€37.9 million) in taxes, city hall figures revealed.  In all, 131,000 tourists visited Stockholm for the US singer’s performances.

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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