News Snippets from the European Press

News Snippets from the European Press

SUMMER FIRES: Portugal ready to take action Photo credit: Safe Communities Portugal

Portugal: Delta Level The National Operational Directive (DON) announced that Portugal’s Delta Level fire risk status will continue until September 30.  During the next three months the Special Force for Fighting Rural Fires (DECIR) can count on 14,155 personnel, 3,162 teams and 3,174 vehicles on standby, together with 72 aircraft.

Denmark: Unethical scam Police warned residents, but especially the foreign community, to ignore phone calls and texts supposedly from the courts, the postal service or the latest “phishing” attempt, Denmark’s non-existent Ethics police force.  All were aimed at fooling victims into revealing personal and banking details or their digital ID, police said.

Mystery blast Police investigating an unintentional explosion in Korsor on July 1 that caused the death of a man of 52, found almost a ton of explosives and chemicals stored in his home.  Approximately 100 people living within a 500-metre radius were evacuated from their properties while the authorities removed the dangerous substances.

Norway:Cold comfort ICELAND’S one remaining supermarket in Norway is scheduled to close July as the franchisee shifts to a wholesale strategy.   Knut Strand, head of IT and logistics at Iceland Mat confirmed to the country’s English-speaking media that the company would now concentrate on selling products wholesale to other retailers.

Phone-free A ban on mobiles comes into force in August for Oslo’s primary and secondary pupils as city hall responds to the Norwegian Education Directorate’s recommendations for phone-free schools.  Primary pupils will not be allowed to use their phones at break time, although high school pupils can access them in their free time.

Italy: Flood claims Insurance companies paid out a huge €6 billion to cover damage caused by natural disasters that were the result of climate change in 2023, revealed Maria Bianca Farina, president of the Italian Association of Insurance Companies (ANIA).  This included flood damage amounting to €800 million in Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany.

No surrogates A law making surrogacy a universal crime was approved by the Senate on July 3, after receiving approval from the Lower House in June.  An amendment added by the League party will punish the use of surrogates with prison terms of between four and 10 years and fines ranging from €600,000 to €2 million.

Belgium: Fair dues Asylum seekers who find jobs while living in a reception centre will be expected to contribute between 35 and 50 per cent of their wages to cover their board and lodging. Should they fail to reveal their income, this rate would be increased, while those consistently refusing to pay could eventually be told to leave.

In the air POLICE at Brussels airport complained of a chronic staff shortage, leading to queues at passport control barriers that caused delays and missed flights for passengers.  Citing a 30 per cent shortfall in 2023, equal to 100 officers, a police statement has called on the government to “fully staff” the airport force.

Germany: Summer flu The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported that respiratory infections, including the coronavirus are unusually high for the time of year.  The number of Covid-19 infections rose to 500 cases for every 100,000 people in the week beginning June 17, the RKI said, following an earlier decline in cases as winter came to an end.

EV aims The central government announced plans to build a nationwide network of fast-charging stations for heavy-duty lorries and electric vehicles in line with plans to decarbonise the transport sector by 2045.  Greenhouse gases were at their lowest-ever level foe 70 years in 2023, although haulage is still failing to meet climate targets.

Netherlands: Slight hike Netherlands’ inflation rose to 3.2 per cent in June as a result of higher food prices according to early figures released by the Statistics Agency (CBS).  This was the highest inflation rate since January’s 3.2 per cent and followed on from the relatively steady 2.7 per cent rates that were recorded in both April and May.

Heavy drinkers Underage binge drinking has returned to pre-pandemic levels, an ANP news agency survey found, based on 2023 figures provided by the GGD and RIVM public health services. Eighteen per cent of school students had consumed at least five alcoholic drinks in one evening, they told researchers, replicating 2019 numbers.

France: Bolero solo A Nanterre court ruled that Maurice Ravel composed his Bolero, one of the world’s most-heard pieces of classical music, without input from Russian stage designer, Alexandre Benois. The work is now in the public domain, and Benois’ heirs have no grounds for claiming royalties, the Nanterre judges said.

Cool it The Paris Games organisers said 2,500 portable air-conditioning units will be available for athletes who do not trust the eco-friendly geothermal system designed to cool the Olympic Village’s 7,000 rooms.  Several teams had put pressure on the organisers to provide conventional methods, Le Monde reported.

Finland: Relative heat The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) revealed that after a warm May, parts of Finland went on to enjoy an unusually warm June with a record number of 14 “heatwave” days when temperatures reached or exceeded 25 degrees.  In the past, June rarely had more than eight of these days, the FMI explained.

E-skilled THE European Commission’s latest Digital Decade report confirmed Finland as a leading provider of digital public services.   Brussels explained that the country’s “strong social trust” and the extensive e-skills possessed by 82 per cent of Finns, compared with the EU’s 55.6 per cent, were “crucial” for the digital transition.

Ireland: No obstacles The foundations were symbolically dug for Guinness-owner Diageo’s €200 million ultra-modern, carbon-neutral brewery in Littleconnell (County Kildare). The sod-cutting ceremony took place two months after John Lynch, the project’s only opponent, withdrew his High Court lawsuit following talks with Diageo.

Netflix choice Variety magazine revealed that although the first season of the Netflix hit Wednesday was shot in Romania the second season is currently under production in Ireland.  The series that features Wednesday, a member of the Addams family, will be the biggest production ever shot in Ireland, Screen Ireland said.

Sweden: Gran gets paid Sweden, the first country in the world to introduce paid leave for fathers as well mothers after the birth of a child, has gone one step further.  From July 1, parents will be allowed to transfer part of their parental leave allowance to the newborn’s grandparents for 45 days during the baby’s first year.

Stay-at-home The number of 18 to 34-year-olds still living at home increased from 12.5 to 21.9 per cent between 2022 and 2023, according to the EU’s Eurostat agency.  High inflation and interest rates have combined to make it more difficult for the young to get on the property ladder in major cities, analysts said

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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 editorial@euroweeklynews.com.

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