Switzerland's Christian Democrats (CVP) are considering appealing the result of a 2016 referendum on an initiative to scrap the tax penalty for married couples in the country after it emerged Swiss tax authorities seriously underestimated the scale of the issue. Currently in Switzerland when two people get married their incomes are combined and taxed jointly, meaning they can lose out compared to cohabiting couples who are taxed separately and therefore each have a tax-free allowance. Though the Swiss Federal Supreme Court considers it unconstitutional for a married couple to pay more than ten percent of the amount they would have paid as an unmarried cohabiting couple, in practice many married couples do pay considerably more. Read also: Few men take their wife's name on marriage In 2016, the Swiss voted on a CVP initiative to scrap this penalty, but the initiative was narrowly rejected at the polls with 50.8 percent of voters turning it down. Now, however, it has emerged … [Read more...] about Tax penalty for married couples: Switzerland may vote again
Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Fre The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (SD) have called for Sweden to hold a referendum on the country’s EU membership after the 2018 Swedish general election. SD party leader Jimmie Åkesson told newspaper Dagens Industri that the EU is a "large web of corruption where no one has control over anything". The Swedish nationalists want Sweden to follow the UK's example and leave the EU, and promise they will push for a referendum on the matter in the next mandate period. READ ALSO: Swedish faith in the EU grows according to new poll "We pay an enormous amount of money and get overwhelmingly little back. But the main reason is ideological: we should not be in an ideological union," Åkesson claimed. Recent polls suggest the Sweden Democrats could be the second largest party in the autumn 2018 general election, but even if the vote plays out as such, they would still have a hard time pushing a referendum through … [Read more...] about Sweden Democrats call for referendum on Swedish EU membership after 2018 election
Captain Andreas Granqvist celebrates scoring Sweden's winner against South Korea at the 2018 World Cup. Photo: Pavel Golovkin/AP A penalty from Captain Andreas Granqvist was the difference as Sweden beat South Korea 1-0 in Nizhny Novgorod to win their first match of the 2018 World Cup and equal leaders Mexico on points in Group F. In both countries' first match at the 2018 World Cup in Russia the decisive moment was the spot-kick awarded thanks to VAR. READ ALSO: Sweden fans who paid $1,700 for World Cup told at the last minute they can't go to Russia Kim Min-woo brought down Viktor Claesson in a clumsy challenge and the referee ran to the sidelines to view video of the incident before pointing to the spot. Granqvist stepped up and coolly slotted the ball away to cap-off a man of the match performance from the veteran defender, who made some essential last-ditch challenges in the first half to deny the Koreans. The clash was tight as expected but Sweden's compact … [Read more...] about Sweden 1-0 South Korea: Captain Granqvist leads the charge as Swedes win their World Cup opener
This article is available to Members of The Local. Read more Membership Exclusives here. You're on a quiz show and the host tells you that you'll win the jackpot if you can name a notable immigrant to Sweden in history and briefly describe his or her major contribution. You have 20 seconds to answer. No internet, no lifeline. Can you do it? Chances are, you can't. Beyond a hypothetical quiz show jackpot, it’s a loss of potentially powerful knowledge that surprisingly few people possess. With the immigrant population in Sweden at an all-time high, both native Swedes and immigrants could benefit from knowledge of how particular immigrants made lasting contributions to Swedish culture and society throughout history. Details like where they came from, why they came to Sweden, what challenges they faced, how they were received and perceived by Swedish society, and what legacy they left can serve as markers for anyone travelling or living the well-worn path of global … [Read more...] about The immigrants you’ve probably never heard of who made Swedish history
The disgraced brother-in-law of King Felipe VII has opted for a small prison outside the city of Avila to serve out his sentence, where he will be the only male inmate. The choice of penitentiary was revealed on Monday morning when Urdangarin, who is married to the King’s sister Cristina, turned up at the gate to begin his sentence. READ MORE: He arrived at Brieva, a prison 100 km north of Madrid and 7km outside the walled city of Avila, at 8am on Monday. The choice of jail is an unusual one. The former Olympic handball player has opted for a small jail where the inmates are exclusively women, and very limited facilities when it comes to exercise yard and activities. Although it has a small unit for male inmates – comprising four cells - the last one left in 2005 after he requested a transfer to a prison near Zaragoza. That was another high profile figure involved in a corruption; Luis Roldan, a former Civil Guard chief and Socialist (PSOE) politician, Luis … [Read more...] about Iñaki Urdangarin chooses women’s prison to serve his time
An aid worker revealed the heart-wrenching phrase uttered by a 12-year-old orphan as she stepped off the boat and into his arms at Valencia port on Sunday. “It’s been a long time since anyone gave me a hug like this,” the child told Fernando Justa, a volunteer with the Red Cross during the disembarkation in Valencia of 629 migrants rescued by the Aquarius. READ MORE: The girl who is reportedly from Guinea-Conakry had frozen with fear and was unable to step off the life boat onto the quayside. But Justa described how he talked calmly to her and encourage her to step forward by holding out a cuddly toy. He then scooped her up in his arms as she took her first steps onto Spanish soil. The volunteer said he would never forget those first words. “We need to keep working to continue putting the smiles back on all their faces,” he told La Sexta. The girl was one of 124 minors aged between 3 and 16 to arrive in the flotilla transporting the … [Read more...] about ‘It’s been a long time since I was hugged like this’: Aquarius girl, 12, to rescuer
Migrant ship Aquarius. Photo: AFP A majority of French citizens support the government's decision not to offer safe harbour to a ship carrying 630 rescued migrants after Italy refused to let it dock, an opinion poll released Monday showed. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they backed the government, while 42 percent said it should have offered to let the ship dock, according to the OpinionWay poll. The Aquarius, run by French charity SOS Mediterranee, was eventually allowed to dock in Spain on Sunday after being stranded for days while both Italy and Malta refused to let the migrants ashore. Local leaders on the French island of Corsica had offered to welcome the Aquarius, but the move was slapped down by the central government, which argued that under international law the ship had to dock at the closest port. READ ALSO: Tensions flared after President Emmanuel Macron accused Rome of "irresponsibility", although he later said he … [Read more...] about Majority of French ‘reject safe harbour for Aquarius migrants’
File photo of a screen showing cancellations at Stockholm Arlanda. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT A group of 120 Sweden fans who paid up to 15,000 kronor ($1,700) for a charter package to see their country’s opening game at the 2018 World Cup have been told they won’t be going to Russia after their flight was cancelled at the last minute. The premium trip, organized by Watch It Live, was supposed to take over 100 Swedes desperate to see their country at the World Cup for the first time since 2006 from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport to Nizhny Novgorod early on Monday morning. The package, advertised as a “dream trip”, included a champagne breakfast, three-course dinner, transfer to and from the fan zone in Nizhny Novgorod, and most importantly, tickets to Sweden’s opening fixture of Group F against South Korea. MEMBERS' QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Sweden at the World Cup But at 06:39 – less than half an hour before the flight was due to take off … [Read more...] about Sweden fans who paid $1,700 for World Cup package left heartbroken after cancelled flight
Readers often ask us what the safest part of France is when it comes to crime. The Local has had access to the latest national crime index by France's Interior Ministry, which sheds light on what types of crime are happening where and just how big a difference in criminality there is between different parts of the country. In short, the safest parts of France are in rural departments although it's not always a case of staying clear of the big cities, as the recent spike in burglaries in rural Dordogne proves. But it is a case of avoiding Paris. Residents of France's three safest departments are nine times less likely to be the victim of a crime than Parisians. The study gathered data on armed and unarmed robbery, robbery without violence, vehicle and vehicle parts theft, burglary, theft from vehicles, assault and battery, murder, rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. The figures were taken from each departmental police HQ across France in 2017. For serious crimes … [Read more...] about Which parts of France are the safest to live in?
Many dream of packing it all in and moving to the 'most romantic city in the world' for a fresh start. But Parisians can't wait to get out apparently. This represented the highest figure of potential deserters of anywhere in France, showing that perhaps the allure of Paris isn't strong enough to make up for a the stresses of the French capital. So, where do they want to go? According to the survey the places Parisians dream of living a more tranquil life are the central-western region of Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, with 13.5 percent of Ile-de-France residents wanting to move there, the western region of Pays-de-la-Loire (10.7 percent) and the Grand Est region (10.6 percent). Lyon in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region of France -- one of the places Parisians dream of moving to. Photo: Michael Muraz/Flickr "Many of them want to work in the Lyon metropolis, the second largest economic hub in France," David … [Read more...] about More than half of working Parisians want to leave, but where to?