Last year’s Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst. There were quite a few emancipated ladies at the Vienna Congress too.   Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Excitement is building in Vienna ahead of the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest later this week. Last year’s winner, Conchita Wurst, can be seen on (...)

Imagine you get a letter in the post offering you free water. Instead of paying Irish Water for your supply, another company promises you a generous q(...)

Protesters outside Deutsche Bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt recently wearing masks depicting former chief executive Josef Ackermann, co-chief executive Juergen Fitschen, former board member Tessen von Heydebreck and former chief executive Rolf Breuer. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

The German dramatist Bertolt Brecht once remarked drily that breaking into a bank is nothing compared to founding a bank. His observation hangs in the(...)

Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski: opponents have chipped away at a once comfortable lead  and he is now more than 10 points short of outright victory.   Photograph: Piotr Wittman/EPA

Poland’s election year kicks off tomorrow with a presidential poll that could influence the outcome of autumn parliamentary elections.Incumbent Broni(...)

Trümmerfrauen: women clear rubble and recycle bricks outside the Reichstag, in Berlin, after the end of the second World War. Photograph: Ullstein/Getty

On a sunny Tuesday morning in Berlin I’m doing seated gymanstics with a group of women to the swelling melodies of Johann Strauss. Most are in their 8(...)

The German-Russian museum in the Berlin district of Karlshorst: jointly funded by Germany and Russia, the museum includes a permanent exhibition highlighting Nazi Germany’s Russian campaign during the second World War. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Two doors lead into the Berlin hall where the second World War in Europe ended, at 11.01pm on May 8th 1945. In Moscow it was already May 9th. Today th(...)

 Prime minister of Finland Juha Sipilä: agreed to prioritise a revival of Finland’s stalled economy. It has been   hit by Nokia’s sale of its mobile phone business to Microsoft and EU economic sanctions on neighbouring Russia. Photograph:  Martti Kainulainen/Lehtikuva/AFP

Finland’s populist Eurosceptic “Finns” party is set to enter government as part of a new centre-right coalition.Prime minister designate Juha Sipilä,(...)

A European Union flag flutters as the ancient Parthenon temple. Photograph:  Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters

Greece made a small interest payment to the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday but European lenders dashed hopes for a cash-for-reforms deal (...)

Greece’s finance minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives for a meeting with EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

With Greece facing an interest repayment of €200 million to the IMF today, Greece and its international creditors remained locked in discussions in B(...)

A section of the Berlin Wall that was rebuilt as a tourist attraction near Checkpoint Charlie. Irish developers have turned the historic site into a fast-food area, complete with cocktail bar. Photograph: Michael Dalder

Checkpoint Charlie was once the hottest spot in the Cold War, with tense standoffs between US and Soviet tanks. Now a popular tourist destination, th(...)