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Mondo Europe: Eurovision song causes Satanic panic in Cyprus

Greek singer Elena Tsagrinou in the video for El Diablo, Cyprus' controversial entry for Eurovision 2021 - Credit: Panik Records

The news you might have missed from around Europe, selected by Steve Anglesey.

Cyprus’ Eurovision entry is at the centre of protests over its supposedly sacrilegious lyrics. El Diablo by Elena Tsagrinou has scandalised some in the island nation, dominated by the Greek Orthodox church, with lines like: “I gave my heart to El Diablo” and “I gave it up because he tells me I’m his angel.”

After state broadcaster CyBC picked Tsagrinou to represent Cyprus in Rotterdam on May 18, its offices were broken into by a man who screamed “atheists” at staff before being arrested and fined.

Another man, who was bailed after a phone threat to burn down the TV company’s studios told newspaper Politis: “The reference to Satan made me feel angry, and so I reacted with a boiling soul.”

A teachers’ group wants the song withdrawn as it “pledges lifelong devotion and professes love for Satan”.

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A Portuguese olive grower has launched a gourmet brand of olive oil called Clitoris in a “homage” to female victims of domestic abuse.

Marco Dias, whose family owns 40 hectares of olive groves in Oliveira do Hospital, Coimbra, said the name came to him when he “saw a longitudinal cut of an olive” and realised that it reminded him of the sexual organ. He added: “Olive oil is all about pleasure and it was with this intuition that Clítoris came about.”

Dias said that the product was already on sale in France and Luxembourg and that he hoped “Clitoris can now reach every part of the world.”

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More than 200 coffins fell into the water when a 100-year-old cliffside cemetery collapsed into the sea off the tourist resort of Camogli, Genoa.

Police divers were only able to recover 20 sets of remains in the first 48 hours of searching, and although the army has been called in to help, many will be lost completely.

Maria, a local woman who lost five of her relatives’ graves to the landslide, told Genoa24: “We went down to the rocks a few hours after the collapse and could see coffins floating. It was torture. We have been reporting cracks and instability for six years – my father’s tombstone had moved several times.”

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Baden-Württemberg police are offering a 1,000 euro (£870) reward for information about two men who threw a dog off a bridge after taunting its owner, in a crime possibly inspired by the film Anchorman.

Like Baxter in the film, mongrel Bully, also survived its ordeal. It fell into a river running under the bridge in Kenzingen, near Freiburg, drifted downstream for around 100 yards before clinging to a rock and getting rescued by the fire brigade after being in the water for 30 minutes.

Its owner told Bild that apart from being treated for hypothermia, “Bully only hurt his paw slightly. I’m glad that everything turned out well. But we don’t go for walks by the water anymore.”

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A 97-year-old Barcelona woman who went to visit her son returned to find she had been evicted by mistake and all her property had gone missing, presumably destroyed.

Rosario Caballero lost her wedding photos, a memoir she had been writing and cash, as well as all her clothes and domestic items, when bailiffs emptied her flat rather than the one above. Local police blamed a mix-up over forms.

Her granddaughter Laura said: “Nobody knows how to tell us where to find these things and how to recover them. We do not know where anything is.”

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A Russian mixed martial arts fighter who appeared for a televised bout with several swastikas tattooed on his body was knocked out in the first round.

St Petersburg-born welterweight Mikhail Turkanov had a large Nazi symbol emblazoned on his right bicep, with an interlocking cluster of them on his chest. The 33-year-old’s body art also included a Nordic rune used by the SS.

Turkanov, nicknamed Pitbull, was pinned to the mat and punched repeatedly by Alibeg Rasulov at the AMC Fight Nights bout in Sochi. He later said: “My tattoos are pagan. I do not have tattoos of Hitler or Mussolini. The fact that Hitler used an ancient symbol means nothing.”

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A drug dog that took an interest in an ambulance queuing for a ferry from Sicily to Calabria uncovered 30kg of cannabis worth around 300,000 euros (£260,000).

Two men dressed as paramedics were arrested after Ghimly, a labrador retriever, sniffed out drugs hidden under the ambulance’s stretcher and inside first aid kits.

Police, who also seized cash, cell phones and a gun designed to fire blanks, said the suspects were both unemployed.

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The Swiss winner of last Friday’s record £180m Euromillions jackpot has already had to give away £63million of it in tax.

Lottery wins in the UK are not taxed, meaning the British couple who picked up the previous record of £170.2m last October got to keep all their winnings.

But in Switzerland, lottery operator Swisslos automatically deducts 35 per cent of all wins.