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Weird European news: The waiter who says he’s the real king of Spain

The weirdest stories in Europe: The pub waiter who says he's a Spanish royal, and a corpse rides for six hours on a Swiss tram

King Felipe VI of Spain (R) and King Juan Carlos (L) in May 2019 - Credit: Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

A pub waiter in La Bisbal d’Empordà, Catalonia, claims to be the illegitimate first-born son of Juan Carlos I – and therefore the legitimate king of Spain.

Albert Solà Jiménez is 12 years older than Felipe VI, who replaced Juan Carlos when the latter abdicated in 2014 amid corruption scandals.

Solà, who bears a strong resemblance to the former king, was adopted shortly after his birth but says he spent his childhood in mysterious luxury and claims to have been visited by Juan Carlos’ mother, Princess María. He now works in a bar where customers have nicknamed him “the monarch”.

Meanwhile, Juan Carlos is thought to be living rent-free in Abu Dhabi’s £10,000-a-night Emirates Palace hotel as a guest of the royal family. He claims to be feeling “alone, old and bored” in exile, having left Spain over allegations that he received 88 million euros (£75 million) for his part in a contract awarded to a Spanish company for a high-speed train line in Saudi Arabia.


Corpse’s six-hour ride on Zurich tram

A man who died on a tram in Zurich was driven around the city for nearly six hours before anyone noticed.

CCTV shows the 64-year-old boarding the tram for his daily commute at 6.21am. Shortly afterwards he can be seen collapsing with cardiac arrest, but it is only at noon that a female passenger notices him and alerts the driver.

“The ignorance of the people on the tram makes me stunned and sad,” said the dead man’s son.


German Green left red-faced

A Green Party candidate in Saarland, Germany, has withdrawn from the race for a Bundestag seat after failing to answer basic questions about party policy at a local conference.

Asked how she felt about the Greens’ stance on cycling, Irina Gaydukova looked confused and replied: “Positive.” When next asked how she would balance climate protection with social justice, the 52-year-old was quiet for several seconds and then said, “Do I have time to think about it?” Finally, asked for her opinion on carbon certificate trading, she stared at the audience, smiled and said, “What do you expect of me on this question?”

Gaydukova, who was second on the Greens’ list in her region, has since resigned her seat on the local council. In a statement, the party wished her “all the best and solidarity”, saying that in council matters she had been “productive and competent.”


OAP collects ‘wrong’ granddaughter from school

An Italian pensioner who collected his granddaughter from nursery school and took her home realised after half an hour that he had picked up someone else’s child instead.

A disciplinary investigation is underway in Arezzo, Tuscany, after the man arrived at school, gave the child’s first name and failed to recognise that the child he was given was not related to him and two years younger than his actual granddaughter. A teacher and caretaker have been suspended.


Woman takes swim with 47,000 euros

A woman is recovering in hospital in Dijon after being found swimming in a city centre fountain into which she had poured over 47,000 (£40,420) euros in banknotes.

Onlookers said the swimmer, described as “emotionally fragile”, was removed from the water by firefighters while police sealed off the fountain, in Place de la République, to prevent passers-by from attempting to take her money. Officers have since recovered 47,200 euros in denominations of 10, 20, 50 and 100 euros.


Police threatened with snake

A man caught burgling a pet shop near Stavanger, Norway, threatened police with a 1.1m-long (3ft 7ins) king python he was holding.

Officers were able to overwhelm him and return the snake, four-year-old Felix, to its tank.


Exploding pacemaker row ruins funeral

A grieving Polish family who were charged for damage to a furnace incurred when their father’s heart pacemaker exploded during his cremation have refused to pay on the grounds that he did not have a pacemaker to begin with.

The funeral home in Strzelin, about 39 kilometres south of Wrocław in the country’s south-west, added on 800 PLN (around £150) for repairs. They have now apologised, saying the furnace must not have been swept out properly between funerals and the exploding pacemaker belonged to someone cremated earlier.


Swiss protestor demands bells end

A Swiss woman will continue to blare out loud music from her home every 15 minutes as a protest against the local church bells after the congregation voted to carry on pealing.

The 63-year-old, from the village of Luchsingen, has been waging war against the Reformed Church for over a year because its automatic bells sound four times an hour, 24 hours a day. She said: “Why do we need a time check every quarter of an hour? And why does it have to jingle for minutes at five in the morning? I can hardly stand it.”

The woman, named only as Sandra B, said she has had hate mail and a brick through her windows since beginning her protest, which sees her put a large speaker in her front window and turn the volume up to 11. Daniel Sprüngli, president of the parish council, said, “She can do what she wants”, adding that he lived too far away to hear her or the church bells anyway.