Farmers demand hefty pay raises

Norway’s farming organizations presented new demands for state subsidies and protection that once again would give them much higher pay raises than those granted other workers. The farmers claim they deserve bigger raises, to close an alleged income gap. The organizations, Norsk Bonde- og Småbrukarlag and Norges Bondelag, formally handed their latest demands on Wednesday to the […]

Huge reserves fuel Arctic oil debate

UPDATED: Norway’s petroleum directorate reported on Tuesday that the country’s undiscovered offshore oil and gas reserves in the Barents Sea may be twice as large as previously thought. That’s only fueling the debate over whether they should be found and tapped, at a time when the largest political parties want to do just that. The fate of […]

DNB: Economic optimism has returned

The investment banking arm of Norway’s biggest bank has reported a much brighter economic outlook for the country than that described by politicians trying to oust the conservative government. DNB Markets believes the oil industry crisis is letting up, unemployment rates are declining and gross national product is on the rise. The outlook is brighter than […]

Norway won’t lift Russian sanctions

Norwegian Trade Minister Monica Mæland, who just returned from a conciliatory trip to China, was off on another mission to Russia this week, but there the tone was different. Mæland disappointed business and industrial officials when she confirmed that Norway has no intention of lifting its economic sanctions against Russia, at least not yet. “Sanctions against Russia […]

Oil Fund pumps up new tax principles

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, which has become a powerful investor around the world, is now launching what some call “a little revolution” in tax principles and transparency. Popularly known as the “Oil Fund,” it has released an “expectation document” that basically asks the companies in which it invests to improve their tax morals and pay more tax where […]

Banks set up ‘digital defense center’

Nordic banks have agreed to mount a common front against cyber attacks, in the form of what they’re calling a “digital defense center” based in Oslo. The effort will build on the Norwegian finance industry’s competence center, Finans-CERT. It was established by the banking and insurance companies’ trade association Finans Norge in 2012 to help defend the […]

Agriculture reform a tough row to hoe

For the first time in years, there was plenty of Norwegian lamb available in the stores this Easter and at relatively reasonable prices. Farm production is higher than ever, but farmers and their advocates remain dissatisfied and the government’s plans for more reforms face constant challenge. Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale of the conservative Progress Party rolled […]

‘Polet’ re-opens but under threat

Norway could mark its first long Easter holiday this weekend when its state monopoly of wine and liquor stores, Vinmonopolet, didn’t stay closed all five days, from Thursday through Monday. The stores were to re-open on Saturday, known as påskeaften, because of a liberalization in the law, but that may not be enough to ward off what Health Minister Bent […]

Pharmacy prices set off protests

Norwegians have long had to deal with food and beverage prices that are as much as double those in neighbouring Sweden. Now the spotlight has turned to pharmacy prices that can be triple those for exactly the same products south and east of the border. It’s part of Easter week traditions in many Norwegian families […]

‘God påske’ weekend to all our readers

Norway’s annual “Easter Exodus” is underway, with new figures showing that nearly half the country’s entire population planned to take time off for a spring vacation combined with the Easter holidays. Many Norwegians still head for the mountains for traditional spring skiing holidays, while increasing numbers travel within the country or go abroad. Norway officially observes more […]