Yara finally finds a new CEO

Svein Tore Holsether

After more than a year of corruption charges and top-level personnel drama at Yara International, the company finally announced on Monday that it had found a new and relatively young chief executive officer. Svein Tore Holsether will take over at the age of 42, and be paid a base salary of NOK 6 million (USD 750,000) […]

More now buying a ‘hytte’ in the city

New apartments on the waterfront are among those popular with out-of-town investors, who use them either as commuter- or holiday homes in the city. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Tens of thousands of Norwegians have taken off this week to spend the Easter holidays at a “hytte,” or holiday home, in the mountains or other rural areas. Now increasing numbers of people living outside the cities are doing the reverse, and heading into town for time off in urban surroundings. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reports that […]

Svalbard waits for ‘Putin effect’

Ny-Ålesund, verdens nordligste bosetting. Foto: Trond Viken, Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet.

Residents of Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard are literally banking on the Norwegian government extending financial aid for their troubled coal mining operations, despite the environmental paradox that implies. Now they’re hoping that tensions between Norway and Russia will help keep Svalbard’s coal mines open, if only to keep the remote area populated. Newspaper Aftenposten reported during the weekend how people in […]

New quarrel over Sunday openings

Most stores in downtown Oslo and elsewhere around the country are forced by law to remain closed on Sundays. The conservative government wants to allow all stores to open if they so choose, but faces strong opposition. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Norway’s conservative coalition government is moving ahead with its proposal to allow stores to open on Sundays, and that’s set off new protests from one of its support parties in Parliament. The Christian Democrats were already upset over the government’s deportation of rejected refugee families, and now they’re threatening to end their support for the minority coalition. […]

Unions agree to forego wage hikes

Union leader Gerd Kristiansen (right) and Kristin Skogen Lund, head of the employers' organization NHO, after agreeing to an historically low wage pact on Friday. PHOTO: LO

This year’s first phase of annual wage negotiations between Norwegian trade union federations and employer organizations ended with an historically low settlement for key players on Friday. Only the lowest paid workers will get any raise at all. The largest industrial labour organizations that front the annual wage talks accepted that they won’t get any nationally […]

Airlines toughen up cockpit rules

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) followed rival Norwegian Air on Friday when it announced that it was now demanding that two crew members be present in the cockpit of its flights at all times. Ryanair already has such a rule in force, as do most airlines in the US. European aviation authorities also said Friday that it […]

Bookstore battle reaches a climax

Tronsmo book store

The last of Oslo’s radical and independent book stores faces an uncertain future, after it received an eviction notice from its state-controlled landlord. The eviction has set off great public debate in the Norwegian capital, and raised interesting issues in a situation that’s full of paradox. Nearly 11,000 people have joined a social media campaign to save Tronsmo Bokhandel […]

Criticism flies over failed Olympic bid

Børre Rognlien (left), Oslo city government leader Stian Berger Røsland and the city's culture and sports minister Halstein Bjercke kept pushing for Oslo2022 despite public criticism. Not pictured: Athletics boss Inge Andersen. PHOTO: Kulturdepartementet

Norwegian sports and city officials did a bad job of fronting their failed bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2022 and have themselves to blame for its lack of public support, according to a new report on the expensive Olympic project. The report suggests that the country’s powerful athletic lobby also needs to become more professional […]

CEO’s defense cites ‘conspiracy theory’

The former chief executive officer of Oslo-based industrial firm Yara has fallen victim to a “conspiracy theory” formed by state prosecutors who failed to present sufficient evidence against him, claimed the defense attorney for Yara’s founding CEO Thorleif Enger. The three-month trial into corruption at Yara during his tenure was winding down this week. Enger’s high-profile […]

Hotel market goes ‘from bad to worse’

The slowdown in the oil sector has hit Norway’s hotel industry hard, especially in Stavanger when revenues per room have declined by 30 percent just in the past year. At the same time, around 1,000 more hotel rooms are coming on line, adding to the imbalance of supply and demand. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported […]