‘Expansive’ budget despite lower taxes

The Norwegian government’s new state budget proposal for 2016 was rolled out on Wednesday amidst finance ministry claims it will lower taxes for nine out of 10 Norwegians, yet generate enough growth to fund new job creation and strengthen the country’s “social security net.” Here are some of the highlights of the minority conservative coalition’s budget proposal, which amounts […]

State budget aims to ‘meet challenges’

PHOTO: NRK screen grab/newsinenglish.no

Finance Minister Siv Jensen unveiled the government’s enormous proposed state budget for next year, claiming it will “answer the challenges we face today.” She said the budget contains both short- and long-term measures for tackling Norway’s economic downturn, “securing jobs” and prodding the growth needed to maintain the country’s social welfare state. The current ‘challenges’ […]

Foreign ministry battles cyber attack

Norway's foreign ministry has been fighting a cyber attack for months. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Norway’s foreign ministry is battling a powerful computer virus that has infected its systems for months and is viewed as serious, reported newspaper Dagbladet on Wednesday. Alarms rang in late August when the virus hadn’t been contained, and Dagbladet wrote that officials still don’t have it under control. The virus is described as “completely new and advanced,” with […]

New light amidst economic gloom

PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Record-low interest rates, a weaker but far more competitive currency and even prospects for increased defense spending are shedding some new light on Norway’s sudden economic gloom. As speculation swirls around the government’s state budget, due to be presented on Wednesday, some key players think the Norwegian economy may already be turning upwards again. A new survey among […]

‘Historic continuity’ for new state hub

The 17-story building known as "Høyblokka" will remain the tallest building in the complex, with new ministries built behind and alongside it. ILLUSTRATION: Statsbygg/Nordic Office of Architecture

Gone are all the visions of fancy highrises, glass and mirror buildings and rooftop promenades: Norway’s new government headquarters in the heart of Oslo now looks most likely to feature what state planners are calling “historic continuity” and climate-friendly, economical new offices for reassembled ministries. Statsbygg, the state agency in charge of state-owned properties, unveiled drawings on Tuesday of […]

Conservatives win Svalbard election

Around 2,500 people live on Svalbard and 1,003 of its eligible voters in Longyearbyen have now elected a new Conservative-led government on the Arctic archipelago. It's bound to meet "active opposition," however, from the Greens Party. PHOTO: Utenriksdepartementet

Voters on Norway’s Arctic archipelago of Svalbard didn’t seem to have much gratitude for the local Labour Party’s efforts to keep its controversial coal mine open and operating. Record numbers turned out for Svalbard’s own local election Sunday and Monday, and voted mostly for the Conservatives and the Liberals, with the Greens party also scoring an important […]

Nobel Prize week starts its roll

The Peace Prize initiated and funded through the will of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel will be awarded at 11am on Friday. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Nobel hype has been swirling as new candidates emerge for the Peace Prize that will be announced in Oslo on Friday. This year’s announcement is also bound to reflect a variety of new forces behind the prize, and perhaps some unusual unrest at the Norwegian Nobel Institute itself. As the Nobel Prizes in medicine, physics, chemistry and literature […]

Telenor keen to dump VimpelCom

PHOTO: Telenor

Norway’s international telecoms firm Telenor, now under a new CEO, appears keen to cut off its profitable but long-troubled involvement in the Russian-dominated mobile phone company VimpelCom Ltd. Telenor announced Monday morning that it intends to sell all its shares in VimpelCom, which has been under investigation for corruption and money-laundering in several countries. Telenor’s press release […]

Parliament opens for lots of debate

Royal Guards always line up in front of the Parliament (Stortinget) on opening day, as the king, queen and crown prince take part in full regalia. PHOTO: Fremskrittspartiet

Flags were flying, politicians were unusually dressed-up and customary royal pomp reigned inside and out as the 16oth session of the Norwegian Parliament formally opened on Friday. The gloves will soon come off, though, as debate starts flying over issues like the refugee crisis, tax reform and the government’s proposed state budget for next year. As […]

King missed some of his opening lines

King Harald reading the government's speech during the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Friday - at least most of the speech. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) carried the entire opening live on national television. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/newsinenglish.no

It’s not easy being a king. On Friday, Norway’s 78-year-old monarch spoke loudly and clearly as he customarily read aloud the government’s annual proclamation from the throne, but then he skipped over an entire chunk of text. It was news bureau NTB that first noticed the royal blunder, as King Harald V read what’s known as the […]