Ferry sale fires up feud over Fjord1

Fjord1 ferries play a vital role in transport along Norway's long coastline. Now another major conflict has erupted over the company's ownership and management. PHOTO: Fjord1

Norway’s largest ferry company, Fjord1, faces a new wave of conflict after a divided county board in Sogn og Fjordane voted to sell its stake in Fjord1 to Torghatten, a rival transport firm that also owns the regional airline Widerøe. Fjord1’s board chairman, several board members and the ferry company’s chief executive officer responded to the pending […]

Norway tries to scare off Afghans

All passengers on ferries like Color Line's, arriving from Germany, started being subjected to identity and entry controls on Thursday morning. Border stations in Østfold and Hedmark counties were also stepping up control of all vehicles entering Norway. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

In addition to the new controls of ferries and border crossings that took effect Thursday morning, Norwegian Justice Minister Anders Anundsen has resorted to another tactic to discourage asylum seekers from coming to Norway. His ministry has placed ads in newspapers in Afghanistan warning that unfounded requests for asylum will result in quick, and forced, deportation. Large numbers of […]

Solberg declares asylum ‘crisis’

Prime Minister Erna Solberg posed with asylum seekers in Northern Norway last week. On Wednesday she met with mayors from all over Norway, in another attempt to find places to house all the asylum seekers arriving in Norway. PHOTO: Statsministerens kontor

It took a crisis for Norway’s town and cities to more actively offer housing for asylum seekers at a faster rate this autumn. The offers of accommodation have been far from enough to meet demand, however, and Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared on Wednesday that Norway’s asylum reception system is now in crisis itself. It’s been […]

Confusion rises at border crossings

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, shown here (far right) at a new asylum center set up near the Norwegian border to Russia, has now issued new orders for stricter border control all over the country. PHOTO: Statsministerens kontor

As Norway’s government issued new orders to further tighten border control, those working at the border stations were uncertain on Wednesday over how inspections are supposed to carried out. “We haven’t received information on exactly what we’re supposed to do,” one border guard told state broadcaster NRK Wednesday morning. The stricter border control is supposed to begin […]

Six Mali victims on a job for Norway

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on Wednesday that six Russian citizens killed in the terrorist attacks in Mali last Friday were in the country on assignment for the Norwegian military. They had transported building material and equipment from Norway that was to be used by Norwegian UN forces in Mali. NRK reported that the military equipment was […]

Oil workers’ union lobbies for work

Oil Minister Tord Lien addressed an oil workers' rally in Stavanger last week, but couldn't offer much more help than the government already has. Lien says it's up to the oil companies themselves to decide on investment and activity levels, including whether to plug oil wells. PHOTO: Olje- og energi departementet

In the midst of the Norwegian oil industry’s major downturn, one of the country’s major labour organizations is lobbying the state hard to pump up more work to preserve jobs. Some of it actually includes permanently plugging oil wells, but Oil Minister Tord Lien resists the idea and says oil companies need to make those kinds of decisions themselves. […]

State ownership falls under scrutiny

A recent rash of corruption allegations involving several Norwegian corporations that are partly state-owned has caught the attention of Norway’s State Auditor General (Riksrevisjonen). Now the watchdog agency is launching an inquiry to take a closer look at how the government conducts its business as a shareholder. Reports of alleged bribery at companies like Telenor and Yara have been a […]

Frozen rain left traffic frozen, too

Traffic was clogged on the E6 highway north of Oslo, and the opposite lanes were blocked by an accident. PHOTO: Statens vegvesen web camera

UPDATED: Traffic in much of southern Norway, including the entire Oslo metropolitan area, was all but paralyzed Tuesday morning after a sudden change in the weather. Temperatures rose during the night and then it started to rain. When the rain hit frozen ground and roads, it instantly froze as well, creating treacherous black ice that sent vehicles […]

Fewer asylum seekers came last week

The numbers of asylum seekers crossing borders into Norway dipped for the first time in a month last week. Officials claim it’s too early to make any conclusions, however, about longer-term trends. State immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirectoratet) reported new figures on Monday regarding asylum seekers registered in Norway for the week ending November 22. A total of 2,108 were […]

Health minister to slice surgery costs

Health Minister Bent Høie, with the government's new hospital plan that he's proposing in parliament. PHOTO: Helse- og omsorgsdepartementet

Five local hospitals in Norway will lose their ability to carry out acute surgical procedures under a new national hospital plan unveiled by Health Minister Bent Høie. He claims the cuts are necessary to preserve other health care services, and inevitable because of ongoing surgical specialization. He noted in a commentary published in newspaper Aftenposten […]