SV hits new low, Greens blossom

Meanwhile, Rasmus Hansson's Greens Party (MDG) seems to have attracted many of SV's old voters and is sowing the seeds for a strong showing in the looming local government elections. PHOTO: Miljøpartiet De Grønne

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s Socialist Left party (SV), once a mighty force on the left side of Norwegian politics, has sunk to a new low in public opinion polls. After 18 months below the level needed for representation in Parliament, SV may have lost its most important basis of support, while the Greens party keeps growing, […]

Government gains on refugee stand

The parties led by Prime Minister Erna Solberg (right) and Finance Minister Siv Jensen (left) have rebounded in public opinion polls, likely because of their opposition to calls for their government to accept 10,000 more refugees from Syria. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/

NEWS ANALYSIS: There’s been a sudden surge of voter support for Norway’s two government coalition parties during the past week, just as both fend off calls for Norway to take in an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees. That’s likely no coincidence, and the surge may signal a shift in the political winds ahead of local elections this fall. First […]

Stoltenbergs urged Nordic defense pact

Thorvald (left) and Jens Stoltenberg both backed stronger military ties among the Nordic countries. Now Jens leads NATO, and welcomes a "stronger and deeper" pact among the Nordic and Baltic nations. PHOTO: Arbeiderpartiet

NEWS ANALYSIS: NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed a “strengthened cooperation” signaled by government ministers of the Nordic countries late last week, and that’s no surprise. His own father, veteran Norwegian diplomat Thorvald Stoltenberg, urged much tighter military cooperation with Norway’s neighbours as early as 2009, and the NATO boss doesn’t think the latest manifestation of that […]

Refugee children as political pawns

Justice Minister Anders Amundsen of the Progress Party (left) and Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservatives were all smiles when announcing the so-called "asylbarn" solution this week. In reality, though, they had to give in to the more liberal asylum policies of their smaller support parties in Parliament, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals. PHOTO: Justis- go beredskapsdepartementet

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s long-running drama about the fate of rejected refugees’ children reached a climax this week, when the government finally agreed to “be more liberal” in cases involving children who’ve spent most or all of their lives in the country. The agreement came only after the minority government coalition was faced with losing the votes […]

Huge challenge to meet climate goals

Carbon capture and emissions reduction at Statoil's Mongstad plant will be delayed ... (PHOTO: Øyvind Hagen/Statoi)

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s government faces a huge challenge as it tries to juggle the interests of the country’s large oil and gas industry and the need to cut carbon emissions blamed for climate change. As Norwegians returned to work Tuesday after a long Easter holiday, they were likely to meet new vows from politicians who claim they won’t simply […]

Norway toughens residence rules

Prime Minister Erna Solberg of the Conservative Party and Justice Minister Anders Anundsen of the Progress Party want to lengthen the time it takes to secure permanent residence in Norway. PHOTO: Justis- og beredskapsdepartementet

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Norwegian government is about to make it much tougher for many foreign nationals to move to Norway and settle down in the country. Newspaper VG reported on Tuesday that a proposal sent out to hearing this week would extend the qualifying period for permanent residence permission to five years, nearly doubling the amount of time that effectively puts a newcomer […]

No winners after pilot strike ends

Bjørn Kjos, the embattled founder and chief executive of Norwegian Air, has won far more public  sympathy than the airline's striking pilots, according to a VG survey. After 11 "terrible" days, Kjos announced the strike was "finally" over. PHOTO: NRK screen grab/

NEWS ANALYSIS: Neither Norwegian Air nor its pilots could declare victory after an 11-day strike that stranded around 200,000 passengers, cost the company millions and left the pilots without the collective bargaining agreement they had sought. Passengers, meanwhile, continued to face flight cancellations and delays on Wednesday morning. Norwegian Air had warned before the settlement landed Tuesday […]

Government huddles for crisis meeting

Non-socialist parties celebrated winning a collective majority, but they ultimately couldn't agree on forming a government.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s conservative minority government seems to be teetering on the brink of collapse, given the ongoing discontent among the four parties behind it. Now all four party leaders reportedly plan to huddle next week for a not-so-secret “crisis meeting” in an effort to smooth badly ruffled feathers. At issue, first and foremost, is the […]

EU opposition still runs strong

PHOTO: Statsministerens kontor/Juha Roininen/EUP Images

NEWS ANALYSIS: Twenty years after Norwegians voted against joining the European Union (EU) for the second time, opposition to membership in the EU is much stronger than it was then. New public opinion polls show a solid majority saying they’d vote “no” again. In a new poll conducted by research firm InFact for newspaper VG, […]

Statoil rolls out huge new oil field

Norway's new Johan Sverdrup oil and gas field, located around 140 kilometers off Stavanger in the North Sea, represents a huge new source of wealth. Its environmental impact seems to be of secondary consideration. ILLUSTRATION: Statoil

NEWS ANALYSIS: The timing was ironic at best: Just as a new wave of climate concerns was literally washing over Norway this week, state oil company Statoil proudly promoted its huge new oil field Johan Sverdrup as the giant project heads for public hearing. Many argue that Norway’s oil and gas industry is a major contributor to […]