Royal debate rages as teachers strike

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NEWS ANALYSIS: As angry and demoralized Norwegian teachers voted to go on strike this week, debate continues to fly over the crown couple’s decision last week to pull their own two royal children out of their local public school. Some claim the royal family has contributed to a “devaluation” of Norwegian public schools, while teachers feel they’re being […]

Minister intent on deregulating food

New Agriculture Minister Sylvi Listhaug posed for photos recently on her parents' farm in western Norway, Lindseth Gard. She's faced a lot of criticism from farmers and food producers who fear her plans to reform agricultural policy and liberalize markets. PHOTO: Landbruks- og mat departementet/Olav Skjedstad/Romsdals Budstikke

NEWS ANALYSIS: New Agriculture Minister Sylvi Listhaug is a farmer’s daughter who has referred to the country’s highly regulated farming and food industries as a “Norwegian form of communism.” Now she’s in a position to tackle many of the aspects that make food in Norway the most expensive in the world, and the powerful farming […]

Norway urged to ‘let the oil lie’

The Oseberg Field Centre has already been hit by the strike, which now may result in a lock-out that would shut down all Norwegian oil installations in the North Sea. PHOTO: Statoil/Øyvind hagen

NEWS ANALYSIS: The strongest warnings ever about the hazards of climate change, issued over the weekend, have prompted Norway’s new environment minister to promise that emissions cuts will be made in all sectors, including the country’s important oil industry. Others are urging a halt to all oil and gas exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf, […]

Climate change ‘painful, costly’

Johan Sverdrup is among the largest oil fields on the Norwegian shelf, according to Statoil, and will at its peak contribute 25 percent of the production from the entire Norwegian Continental Shelf. IMAGE: Statoil

NEWS ANALYSIS: Environmental groups were pleasantly surprised when Norway’s new conservative government unveiled some new climate-friendly goals earlier this month, including full electrification of new offshore oil fields. The government is already facing strong objections from state-owned oil company Statoil, but this week’s release of the UN’s latest climate report shows that such measures are now urgently […]

Racism issue not black and white

There was a marked increase in ethnic diversity at this year's 17th of May parade in Oslo, and among cheering spectators. Along with Norwegian "bunader" were more Scottish kilts, head scarves, turbans and even Swedish folk costumes. PHOTO: Views and News

EXPATRIATE MUSINGS: Racism continues to rear its ugly head in Norway from time to time, most recently this winter when a group of young white men attacked an immigrant in the county of Nord-Trøndelag. Samson M Mahari, an immigrant himself who came to Norway from Eritrea, offers a voice of calm amidst heated debate, noting […]

Norway’s dilemma over Russia

Utenriksminister Børge Brende på Maidan-plassen i Kiev 6. mars 2014. Foto: A. Versto, UD

NEWS ANALYSIS/UPDATED: As conflict escalates between Russia on the one side and Ukraine and most of the rest of Europe on the other, the Norwegian government has so far come out solidly in favour of the acting government in the Ukrainian capital. As Foreign Minister Børge Brende pays his respects in Kiev, though, it’s not […]

Artist just wants to help Norway grieve

Jonas Dahlberg's winning proposal for a July 22 memorial on the terror-hit island of Utøya calls for excavating part of the island and transporting the hallowed ground for use in another memorial in Oslo, at the site of the terrorist's bombing. ILLUSTRATION: Jonas Dahlberg/KORO

NEWS ANALYSIS: Tapped to memorialize the greatest trauma of Norway’s recent history, Swedish artist Jonas Dahlberg has a big job ahead of him. His winning proposal for memorials to the terrorist attacks of July 22, 2011, which involves a “cut” through the terror-hit island of Utøya that will bring parts of the land back to central […]

Budget talks set stage for Jensen

PHOTO: Fremskrittspartiet

NEWS ANALYSIS: Siv Jensen was making her debut this week as her party’s first-ever finance minister at the government’s deceptively festive annual launch of state budget negotiations. It’s important for both her and the Progress Party she leads to put their clear party stamp on the state budget they’ll unveil later this year. It’s also […]

Massive protests surprised Solberg

An estimated 15,000 demonstrators filled a public square in Oslo on Saturday to protest the government's proposed changes to Norway's abortion law that were demanded by one of the government's support parties, the Christian Democrats. That "support" has now turned into a major liability for the government, as major protests were also held elsewhere around the country. PHOTO: Marte Christensen / NTB Scanpix

NEWS ANALYSIS: The potential tyranny of the minority mobilized the majority in Norway over the weekend, and that seemed to surprise Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Her government gave in to demands from the small Christian Democrats party to change Norway’s abortion law, and now they’re paying the price in the form of major protests and […]

Language demand needs reality check

COMMENTARY: Some high-profile Norwegian politicians are trying to force the use of the local language in immigrant homes. A reality check seems in order: One question is whether Carl I Hagen of the Progress Party, who put forth new demands for Norwegian language expertise this week, would really drop his own Norwegian if he ever […]