Paradox of the monarchy lives on

NEWS ANALYSIS: Many a paradox in Norway has been pointed out of late, not least  the country’s conflicting roles as both oil producer and environmental advocate. Its constitutional monarchy in a country that otherwise prides itself on being egalitarian, however, makes all others pale, especially given the monarchy’s huge public support. The monarchy’s role was highly […]

Ministers silent on Nobel winner’s fate

NEWS ANALYSIS: It’s been two days since news broke that China’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, dissident Liu Xiaobo, had finally been released from prison, but only because he’s terminally ill and needed hospitalization. Since then, not even the current Norwegian government minister Jan Tore Sanner who’d nominated Liu for the prize has commented on Liu’s situation, […]

Sami question the pace of their progress

NEWS ANALYSIS: Sami peoples were gathering in Trondheim this week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nordic countries’ indigenous peoples’ first showing of national political solidarity. Their most troublesome issues in Norway remain the same, however, and that has raised questions over how much or how little progress has been made since February 6, 1917. “We want to […]

‘Arrogance’ ruins sports reputation

NEWS ANALYSIS: As news broke Monday that skiing star Therese Johaug had herself overlooked a clear doping warning on a package of lip salve, it’s not just Norway’s skiers who are suffering a sharp loss of credibility. The country’s entire sports bureaucracy is under fire, for all kinds of reasons, with commentators claiming that those […]

Battles fly from boxing to budget

NEWS ANALYSIS/UPDATED: It’s entirely unclear whether Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her government will still be standing when Norway’s Parliament re-opens next autumn. Not only did she need to fend off complaints over her support for boxing just after this year’s parliamentary sesson opened, Solberg also needs to be ready with some hard punches from the right, to […]

Paradox pervades Ryanair drama

NEWS ANALYSIS: The paradox could hardly be more pronounced: Norwegian politicians, bureaucrats, business and labour officials who earlier have bashed low-fare airline Ryanair now seem to be rushing to its defense. Ryanair has succeeded in hurling state budget negotiations this week into severe turbulence, all because of its arguably hollow objections to an airline seat tax of around EUR 10 that’s also […]

Higher emissions don’t daunt leaders

NEWS ANALYSIS: Just days after the Norwegian government announced controversial plans to drill for more oil and gas in new areas of the Arctic, came news that Norway’s own carbon emissions have increased for the first time since 2010. The increase was blamed almost entirely on the country’s oil and gas industry but political and industrial leaders are […]

Strike left tourism out in the cold

COMMENTARY: A newly retired couple from England won’t likely forget what was supposed to be a celebratory trip to Norway last week that ended in anguish on a blustery Arctic dock. Nor will a stranded group of Danish tourists, a man on holiday from the Netherlands, or the undersigned on a reporting job from Oslo. All of […]

Norway shields its oil industry, for now

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norwegian Climate Minister Tine Sundtoft was all smiles after playing a key role in the historic global climate deal struck in Paris over the weekend. Her government colleagues were smiling, too, and didn’t seem to think the deal will force Norway to cut back on the country’s oil and gas production, even though environmental […]

Telenor bosses not off the hook

NEWS ANALYSIS: They won’t have to face questioning at another Parliamentary hearing next week into alleged bribery at partly owned VimpelCom, but embattled Telenor executives are far from being let off the hook. Now they’re in trouble with both suspicious Norwegian politicians and angry international investigators, while questions and criticism keep flying around CEO Sigve Brekke’s embellished […]