Paying the price for state budget drama

NEWS ANALYSIS: Criticism flew, the main players including Finance Minister Siv Jensen fought off exhaustion, the government coalition was arguably weakened and lots of Norway’s oil money was ultimately approved to finance it all. Norway’s state budget for next year finally cleared Parliament on Monday, but the price was high for all involved. Finance Minister Siv Jensen, wearing […]

Solberg survives budget crisis

Prime Minister Erna Solberg could finally wrap a few holiday gifts this weekend after winning a green-light, quite literally, for her minority government’s highly contested state budget proposal for next year. All four party leaders involved announced their budget breakthrough Saturday evening, based on nearly NOK 3 billion worth of extra climate measures. Solberg thanked all those “who […]

Norway’s new reality sets in

NEWS ANALYSIS: As government leaders scurried from one state budget crisis meeting to another heading into the weekend, Norway’s oil- and oil-related companies have been dealing with crises that are much more direct, and painful. One of Norway’s top political commentators helped put things in perspective just ahead of the government’s D-Day over the budget on […]

Crisis meeting ended in failure

Yet another crisis meeting at the home of Prime Minister Erna Solberg has failed to end her minority government’s budget stalemate with its two support parties. They still won’t support the budget, meaning Solberg still faces the prospect that her minority government coalition can collapse less than a year before the next national election. Leaders of the two […]

Solberg struggles to save her government

Hard-pressed Prime Minister Erna Solberg admitted on Wednesday that she was disappointed and thinks it’s “unfortunate” that her government’s two support parties have withdrawn from negotiations over the state budget. She’s not giving up efforts to keep her coalition together, though. Solberg told reporters at a press conference held just after the Christian Democrats announced […]

Government loses its last supporter

Norway’s minority government lost the last of its two support parties on Wednesday, when the Christian Democrats followed the Liberals’ lead and pulled out of negotiations over the state budget for next year. Christian Democrats leader Knut Arild Hareide blamed the government’s ultimatum over limited fuel tax hikes, which he claimed would leave car owners winning at the expense […]

Government’s fate rests with Hareide

Knut Arild Hareide, leader of the small Christian Democrats party, found himself holding an enormous amount of power over the fate of Norway’s minority government coalition Wednesday morning. He retreated into a meeting with his party faithful, to decide whether they’ll support the government’s proposed state budget and thus prevent the government from falling. “This is a […]

Liberals break out of budget talks

Norway’s state budget crisis deepened Tuesday afternoon, when one of the minority government’s two support parties broke off any further budget negotiations. The Liberals won’t support the budget as it now stands, blaming the government’s ultimatum against raising fuel taxes. The Liberals’ leader, Trine Skei Grande, had been complaining for months that the government’s state budget […]

Government ‘on verge of collapse’

Speculation was running high on Tuesday morning over whether Norway’s minority coalition government is about to fall. Dramatic and ongoing disagreement over next year’s state budget prompted Finance Minister Siv Jensen to call an extraordinary meeting of her own Progress Party’s national board, but there were no expectations the board would allow any more budget compromises. Newspaper VG […]

Politicians avoid real emission cuts

As Norwegian politicians continued to quarrel this week over raising fuel taxes to cut carbon emissions, climate activists gathering in Oslo put the quarreling in perspective. They noted how Norway’s oil and gas industry emits roughly 10 times the emissions of all the cars in Norway combined, yet politicians remain reluctant to scale it back even though ongoing […]