Farmers blocked grocery shipments

Norwegian farmers, angry that their state subsidy demands haven’t been met, set up blockades around wholesale food distribution centers all over the country on Friday morning. Grocery store chain Coop called the protest action “meaningless and ridiculous,” and warned that consumers would be hit the hardest. “The farmers are punishing the customers they live off of,” Bjørn […]

Farmers broke off subsidy talks again

Norway’s two major farm lobbying groups once again broke off negotiations with the state over how much subsidy and protection they should receive from taxpayers. They wanted a billion kroner more in financial support than the government was willing to give, while the government claims the farmers showed little willingness to reach an agreement. It […]

Opposition loses its lead in the polls

Finance Minister Siv Jensen’s Progress Party and Erna Solberg’s Conservatives have rebounded in the latest public opinion polls, taking back the lead that the Labour and Center parties have claimed earlier this year. Now it’s a close race as they all head into campaign mode ahead of the September parliamentary election. Jensen’s Progress Party gained […]

Oil price collapse ‘is now behind us’

An optimistic Norwegian government presented a revised state budget on Thursday that proposes few changes in the annual budget for 2017 that was approved in December. That’s because the economic program laid out in the budget is working well, according to Finance Minister Siv Jensen. “Unemployment is on its way down and economic growth is on its […]

Prudence prevails in use of Oil Fund

Even though Finance Minister Siv Jensen has tapped into more of Norway’s oil revenues than any of her predecessors, to pad the state budget, the country’s famous Oil Fund just keeps growing. It’s the ultimate piggy bank, more than 70 percent bigger now than when Jensen assumed her post in 2013, and new figures show that […]

Israel objects to any circumcision ban

The Israeli Embassy in Oslo is criticizing a decision by Norway’s conservative Progress Party over the weekend to support any proposed ban on circumcision of baby boys in Norway. Circumcision is a ritual within both the Jewish and Muslim religions, and the embassy called any prohibition of it “disappointing and unfortunate.” The party policy approved […]

Norway’s ‘success’ attracts North Korea

UPDATED: North Korea views Norway’s social welfare state as a “success,” according to an expert on the isolated country. That may be why talks are reportedly going on in Oslo this week between representatives from North Korea and the US. Both Chinese and South Korean diplomats have referred to the otherwise secret, “informal” talks, which have been […]

Royals ready to celebrate being 80

Kings, queens, princes, princesses and at least two presidents from all over Europe were arriving in Oslo this week, to take part in Norway’s official celebration of King Harald’s and Queen Sonja’s 80th birthdays this year. The partying is due to begin at the Royal Palace Tuesday evening, and run through Wednesday. King Harald turned […]

Solberg and Merkel plan for G20

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and German Chancellor Anglela Merkel were able to make some joint preparations for the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg this summer, when they met near Dusseldorf last week. Their meeting came after both had made an appearance at the opening on Thursday of Norsk Hydro’s new aluminum plant in the area. Norway is not […]

Dual citizenship wins a nod, but ‘no’ to circumcision

Norway’s Progress Party has become the latest to back dual citizenship, thus creating a majority in the current Parliament in favour of allowing Norwegian citizens to have two passports. The party, meeting for its national meeting over the weekend, also voted to ban circumcision, hijabs in public schools and surrogacy, after heated debate. The voting was close […]