Dutch jail lease deal terminated

The Norwegian government is ending its agreement to lease jail space for Norwegian prisoners in the Netherlands. Justice Minister Sylvi Listhaug claims there’s no need any longer for the extra space, and that’s pleased critics of the deal. “Now the waiting lists for prisoners needing to serve their sentences have disappeared,” Listhaug said when announcing […]

Norway hosts ‘Seed Vault Summit’

It’s been 10 years since Norway opened the global seed vault on Svalbard. Agriculture Minister Jon Georg Dale has invited seed depositors and partners from around the world to a “Seed Vault Summit” on Svalbard this weekend, to celebrate the anniversary. Dale, along with Crop Trust and NordGen, will mark the occasion with panel discussions, […]

Parliament’s boss under fire again

Olemic Thommessen, president of the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget), was facing more tough questions and heavy criticism this week, after yet another huge budget overrun was revealed in a highly controversial building project his office has led. The entire project is now being called a “complete scandal,” and he’s accused of trying to avoid responsibility. Newspaper […]

Oil policy ‘firm’ but faces EU pressure

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norwegian government officials have been stressing lately that the country’s oil policy remains firm, even though new coalition colleagues have viewed it as stimulating too much risky exploration. Now EU competition authorities have been asked to review whether refunds of unprofitable exploration costs also amount to illegal state subsidy, raising new uncertainty in […]

Solberg a ‘happy’ and a ‘lucky’ premier

NEWS ANALYSIS: It was Mothers’ Day in Norway on Sunday, and the woman who’s increasingly viewed as Mor Norge (Mother Norway) was featured heavily in the country’s biggest newspaper. While Erna Solberg is clearly happy in her job as prime minister, a commentator in Aftenposten wondered whether she knows how lucky she is as well, […]

State may transfer 5,000 jobs to the counties

A commission set up by the state ministry in charge of local government administration and modernization has proposed shutting down three state agencies and transferring their functions and jobs to the county level. Agencies affected include Bufetat, in charge of children and family support, which currently has around 3,000 state employees. Also on the block […]

Pigs suffering at Norwegian farms

Agricuture Minister Jon Georg Dale has called the pork industry and its representatives in on the proverbial carpet, after terrible conditions have been revealed at pig farms in southwestern Norway. Another case of poor animal welfare was reported just last week, the latest in a string of embarrassing incidents for farmers who survive on public […]

Giske fights on, as does his partner

The embattled Norwegian Labour Party’s shamed star, Trond Giske, still isn’t giving up his fight against all the sexual harassment charges that have piled up against him. He’s now sent a letter contesting several of the charges, while his live-in partner, entertainer Haddy Njie, has written a letter of her own in which she blasts […]

NATO’s boss was ‘back home’ again

It was his older sister Camilla’s 60th birthday on Monday but NATO boss Jens Stoltenberg was formally back in Norway on an official visit. Family parties were set aside as the former Norwegian prime minister tackled issues ranging from defense funding to tensions with Russia and Turkey. He flatly refused to answer questions about the […]

Climate concerns prompt an appeal

Environmental organizations Greenpeace and Natur og Ungdom  aren’t accepting defeat in an Oslo city court, announcing on Monday that they will appeal for a halt to Arctic oil drilling directly to Norway’s highest court. They continue to claim that expanded oil activity in the Arctic violates Norwegian constitutional guarantees to protect nature and the environment […]