Secrecy hinders defense of security

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Norwegian government’s insistence on withholding a highly critical State Auditor General’s report on the status of national security has made it difficult if not impossible for police and defense officials to defend themselves from allegations of incompetence. Defense ministry officials claim they can’t comment on the contents of the report, because it’s classified as confidential. Some may argue that […]

‘Security so poor’ it ‘had to be hidden’

UPDATED: Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) has gained access to a State Auditor General’s report on national security that was intended to be made public, but which the Norwegian government has withheld on the grounds it would further endanger it. The report shows that efforts to improve Norway’s national security following terrorist attacks in 2011 have […]

Ministry mum on diplomats’ asylum

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry was mostly staying silent Thursday morning after news broke this week that four Turkish military officers and a veteran diplomat at the Turkish Embassy in Oslo have been granted asylum in Norway. The Turkish government has reacted angrily to the asylum decision, and demanded an explanation from Norway’s own ambassador in Ankara. “As […]

‘Look to Iceland’ to achieve equal pay

As Norway’s royals and top government officials hosted the first state visit from the President of Iceland in 20 years this week, equality experts were urging them to follow Iceland’s lead in mandating equal pay under the law. “It’s a joy that Iceland is taking creative new steps in the work to abolish unfair pay differences between women and […]

Turkish officials win asylum in Norway

Four Turkish officers and the former military attaché at the Turkish Embassy in Oslo have been granted asylum in Norway along with their families. Newspaper Klassekampen reported Wednesday that the asylum decision is raising some eyebrows, since both Norway and Turkey are military allies through their membership in NATO. That makes it highly unusual for Norway to […]

Secrecy surrounds a lack of security

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and both her defense and justice ministers have had to admit this week, at public hearings called by the Parliament’s disciplinary committee, to serious shortcomings in national preparedness and security. Solberg’s government is still insisting, however, on keeping a state auditor’s highly critical report on the situation secret, and that’s setting off even more criticism […]

Government to invest in three main east-west routes

Norway’s conservative government coalition failed to select one main route for improvement over the mountains between Oslo and Bergen this week, opting instead to invest in three transport corridors that aim to separate tourist traffic from commercial trucking. State Highway 7 over Hardangervidda will now be developed as the main connection between Western and Eastern […]

Progress Party proud of sharp decline in asylum seekers

Norway’s conservative Progress Party, which long has argued in favour of restrictive immigration, was proud of the “solid documentation” released this week showing that Norway experienced Europe’s biggest decline in arrivals of asylum seekers last year. The decline came even though Europe still logged another huge stream of would-be refugees. The numbers from Eurostat showed that 1.2 million […]

Conflicts of interest ram Center Party

Ola Borten Moe is a former Oil & Energy Minister for the Center Party who now leads its program committee heading into the next national election. He’s also attracting questions of conflicts of interest, since he’s gone into the oil business himself while also seeking benefits for small oil companies like his own and calling for cuts in […]

Labour avoids its own property tax

The Norwegian Labour Party has found a way to avoid paying the property tax that the Labour-led Oslo city government has imposed on all other owners of property in Oslo worth more than NOK 4 million. Labour’s headquarters building in the Norwegian capital is under historic preservation orders, and Labour leaders in Oslo proposed and passed a measure in December […]