New plans unveiled for state ministries

SEE THE ILLUSTRATIONS: Norway’s complex of government ministries in downtown Oslo, known as Regjeringskvartalet, was heavily damaged and partially destroyed by a right-wing terrorist’s bomb in 2011. Plans have been underway ever since to recreate the heart of state government, with the latest proposals now going on public display. A jury will choose two of the following seven projects put forth by […]

Norwegian ministers stream to China

“I love China!” exclaimed Norway’s fisheries minister Per Sandberg after landing in Beijing this week. He’s leading a large delegation of Norwegian seafood exporters who see enormous potential in the Chinese market, and are overlooking human rights issues after a six-year diplomatic freeze finally thawed this winter. China may love Norway too, as long as […]

Solberg defends expense of repatriating convict

Prime Minister Erna Solberg, faced with criticism over the state’s efforts to bring convicted murderer Joshua French home from Congo, defended the time and effort it took on humanitarian grounds. “This was all about a person who in fact could have died in prison there,” Solberg told newspaper VG. Norway’s foreign ministry even assigned some of its […]

Norway earmarks more aid to Portugal

Portugal’s outgoing ambassador to Norway is getting a nice going-away gift after her four years in Oslo. The two countries signed a new agreement this week regarding the use of NOK 900 million (EUR 96 million) worth of grants that Norway finances in order to have access to the EU’s inner market. Norway’s foreign ministry announced […]

Farmers bring their fight to Parliament

Around 3,000 farmers marched through the streets of Oslo and then assembled in front of the Parliament on Tuesday, to once again demand more state money to boost their incomes. They want subsidies and protection worth another NOK 1.5 billion (USD 181 million), to boost their pay by more than 9 percent. The pay fight […]

Greens want a shorter work week

The official work week in Norway is 37.5 hours, although most small business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals and many others work a lot longer than that. The Greens Party wants to gradually cut employees’ work weeks down to just 30 hours, in return for foregoing pay raises. The Greens (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG) wrapped up their […]

Greens vote to phase out oil industry

Members of Norway’s Greens party (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG) voted at their national meeting over the weekend to work towards phasing out the country’s oil industry within 10 years. Oil Minister Terje Søviknes dismissed the move as “totally unrealistic” and “ridiculous.” Søviknes, from the conservative Progress Party (Fremskritts Partiet, FrP), went on to accuse the Greens […]

New union boss takes command

He’s already being called one of Norway’s most powerful persons: Hans-Christian Gabrielsen is the new leader of the country’s largest trade union confederation LO, responsible for around 900,000 union members in Norway, spread over 25 labour federations. That gives him lots of clout in a country where organized labour has deep traditions and commands respect. Gabrielsen […]

Protests fly after jetski ban is lifted

Norway’s conservative government coalition has given a green light for the use of jetskis, known locally as a vannskuter (literally, water scooter) in offshore waters beginning this summer. Local officials are protesting, both over the noise and safety hazards they pose, and intend to impose their right to regulate local use themselves. Mayor Jone Blikra of the Labour […]

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 […]