Finnmark fights forced merger

Residents of Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark are so angry over the terms of a looming and likely forced merger with neighbouring Troms that they’ve threatened everything from civil disobedience to secession in recent months. Now they’re in the process of voting on the merger in a referendum, with the state government unlikely to respect […]

Solberg makes history for Høyre

Prime Minister Erna Solberg officially became the longest-serving prime minister ever for her Conservative Party (Høyre) over the weekend. She’s now held the office longer than Kåre Willoch did in the 1980s, after years of Labour Party domination. As of Friday, Solberg had held Norway’s top political post for 1,668 days. “I really haven’t thought […]

Norway cautious about Korean talks

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide is calling new dialogue with North Korea “positive,” but she warns against relieving pressure on the country too quickly. Søreide noted that no concrete results have emerged from talks so far. Søreide was in Japan late this past week to visit her counterpart, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. “We […]

Air ambulances fly but problems persist

Norway’s air ambulances were cleared for take-off again this weekend, but conflicts involving their pilots remained unresolved. Neither the pilots’ union nor their employers’ representative could report any progress. The ambulance service has been in crisis since the company that’s run it for many years was outbid by a foreign-owned newcomer last year. The new […]

‘Norway First’ in ‘new’ EU strategy

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s foreign ministry chose “Europe Day” this past week to launch the Norwegian government’s new strategy for cooperation with the European Union (EU). It contains many of the same goals and lofty promises for good relations as before, but Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide also revealed that it’s aimed at putting Norway first, […]

Center Party survived scandal

Voters didn’t seem to mind that someone in a group of 10 powerful men with strong links to the farmer-friendly Center Party (Senterpartiet, Sp) sent an obscene and sexually harassing message to the party’s former leader, Liv Signe Navarsete. New polls show the party can still claim more than 10 percent of the vote. None […]

Air ambulance crisis grips the north

Norway is in the grips of an air ambulance crisis that has disrupted emergency medical service, especially in the northern counties of Finnmark and Troms. Members of Parliament are demanding immediate cancellation of the results of an ambulance service bidding process last year that generated all the turbulence. Air ambulances are a critical part of […]

Norway still backs Iranian nuke pact

Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide was on national radio Wednesday morning, deploring US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an international agreement aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. She made it clear Norway will support efforts to keep the agreement in place among its other signatories including the EU members France, […]

‘With respect and deep gratitude’

PHOTO FEATURE: The weather could only be described as glorious when Norwegians gathered in Oslo on Liberation Day to remember their military veterans and war heroes on the 73rd anniversary of Norway’s liberation from Nazi German occupation. Merchant marine veterans were given the credit they also deserved, at an outdoor ceremony fittingly held on the […]

SSB finally gets a new boss

Norway’s state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) has been plagued by conflict, both internally and externally, since its former boss Christine Meyer became a target of criticism and was forced to resign. Her interim replacement didn’t want the job but a director at state welfare agency NAV wasn’t afraid to take it on. Geir Axelsen […]