Counties will be forced to merge

The conservative Norwegian government’s highly controversial regional reform program has been salvaged by the small Christian Democrats party. The Christian Democrats’ decision on Friday to support county mergers, including one between Finnmark and Troms, now gives the minority government enough votes in Parliament to continue to force the counties to team up. “This is the […]

Troms-Finnmark merger put on hold

Government minister Monica Mæland has put the pending but highly controversial forced merger between Finnmark and Trom on hold. She wants to wait until the Parliament decides to re-evaluate the merger, and whether Finnmark will be allowed to refuse teaming up with Troms. If that happens, Mæland warned, the state’s entire regional reform program may […]

Police reform sets off more unrest

There’s rumbling within the ranks of Norway’s state police. Officers on patrol are setting off alarms over not just inadequate staffing but an actual “ravaging” of their ranks, while criticism is flying over how police chiefs around the country are staying mum. “No comment” has been the main response from the police chiefs, a silence […]

Finnmark’s fight repeats history

NEWS ANALYSIS: A fight over the future of Norway’s northernmost county of Finnmark has hit fever pitch, with the local population battling a forced merger with neighboring Troms. A visit to an historic monument at the other end of the country shows how such struggles have gone on since Viking times, pitting the importance of […]

Trøndelag merger strikes a chord

SEE THE VIDEO: At a time when tempers are flaring and conflicts abound over state-ordered county and municipal mergers, at least one has proceeded with a fair degree of harmony. So much harmony, in fact, that county officials in the newly merged Trøndelag invested in a new song and video aimed at stirring up a […]

Huge majority votes against Finnmark-Troms merger

A referendum held during the past week in Norway’s northern-most county of Finnmark has resulted in fully 87 percent saying “no” to a pending merger with neighbouring Troms County. Even though the Parliament has decreed the merger, opposition parties are now calling on the government to halt the merger process. The referendum result came as […]