Parliament leaders ‘broke own rules’

Olemic Thommessen, president of the Norwegian Parliament and therefore second only to the monarch as head of state, has come under another torrent of criticism over the Parliament’s troubled and expensive expansion project. He’s fending the criticism off once again, and ignoring any calls for his resignation. The project involves construction of a new entrance tunnel to the […]

Oil price collapse ‘is now behind us’

An optimistic Norwegian government presented a revised state budget on Thursday that proposes few changes in the annual budget for 2017 that was approved in December. That’s because the economic program laid out in the budget is working well, according to Finance Minister Siv Jensen. “Unemployment is on its way down and economic growth is on its […]

More drama at the Norwegian Opera

Norway’s Opera House in Oslo has become a national landmark, but sour notes are sounding once again inside the state-funded building that houses both the Norwegian Opera & Ballet. Soloists have demanded an urgent meeting with the Parliament’s committee on cultural affairs, while a revolt tunes up against the Opera’s new top administrator even before she starts […]

Government reins in Oil Fund use

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Finance Minister Siv Jensen, who have transferred more money from Norway’s Oil Fund to the state budget than any of their predecessors, now propose tying such withdrawals in the future to “more realistic,” and lower, expected returns. That can further limit the use of Norway’s oil revenues, and they also want to […]

Probe launched into Parliament’s building scandal

The disciplinary committee of the Norwegian Parliament has decided to investigate how and why an expansion project involving their own building has become victim to huge budget overruns and lengthy delays. Committee member Michael Tetzschner had already claimed there were too many questions that need to be answered. Newspaper VG reported this week that committee […]

Budget burst over Parliament ‘mess’

There’s a huge mess right now in the heart of Oslo, in every sense of the word. It’s costing taxpayers dearly and now looks likely to land in court, while neighbours suffer from massive disruption and delays. Members of Parliament are demanding answers and accountability. It all started when Norway’s ever-growing Parliament, fueled by a rapidly growing […]

Taxes and fees snag new budget talks

Norway’s two government coalition parties and their two support parties are huddling once again in an effort to agree on a new state budget for next year, but fees and especially proposed taxes on fuel and financial services are gumming up the works. They’re also arguing over how “green” the budget needs to be. Budget negotiations were […]

Fuel taxes spark new budget battle

Norway’s minority government coalition is poised for yet another battle over the state budget in Parliament, also with its two support parties. This time the battle will be over fuel taxes and the costs of driving, with the conservative government parties proposing a non-negotiable overall decrease that’s not likely to satisfy either the Liberals or the Christian […]

Battle over asylum budget begins

The Norwegian government allocated NOK 9.5 billion (USD 1.1 billion) late last year to handle another influx of asylum seekers this year that so far hasn’t materialized. With weekly arrivals now just a fraction of what they were, the battle is already beginning over what should be done with all the money. “It’s clear (the fall-off […]

Monarchy faces more criticism

The canons were fired from Oslo’s Akershus Fortress at precisely noon on Monday, to celebrate Queen Sonja’s 79th birthday on the 4th of July. Not everyone is celebrating, however, as criticism grows over the royal family’s financial secrecy and the Royal Palace staff’s refusal to respond to calls for more openness. The palace staff even […]