New laws aid travelers, teens, parents

Several new laws took effect from July 1, including one aimed at improving the rights of consumers while out traveling. Another prevents marriage before the age of 18, while yet another gives parents more paid leave in cases of twins, triplets or even more multiple births. The law that may affect the most people gives […]

Convoy heroes win overdue acclaim

Ships were decorated, canons boomed at noon, flags flew and memorials were planned all over the country when Norway celebrated both Liberation- and Veterans’ Day on Tuesday. Among those finally receiving more official attention were the thousands of Norwegian merchant seafarers who crewed the dangerous convoys that brought critical supplies to Great Britain, but who […]

ESA sues Norway for discrimination

European competition authorities are taking Norway to court for alleged discrimination against fathers. The ESA (EFTA Surveillance Authority) doesn’t think they get a fair share of Norway’s relatively generous paid parental leave, with mothers having more rights to the money. The issue has been simmering for years, with newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reporting paradoxical flaws […]

Half losing faith in the welfare state

A new survey of Norwegians indicates that just over half think their country’s welfare system will worsen in the years ahead. Only 10 percent think they’ll enjoy better publicly funded welfare programs than they do now. While 51 percent of those questioned seem to be losing faith in the future of the welfare state, 32 […]

Record-low fertility rate raises concern

Only 56,600 children were born in Norway last year, 2,300 fewer than in 2016 and resulting in the lowest national fertility rate ever recorded. With immigration growth also down, the declines are raising new worries about the consequences for the social welfare state. The decline in the fertility rate, to 1.62 children per woman in […]

Fur farmers fight pending shutdown

After repeated incidents of animal abuse and complaints from animal welfare activists, Norway’s newly expanded coalition government now plans to phase out the entire industry. The country’s remaining fur farmers claim they’re “shocked,” despite years of warnings. The addition of the non-socialist but environmentally conscious Liberal Party to Norway’s conservative government coalition, announced Sunday, led […]

Year ended with upbeat statistics

The Christmas and New Year holidays are supposed to be a time for thoughtful assessments of the year that’s passed and the one that’s about to begin. New statistics show that Norwegians have more reasons to wave their flag and cheer their good fortune as they head into 2018. Despite all the news about political […]

Mysterious deaths tied to isolation

The deaths of a 68-year-old woman and her two daughters, age 35 and 28, have set off sorrow and soul-searching in the large Oslo apartment complex where they lived. They hadn’t been seen, or missed, since last summer but police claim all three “chose to isolate themselves.” Their bodies were found late last week in […]

State fails to halt abuse of children

A devastating report by a state commission has angered but not surprised Norway’s government minister in charge of equality and family issues. The report found that the state has repeatedly failed to help children who are suffering from abusive parents and guardians. “When I think about these children who have been subjected to violence and assaults, […]

Norwegian women have fewer babies

Norway has long prided itself on having generous maternity and paternity leave and other social welfare programs aimed at encouraging population growth. Fresh statistics, however, show that the birth rate has fallen in recent years, and that can cause problems for the sustainability of the social welfare state itself. State statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) […]