April Fools’ Day tricks Norway

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April Fools’ Day usually sees a number of spoof stories put out as “real” news in Norway and this year was no exception, with a series of fake articles across the media fooling unsuspecting members of the Norwegian public, and showing off the peculiar Norwegian sense of humour.

Left-wing newspaper Klassekampen published a clear contender for most topical prank of the day with its piece claiming that Progress Party general secretary Geir Mo, who has been under fire for his handling of sex allegations against party officials, had become chief executive of employment agency Adecco, who have been ravaged in the media after a string of scandals involving their running of nursing homes. According to Klassekampen, Adecco was impressed with Mo’s basic principles.

Newspaper Nationen wrote that a Norwegian version of the “sexy farmers calendars” seen in Austria and Sweden was planned, with the deputy leader of the agrarian Center Party, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, the only person currently ready to become “Stripper Trygve” – but only if demands to have the picture taken in farm surroundings were met.

On the west coast, newspaper Bergens Tidende told its readers about supposed new rules meaning that all children in kindegarten would have to wear helmets in order to ensure their safety. Parents would be responsible for seeing to it that the children wear the headgear, but clarification of whether hockey or ski helmets were preferred had yet to be forthcoming.

Readers of website Budstikka.no, meanwhile, were informed of new rules that would see all 12,000 dogs in the Bærum area equipped with a tracking chip. The point of the chip was to find out which dogs were in the area when birds or deer were killed, so that local wildlife management could get on the case as soon as possible.

“Shock news” from newspaper Vårt Land suggests that Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien wanted to take away Norwegians’ rights to vote in church elections – unless they start going to church.

Digi.no will have really scared its readers with its story on how those who had tried to log in to altinn.no – a website where people and companies can complete their tax returns online – last week would be charged for having done so. The website notoriously failed during a key point during the time in which tax returns are being completed, but Digi.no claimed that those who had tried to log on more than others would be punished financially for having caused the problems.

Trade union LO joked that European regulations would see many public holidays disappear, including May 17 celebrations. The measure was designed “to improve competitiveness by making sure that everyone works a few more days a year.”

Newspaper Aftenposten reported on three newly-trained dogs to be used in Oslo to find fare dodgers through identifying and sniffing nervous people.

Views and News from Norway/Aled-Dilwyn Fisher
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