Top politicians to debate welfare state

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Top international politicians, including some government leaders, were to meet in Oslo later this week for a conference aimed  at preserving social welfare states in the midst of severe economic problems following the finance crisis.

Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband of Great Britain will be among those at the international conference entitled “Progressive Governance,” set to begin at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel on Thursday.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was scheduled to open the conference on the future of social democracies, with the summit attracting around 200 leading policy makers, political analysts and academics. It’s being organized by the Policy Network and Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO).

Norway’s social welfare state is in far better shape than those in southern Europe, which are threatened by heavy debt and severe economic problems. “It’s important for them, and for us, that the major savings that must take place in these countries don’t only occur in the form of cuts in normal folks’ welfare,” Raymond Johansen, secretary of Norway’s Labour Party, told newspaper Aftenposten.

Views and News staff