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 be jeopardized. Officials of the current Østfold, Akershus and Buskerud counties, for example, don’t want to be merged to form one large new county called Viken either. They argue that if Finnmark gets its way, they should be able to refuse to merge, too.
Mæland’s decision was announced after she met on Monday with Troms Mayor Willy Ørnebakk. Finnmark’s mayor had refused to attend the meeting, so there wasn’t much to talk about. Ørnebakk ended up having to travel home to Tromsø and also wait until Parliament makes a final decision reagarding Finnmark’s rebellion.