Troms and Finnmark file for divorce

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Officials of Norway’s new county of Troms og Finnmark, formed through a merger forced upon them both by the state, have confirmed that they’re already seeking to legally split up. The leader of the merged county that’s now bigger than Denmark has asked county administrators to prepare for the least painful divorce that will allow them to re-establish Troms and Finnmark on their own.

The Conservative government pushed through both municipal and county reforms in recent years that created Troms og Finnmark. Neither Troms nor especially Finnmark wanted to merge, and they now struggle with joint governing over such a large and regionally different geographic area.

Current county leader Bjørn Inge Mo of the Labour Party launched an agreed-upon effort to de-merge this week. It’s expected to go through, especially if Norwegians elect a new left-center national government led by Labour in the next parliamentary election in September. staff