Oslo gets ‘new’ city government

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All the faces are the same except for one: A new Greens Party politician will take over for her controversial former party colleague, Lan Marie Berg, as head of the Oslo city government’s division responsibile for environmental and transport issues.

Sirin Hellvin Stav of the Greens was named to replace Berg, who’d lost the confidence of a majority on the City Council over her delays in informing the council of a huge NOK 5 billion budget overrun on the city’s new drinking water system. Berg refused to resign, however, prompting the entire left-green government to resign instead.

Since the results of the last election still applied, city government leader Raymond Johansen of the Labour Party was then asked to form a new government. It quickly became clear that Berg would not be part of it, though, with Johansen re-appointing all his other government colleagues with the exception that Stav replaces Berg.

It’s all been called a political farce that disrupted city operations just as the Corona crisis is winding down. Stav sounds much like Berg as well, telling state broadcaster NRK that her most important projects will be to cut emissions in Oslo and reallocate use of city space. That’s likely to make it even more difficult to have a vehicle in the city, as street parking is transformed into bicycle lanes and many streets are closed altogether.

The Reds Party, which had also lost confidence in Berg, will now revert to being a support party for the government, mostly assuring it of a majority on the council. Johansen said his priorities include job creation and the battles against climate change and social differences, but he’s mostly concerned with guiding Oslo out of the Corona crisis.

newsinenglish.no staff