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Saturday, July 20, 2024

State funeral rules tightened

The Norwegian government is restricting who’ll be eligible for state funerals funded by the taxpayers. The prime minister’s office saw a need to have more standard guidelines for who receives the honour.

Norway traditionally has offered state funerals (paid for by the state) for people who have made significant contributions for Norway, and meant a lot for the vast majority of Norwegians. In addition to members of the royal family and top state officials, the state has paid for the funerals of people ranging from playwright Henrik Ibsen, to resistance hero Gunnar Stønsteby, explorer Thor Heyerdahl and actress Wenche Foss.

Debate flew, meanwhile, over some recent state funerals and others that were not paid for by the state. Now only the royals, sitting members of government, former prime ministers and Supreme Court justices will be eligible for funerals paid for by the state. A spokesman for the prime minister’s office told newspaper Aftenposten that it otherwise had become difficult to decide who deserves a state funeral and who doesn’t, and that new rules were needed to make the process more predictable and fair.

The state will still pay its respects at the funerals of national heroes, though, either by sending a wreath, sending top officials to attend or having them speak.

NewsinEnglish.no staff

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