Court orders Oslo to refund initial property tax bills

Norway’s Supreme Court has ruled that the City of Oslo had no right to start charging income tax just months after a Labour Party-led coalition won the last municipal election in 2015. TV2 reported Wednesday afternoon that 55,000 Oslo property owners will now be reimbursed for the first tax assessments sent out in 2016. The […]

Tourism promoters fooled the world

State-funded Norwegian tourism promoters mounted what may be their most dubiously successful campaign ever. A northern island that supposedly wanted to stop time grabbed lots of media attention around the world, but now it may cost lots of international credibility. Time ran out this week for the campaign launched by Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway), which promotes Norwegian […]

North Cape battle polarizes community

A major hotel chain backed by the slimmest possible majority of local politicians won last week’s battle over control of the North Cape. The war is far from over, however, after heated debate over land rights has polarized the local community. “The people are split,” declared Kjell Walter Sivertsen of the Labour Party after the […]

‘Flyskam’ won’t halt summer holidays

School’s out, Parliament has closed and Norway’s traditional month-long summer holiday period began this week with some welcome sunshine and warmer temperatures. Norwegians’ travel plans still don’t seem to be disrupted by flyskam, the new Swedish term for being ashamed to fly because of climate concerns. “Are we ashamed enough to drop flight plans?” asked […]

Central bank raises interest rates

Interest rates rose another quarter-point on Thursday, after Norway’s central bank decided that it was time to gently step on the country’s economic brakes. Norges Bank‘s governor, Øystein Olsen, also warned that another interest rate hike looms later this year. “Our current assessment of the outlook and balance of risks suggests that the policy rate […]

Pork industry’s secrets revealed

Norwegian farmers’ carefully cultivated image of taking good care of their animals in almost idyllic settings was shattered Wednesday night. An NRK documentary revealed widespread animal abuse among those raising pork, along with cynical attitudes among farmers who were well aware they were violating Norway’s animal welfare regulations, and seemed immune to the suffering they […]

Battle flares over popular North Cape

Norway’s North Cape is one of the country’s foremost tourist attractions where visitors have long had to controversially pay for access to the Arctic plateau. Now coastal voyage line Hurtigruten is challenging the Scandic hotel chain’s operating monopoly on the North Cape, through a complaint to the European Free Trade Association’s surveillance authority ESA. Conflicts […]

Norwegian Air’s chief ready to retire

Speculation has been swirling for months over when the 72-year-old founder and chief executive of Norwegian Air would finally step down. Now Bjørn Kjos seems more keen to relinquish control, in an interview conducted during the Paris Air Show this week. “I really hope they (the board of holding company Norwegian Air Shuttle) find someone […]

New DNB boss defends court appeal

Kjerstin Braathen, the new chief executive of Norway’s biggest bank DNB, has spoken warmly of how important customers are. She’s prepared, however, to meet representatives for thousands of them in court after the bank decided to appeal its loss in the country’s biggest class-action suit ever. “It’s never nice to meet our customers in court,” […]

Two East Barents wells come up dry

State-owned oil company Equinor is disappointed while climate activists are relieved: Norway’s Petroleum Directorate has reported that a second well drilled by Equinor and its partners in a once-promising portion of the eastern Barents Sea was “classified as dry,” and has now been “permanently plugged and abandoned.” The failure to find oil in the well drilled […]