Bars, restaurants most likely to close

A national ban on serving alcoholic beverages in Norway will take effect from midnight Tuesday. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said it’s aimed at limiting social contact among Norwegians and thus hindering the spread of the Corona virus, which is now straining hospital capacity. The ban, likely to lead to a new closure of all […]

State helps ease electric shocks

The government finally connected over the weekend with Norwegians shocked by their suddenly sky-high electricity bills. Starting next month, the state will provide rebates that will automatically be deducted from bills, in addition to lowering a power tax and offering extra cash payments to low-income households and students. The relief program announced by Prime Minister […]

Exhausted nurses reduced to tears

One of the most poignant moments of the Corona crisis in Norway wound up being aired live on national TV last week. An intensive care nurse working at one of the country’s overburdened hospitals suddenly broke into tears while being interviewed, exhausted and exasperated after 21 months on the front line. “We just don’t see […]

New Nobel Laureate blasts Facebook

Maria Ressa, one of two journalists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their efforts to protect democracy through freedom of speech and information, lashed out at social media and big tech firms at the prize ceremony in Oslo on Friday. She accused them of allowing, even prioritizing, a “toxic sludge” of lies, hatred […]

Nobel week hit by lots of challenges

This week’s annual celebrations of the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo have been marred by disturbing events abroad involving former prize winners, and lots of Corona-related disappointments in Norway. On Friday came news that not even Crown Princess Mette-Marit could attend the prize ceremony Friday afternoon, for fear she’s been infected by the Corona virus. […]

Inflation jumps to new 13-year high

So much for Christmas cheer: Norway’s consumer price index (CPI) jumped by 5.1 percent from November last year to November 2021, according to new figures from state statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway). That yields the highest inflation rate in Norway since October 2008, blamed mostly on record-high electricity rates. “We have to go 13 years […]

Government vows power bill relief

There’s no main emergency switch he can pull, but Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is promising various forms of financial compensation for Norwegians hit by suddenly soaring electricity bills. The bills have doubled, even tripled, this fall, but those worst off may get some cash relief from the state before Christmas. Støre’s Labour-Center government has […]

Støre orders new Corona crackdown

“We really hoped we were finished with the pandemic now, and hoped Christmas could be like normal,” began Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre at another press conference Tuesday night, “but we’re now in a situation with infection that’s so serious that we have to impose new restrictions.” It was, he suggested, like being sent back […]

Willoch hailed for ‘changing Norway’

Tributes to the man who liberalized, modernized and changed Norway forever kept pouring in on Tuesday, after news that Kåre Willoch had died at an age of 93. The former prime minister in the 1980s was being hailed as everything from Norway’s most important Conservative politican in the post-war years to the country’s “wise grandfather.” […]

High electricity rates spark much debate

As if a new Corona chill and suddenly freezing temperatures weren’t enough, Norwegians are already reeling from record-high electricity rates as much as four times their normal level. It’s all set off huge political debate, with the government finally hinting at some relief before Christmas. Electricity has always been one of the few things that’s […]