Oil Fund ‘sell-off’ sends mixed signals

NEWS ANALYSIS: Political intrigue fueled the Norwegian government’s decision just before the weekend to sell off stock in companies devoted to oil exploration and production. The decision grabbed lots of attention it may not have deserved, and sends mixed signals about how top Norwegian politicians evaluate the risks of being as involved in the oil […]

Norway’s ‘Posten’ self-destructs

NEWS COMMENTARY: Norway’s postal service (Posten) seemed to continue its march towards self-destruction of traditional services this week, when it confirmed consolidation of all letter sorting for Southern Norway at its Lørenskog terminal northeast of Oslo. Hundreds of people working at terminals in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Molde and Stokke are likely to lose their jobs, […]

Conflicts fly behind ‘Green Capital’ year

NEWS ANALYSIS: Oslo’s political leaders were basking in the spotlight on Friday, ready to officially kick off the city’s year of being hailed as Europe’s “Green Capital” in 2019. Muttering in the background are critics who claim it’s all just a big show that’s costing residents and taxpayers dearly. The critics are not limited to […]

Solberg’s speech ‘catered to KrF’

NEWS ANALYSIS: Prime Minister Erna Solberg was widely seen as trying to appeal to the Christian Democrats Party (Kristelig Folkeparti, KrF) in her annual New Year’s address to the nation. It dwelled heavily on the value of children and family life, issues at the core of KrF policy as Solberg’s government launches negotiations to include KrF […]

Security issues hit Solberg’s coalition

NEWS ANALYSIS: The past few week’s political storm over errant government minister Per Sandberg was supposed to die down on Tuesday, but was leaving lots of damage in its wake. Opposition politicians are milking it for all its worth, as they seem to seek new ways to topple Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s conservative government coalition. […]

Paradox of the monarchy lives on

NEWS ANALYSIS: Many a paradox in Norway has been pointed out of late, not least  the country’s conflicting roles as both oil producer and environmental advocate. Its constitutional monarchy in a country that otherwise prides itself on being egalitarian, however, makes all others pale, especially given the monarchy’s huge public support. The monarchy’s role was highly […]

Ministers silent on Nobel winner’s fate

NEWS ANALYSIS: It’s been two days since news broke that China’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, dissident Liu Xiaobo, had finally been released from prison, but only because he’s terminally ill and needed hospitalization. Since then, not even the current Norwegian government minister Jan Tore Sanner who’d nominated Liu for the prize has commented on Liu’s situation, […]

Sami question the pace of their progress

NEWS ANALYSIS: Sami peoples were gathering in Trondheim this week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Nordic countries’ indigenous peoples’ first showing of national political solidarity. Their most troublesome issues in Norway remain the same, however, and that has raised questions over how much or how little progress has been made since February 6, 1917. “We want to […]

‘Arrogance’ ruins sports reputation

NEWS ANALYSIS: As news broke Monday that skiing star Therese Johaug had herself overlooked a clear doping warning on a package of lip salve, it’s not just Norway’s skiers who are suffering a sharp loss of credibility. The country’s entire sports bureaucracy is under fire, for all kinds of reasons, with commentators claiming that those […]

Battles fly from boxing to budget

NEWS ANALYSIS/UPDATED: It’s entirely unclear whether Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her government will still be standing when Norway’s Parliament re-opens next autumn. Not only did she need to fend off complaints over her support for boxing just after this year’s parliamentary sesson opened, Solberg also needs to be ready with some hard punches from the right, to […]