Thunberg shames Solberg on climate

Prime Minister Erna Solberg was smiling as she posed at the opening of the UN Climate Change Conference. Now, however, she’s accused of ignoring the conference’s “call to action,” with young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg publicly accusing Solberg of violating UN rules against endangering the lives of children around the world. “Your government continues to […]

‘Complicated’ to get free legal NAV help

The Norwegian government is now offering free legal assistance to those caught up in in the ongoing scandal around state welfare agency NAV. It’s already being harshly criticized, however, as being “hopelessly complicated.” The scandal affects those who traveled abroad while collecting unemployment benefits or sick pay, and later had their benefits withdrawn or were […]

An oak tree in Ås adorns Erna’s cards

Lots of Norwegians likely spent time this weekend writing traditional Christmas cards and getting them in the post. Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her staff have been doing the same, with this year’s card featuring a wintry scene and an old oak tree in Ås. Norway’s prime minister draws a county name every year to […]

Secret criticism flies around new F35s

Something seems to be wrong with the operating capabilities of Norway’s growing fleet of new F35 fighter jets, but no one will specify what the problem is. Norway’s State Auditor General is criticizing the government in a report to Parliament on the new jets, but the report is classified and therefore being handled as top […]

Norway defies new squeeze over China

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s biggest ally, the US, views China as an emerging threat that won’t play by the rules, and NATO addressed concerns over China for the first time last week. Norway, meawhile, remains intent on  negotiating a new free trade deal with the non-democratic China that’s under fire for massive human rights abuses. Critics […]

First head rolls in the NAV scandal

A massive scandal within Norway’s state welfare agency NAV has already claimed thousands of victims. Now it’s spreading within NAV’s own ranks, with the director of welfare benefits resigning her post at the end of this week, and leaders admitting that public confidence in the agency has been severely weakened. Management at NAV, which administers […]

Norway’s ‘Jens’ to calm NATO nerves

NEWS ANALYSIS: As nervous and bickering leaders of NATO member countries gathered in London on Tuesday, their own Norwegian leader Jens Stoltenberg was using all his diplomatic and folksey skills to keep them united. Norway’s biggest dilemma, meanwhile, is over the US’ proposal that NATO view China as a threat. Stoltenberg already tried in advance […]

A new generation revives EU debate

NEWS ANALYSIS: Thursday marked the 25th anniversary of Norway’s second historic EU referendum, in which a modest but decisive majority turned down membership in the European Union once again. Now a new generation of voters seems keen to put EU membership back on the political agenda, and have a say themselves through a new referendum. […]

Mixed reaction after well comes up dry

Climate and environmental activists were jubilant and a German oil company  disappointed after it abandoned a highly controversial offshore oil drilling project this week. Oil firm Wintershall DEA confirmed that it failed to find enough oil to justify the costs of developing the field near the Træna reef. “We found a little oil, but less […]

Released spy answered questions

Frode Berg met Tuesday with members of the special parliamentary commission charged with controlling Norway’s secretive intelligence-gathering agencies. Some politicians think the head of the agency that recruited Berg to be a courier in Russia should be fired. “I was able to speak out about what I felt a need to say,” Berg told reporters […]