Corona crisis unity dissolves into chaos

NEWS ANALYSIS: National crises often bring people and political rivals together. Less than four months after uniting during the Corona crisis, however, the gloves came off and political chaos descended on Parliament before it recessed for the summer holidays. Longstanding party alliances also seemed to shatter in the process, with Labour even teaming up with […]

State auditor will probe oil ministry

Norway’s state auditor general (Riksrevisjonen) has decided to examine how the Oil & Energy Ministry has handled its role as the major owner of oil company Equinor. The goal is find out why Equinor’s major shareholder wasn’t aware of the oil company’s huge losses on investments it made in the US. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) […]

Norway wins seat on Security Council

A jubilant Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide view Norway’s election to the UN Security Council as a sign of international confidence in Norway, and support for its foreign policy. “We have worked very hard for this,” Solberg told reporters when the news broke late Wednesday night. “People know what we stand […]

Calls rise for probe of Equinor losses

Several Members of Parliament, professors and not least editorial writers at Norwegian newspapers are all demanding an external and independent investigation of Norway’s state-owned oil company Equinor. They want to know how Equinor, the former Statoil, could lose a stunning NOK 200 billion on its investments in the US, without the government noticing. An investigation, […]

More billions behind new crisis package

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her Conservatives-led government rolled out yet another crisis package Friday, funded with an extra NOK 27 billion from the state’s sovereign wealth fund. It’s targeted at programs to boost labour competence, improve labour integration, extend cash support to businesses and help cover salary costs to reduce layoffs. The package also […]

Confusion clouds refugee ‘solution’

Norway’s three government parties claim they’ve agreed on a plan to evacuate some “young and vulnerable” asylum seekers from squalid refugee camps in Greece, but still can’t say when or how many. Justice Minister Monica Mæland also confirms the plan is contingent on at least eight to 10 other countries evacuating and accepting refugees first. […]

‘Thriller’ ushers in biotech reforms

UPDATED: A political “thriller” of historic dimensions led to sweeping reform on Tuesday of Norway’s biotechnology law. A majority of all 169 Members of Parliament voted to offer early testing in the first trimester of pregnancy and artificial insemination for single women at state expense, while also legalizing egg donations. The unusual session had summoned […]

Progress plagues former partners

Norway’s top politicians headed into the long Ascension Day weekend amidst rising political pandemonium in Parliament. It’s mostly pegged to the right-wing Progress Party, which is repeatedly siding with the left-center opposition on key issues and thus challenging its former partners in the Conservatives-led minority government. The Corona gloves clearly are off. After several weeks […]

New chief inherits battle over defense

NEWS ANALYSIS: General Major Eirik Johan Kristoffersen won’t take over as Norway’s new defense chief until August, but he already faces intense political conflicts over defense spending and plans for the country’s armed forces. Never before have Norway’s government and Parliament been more at odds, at a time when NATO is under severe pressure and […]

Norway prepares to get back to normal

There’s still no word on when foreign travel restrictions will be lifted, but most of Norway will be back in business from June 15. Even before Prime Minister Erna Solberg detailed her government’s new Corona control strategy, though, she faced criticism that politics took precedence over professional advice, and that there was too much secrecy […]