Session ends amid uproar and pay hike

Norway’s Parliament was closing for the summer on Friday, amid ongoing political uproar over road tolls and sagging public opinion polls. While formal debate won’t resume until early October, conflicts are still flaring among lawmakers who didn’t ajourn before granting themselves “crazy” pay hikes. It’s been a stormy session at Norway’s Storting, not least with […]

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 […]

Swedes win rights to major train lines

Norway’s much-criticized state railway, recently ridiculed when it changed its name to Vy, has now lost the rights to run seven train lines including the main line between Oslo and Trondheim (Dovrebanen) and the country’s most northerly line (Nordlandsbanen). Sweden’s SJ Norge won the new state contract to take over responsibility for passenger transport, also on […]

Frøya leaders give up windmill fight

Local leaders on the windswept island of Frøya in northwestern Norway have dropped their battle against construction of large windmills aimed at providing a source of renewable power. They felt they had to concede defeat after the national government gave the nod to a final approval. The Frøya politicians had initially been positive to development […]

‘Norway buys itself out of climate vow’

NEWS ANALYSIS: The timing was ironic at best: Norway’s state-owned oil company Equinor announced a new oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea on Monday, just as the government was vowing to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. The government’s deal with the EU, however, will allow Norway to account for some […]

Norway formally bans fur farming

A majority in Norway’s Parliament voted as expected this week to formally ban fur farming from February 2025. Some Members of Parliament from the government parties reluctantly went along with the ban, which marked a victory for the small Liberal Party. The Liberals had been agitating for a ban on fur farming for years, following […]

Parliament tightens its abortion law

A majority in the Norwegian Parliament controversially gave in to the small Christian Democrats party during the night, and ultimately voted to add a restriction to Norway’s long-standing abortion law. The change applies, however, only to pregnancies involving more than one fetus. The vote came after marathon debate that extended well past midnight. A total […]

Ex-minister admits to sex with refugee

Svein Ludvigsen was once one of Norway’s most trusted top politicians. On Thursday he admitted in court to having had sex with a young male asylum seeker whom prosecutors believe Ludvigsen exploited. The former government minister insisted the sex was consensual and that no coercion was involved. “Yes I have had sexual contact with (the […]

UDI allows justice minister’s au pair

UPDATED: Norway’s immigration agency UDI (Utlendingsdirektoratet) announced Tuesday that it was reversing its decision last month that an au pair from the Philippines had illegally moved into the home of Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr. The decision had prompted her to fly home to the Philippines, but now she’s now been cleared to be an au […]

Ex-minister denies exploiting refugees

One of the most sensational trials regarding alleged abuse of power in Norway got underway in the Nord-Troms County Court on Tuesday. Former government minister and county governor Svein Ludvigsen pleaded not guilty to charges he misused his powerful political positions to obtain sexual favours from young male asylum seekers. The arrest, subsequent charges and […]