Troms and Finnmark allowed to divorce

Norway’s new Labour-Center government is already reversing lots of the centralization and consolidation that the former Conservative government championed to improve economies of scale. The unhappy forced marriage of Troms and Finnmark counties is the first to be dissolved, causing some to pop open bottles of bubbly over the weekend. Among them was Wenche Pedersen, […]

Chlorine leak killed 96,000 salmon

Alarms were ringing Tuesday after 15,000 liters of chlorine leaked from a fish farm into the Alta Fjord in Northern Norway. An estimated 96,000 salmon were poisoned by the chlorine at the Grieg Seafood plant, and environmentalists were worrying about the effects on both the fjord and the wild salmon in one of Norway’s most […]

Winter storm rages over Northern Norway

Norway’s northernmost region of Finnmark was largely cut off from the rest of the country on Monday after a severe winter storm with strong winds and snow forced the closure of nearly 60 roads including the main E6 highway. By Monday night, the storms had also knocked out power to around 1,600 residents. Kjøllefjord and […]

Cold reception for northern area plan

Eight government ministers unveiled the first strategic plan for Northern Norway in nine years on Friday, promising support for better schools, transport, job creation and a new investment fund for business development. The plan was quickly dismissed by opposition politicians, however, as lacking substance and failing to offset depopulation. “The government is letting Northern Norway […]

Parliament makes defense demands

UPDATED: Members of the opposition in Parliament have begun presenting their own demands for changes in the government’s latest long-term defense plan. Among them: a larger military presence in Northern Norway and hundreds of new defense employees. Both the Norwegian officers’ federation (Norges Offisersforbund) and all opposition parties in Parliament have claimed that the long-term […]

Northerners defend Nordland gateway

An overwhelming majority of Norwegians have defended a symbolic gateway to Northern Norway that stands just north of the Nordland county line. They firmly reject a local university lecturer’s proposal that it be torn down because he thinks it’s artificial and unnecessarily divides the country from the south. Fully 83 percent of nearly 50,000 votes […]

Storm cut Norway in half

The powerful remains of the tropical storm dubbed Sally slammed into Northern Norway on Monday, flooding the E6 highway at Rana to such an extent that no vehicles could cross over it. Since the highway runs from the Swedish border in the south all the way to the Russian border in the north, that effectively […]

Extra ferry may end Helgeland chaos

Embarrassed politicians in Nordland County finally came up with the millions needed to charter in an extra ferry this week, after several days of kilometer-long lines of cars trying to travel among the islands of the Helgeland coast. Officials had hoped Norwegian tourists would make up for the lack of foreign tourists in Norway, but […]

Troms and Finnmark file for divorce

The unhappy forced merger of Norway’s two most northerly counties, Troms and Finnmark, has already resulted in an attempted split. Neither county wanted to merge in the first place, but had to comply with unpopular national regional reform. Now the merged county known as Troms og Finnmark, which sprawls over an area as big as Denmark, […]

Island won’t let residents leave

Norway’s northern island community of Træna was caught in conflict at home this week, after local officials banned all municipal employees from leaving the islands between now and April 13. Several objected and now lawyers are getting involved. Træna, known for its annual summer music festival as well as its scenic location on the Arctic […]