Parliament opens for lots of debate

Flags were flying, politicians were unusually dressed-up and customary royal pomp reigned inside and out as the 16oth session of the Norwegian Parliament formally opened on Friday. The gloves will soon come off, though, as debate starts flying over issues like the refugee crisis, tax reform and the government’s proposed state budget for next year. As […]

King missed some of his opening lines

It’s not easy being a king. On Friday, Norway’s 78-year-old monarch spoke loudly and clearly as he customarily read aloud the government’s annual proclamation from the throne, but then he skipped over an entire chunk of text. It was news bureau NTB that first noticed the royal blunder, as King Harald V read what’s known as the […]

Parliament cancels its ‘snobbish’ ball

There will be no fancy dining and dancing for Members of Parliament and their partners just after New Year. Controversial plans to spend NOK 770,000 on a New Year’s Ball have been dropped, in favour of a summer party. Newspaper Dagens Næringliv (DN) had first brought the news that the Parliament’s leadership, including two top […]

Parliament Ball called ‘snobbish and old-fashioned’

Plans by the President of the Parliament’s staff to hold a winter ball right after New Year have been met by sneers and snickering by several of the Members of Parliament expected to come. “I think this has balled up a bit,” commented the head of the Christian Democrats, while other top politicians had worse […]

Parliament opens for new debate

Norway’s King Harald V opened the 159th session of Parliament on Thursday in a traditionally formal and ceremonious style that’s set to give way to political bickering and tough battles over programs and funding. It’s the first full session pitting Norway’s conservative minority government and its first state budget against a Labour-led opposition that’s keen to […]

Parties agree on 2022 Utsira power plan

The parliamentary energy and environment committee agreed on Wednesday that all oil platforms in the Utsira High field would be powered by shore-based electricity by 2022 at the latest. It was a concession by the opposition parties, who formed an unexpected majority last month to demand work begin to facilitate full electrification of the field […]

Ap pulls the plug on rig power plans

The Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet, Ap) performed a back flip on Tuesday, changing its position after the parliamentary ‘coup’ which saw the opposition unite to demand the full shore-based electrification of the Utsira High oil field during phase one of the project. The other parties were left stunned when Labour announced it now supported the government’s […]

Sp elects new parliamentary leader

Veteran politician Marit Arnstad was elected as the new parliamentary leader of the deeply split Center Party (Senterpartiet, Sp) on Wednesday. Many party members wanted Arnstad to take on the overall leadership role after embattled former leader Liv Signe Navarsete was forced to resign in January, but Arnstad didn’t want the job. After months of […]

Media campaigns for lobbyist register

Several large press organizations have teamed up with Transparency International Norge and a communications trade association to campaign for an obligatory register of all meetings between politicians and lobbyists. Not all politicians favour what’s billed as a new spirit of openness. The parliament’s leadership is due to vote next month on whether the parliament should […]

Masons link ‘problematic’

Olemic Thommessen has been a rising star in Norwegian politics for decades, culminating in his recent appointment as president of Norway’s parliament (Stortinget). Away from the public glare, he has also risen in the more secretive ranks of Norway’s Freemasons movement known as Den Norske Frimurerorden,  and newspaper Aftenposten reported his masons membership on Wednesday […]