Michelin stars out-shine grumpy MP

A grumpy politician from the Center Party, which normally protects and promotes Norwegian food, didn’t manage to spoil all the jubilation over new Michelin stars shining on Norwegian restaurants. Geir Pollestad, a Member of Parliament, wound up as the sour grape amidst the restaurants’ sweet success. Most other politicians and local patriots were cheering a […]

Fur farmers win more compensation

Norway’s newly minority government headed off another challenge this week when it agreed to pay out far more compensation to fur farmers who must phase out their operations. No one knows, however, how much Norway’s forced shutdown of fur farming after myriad cases of animal abuse will now cost taxpayers. The fur farmers’ lobby had […]

NAV departures frustrate MPs

News that the two top political and administrative leaders of embattled state welfare agency NAV were stepping down should perhaps have satisfied members of the opposition in Parliament. They’d signalled a lack of confidence in both NAV boss Sigrun Vågeng and the Conservatives’ Labour Minister Anniken Hauglie, but have since postponed presentation of their own conclusions […]

‘Sell off Equinor’s foreign operations’

Investment funds and analysts aren’t the only ones questioning the long-term value of Norway’s state oil company Equinor. Now a member of the Norwegian Parliament is renewing calls to spin off and sell Equinor’s international operations, claiming they present both political and financial risk and often don’t adhere to Norway’s climate goals. “I see few […]

Ferry fare uproar pits locals vs state

Ferries, an integral part of transportion along Norway’s vast coastline, are suddenly at the center of a new nationwide uproar. It surged when ferry fares spiked after New Year, and now several large counties have banded together to mount the latest major challenge to the country’s conservative government coalition. The ferry uproar has been compared […]

Svalbard worth more than ever

Nearly a million Norwegians have been sitting through hours of more “slow TV” this week on a daily basis, apparently mesmerized by the beauty and history of Svalbard. Sunday marks 100 years since a post-World War I treaty gave Norway sovereignty over the wild and scenic archipelago, where new underwater discoveries may make the area […]

Norway boosts climate goals

Just weeks after the firmly pro-oil Progress Party withdrew from Norway’s conservative government, the now-minority coalition has registered new emission reduction goals of at least 50 percent by 2030 under the UN’s Paris Agreement. That’s highly ambitious in a country that didn’t meet its 2020 goals, and both climate advocates and researchers were surprised. The […]

Spying agencies under more fire

Norway’s two intelligence-gathering agencies are back on the defense this week, this time in the Oslo County Court. Less than a month after the state paid out millions in compensation to a retired border inspector who got caught in a Russian spy trap, it’s now defending itself against more charges of allegedly clumsy recruiting that […]

New ‘climate cure’ after warm January

It’s official: January ended as the next-warmest ever in Norway, with nine counties setting new records for high temperatures in the middle of what’s supposed to be winter. State officials hope a new “climate cure” will help, if everyone takes the proposed medicine. Norway’s state Meteorologic Institute reports that southeastern Norway experienced the warmest January […]

Court agrees wolf hunts were invalid

WWF won a long-sought victory this week when an appeals court ruled that two out of three wolf hunts authorized by state officials in 2017 and 2018 were invalid. The hunts involved wolves belonging to managed and protected packs, while a third hunt won court approval. The hunt allowed in the winter of 2017-2018, when […]