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Norway's right-wing government declares victory in vote on oil, tax

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webfact    24,303

Norway's right-wing government declares victory in vote on oil, tax

By Henrik Stolen and Joachim Dagenborg

 

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Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg, her daughter Ingrid Solberg Finnes and Sgbjorn Aanes, Solberg's advisor react on the good results of Solberg's Conservative party Hoyre in Oslo, Norway September 11, 2017. NTB Scanpix/Hans Kristian Thorbjornsen via REUTERS

     

    OSLO (Reuters) - Norway's tax-cutting Conservative Prime Minister Erna Solberg declared victory on Tuesday after a parliamentary election, narrowly defeating a Labour-led opposition with her promises of steady management of the oil-dependent economy.

     

    The win is historic for Solberg, whose supporters compare her firm management style to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, because no Conservative-led government has retained power in an election in Norway since 1985.

    Election graphic http://tmsnrt.rs/2wYkVIO

     

    "It looks like a clear victory," for the centre-right, a beaming Solberg told cheering supporters in Oslo just after midnight (2200 GMT), following Monday's voting.

     

    "Our solutions have worked. We have created jobs," she said, but warned, "We have some challenges ahead. ... Oil revenues are going to be lower. We all must take responsibility."

     

    The ruling minority coalition of her Conservatives and the populist Progress Party, together with two small centre-right allies, was set to win a slim majority with 88 seats in the 169-seat parliament, according to an official projection with over 90 percent of the votes counted.

     

    Opposition Labour leader Jonas Gahr Stoere told supporters that it looked like his party, the main force in Norwegian politics in the 20th century, had fallen short.

     

    "It's a big disappointment," he said.

     

    Solberg, 56, plans more tax cuts as a way to stimulate growth for Norway's top oil and gas producer. Stoere favours tax increases to improve public services such as education and healthcare for Norway's 5 million citizens.

     

    The oil industry could be affected by the vote, because Solberg will need support from two green-minded, centre-right allies to ensure a majority to pass legislation in parliament.

     

    The allies include the Liberals, who want to limit exploration in Arctic waters. Solberg's Conservative Party was set to lose three seats to 45 in parliament, making her more dependent on outsiders' help.

     

    That means it may be more difficult to have a stable government.

     

    "They (The Liberals and the Christian Democrats) will support Solberg as prime minister, but the question is whether they get a firm agreement or if there is cooperation on a case-by-case basis," said Elisabeth Ivarsflaten, a professor in comparative politics at the University of Bergen.

     

    "Then it may be a weaker government," she told Reuters.

     

    The Norwegian currency, the crown <EURNOK=>, strengthened slightly following the first projections after weakening sharply earlier in the day on weaker-than-expected inflation data.

     

    For much of the year, Labour and its allies were favoured by pollsters to win a clear victory, but support for the government has risen as the economy gradually recovered from a slump in the price of crude oil, Norway's top export.

    Unemployment, which a year ago hit a 20-year high of 5 percent, has since declined to 4.3 percent, while consumer confidence is at a 10-year high.

     

    Solberg has won credit for the upturn with a no-nonsense style of management. Norway's economy also has the cushion of a sovereign wealth fund worth almost $1 trillion, the world's biggest, built on income from offshore oil and gas.

     

    "Regardless of which government we get, the challenge will be to use less oil money," said Erik Bruce, chief analyst at Nordea Markets. "There is broad consensus about the outlook for the sovereign wealth fund and the Norwegian economy, which means a tighter fiscal policy."

     

    The sovereign wealth fund has wanted to invest in unlisted infrastructure to boost its return on investment. Finance Minister Siv Jensen has twice said no to the request over the past two years, citing political risk.

     

    That stance is unlikely to change now that the government has been re-elected.

     

    LABOUR

     

    Labour was set to remain the biggest party in Norway, with 49 seats, just ahead of the Conservatives.

     

    Stoere, who sometimes compares himself to French President Emmanuel Macron, took over the leadership of the Labour Party from Jens Stoltenberg, who left Norwegian politics to become NATO's secretary-general.

     

    Solberg's coalition partner, the populist Progress Party, has sharply limited immigration to Norway in what Stoere says is a betrayal of Norwegian values.

     

    "We have done our share of the job. We have delivered," Finance Minister Siv Jensen, leader of the Progress Party, told party supporters as they chanted "four more years".

     

    Norway's problems are small by the standards of most nations.

     

    Apart from its sovereign wealth fund, Norway tops U.N. lists of the best country in which to live, based on issues such as personal earnings and education. It even rose to first, from fourth, in a 2017 survey that ranked nations by happiness.

     

    (Additional reporting by Terje Solsvik, Camilla Knudsen, Alister Doyle, Nerijus Adomaitis, Lefteris Karagiannopoulos and Gwladys Fouche; Writing by Terje Solsvik and Alister Doyle; Editing by Larry King and Jonathan Oatis)

     
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    -- © Copyright Reuters 2017-09-12
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    balo    5,476

    I'm very happy for Solberg that was re-elected as pray minister , she's been a tough lady during the oil crisis and immigration problems during the last 4 years.   And people believe in her. I voted for her party as well . 

     

     

     

     

     

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    MaxYakov    1,476

    "Apart from its sovereign wealth fund, Norway tops U.N. lists of the best country in which to live, based on issues such as personal earnings and education. It even rose to first, from fourth, in a 2017 survey that ranked nations by happiness."

     

    They could learn something from the Venezuelans, huh, folks? Or maybe they already have?

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    ilostmypassword    6,726
    3 minutes ago, MaxYakov said:

    "Apart from its sovereign wealth fund, Norway tops U.N. lists of the best country in which to live, based on issues such as personal earnings and education. It even rose to first, from fourth, in a 2017 survey that ranked nations by happiness."

     

    They could learn something from the Venezuelans, huh, folks? Or maybe they already have?

    If your point is somehow related to the victors being a "right wing" party, think again. What passes for right wing in Norway would be considered extremely eftist in the USA.

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    ilostmypassword    6,726
    30 minutes ago, FreddieRoyle said:

    Norway has been fortunate to have the extreme leftist and self described "feminist" government run Sweden as neighbors. It acts as a dire warning what not to do, unless transforming a peaceful and prosperous nation into a crime infested dump is the goal. Well done Norwegians, proving to all that nations can thrive without the so-called necessary mass immigration.

    "The number of cases of lethal violence in Sweden has remained at a relatively constant level over the period of 1977 to 2007 — around 100 cases per year — in spite of the population increase over the same period.[30]...Many of these reported crimes turn out to be, in reality, suicides, accidents or natural deaths.[30][35] Despite this statistical anomaly, Sweden has an internationally low murder and homicide rate,[Note 2] with approximately 1.14 reported incidents of murder or manslaughter per 100,000 inhabitants as of 2015"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Sweden

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    MaxYakov    1,476
    3 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

    If your point is somehow related to the victors being a "right wing" party, think again. What passes for right wing in Norway would be considered extremely eftist in the USA.

    Actually, I was thinking in terms of how the two handled their oil revenue / wealth and their general health and stability as countries, but it may not be ideal or simple to compare Norway and Venezuela.

     

    Norway may be considered to be a "welfare state" from a cursory internet consensus and they seem to be doing well compared to almost any other country. Here's a "Nation" article that compares Norway and the US political / economic systems, you brought the USA into this.

     

    Edited by MaxYakov

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    ilostmypassword    6,726
    15 minutes ago, MaxYakov said:

    Actually, I was thinking in terms of how the two handled their oil revenue / wealth and their general health and stability as countries, but it may not be ideal or simple to compare Norway and Venezuela.

     

    Norway may be considered to be a "welfare state" from a cursory internet consensus and they seem to be doing well compared to almost any other country. Here's a "Nation" article that compares Norway and the US political / economic systems, you brought the USA into this.

     

    I don't see how the article you link to refutes what I wrote. Or perhaps you are agreeing with me?

    "So here’s the big difference: In Norway, capitalism serves the people. The government, elected by the people, sees to that. All eight of the parties that won parliamentary seats in the last national election—including the conservative Høyre party now leading the government—are committed to maintaining the welfare state."

    https://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/

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    MaxYakov    1,476
    42 minutes ago, ilostmypassword said:

    I don't see how the article you link to refutes what I wrote. Or perhaps you are agreeing with me?

    "So here’s the big difference: In Norway, capitalism serves the people. The government, elected by the people, sees to that. All eight of the parties that won parliamentary seats in the last national election—including the conservative Høyre party now leading the government—are committed to maintaining the welfare state."

    https://www.thenation.com/article/after-i-lived-in-norway-america-felt-backward-heres-why/

    It wasn't intended to "refute" your quote, nor necessarily to indicate agreement.

     

    Simply a point of discussion, since your brought the USA into it.

     

    Tip: Try using italics when quoting rather than using a larger font. Re-iterating the link in entirety (without a text anchor) was a nice touch, but pretty ugly. I should have better documented the Nation article's text-anchored link.

    Edited by MaxYakov

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    balo    5,476
    On 9/12/2017 at 7:26 PM, IAMHERE said:

    So they are going to raise the oil/gas tax or lower it? 

    The taxes in Norway always been on the high side,  reason why we have free education and free healthcare. 

     

    Regarding oil it's controlled by the USD , so the government can only hope it will stay up . But the billions of dollars that are spent on the national budget every year , most of it comes from the oil , without the oil money Norway would be in trouble .  

     

    Regarding immigration , still a big challenge to cope with in Norway , but not as bad as in Sweden. But maybe one of the reasons she was re-elected and the popularity of the conservatives/progress party , since the labor party traditionally been more friendly towards immigrants .

     

     

    Edited by balo
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    MaxYakov    1,476
    5 hours ago, balo said:

    The taxes in Norway always been on the high side,  reason why we have free education and free healthcare. 

     

    Regarding oil it's controlled by the USD , so the government can only hope it will stay up . But the billions of dollars that are spent on the national budget every year , most of it comes from the oil , without the oil money Norway would be in trouble .  

     

    Regarding immigration , still a big challenge to cope with in Norway , but not as bad as in Sweden. But maybe one of the reasons she was re-elected and the popularity of the conservatives/progress party , since the labor party traditionally been more friendly towards immigrants .

     

     

    An informative post, generally. Thanks!

     

    Speech by Governor Øystein Olsen - New York March, 2015 [link]

    "The oil and gas industry has played a vital role for the strong growth in our economy over the past 40 years. When the first oil was brought to the surface in 1971, GDP per capita in Norway was lower than the average for a western economy. The picture has reversed since then. We have gradually caught up to the wealthiest nations. Measured by GDP per capita, Norway now ranks close to the top."

     

    Apparently, about 25% of Norway's GDP is from oil revenue.

     

    However, shouldn't that be "so-called" "free education and free healthcare"? Or how about government-provided education and healthcare, since my research says that the general opinion is that Norway is a "welfare state" (the government is responsible for the welfare of the people)? Are they correct?

     

    As an example, what's the logic problem with this common sales ploy?:

     

    Buy one, get one free?

     

     

    Edited by MaxYakov

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    balo    5,476

    Good question. High taxes on cars, gasoline, alcohol, cigarettes, you name it. Norwegians have to pay for the welfare state and nothing is free if you look at it that way.
    But people are happy as long as they get paid and unemployment continue to be low. But its a fine balance , any crisis and it could hurt the welfare system.

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