Government negotiations nearing the end

Carl i Hagen, Oslo Progress Party , Frp Nobel Peace Prize GovernmentGrand old man in the Progress Party, Carl i Hagen (FrP).Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

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The end of Government negotiations are neigh

After nearly two weeks of negotiations, the Conservatives (Høyre), the Liberals (Venstre), the Progress Party (FrP) and the Christian Democrats (KrF) will probably present a joint Government platform on Monday.

 

According to NRK, several of the parties’ national governance have been asked to set aside Monday for internal meetings.

On Hadeland, where negotiations are ongoing, it was quiet and sunny on Friday- outside. The storms that raged inside the old and venerable Granavolden guest house, only the gods and the negotiators know.

Very little has leaked from the negotiations, which started on January 2nd and was scheduled to take one to two weeks to compete.

Gathers in Person

Once the negotiators have agreed or (unlikely) agreed to disagree, key politicians in all four parties supposedly gather in person to review the platform and provide their advice on the outcome. This probably happens on Monday.

Both the Christian Democrats and the Liberals will consult both the National Committees and the Parliamentary Groups.

the Parliamentary group has the final say-so, the Communications Manager of the Christian Democrats, Mona Høvset, tells NTB.

the Conservatives will gather the Central Committee and the Parliamentary group, while in the Progress Party it is the National Committee that approves the platform.

In all four parties, central party members are standby.

“To put it this way: My phone is switched on,” County Leader in Østfold for the Christian Democrats, Brynjar Høidebraaten, tells NTB. He has so far not received any hints about the outcome of the negotiations.

“We [come from Barcelona, we] know nothing – until the slate is clean,” he explains.

The platform will not be revealed to the public before the final gong has sounded.

Victories and Bitter Pills

There is suspense about which victories each party will celebrate, and how many bitter pills the parties must swallow to reach an agreement. Among the issues that causes much controversy is the Abortion Act, immigration, oil, tax and child benefit policies.

Thursday, the Progress Party’s grand old man, Carl Ivar Hagen was brought in to the negotiations, apparently to warn the negotiators about the consequences if his party does not achieve a clean swipe in the immigration area and the thumbs up from the other parties to a tightening of the immigration policy of Norway.

That will be a bitter pill to swallow for both the Christian Democrats and the Liberals.

The proposal by former Minister of Justice, Per-Willy Amundsen (Progress Party), regarding restrictions on child allowance for immigrants in order to curb birthrates, disgust the Christian Democrats.

For the Christian Democrats, it is equally important to bring home a victory regarding abortion, something the Progress Party, the Liberals and parts of the Conservatives are not overjoyed by.

“We are in suspense about what happens regarding abortion. It must be delivered something in one way or the other on this issue,” the Christian Democrats’ Member of Parliament, Geir Bekkevold, tells NTB.

Curl up

Bekkevold, who was in the «Red» side in the Christian Democrats’ choice of path last autumn, points out that the «Blue» Deputy Leader, Kjell Ingolf Ropstad, won the choice of direction on the Abortion issue.

With the Christian Democrats in Government together with the Progress Party, how uninhibited will you be able to discuss and vote in line with what you believe to be correct?”

“That’s a good question. This will be a new experience for us all. But I do not intend to keep my trap shut if the Government does something I disagree with,” Bekkevold states. He confesses, at the same time, that the idea of having to constantly swallow bitter pills plays havoc to his mind.

“I almost can’t bear the thought. If so, I will just want to curl up in a foetus position,” he admits.

At the same time, he denies that the Christian Democrats will do as the Progress Party and ride two horses at the same time – one inside and one outside of the Government.

“That is a foolish approach to politics,” Bekkevold opinionates. He hopes that the Government will focus more on anchoring their stance on issues in the parliamentary groups than is the case at present.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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