Multiple political parties believe Stoltenberg’s employment should be investigated

Jens StoltenbergPhoto: Torstein Bøe / NTB

There is no doubt that former Prime Minister and current NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg is qualified for the job of Norway’s central bank governor, but the hiring process should be examined, several political parties believe.

“There is no doubt that he is qualified, but the close ties to the prime minister, the party, and the government, in general, mean that questions can be asked about the appointment,” Progress Party (FRP) leader Sylvi Listhaug said on Friday.

She told NTB that there had been a lot of camaraderie, dinners, and other things that have become known during the appointment process. Therefore, there is a need to investigate the process, she noted.

“We can only conclude that the camaraderie in that party (note: the Labor Party) lives on,” Listhaug said. 

“The concerns still apply”

According to Tina Bru, the Conservatives (H) take note of the appointment. She pointed out the reactions and concerns raised by economists, commentators, and various parties.

“This unrest is not based on Stoltenberg’s qualifications, but on his ties as former Prime Minister and a profiled Labor Party politician. On top of everything, he is a close friend of the country’s current prime minister,” she warned.

“These concerns still apply. Therefore Stoltenberg has a great responsibility in the future, as does the government,” Bru noted.

Follow ups

Stoltenberg’s appointment will be followed up with detailed and well-thought-out questions, Peter Frølich, who heads the Storting’s Control and Constitution Committee, added.

The Committee has announced that it will follow up on the appointment.

“Not because we assume that something has gone wrong, but because it is important to check this, especially when the appointment is so controversial,” Frølich said.


The Liberal Party’s (V) deputy leader Sveinung Rotevatn was harsh in his criticism on Friday. He thinks Stoltenberg’s appointment is unwise.

“We have no tradition in Norway of appointing party politicians as central bank governors. It must be an independent official position. Despite that, they chose to elect Jens Stoltenberg. Despite the fact that the majority in the Storting is worried,” Rotevatn told NTB.

“The government should not have done that,” he believes.

Rotevatn has a list of questions for the Control Committee; who has spoken to whom, and when, prior to and during the hiring process.

“Lacks experience”

NHO’s chief economist Øystein Dørum believes that Stoltenberg is very well suited for the job and refers to his diverse management experience.

“He lacks both theoretical and practical experience from Norges Bank’s areas of responsibility. But there, Ida Wolden Bache’s experience and competence will complement his in a very good way. We will have a very strong central bank management,” Dørum noted.

Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP) was responsible for the appointment of the new central bank governor. Stoltenberg is the best central bank governor for Norway, Vedum stated on Friday.

“The combination of his financial background, understanding of society, and a managerial experience that few people in Norway have, make him very suitable for the top position in Norges Bank, an institution that manages important social tasks on behalf of us all,” he said.

Two top candidates

Stoltenberg was one of two top candidates for the position of new central bank governor. He competed against current Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache.

Stoltenberg will probably take office on December 1. The current central bank governor, Øystein Olsen, has asked to resign from his position on March 1, 2022, and Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache will be Stoltenberg’s interim central bank governor.

Stoltenberg will step down as Secretary-General of NATO at the end of September.

Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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