President of the Norwegian parliament apologizes – says she misunderstood the rules about commuter housing

Eva Kristin HansenPhoto: Fredrik Hagen / NTB
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President of the Norwegian parliament (Storting) Eva Kristin Hansen says she has misunderstood the commuter rules. She lived in Ski but gave an address in Trondheim, the newspaper Adresseavisen writes.

“This autumn, several representatives have become aware that they have misunderstood the regulations related to commuter housing. Unfortunately, I’m among them. I cannot help but regret that I did not make sure to check this thoroughly,” Eva Kristin Hansen wrote in an email to Adresseavisen via her adviser on Tuesday afternoon.

In 2014, Eva Kristin Hansen established herself with her husband in their shared home in Ski, 29 kilometers from Oslo. The address she gave to the Storting was Trond Giske’s apartment in Trondheim, where she rented a room. The rules require that you live at least 40 kilometers away from the Storting to get commuter housing.

Only in 2017, when she announced her move to Ski, did she cancel her commuter home in Oslo.

Need for a rule change

Adresseavisen’s information is correct, Hansen confirmed in an email to the newspaper.

“I have always been sure that I have followed the rules for the allocation of commuter housing. I have also not received any feedback from the administration when I have reported (it) along the way. In retrospect, I see that the administration should have had information about the home in Nordre Follo,” Hansen wrote.

She believes this shows that there is a need for a change in the rules so that they are not to be misunderstood.

The email from Hansen also states that the Storting’s Director Marianne Andreassen says that several representatives have misunderstood the regulations and that the administration will therefore not do anything more with Hansen’s case.

Should clean up

The Labor Party politician took over as President of the Storting at a time marked by extensive revelations in the press related to the representatives’ financial benefits, especially commuter housing and severance pay.

Hansen then made it a major task for the new presidency to address these issues.

“I think we have to work hard to restore confidence in the Storting among the people. There have been so many cases now that have contributed to weakening confidence in Norwegian politicians,” she told NTB at the time.

Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre said in September that there was a need to clean up the rules on commuter housing for parliamentary representatives. He then said that the rules are unclear, something the Storting itself has also confirmed.

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

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