Jens Stoltenberg will not limit his contact with Jonas Gahr Støre. He will also remain a member of the Labor Party, even though he is set to take over as Norway’s central bank governor in December.
“I am prepared to make the decisions that need to be made on behalf of Norges Bank,” Stoltenberg said at Friday’s press conference about the appointment.
He was referring to questions from NTB on whether he is prepared to make unpopular decisions such as interest rate hikes, even if it weakens support for the Labor Party.
The decisions in Norges Bank are not made in private, but through thorough analyzes and decision-making processes, he said.
“And I am fully aware that it can also mean making decisions that are unpopular, and I am prepared for that,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg is now in Brussels, so he attended the press conference via video link.
Stoltenberg’s appointment as central bank governor was announced on Friday. A number of political parties have been critical of the former Labor Party leader filling the position because of his ties to a number of current members of the government. The Storting’s Control and Constitution Committee has announced that it would review the recruitment process.
Contact with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre and other members of the government will not end when Stoltenberg takes office.
“I still intend to have private contact with people who have political positions, including Støre, but I will do it in a way that does not undermine trust in Norges Bank.”
“I will be very aware both of the professional integrity I must have, and which Norges Bank obviously has – and the independence Norges Bank has.”
Remains a Labor Party member
He will also remain a member of the Labor Party, as he was during his eight years in NATO. He does intend to hold office or be active in the party.
“But I am still a social democrat,” he said.
Stoltenberg mentioned to Minister of Labor Hadia Tajik (AP) that he was considering applying for the job as central bank governor last autumn. By then, this was already known in the media, he said.
“She reported back to me later this autumn and said I should relate to the Ministry of Finance, and that is what I have done,” Stoltenberg said.
Looking forward to working with Wolden Bache
Stoltenberg says he is grateful for the trust and is looking forward to taking on the job as central bank governor.
“I have great respect for the important role Norges Bank has in Norwegian society, as well as the many very important people who work there,” he said.
He will remain the Secretary-General of NATO until September and will take over as Governor by December 1.
The current Governor of the Central Bank, Øystein Olsen, will resign as early as March 1, and Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache, who was considered his strongest competitor for the position, will act as interim Governor until Stoltenberg takes over.
Stoltenberg looks forward to working with her.
“She has a unique experience and knowledge that has been of great benefit to the bank,” Stoltenberg noted.
Vedum: Easier to choose someone else
The Minister of Finance, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (SP), was responsible for the appointment of a new central bank governor. He highlighted Stoltenberg’s broad background and top management experience made him the preferred candidate.
“The easiest thing for me would certainly have been to choose someone else, but I have been concerned with only one thing: Choosing the person who is overall best qualified to fill the role of new central bank governor for Norway. After a thorough process, I have come to the conclusion that that is Jens Stoltenberg,” Vedum said.
Source : © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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