Takk for det Gamle og Godt Nytt år
The heading of this article is the traditional way for Norwegians to wish each other all the best for the New Year. It literally means ”Thank you very much for the year that has passed, and I wish you all the best for the year in store.”
It is of no use to ”Talk about the snow that fell last year,” but a few thoughts on what happened in the last year is in order.
Norway has experienced a few noteworthy political events in 2018, some controversial new taxations very variable weather and lost some influential persons.
Most importantly, though, Norway still remains a relatively safe haven and still has the most breathtaking nature in the world.
The year started off with two major events:
- The Liberals (Venstre) joined the Government and hence its nickname changed from «blueblue» to «bluegreen».
- Trond Giske was forced out of any major positions in Labour, mainly due to #meetoo, but also because of the power struggle inside the party.
Later in the year, the Progress Party stole most of the headlines regarding politicians who had to take their hat and leave, most notably Sylvi Listhaug and Per Sandberg. Mazyar Keshvari’s embezzlement should also be mentioned.
Olemic Thommessen (Conservatives) also stepped down as President due the mismanagements surrounding the galloping cost of the entrance to the Norwegian Parliament’s garage.
The Christian Democrats’ (Krf) flirt with Labour Party and Centre party is also worth mentioning.
Against the wishes of Party Leader, Knut Arild Hareide, the KrF elected to stay in the fold and decided to negotiate to enter the Erna Solberg (Conservatives) led Government. The negotiations are, quite appropriately, going to be held on the historic ground at Granavollen on Hadeland. Not only was Halvdan Svarte the king of Hadeland, but also the father of Harald Fairhair, who united Norway to one kingdom after the battle of Hafrsfjord. Granavollen additionally is not only sporting the ”Sister Churches”, but was also a site of worship to the Norse gods.
China and Norway have also restored normal relations to a large degree, after many years of an ice front due to the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiabo. This year’s Award to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad has been applauded by the World.
Trump’s economic war on the world has not had a significant effect on Norway since the tariff’s imposed has little effect on Norwegian goods.
Brexit is much more important to Norway and a trade deal has been struck, if and when that happens.
The former border Inspector, Frode Berg, is still awaiting trial in Russia accused of spying against our big neighbour in the East.
Afghanistan is still a war zone and Norway still contributes to the attempts at rebuilding the country, mainly by training police, military and Civil Government.
This autumn saw the big NATO exercise ”Trident Junction”, which naturally displeased Russia. It also indirectly, led to the capsizing of the Frigate KNM ”Helge Ingstad”, where nobody suffered major injuries. The rescue operation and inquiry will go on well into 2019.
Although Norway takes no active role in the major conflicts in the world, there is some noteworthy impact on Norway. Norway, along with several other countries, has imposed export bans on military equipment to Saudi Arabia due to their war in Yemen. Refugees from Syria, Sudan and other war-torn places have come to Norway, albeit in relatively small numbers. Return of people to areas now deemed safe has increased.
The general economy of Norway has bounced back after the slump. The so-called oil fund boasts in excess of NOK 8000 billion. The petroleum industry has bettered considerably and the export of fish is booming.
The low interest rates have led to ever-increasing price on housing, good for those who are on the sunny side, not so good for first-time buyers and those with little money.
Child benefits have increased for the first time in many years, and most are fairly happy with their salary increases.
The gap between those who have and those who have not is, however, increasing even in the ”last communist country in the world, ” as a Swedish politician once stated.
Maybe the biggest impact on people’s economy – if you live in ”large” urban areas, such as most notably the Stavanger region – is the popping up of Toll Stations, not only around, but even inside, the urbanisations. Many view this as a very unfair tax, hitting those with the least resources very hard. The scandals surrounding the project, most noteworthy the company Ferde and the ballooning cost, does not make the ”Siddis” and ”Jærbu” more amicable towards the ”Highway robbery”.
Oslo has not yet felt the full impact of it yet, but it will definitely be food for the news media in the foreseeable future.
Magnus Carlsen’s defence of the Chess World Championship both in Classic and Blitz are probably the most noteworthy achievements, seen from a global perspective.
Therese Johaug‘s return from doping exclusion another big talking point.
Even if it is not a major sporting achievement, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s return to Old Trafford is remarkable from a Norwegian point of view.
The continued success of Norwegian winter sports athletes are simply too many too single out.
The success of the Ingebritsen brothers on the tarmac is, however, naturally up there among the utmost Norwegian sporting achievements.
The bright side
Luckily, Norwegian ”dugnadsånd” (helping each other out), charitability and voluntarism still remain an important part of the culture.
Norway still boasts the most fantastic nature on the planet as this marvellous clip from psrw100 / Scion.org shows.
There are, of course, a lot of things left out, but ”Ingen nevnt, Ingen glemt” is an old Norwegian proverb that we can always hide behind! It, therefore only remains to be said:
Godt Nytt År!
© #Norway Today
 Nobody mentioned, nobody forgotten.