Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Socialist Pre-School Teacher to Modernize Norway

New minister blasted early

The incoming minister at what was formerly known as the Ministry of Modernization has been called one of the worst possible people for the job by a leading editor. "We can scarcely imagine a poorer choice than a pre-school teacher from the Socialist Left Party (SV) as the new "Ministry of Renewal", Trygve Hegnar said in an editorial in his financial daily Finansavisen on Wednesday. Hegnar called the appointment of SV politician Heidi Grande Røys, 38, remarkable and alarming for those interested in competitive policy.

New Government Takes Over. Wolves Satisfied With Minister

For the first time after two decades Norway again has a majority government. The new government, led by the Social-Democrat Jens Stoltenberg, is the very first coalition of red (i.e. Socialists) and green (i.e. Environmentalists). Though the parties of the right won more votes than the parties of the left in last September’s elections, the left got more seats than the right. The Center Party has even demanded that Norway leave the European Economic Area (EEA) and the SV wants Oslo to renounce the Schengen Treaty. The latter is unlikely ever to happen. It would mean that Norway would have to reintroduce border controls along the border with Sweden.

The Brussels Journal mentions this suggestion of leaving the Schengen Treaty as a joke. Frankly, it is pretty much the only sensible suggestion I've heard from the Socialist Left Party. I believe all European countries should withdraw from Schengen and regain national control of our own borders. And Norwegians should reintroduce border controls along the border with Sweden as soon as possible:

Swedish Welfare State Cracking?

Are we seeing some major cracks in the Swedish welfare state, with its 25% real unemployment rate? If so, what happens when it collapses? Isn't it likely that this will trigger a flood of "welfare tourists" to neighboring countries? Given that Finland is beyond political correctness and hardly accepts any immigration at all, and that Denmark is increasingly fed up, the weakest link among Sweden's neighbors is Norway. We share a very long border with Sweden, which is among the least protected borders in the world. Our significant oil wealth and naive politics make us an attractive destination. How are we going to respond to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people suddenly moving here? This question hasn't even been asked, much less debated, by a single political leader in this country.


At October 19, 2005 5:42 PM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

I don't understand the Norway 'open arms' attitude. If I was in a country with a relatively small population, natural resources that benefit the people, I would not be open to all this immigration.

At October 19, 2005 10:22 PM, Blogger heather said...

Better Swedes than Muslims I always say. Seriously though, you better watch out. There is a movement afoot by some Mexican and Mexican-Americans to take back land lost in the Gadsden Purchase. I believe it's known as "Reconquesta".

"Many Mexicans believe that the United States stole the Southwest and California from them, and their countrymen now overrun these areas with Mexican citizens. They believe that if they can colonize enough of their citizens in these regions, they can annex them. Mexican claims on the Southwest stem from the secession of Texas, and the Mexican War. They believe that the United States robbed them of these territories militarily, and that they have a rightful, legal claim on them."

At October 20, 2005 8:01 AM, Blogger pølsemannen said...

Welfare tourists from Sweden?
Well the concept was seen last year on SVT 2's program "FAKTUM" hosted by controversial journalist Olle Palmlöf. The show was about Swedes taking "shity" jobs in Norway, the ones Norwegians wouldn't care to take, since these were much better paid than jobs with better "status" in Sweden.
Among other things Olle pulled a practical joke by phone, pretending to be a Swedish family man with three children wishing to move to Norway and live on welfare.
His argument? Well since Swedes have helped Norwegians so much in the past, shouldn’t they help the Swedes back now in their time of need, having the oil and all?

At October 20, 2005 2:52 PM, Blogger oskar said...

Reading your comments on Sweden it's pretty obvious that you have a serious inferiority issue vis-a-vis Sweden. I though most Norwegians had put this behind them.

In Sweden no one cares about Norway much, or talks about it. It's simply not a very interesting place. Kind of a backwater.

Sure, some doctors, nurses and construction workers go there because there's not enough competent people in Norway (it's a bit the Kuwait of the north - lots of oil money, but a deficit of know-how).

I'm no friend of the Swedish welfare state (I'd prefer a welfare 'society') or it's current immigration policies, it's taxes, etc (not that Norway is any better on this account), but...

The Swedish economy has outperformed the Eurozone average since the mid 1990's and it's budget is balanced. The state pension system has been reformed and is set forth as a positive example for other European states, and so on.

At October 20, 2005 4:42 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

Oskar: Read this and come back when you understand what it says. Thank you:

At October 21, 2005 2:41 PM, Blogger oskar said...

Proof that not only many Norwegians, but also many Danes, seem to have a serious complex of some kind vis-a-vis Sweden. Here in Stockholm no one cares one iota about Norway on Denmark. And if we have something to say about either of them, it's mostly nice neighbourly things.

Back to the subject matter. Yes, there is a critical discussion in Sweden regarding economic and social issues, there are many things which are wrong which a lot of people (including myself) want to change. A lot of welfare changes have already been made during the 1990s (much more than has been done in f.ex. Norway) and much remains.

Back to the issues of economics - the Swedish economy is performing far better than the EU average and on par with its Nordic neighbours on most parameters (incl. employment). And when it comes to economic models, i.e. the 'welfare model', the four Nordic countries have a lot more in common with each other than with any other countries in the world.

At October 21, 2005 2:52 PM, Blogger oskar said...

Regarding the book "Exit folkhemssverige" it's pretty old stuff. When I studied economics in Stockholm in the early 1990's this (or rather, sligthly more sophisticated stuff) was part of the curriculum.

Nothing new.

At October 23, 2005 2:59 AM, Blogger chigalum said...

So there Fjordman. If there was ever any doubt that the Sweedies are the envy of the world, Oskar (who studied 'slightly more sophisticated stuff') has settled it. No wonder everyone feels inferior to them.


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