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Norway

Yearbook 1999

1999 NorwayNorway. The previous year's record low oil prices continued to pressure the Norwegian economy. In February, notice was given of extensive redundancies from the oil giant Statoil and from several companies related to the oil industry. During the year, however, oil prices rose from about 10 dollars per barrel to over 25 dollars and the krona strengthened. In the autumn, the OECD predicted that Norway would receive just over SEK 130 billion in operating surpluses in his budget in 2000. However, Minister of Finance Gudmund Restad, the Center Party, explained that no oil money would be added to the Norwegian economy because of the risk of interest rate increases and unemployment. This created strong dissatisfaction among the teachers, who demanded to raise their low wages, and among health care professionals, who demanded more money for the business.

1999 Norway

School and health care also became two main issues in the election campaign ahead of the municipal and county elections in September. According to Countryaah official website, the Progress Party, Frp, focused on the lack of resources in health care and the elderly. Høyre focused on school issues and pointed to studies on poor conditions in the classrooms. But immigrant and refugee issues may have received the greatest attention. FRP criticized the increased refugee reception - about 6,000 Kosovo Albanians were received in the spring - and integration policy. One of the party's local leaders demanded that asylum seekers should be interned in camps until they were sent back to their home country. For that, he was excluded from the party. At Frp's election meetings, left-wing youths demonstrated so audibly and violently that participants could not speak. Meetings also had to be canceled when the police did not consider themselves able to guarantee security.

Høyre fought fiercely with Frp in immigration issues and made a strong appearance in the municipal elections compared to the parliamentary elections two years earlier. The right got 21.4%, and the party took many voters from the Labor Party, Ap, who made their worst choice in seven decades with 28.7%. Frp became the third largest party with 12.1%, while the government parties Kristelig Folkeparti, Venstre and Senterpartiet together received 22.1%.

Ap's decline triggered an internal debate over party leader Torbjørn Jagland's position. He was subjected to internal pressure to reach a settlement with the central government and to give up his previous very tough opposition to the cash subsidy, the childcare allowance for families with young children introduced by the government. As a result, it was also open to a budget settlement between the central government and Ap. It closed in October. tax increases for high-income earners and more money for municipalities and for measures against unemployment. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik's coalition with the Christian People's Party, the Venstre and the Center Party had concluded budget agreements with Høyre and Frp in the previous two years. During the year, Center Party leader Anne Enger Lahnstein resigned. Odd Roger Enoksen was chosen as her successor.

The Norwegian-Swedish relations were negatively affected as a result of both the prolonged and tear-off Telia-Telenor affair. In December, the merger between the two national telecommunications companies burst, and the Norwegian government was severely criticized by the opposition for its handling of the deal.

Otherwise, foreign policy was characterized by the N's presidency in the OSCE. Foreign Minister Knut Vollebæk was active in negotiations on a number of international conflicts, including the wars in Kosovo and Chechnya. N's role as mediator in the Middle East was highlighted in November at a memorial ceremony in Oslo for the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The holiday turned into a summit with many international participants, including US President Bill Clinton.

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