Tag Archives: Erna Solberg

CONFINED A BIT LONGER, BUT END IN SIGHT: Governor extends Svalbard quarantine until April 17, but Norway’s government announces gradual lifting of restrictions beginning April 20

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There won’t be a resurrection of normal life immediately after Easter since the coronavirus quarantine in Svalbard is being extended by several days until April 17, but Norway’s government announced Tuesday it will begin lifting nationwide restrictions starting with the reopening of daycare centers and kindergartens on April 20.

On the same date health practitioners who perform one-to-one services – such as psychologists, opticians and physiotherapists – will be able to resume much of their activity.

A week later many school operations will be allowed to resume, and the same date of April 27 is “at latest” when the government hopes “services where there is one-to-one contact, such as hairdressers, massage and skin care professionals to resume,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said during a press conference.

“As we now ease the restrictions somewhat, I must emphasise as strongly as possible that this does not mean we can allow ourselves to grow more careless in other areas,” she said.

HOUSING HAVES VS. HAVE-NOTS: Controversy about crisis-level shortage in Longyearbyen, proposal for government to take over as landlords raised during prime minister’s visit

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Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said climate change “has had quite a large cost for Svalbard” during her visit to the archipelago this week. But some locals saying they’re paying the price in more ways than one – notably a crisis-level housing shortage that has many panicking about the immediate problem of merely having shelter during the coldest months of the year– due to hypocritical policies her government is pursing that are making the situation worse.

12 YEARS, 1 MILLION SEED SAMPLES: Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrates birthday w/ largest-ever group of depositors and world leaders in first major event after costly upgrades

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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault celebrated a huge repair job with a huge deposit of seeds on its 12th birthday Tuesday, as representatives from 36 genebanks on all seven continents and world leaders gathered at the so-called “ultimate failsafe” facility for a ceremony that resulting in the total collection surpassing one million seed samples.

As with many things involving the vault, it was a bipolar event as drastic hopes and concerns were raised about growing threats to the world’s food supplies, the vault’s role in potentially helping address them, the paradox of storing crops threatened by climate change in the place where change is happening faster than anywhere on Earth, and newly raised controversies about Norway’s sovereignty over Svalbard at time when the archipelago is considered one of the country’s top national security risks.

A future on hold: Government agrees to give Store Norske up to 400M during next three years to ‘pause’ Lunckefjell, double shifts at Mine 7

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The Norwegian government is recommending spending up to 400 million kroner so Store Norske can maintain inoperative facilities at its largest mines during the next three years and employ a double shift at Mine 7.

Loan plea: Yeas, nays and frays

Erna Solbert at Arctic Frontiers 2015

The prime minister wants to keep tapping the Arctic’s energy resources at full speed despite huge price crashes. Opposing interests say it’s embarrassing pleas to keep coal mining alive in Svalbard weren’t rejected immediately. And some advertising guy earned 15,000 likes on Facebook in a couple of days for alleging the government is planning a mass sale of assets, including half of its land in Svalbard.