Tag Archives: Torgeir Prytz

‘Anchor baby’ antithesis: Debate about citizenship for kids of Svalbard parents are familiar, but the pols taking sides aren’t

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It’s no surprise a political debate about “anchor babies” might get ugly but, as with so many things, Svalbard’s fighting it out like nowhere else.

Conservative politicians are enthusiastic about them. The left-leaning Labor Party is denouncing their counterparts for promising to seek changes in immigration laws that will never happen, perhaps winning a significant number of votes from foreign residents in last week’s election in the process.

Bullish: Top Conservative Party candidate expects Longyearbyen to grow rapidly, even if most coal mining is lost

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Torgeir Prytz said he believes Longyearbyen will have 3,000 residents when his first term ends four years from now. Seriously.

The top-ranked candidate for the Conservative Party acknowledges the town may lose 150 or more employees at Store Norske by next summer – which when factoring in families and workers in related industries could mean a loss of 300 to 400 of Longyearbyen’s current 2,100 residents.

Dock in pay debate: Longyearbyen gets 15M for new harbor; local pols differ on how much it will help during crisis

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Eventually, Longyearbyen will probably get lots of money to build a new harbor, providing lots of jobs during construction and creating new long-term economic opportunities to replace the collapsing coal mining industry.

But as of now it’s not going to happen during the next year, despite the pleas of local leaders and residents for the government to take some kind of remedial action as the town faces losing up 400 of its roughly 2,100 residents by next summer.

What now? Store Norske seeks short-term help, but town’s long-term future perilous as layoffs begin quickly

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To the extent there’s hope, it’s mostly that somebody somewhere will think of something.

The first round of layoffs that will ultimately leave Store Norske with about 100 of its current 270 employees is likely to occur next week, said Arild Olsen, the union steward for the workers. He estimated 40 to 50 employees may be affected, most of whom will likely get a three-month notice period.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of May 5, 2015

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Longyearbyen’s first local brewery seeks summer debut
Longyearbyen’s first-locally made beer should finally be available this summer after six years of struggling with everything from changing a law banning the manufacture of alcohol here to testing brew recipes, according to Robert Johansen, owner of Svalbard Bryggeri.