Norway politics: Quick View - Liberals set to enter government
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- Economist Intelligence Unit
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- Politics, News Analysis, Forecast, Political stability
- Political Geography
On December 9th Trine Skei Grande, the leader of the centre-right Liberals, said that the party would begin negotiations with the Conservatives and the Progress Party (FrP), with the aim of entering government early next year. The decision was supported by a two-thirds majority during the party's national convention.
Earlier this year the question of whether the Liberals should attempt to join the government gave rise to a major controversy within the party, with several prominent figures voicing their opposition in the media. Moreover, some party figures, including Leif Goran Wasskog, a regional leader in Finnmark, stated in September that they would resign if the party decided to govern with the FrP.
Ms Skei Grande has not made any public statements about the Liberals' demands. A set of demands from September includes additional teachers and a reduced payroll tax for entrepreneurs. In recent weeks, however, these positions have not been mentioned. Still, the main points of contention during the negotiations are likely to be immigration and environmental policy. As we wrote in late September, a temporary ban on oil drilling in the seas near the Lofoten area is likely to be among the Liberals' core demands, as they were in 2013.
The Liberals favour more immigration-friendly policies than the restrictive FrP, although they still support the multi-party agreement on immigration policy between Labour, the Conservatives, the Centre Party and the Christian Democrats. Nonetheless, it is likely that the Liberals will push for modest liberalisations, as they recently voted with the centre left to block the government's policy of returning Afghan asylum-seekers who arrived in Norway before turning 18.
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