Norway. Thanks to the high oil prices, StatoilHydro made the biggest corporate profit in Norwegian history during the first quarter. When the oil price reached $ 140 per barrel during the year, the state was expected to make huge extra income for the state oil fund, the Government Pension Fund – Global. However, when the price of oil subsequently fell sharply during the third quarter, the oil fund lost in value equivalent to close to SEK 200 billion.
In January, six people were killed when suicide bombers attacked a hotel in Kabul, where Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre lived during a visit to the Afghan capital. Støre did well, but there was a Norwegian journalist among the victims. A Taliban spokesman said they were behind the deed, one of many violent attempts to scare off foreign support for the Afghan government. The Taliban allied al-Qaeda had earlier called for an attack on the Norway, which has about 500 soldiers in the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. But after the attack, the N government declared that it would strengthen its military presence in the country.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of NO in general and in geography as Norway in particular.
In March, five people were killed when a multi-storey house collapsed in Ålesund, where a large piece of a rock wall loosened and collapsed on the house. Rescue crews were unable to enter the masses for several days to search for missing because of explosion risk after a propane tank under the house caught fire.
Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg received harsh criticism in the spring both from the opposition and from the Labor Party’s coalition partner Socialist Left Party when he rejected the idea of a Norwegian boycott of the Beijing Olympics because of the repression in Tibet. The government’s internal problems continued when the Minister of Petroleum and Center Party leader Åslaug Haga were accused of unclear tax business. Haga resigned and succeeded as Minister of Terje Riis-Johansen and as center leader of Liv Signe Navarsete. At the same time as the red-green coalition was having difficulties, the Progress Party was the largest party in opinion polls and the bourgeois bloc had a clear majority over the government parties.
During the spring, Sweden submitted a quote for the sale of 48 new advanced JAS planes, known as Super-JAS, to Norway. On the Swedish side, they hoped for a multi-billion business over three decades with extensive Swedish-Norwegian industrial cooperation. The Swedish Minister of Defense also spoke of increased future defense cooperation, including joint air bases. In the aircraft business, however, Sweden had competition from the United States, Norway’s allies in NATO, and in November the Oslo government decided that Norway would buy US F-35.
In the autumn financial crisis, the government in October decided on a rescue package for the banks. Suspicions were raised that N’s largest bank DnB NOR was given advance information on the government’s measures and was able to make quick and profitable sales of government bonds. Other banks also claimed that the government package was suitable for DnB NOR, whose head was a party mate and good friend of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. The Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority Kredittilsynet initiated an investigation which included, among other things, SMS messages between the DnB NOR manager and Stoltenberg.
In November, the Prime Minister and his Labor Party passed a government decision to implement the EU Services Directive, which includes, among other things, the elimination of barriers to trade in services. The Socialist Left Party and the Center Party opposed the proposal, but Stoltenberg counted with support from the bourgeois opposition in the Storting.
At the end of the year, the Storting voted to ban the purchase of sexual services that apply to Norwegians both in Norway and abroad. The law would apply from 2009.
During the year, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate made measurements that showed that most Norwegian glaciers have fallen dramatically. Around Jostedalsbreen, the largest glacier on the European mainland, five of eleven glaciers had fallen by more than 20 meters in one year. For a long time, Briksdalsbreen had decreased by 430 meters since 1999 and Fåbergstølsbreen 450 meters since 2000.
In the second half of the 19th century, some travelers began to take an interest in the beautiful scenery and the rich deposits of fish and game that were still found in, among other things. Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia. British salmon fishermen, hunters and rock climbers had applied for Norwegian fjords and mountains as early as the 1850s, and around 1890 began a rapid development in the hotel industry in Western Norway. In 1868, the Norwegian Tourist Association was founded to work specifically for the expansion of hiking tourism, and in 1903 a separate body was established, the Association for Travel in Norway (from 1929–84 National Association for Travel in Norway; 1984–99 Nortra; 1999–2003 Norway Tourist Board, from 2004 Innovation Norway), to coordinate the marketing of Norwegian destinations to foreign customers.
From the turn of the century until the 1930s, cruise ship traffic was a significant element of tourist traffic to Western Norway, but as the fjord districts got road connections with the outside world, car traffic increased, and in the post-war period group bus trips have been a very important source of income. Individual car tourism has also been growing steadily since the first campsites in Norway were opened around 1930. A large part of this traffic is Norwegians or other Scandinavians, but Germans and Dutch are also frequent car tourists.
After 1945, there has been an explosive growth in tourism, in terms of both tourism inland and Norwegians’ holidays abroad. Until the early 1970s, Norway had a surplus on the travel currency balance, but all the time later there was a deficit. Increased wealth, increased internationalization of business, as well as cheaper and more efficient and more internationalized transport have resulted in the Norwegians’ holiday trips becoming increasingly targeted at international destinations.
Major tourist attractions
Visiting figures for the period 1 May – 31. August 2005
|Experience centers||Number of visits|
|Holmenkollbakken m. The ski museum / jump tower, Oslo||627 930|
|Kristiansand Zoo, Kristiansand||495 400|
|Hadeland Glassverk, Jevnaker||439 700|
|TusenFryd, Ås v / Oslo||415 420|
|Flåmsbanen, Flåm||408 900|
|The funicular, Bergen||374 415|
|Viking Ship House, Oslo||329 340|
|Fredriksten fortress, Halden||270 300|
|Hunderfossen Family Park, Øyer v / Lillehammer||260 100|
|Nature attractions||Number of visits|
|Vøringsfossen, Eidfjord||655 000|
|Trollstigen v / Åndalsnes||535 250|
|Geirangerfjord, Geiranger||413 350|
|Kjosfossen v / Flåmsbanen||408 750|
|Låtefossen, Odda / Hardanger||400 000|
|Stalheim, Voss||343 600|
|Steinsdalsfossen, Norheimsund||280 000|
|Nærøyfjord, Aurland||273 790|
|Tvindefossen, Voss||272 000|
|Sognefjellsveien (rv. 55 Lom – Luster), Oppland||262 000|
Vigelandsparken in Oslo is considered the largest tourist attraction in Norway with an estimated over one million visitors a year, but since it is not possible to make satisfactory measurements, it is excluded from the list.
The Bryggen in Bergen had 572,800 visitors during 2005, but again the measurements are uncertain.
The fortress town / Old Town in Fredrikstad had an estimated 348,000 visitors in 2005.
Norwegian conditions are also described, among other things, in the articles campsite , charter flights , hiking tourism , hotels and package holidays.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Norway in 2008 was 4,885,767, ranking number 118 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.070% yearly, and the population density was 13.3762 people per km2.