Throughout the summer and almost until Election Day, billionaires Stein Erik Hagen and Christen Sveaas pumped in new millions to save the Solberg government.
On September 2, the investment company Kistefos spit NOK 1.5 million into KrF. Measurements showed that the party was likely to fall below the boundary of the barrier. The Solberg government depended on the party crawling over the barrier to be reelected.
Kistefos AS is a private investment company wholly owned by Christen Sveaas. Along with Canica AS (Stein Erik Hagen and family), he is the largest contributor to non-socialist parties for many years.
But it’s the Conservatives and the Greens who get the biggest sums. In May, Aftenposten wrote that Canica had contributed NOK 3.5 million to the Conservatives.
Now the accounts in the public record show partifinansiering.no that Canica contributed an additional NOK 1 million to the Conservative Party in August. Kistefos did the same: in May, the company had donated 2 million crowns to the Conservative Party’s election campaign. In August, Sveaas-owned Kistefos spat for another million.
Agra (food group, chairman of the board of Knut G. Heje) followed the same pattern: it first gave 500,000 crowns in May. The group then doubled its contribution to the Conservative Party in June. Both Kistefos and Canica also gave two million crowns each to Frp in the middle of the joint holidays.
Silence on contributions
It has not been possible to uncover whether the additional transfers were due to Hagen and Sveaas feeling that the election campaign was going in the wrong direction. Not even if they have chosen to distribute the monetary gifts to cushion the impression that parts of the left convey that the “rich uncles of the conservatives” are getting huge sums to keep the socialists out of power.
Christen Sveaas wrote to Aftenposten in May that he “sees no reason to grant an interview or comment on the case.”
Tom Erlend Skaug, general secretary of the Conservative Party, responds that the reasoning “almost has to be asked of those who give.”
– We received the first contributions in May. Then they both told us in August that they wanted to contribute another million. Both have probably stated that they were concerned about contributing to the continuity of the bourgeois government and that Erna Solberg should continue as prime minister, he says.
– Did you feel that the electoral wind was blowing in the wrong direction?
– I have nothing else to refer to than what they have said. But the contributions meant that we could have a fairly fair election campaign with the Labor Party, says Skaug. He adds that the Labor Party has received many more contributions from LO and the rest of the union movement.
LO sponsors the red-greens
Because it is not only the right-wing parties that are sponsored in the electoral campaign. On the red-green side, LO and the unions contributed tens of millions of crowns to the red-green Ap, Sp and SV parties.
The LO’s supervisory board, the highest LO body among congresses, allocated NOK 23 million to the Labor Party, the Socialist People’s Party and the Socialist People’s Party to secure a new Støre government. In addition, millions of crowns more come from various unions and associations of the LO family.
The union alone, the largest union in LO, has allocated 6.5 million crowns to the Labor Party. Fellesforbundet donated close to two million crowns.
Parties receive campaign support from various sources, such as members, organizations, and unions. Some receive large grants and gifts, others a number of personal contributions.
Some of the funds go to games at the central level and some to local and county teams. Support can also be given indirectly through staff, contributions to materials, courses, seminars, etc.
Therefore, it is difficult to provide a complete description of all monetary contributions. These are the main figures of the contributions to the electoral campaigns in 2021 according to partfinansiering.no:
- The Labor Party centrally received around NOK 25 million.
- The Conservative Party centrally received around NOK 18 million
- Sp received centrally about NOK 6 million
- Central Frp received NOK 4.35 million
- SV received centrally about NOK 8 million
- The center-left received 1.35 million NOK.
- KrF received NOK 2.9 million centrally
- Central Network received NOK 0.6 million
- The MDGs received just over NOK 1 million centrally