Friday, January 21

The Ministry of Justice’s law department: Stoltenberg is not incompetent

Jens Stoltenberg can become central bank governor, according to the Law Department at the Ministry of Justice.

The case is continuously updated

They have assessed whether Jens Stoltenberg is competent or incompetent for the job as central bank governor. They have concluded that he is not incompetent.

“The clear starting point must be that the friendship between Stoltenberg and the Prime Minister and other more general matters that the Ministry of Finance has mentioned in the inquiry here, will not mean that Stoltenberg will be incompetent to deal with current issues as central bank governor,” the report concludes.

However, it also says:

“It cannot be ruled out that there will be special circumstances that are suitable for weakening confidence in Stoltenberg’s impartiality in specific cases so that he will be incompetent under the Public Administration Act § 6 second paragraph.”

However, they have not found “that there are circumstances that more generally indicate that Stoltenberg will be incompetent to participate in the processing of the types of cases mentioned by the Ministry of Finance”.

Politicians skeptical of Stoltenberg

A majority of the parties in the Storting have stated that they do not want the former Labor Party leader in the job. This applies to the Conservatives, the Greens, the Liberals, the Red Party and the Socialist People’s Party. They believe it will create too much uncertainty about Norges Bank’s independence.

Stoltenberg was party leader in the Labor Party from 2002 to 2014. He was prime minister for almost 10 years.

It was he who promoted Jonas Gahr Støre in the party. First by bringing him to a central position at the Prime Minister’s Office. So by appointing him foreign minister and later health minister.

Støre became so central that he was the indisputable choice when Stoltenberg resigned as party leader.

Stoltenberg discussed the job with Tangen

Aftenposten revealed on Sunday that Stoltenberg discussed the job with oil fund manager Nicolai Tangen twice last year. The first time was at a dinner at Knut Brundtland’s home in January 2021. The second time was on a plane on the way to the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

One of the central bank governor’s most important tasks is to be chairman of the board of the Petroleum Fund.

Brundtland is also the son of former Labor leader and Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

TV 2 reported on Monday that Støre also spoke to Tangen about Stoltenberg as a possible central bank governor. It also happened at a dinner at Knut Brundtland’s home.

Støre has also admitted that Stoltenberg mentioned the vacancy during a walk the two had last autumn. Støre says that he then told the old boss that this was not something they could talk about.

Støre has declared himself incompetent in the assessment of whether Stoltenberg can get the prestigious job.

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