Monday, May 23

Erna Solberg on the Norges Bank job: Asks Støre to listen to the majority

Former Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) believes that Jonas Gahr Støre should listen to the unrest in the Storting regarding Jens Stoltenberg’s job application as central bank governor.


She points out that the Labor Party as an opposition party was concerned that the government should take into account what the broad majority in the Storting thought – also in cases where the government has full authority to decide the matter itself.

And that is exactly what the situation is now: A clear majority of the parties in the Storting have signaled that Stoltenberg should not get the job because his close affiliation with Støre and the Labor Party could weaken confidence that Norges Bank is politically independent.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre received a number of questions about the case when he was in the Storting on Wednesday. Conservative leader Erna Solberg gives the following advice:

– It is essential that the Labor Party listens to the unrest that a majority of the parties in the Storting have in this matter. It is the density of the Labor Party and the challenges it presents that are problematic. And the last few weeks’ picture that there is a small circle that facilitates things. It will stick, says Solberg to VG.

Solberg emphasizes that it is up to the government to employ a central bank governor.

– It is the government’s privilege to make that choice, but I would like to remind you that the Labor Party has been concerned that there should be a broad majority in important matters. For example, in the case of Nicolai Tangen’s appointment as oil fund manager, Aps Hadia Tajik said that it was important that the solutions had a broad majority in the Storting, says Solberg.

The appointment of Norges Bank’s head is decided by the current government, it will not be considered by the Storting.

After the Storting’s question time on Wednesday, Solberg calls the process untidy and creates unrest.

– That unrest is affecting the independence and image of Norges Bank externally. It is important to us that Norges Bank and their advice are seen as independent of political life and what contacts they have had in the past, says Solberg.

– Do you think it’s messy?

– None of us know what has been said and how it has been said, but there is littlevdesirable if one one should keep in the ears joins discussions about who sThem is his boss. It’s messy, she says.

Støre emphasizes that he has not had any other conversations with Stoltenberg towards VG.

– My whole point to NTB was that I have not discussed candidacy with Stoltenberg, says the Prime Minister about the forest trip between him and the NATO leader in October, whom he failed to tell NTB.

– I stand for that. I am incompetent in the case, and I have said that all the way, he says about Stoltenberg’s application for the top position.

When asked if Støre and Stoltenberg have had any other contact about the position, the Prime Minister answers in cash:

– Absolutely not.

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