Monday, May 23

The Prime Minister poses in Question Time in the Storting. Follow it here.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) is questioned by the opposition in the Storting.

The case is continuously updated.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre will ask in the Storting’s question time on Wednesday. The backdrop is a power crisis, a pandemic and controversy over the appointment of a new central bank governor.

Stoltenberg is competing for the position against the current Deputy Governor Ida Wolden Bache. He is also a close friend of Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

It is the government’s responsibility to appoint a new central bank governor, and it does not need a majority for the decision in the Storting.

The opposition is nevertheless critical of how the government has handled the case. And a majority in the Storting is skeptical about appointing the former prime minister to the post.

The skepticism is not about whether Stoltenberg is qualified, but whether an appointment of Stoltenberg will have anything to do with people’s perception of the central bank’s independence.

Støre has turned around Stoltenberg contact

Støre denied in two interviews in December that he had talked to Stoltenberg about the position. He is still insisting on this, even though he informed TV 2 on Monday that Stoltenberg informed him on October 24 that he could be interested in the position as the new central bank governor. This happened while the two were going on a trip.

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“I replied that this is a topic we can not talk about in that case since I as prime minister will be incompetent. Since then, we have not talked about or had contact with the topic, “Støre told TV 2.

As Aftenposten has mentioned earlier, Støre and Stoltenberg have had an extensive and close relationship for many years.

To Dagens Næringsliv in December, he said that he was told about Stoltenberg’s name on the list of applicants through the media and denied that the job of central bank governor had been a topic with Stoltenberg.

– I have been completely outside of that topic also in our relationship, which has lasted for many years, he said then.

He has now clarified to NTB that even though the case was mentioned while the two were walking in October, he will not define this as a conversation.

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Støre answers Listhaug about Stoltenberg contact: “A topic we could not talk about”

Stoltenberg discussed the job with Tangen

Aftenposten reported 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 with 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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