Jens Stoltenberg is the country’s next central bank governor. It is not met with cheers among the elected representatives.
The warnings against hiring a former prime minister for the important job have been loud and many for a long time, but on Friday it became clear that the country’s next central bank governor will be Jens Stoltenberg.
Politicians from a number of parties now fear what it will do to Norges Bank’s independence.
It is already clear that the case will lead to a number of questions from the Storting’s control committee. Most parties in opposition, from Frp to Rødt, are critical.
FRP leader Sylvi Listhaug believes the case is a picture of a culture.
– We are in 2022. We had hoped that the Labor Party culture of appointing party colleagues to key positions and positions had passed, but that is not the case, Listhaug tells Aftenposten.
She believes it will be important for the Storting to get answers to all questions about the process until Stoltenberg was elected by Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum.
– It has emerged that a lot has happened behind the scenes here. From the outside, it has looked as if Gutteklubben Grei has been busy with dinners and trips. It is important that we shed light on the whole process, says Listhaug.
The Conservatives will ask about this
The Conservatives also now want answers to several questions. They point to the concern many have raised about Norges Bank’s independence and confidence in people and in the markets.
– This unrest is not based on Stoltenberg’s qualifications, but on his ties as former prime minister and for several decades profiled Labor Party politician. On top of everything, he is a close friend of the country’s prime minister, says deputy Tina Bru in a statement.
The party also has the leader of the control committee, Peter Frølich.
– We will therefore follow up the appointment with thorough and thoughtful questions, he says in a statement.
– Immediately, I think it would be natural to ask the government about things like timelines of the application process, matters surrounding the design of the call text and the contact between the government and relevant applicants. Our goal is to ensure confidence that the appointment has taken place in an orderly manner, and of course to uncover any errors or trampling.
SV: Unwise decision
SV is the party The Labor Party and the Center Party government only go to when they need a majority in the Storting.
Fiscal policy spokesperson, Kari Elisabeth Kaski, believes the appointment is unwise.
– The unrest surrounding the candidacy and the question of the independence of the central bank testify to that. With the special independence given to the central bank, we would not hire a former prime minister, she says in a statement.
She takes note of the appointment. She believes that the most important thing going forward is that the central bank governor understands how complex the financial market is, as well as the climate risk and that monetary policy is renewed in line with the challenges of our time.
– I hope that Stoltenberg’s history and the noise around the employment will not be an obstacle to the important work that lies ahead of him, she continues.
– Is there something that per. now indicates that there is a basis for creating a control case?
– We are now unable to see violations of the rules that indicate a formal control case, Kaski says.
However, she adds that when others want to ask questions about the appointment, SV will also be involved.
– But this is a political appointment which in itself is unwise, regardless of whether it is unclean trotting, she says.
Power player Stoltenberg
Nor Red are they reassured.
– This is 1-0 to the power player Jens Stoltenberg. What is important for us now is that the Minister of Finance puts all the cards on the table. If not, there will always be a question hanging over us if there has been camaraderie in the picture, says Seher Aydar, fiscal policy spokesman for Rødt.
In contrast to most other parties, Rødt believes that the central bank should be governed more politically.
– Our problem is not that Stoltenberg is political, but that he is a person in power.
– A lot we need clarity in
The Liberal Party’s Sveinung Rotevatn calls the decision unwise. He is most afraid of Norges Bank’s independence.
– We have no tradition of appointing party politicians as central bank governor. Now the government chooses to do it anyway, despite sharp warnings from experts, the media and not least the majority in the Storting. They weaken Norges Bank’s independence.
– Will it not be a paradox if the central bank governor must have the support of the Storting, if he is to be independent of the Storting?
– The Storting must be able to have a view on Norges Bank’s independence. There is no doubt that the Storting has meant that the central bank governor should not have close, personal ties to the government. Now we get it anyway, says Rotevatn.
He says the Liberal Party will ask a number of questions to the government about the process.
– Then we can take it from there. It depends on what the government answers, but here there are many things we need to clarify, he says.