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State

Capital

Norway

Oslo

Norge

Currency unit

Norwegian krona

Connections

Arctic

Baltic

EFTA

Nordic

NATO

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

Norway was one of the lands from which the Vikings came out in the 9th century to attack Britain, Ireland, Iceland and other parts of Europe. It is one of the three Scandinavian countries. Until modern times it was a poor fringe where the people lived on agriculture from difficult land, and sea trades including fishing and ship owning.

It was under Danish rule from 1439 until 1814, when it became joined to Sweden (as part of a compensation for Sweden's loss of Finland and other Baltic provinces during the Napoleonic wars). However the two states retained their own governments and Norway's parliament gradually tried to acquire more power from the Swedish king. By the 20th century they were demanding complete separation from Sweden. This was achieved in 1905. They appointed as king a prince from Denmark.

Norway was occupied by the Germans during the second world war, mainly as a source of iron ore (from Sweden) via the port of Narvik and harbors for submarines to attack British and American ships in the Atlantic.

After the war Norway joined Nato (it has a common frontier with Russia and shares coal mining rights on Spitzbergen or Svalbard).

Norway was due to join the European Economic Community in 1973, with Britain and Denmark. However, the existing members agreed a Common Fisheries Policy, which would have removed control of Norway's fishing waters and given it to the European Commission. It was probably this policy that caused the Norwegian people to refuse to vote for accession.

In the 1970s Norway gained a share of the North Sea oil and gas fields and has become rich with a higher GNP per head than Sweden.

A new application was approved in March 1994. However, there is a large intensity of popular opposition, stronger even than in Britain, and membership was again not approved by referendum despite Swedish agreement.

Languages

Norwegian

(Landsmal - folk dialect)

Bokmal-educated language. This is influenced by Danish.

Sami (Lapp)

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

 

Politics

Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary regime. At present the government is formed by a Center Right coalition in which the far right is represented.

Interesting reading

Gwyn Jones - History of the Vikings (1984)



 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

Formerly based on agriculture and fishing, Norway's main income is now derived from oil and gas found in the North Sea. Norway was formerly the poorest of the three Scandinavian countries but is now the wealthiest.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

About 50% of its energy comes from renewable resources (hydroelectric power).

Forests are badly affected by acid rain, mainly from Britain.

In the sea off the north coast lies the Soviet submarine Komsomolets in 6000 ft of water. Its nuclear warheads and reactor will leak plutonium into the sea, unless it is salvaged - a dangerous task.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

European norm.

Norwegian mediators are active in trying to resolve such disputes as the civil war in Sri Lanka and the Palestine/Israel dispute.

Climate effects

There will be a likely loss of ice cover in mountains and loss of summer flow in the rivers. This could affect hydroelectricity.

Last revised 3/02/09


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