Last week, Norwegian media focused on the referendum in Crimea, a terror attack in Somalia by a Norwegian-Somalian man, and the fact that some import goods travel thousands of miles in order to avoid Norwegian customs. Ingunn Dorholt provides you with The Bottom Line.
Like the rest of Europe, Norwegian media has had its eyes on Ukraine and the referendum in Crimea. The Norwegian foreign minister, Børge Brende, has stated that “Russia’s use of military force to create new borders in Europe is unacceptable”. According to the foreign department, Norway has so far postponed an environmental meeting and a trade agreement with Russia as a result of the referendum. According to Brende, Norway will continue to view Crimea as part of Ukraine, and he adds that “Putin’s speech represents a serious setback for security and stability in Europe”.
Extensive import routes
The media has also brought to attention the extensive travel routes that some Norwegian import goods undertake. The Danish Salami in Norwegian stores is produced in Denmark and the Philadelphia cheese is produced in Germany – but it is made with milk from Norwegian cows. Due to high Norwegian customs put in to protect Norwegian farmers, milk and meat is sent from Norway through Europe and then back to Norway, as this still saves European producers money compared to paying the Norwegian customs. Famous Italian and Spanish hams, such as Serrano, have actually been sent from Spain and Italy twice by the time it reaches Norwegian homes, as the EEA agreement classifies the meat as local if sent to other countries before the product is considered complete.
Representatives from the authorities says this business is not illegal, but a highly creative way to avoid customs. While all this transfer is done to keep the average price for the products low in Norway, there’s little doubt the environmental price is high, as some of the hams in Norwegian stores have travelled 10,000 Kilometres. The department for agricultural management in Norway admits that the environmental issues were not taken into consideration when initiating this arrangement.
Norwegian link to terror in Somalia
The Norwegian media has paid attention to the terror attack in Buuloburde, Somalia, which occurred last Tuesday. The terror attack was carried out by a 60-year-old Norwegian-Somali man, who placed a truck filled with explosives at the entrance of Hotel Camalow. According to the independent Somali news webpage, RBC radio, Islamist group Al-Shabaab claims that the man was affiliated with the group. The small city of Buuloburde was formerly controlled by Al-Shabaab, but was taken by the UN-supported peacekeeping force AMISOM on Monday. The hotel was housing soldiers and officers. According to Al-Shabaab 32 people lost their lives, numbers that have not yet been confirmed. The Norwegian security service, PST, has started its investigation but is still working on getting information about the 60-year-old man.
The perfect “selfie”
Looking for the best spot for a “selfie”? Norwegian media were pleased when the American webpage Buzzfeed this week announced their list, of the most spectacular places in the world for taking “selfies”. On top of the list was “The Trolls Tounge” in Odda, Norway. This sight ranked above world famous places like Victoria Falls, The Dead Sea and the Great Wall of China.
Photos from Flickr Creative Commons: M.B Haga, Memphis CVB, Destination Hardanger Fjord.