Scandinavia & the EU

Ever since Norway became an independent nation in 1905 (after being ruled and controlled by Sweden and Denmark for 500 years), there has been sort of a ’little brother-big brother’ relationship between Norway and Sweden.

And the Scandinavian war on words is back on. The news about Norway’s problems with the EU has finally reached Sweden and the tabloid Expressen.

In a column, Eric Erfors writes that Norway’s food products can’t compete with those from the EU thus forcing Norway to raise taxes on the EU’s food products.

“A Norwegian farmer gets 60% of his income via state aid, while the average is 23% in the EU. Talk about a Soviet state… Is there a country in the West which comes that near regarding state aid?” Erfors asks.

Erfors also lashes out at Norway’s Minister for Agriculture Trygve Slagsvold Vedum and the Norwegian Center Party in his column.

Some of the quotes from the Expressen column:

  • ”The Center Party is so extreme in their EU opposition that they even sent
    a politician to Iceland to convince Iceland not to become an EU member.”
  • “Norway pays a lot to be part of the EU’s internal market, at the same time as the government parties are against the EEA agreement and the Center Party leader says it’s realistic that Norway leaves EEA.”
  • “It’s enough now. Sweden and the EU should stop playing with the oil-doped,
    worried Norwegians.”

Erfors says Norway is naive if the country thinks the EU will accept the extra taxes on EU meat and cheese products. Instead, they can expect extra taxes on Norwegian salmon.

From 2013, the Norwegian government raised the price on meat from the EU by 344% and by 277% for cheese.

”We Swedes go to Norway to experience the nature and the nice Norwegians. Everything is expensive except diapers. We don’t want the Norwegians to isolate themselves and lock themselves up in a cabin,” Erfors writes.

Swedes are definitely not without humor. I can’t wait for the response from the Norwegian tabloid Verdens Gang.

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