Possibly fearing a backlash, the contrite leader called Årdal to ask after her health:
“He said he was concerned for me and upset,” she told VG. “It was a nice conversation.”
Årdal added that no apology was forthcoming from Norway’s leader. “But I didn’t expect one,” she added.
“I thought it was a fun thing, and I still think so. But I think those who organized it should have put more thought into passenger safety.” She said she had no plans to lodge a formal complaint.
Asked by VG about the incident, Stoltenberg blamed the fact that he was not used to driving a car with automatic transmission. He said he called Årdal as soon as he was informed about her pain.
“I called right away to see how she was. We talked about both the drive and her rheumatism, a disease I know well, as I myself have ankylosning [a kind of arthritis],” he told the paper.