"We are going to have to be a little strict. We have a job to do for those who need us, and we need to set limits," Fabian Stang, from Norway's Conservative Party, told the country's VG newspaper on Wednesday.
"The principle that employees spend time on the job to work is important," he went on. "If we are doing things other than our job during working hours, the consequence might be that someone has to wait longer for home care, or that those on social security have to wait longer in line."
The statement was immediately condemned by Gerd Kristiansen, the head of the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO).
"It is surprising that the Conservatives and Fabian Stang are so strict in this matter," she told VG Newspaper. "The Olympics comes only once every four years, and the Winter Olympics especially is an event that touches the Norwegian national psyche. I do not think it is wise for employers to be as firm as the Mayor of Oslo is being."
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After seeing the extent of the negative reaction, Stand qualified his stance, saying Oslo's municipal employees would be allowed to tune in for the highlights of the games, so long as they made up for the lost time later in the day.