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King's speech urges change in Norway

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King's speech urges change in Norway
King Harald alongside Queen Sonja at 159th Parliament opening in Oslo. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix
17:09 CEST+02:00
King Harald of Norway read out his government's agenda for the year ahead on Thursday afternoon in Parliament at the 159th speech from the throne.
  • The speech from the throne is read aloud by King Harald at Parliament's opening.
  • The King's speech is written by the government and contains their program for the next year.
  • Representatives in Parliament stand while the King's speech is read.
  • Thursday was the 159th speech from the throne.

The Norwegian government have laid out the oil business will, in future, not be the engine of the country's economy. Significant restructuring will take place and the road ahead will cater for a significant growth in population, reduced oil activity and tackling climate change.

In the speech from the throne, King Harald of Norway warned: “It would seem safe to stick with the old, yet the greatest threat for Norwegian society is that we cannot manage to restructure in time. The government believes that it's urgent to begin [the restructuring].”
 
He also stated: “We are becoming many more [people] with more older people. The oil activity will no longer be the engine of our economical growth. We have to adapt to what the Earth can take from carbon emissions.”
 
The government’s answer to these challenges is to embrace better education, a society with small differences between rich and poor, plus more freedom for the individual.
 
“It will ensure the public sector and the benefit arrangements meet tomorrow’s demands, not yesterday's. Large groups are about to become pensioners. New generations will set new demands upon benefits,” announced the King.
 
The king pointed at Norway's natural resources and the traditions of Norwegian businesses within the maritime sector, as possible areas of future growth.
 
“The goal of government will be a better welfare society for everyone, a strengthened social security system, safe working places, and a better climate,” said King Harald.
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