Norway announces major spending plan including airline bailout

Norway announces major spending plan including airline bailout
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg. File photo: AFP
The Norwegian government plans to spend 16 billion kroner on ‘crisis relief’ packages including funding for students and a recovery plan for struggling airline Norwegian.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg presented the spending plan, which includes a number of focus areas, on Friday afternoon.

Money will be spent on students in an effort to reduce the number of people who drop out of their studies or delay them, broadcaster NRK reports.

Additionally, the government wants to provide an emergency loan of 1.5 billion kroner to airline Norwegian. Oslo recently altered its course on bailing out the company after it presented a new recovery plan.

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Additionally, compensation schemes for companies and employees affected by the lockdown would be extended until June, and 500 million kroner would be put aside to assist municipalities which have incurred large costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Money has also been budgeted for support for major public events likely to be affected by coronavirus restrictions through to the end of June.

Funding is also provided for the continued operation of quarantine hotels until the end of June.

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The package, which is funded largely by Norway’s sovereign wealth fund from the country’s oil riches, requires a parliamentary majority to be rubber-stamped and must therefore be approved by other parties.

Several other parties – who can form a parliamentary majority – have presented an alternative relief spending plan, however. That potentially gives them the power to decide the shape of the final spending plan.

The proposal is scheduled to be taken up in parliament on February 19th.


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