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  The Great Nordic Thread
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Question: Will Iceland and Norway ever join the EU?
#1Iceland, but not Norway  
#2Norway, but not Iceland  
#3Both  
#4None of them  
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Total Voters: 153

Author Topic: The Great Nordic Thread  (Read 156421 times)
politicus
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« Reply #375 on: November 13, 2014, 12:53:42 pm »

With her resignation, half (4) of the current Conservative group will not be running at the next election which will lead to the long-awaited generational change in the party.
She's not even 50.  Hard to believe she'd be considered part of the old guard of any party.

Politicus is right, but there're also the aspect that she have had the political positions she could expect to get, she's a person who is on the way down not up.

Yeah, that is kinda the definition of a has been..
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politicus
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« Reply #376 on: November 26, 2014, 07:18:46 pm »

Icelands Minister of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir resigned Friday to avoid a probably damaging report from the Ombudsman after her ministry leaked confidential info about asylum seekers.

She is staying on as Deputy Chairman for the Independence Party and MP, but if the report is sufficiently damaging this may be untenable.

Only a year ago HBK was by far the most popular centre-right politician in Iceland and perceived to be able to oust her party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson whenever it suited her, so this is a major downturn.

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mubar
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« Reply #377 on: November 27, 2014, 01:47:55 pm »

On Friday 28th November the Finnish parliament will (finally) vote on equal marriage.

Here's a summary from Yle on the developments around the citizens' initiative and the prolonged handling in the parliamentary committee, that finally allows the full parliament to decide on the issue.

Helsingin Sanomat has a detailed analysis (in Finnish) on individual MPs opinions. According to them, of the 199 voting-eligible MPs almost half, 96 are publicly known to be supporters of equal marriage rights, while 89 oppose and 14 haven't declared their voting intentions. Therefore getting the majority for the initiative is likely, though unfortunately not certain.

This is not the final vote, because if and when it passes there will be yet one more committee round (but different committee this time) and after that one more full session vote. However tomorrow's vote will be the decisive one, as it will reveal all MPs' stances, and the following committee round and final vote would then just confirm it.

Voting is expected to start after 1pm Finnish time (noon Central European time) on Friday.
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politicus
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« Reply #378 on: November 27, 2014, 11:19:15 pm »

For the first time ever a poll (made for TV2) has DPP as the biggest party in Denmark. Last poll in brackets and the election result in the third column (right). All three big parties are still very close.

Social Democrats: 19,8 (20,9) 24,8

Social Liberals: 8,3 (8,5) 9,5

Conservatives: 6,2 (5,1) 4,9

SPP: 6,5 (6,1)  9,2

Liberal Alliance: 5,9 (5,8) 5,0

DPP: 21,2 (20,0) 12,3

Liberals: 20,9 (22,9) 26,7

Red-Green Alliance: 9,4 (9,3)  6,7


Red bloc: 44,8 (45,4) : 50,6

Blue bloc: 55,2 (54,6)  49,4
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politicus
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« Reply #379 on: November 27, 2014, 11:32:06 pm »
« Edited: November 28, 2014, 01:50:05 pm by politicus »

The Norwegian Student and Academics' International Assistance Fund (SAIH) has decided to launch a year long campaign to denounce the illegal Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, they are working in colaboration with Polisario in Norway.

Launched under the motto "Western Sahara: 40 years is long enough", the campaign aims at calling upon the Government of Norway to act effectively so that the Saharawi people exercise their legitimate right to self-determination and independence.

It also seeks to intensify pressure on the UN Security Council to enlarge the mandate of the UM Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), when it is up to renewal next April.

The campaign will work in order that Norway divests from companies that do business in occupied Western Sahara in violation to international law and ethical rules.

The campaign will be marked by several activities to aware and sensitize on the question of Western Sahara, the last remaining issue of decolonization in Africa.

Norwegian Student and Academics' International Assistance Fund (SAIH) is a non-governmental organization working mainly on the support of education in poor countries. It is composed of more than 160.000 students and academics.

The Danish SD Youth League are als working on this, but EU has more or less given up on Western Sahara given Moroccos strategic importance for the union, so dunno if it does any good - and given the kind of government they have in Norway at the moment I am not even sure they can engage them. Still FFs of course.
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politicus
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« Reply #380 on: November 28, 2014, 10:50:27 am »

Immigration to Iceland is on the rise again after the post-crash drop. 8,4% of Icelanders are now immigrants, up from 8.1% last year. If you incl. people with two foreign born parents its 9,5%, almost as high as the pre-crash record of 9,6% in 2009.

The three biggest immigrant groups are: Poles 36,9%, Filipinos 5,2% and Lithuanians, also at 5,2%. The other half is dispersed on a wide range of mainly European and Asian groups.

Unlike most place Icelandic immigrants are not clustered in the towns. The remote West Fiords have the highest immigrant share at 13,2%, followed by Suðurnes at 13,1%, whereas Norðurland West has the lowest share at 4,5%. Still, almost half of all immigrants (14.000) live in Reykjavík. Kjalarnes, a rural district incorporated in Reykjavik in 1998, has the highest share of any district at 36,5% of its 600 inhabitants, mainly Eastern European farmhands.

Only three rural municipalities with 50-60 inhabitants have no immigrants at all: Skorradalshreppur, Tjörneshreppur and Fljótsdalshreppur.
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mubar
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« Reply #381 on: November 28, 2014, 02:26:40 pm »

On Friday 28th November the Finnish parliament will (finally) vote on equal marriage.

And they voted for equal marriage, by 105-92. This margin is more than expected, and will hold also in the later vote after the final committee round, so this is it now for Finland. Finally we join the other Nordic countries in promoting equality in our laws.

Interestingly, Helsingin Sanomat got several names wrong in their pre-vote analysis. They even had listed some MP as supporter, who actually voted against the initiative today. For the most part though, the MPs who hadn't revealed their stance before now voted for same-sex marriage approval.
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politicus
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« Reply #382 on: November 28, 2014, 02:32:57 pm »

Finally we join the other Nordic countries in promoting equality in our laws.

Well, most of them. The Faroe Islands are still holding out. So you guys weren't the last.
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politicus
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« Reply #383 on: November 29, 2014, 01:02:13 pm »
« Edited: December 03, 2014, 02:40:25 pm by politicus »

From autumn 2015 Iceland introduces a "nature pass", which means Icelanders and tourists alike will have to pay 1500 Icelandic kronor to get entrance to the highlights of Icelandic nature - if located on public land. The pass is valid for three years. It is the massive increase in tourism and the maintenance costs resulting from damages and deterioration that lies behind this, but it is controversial because Iceland like most other Scandinavian countries has free access to all non-built up land - the so called "every mans right", which in Iceland dates back to at least  the Jonsbok law collection from 1281. Icelanders may be billed as part of their income tax to limit administration costs and free riding problems. Private land owners can join in and get a share in the proceeds.

It is not yet decided which areas will be included, but it is certain that Geysir, Þingvellir, Gullfoss and Landmannalaugar will be among them

The tourism association fears it will damage Icelands image as a land where you are free to roam wide open spaces and had preferred a room tax instead, and I fully agree with them. A nature pass will create countless conflicts and be very difficult to enforce in many areas.

EDIT: Left Greens also strongly against this, I doubt it will survive a change of government.
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politicus
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« Reply #384 on: November 30, 2014, 01:46:14 pm »

To our Finnish posters: Will gay marriage automatically become legal on Åland when it does in the rest of Finland or do their parliament have to approve it separately?
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Gustaf
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« Reply #385 on: November 30, 2014, 02:14:56 pm »

Given that only one Swedish Party MP voted against gay marriage I'm guessing Åland would pass it too anyway.
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mubar
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« Reply #386 on: December 02, 2014, 12:48:08 am »

To our Finnish posters: Will gay marriage automatically become legal on Åland when it does in the rest of Finland or do their parliament have to approve it separately?
It will become legal on Åland automatically with the rest of Finland. The autonomy law of Åland keeps marriage and all family matters as a state issue (5 kap 27 §), with the exception of some inheritance matters. The parliament of Åland will just make sure that none of their property and inheritance laws are affected, before the equal marriage is in force. As Gustaf correctly assumed, Åland is more liberal than Finland in general, they certainly have no problem with applying this law.

Well, most of them. The Faroe Islands are still holding out. So you guys weren't the last.
That's interesting, it means that the Faroe Islands are both more conservative than Denmark, and have full autonomy in marriage and family matters too, am I correct?

Though, the thing is that while gay marriage now passed the Finnish parliament, it will actually become legal only after the other laws it affects are changed also. This will happen only after the April 2015 elections and will have to be done by the new government elected then. If they work fast, we will have our first gay weddings in 2016, but in case of the new govt purposefully slowing down the process, it may take as far as until 1st of March 2017, before gay marriage is actually in force in Finland Sad So... if the Faroe Islands now decide to do it too and work fast, they might still beat us.
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« Reply #387 on: December 02, 2014, 05:46:20 am »

So... if the Faroe Islands now decide to do it too and work fast, they might still beat us.

Don't worry, they won't. The Faroe Islands are tha Alabama of Northern Europe. Finland could drag this decission out for twenty years and you still would beat them. Wink
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politicus
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« Reply #388 on: December 02, 2014, 10:04:42 am »

The Faroe Islands are still holding out. So you guys weren't the last.
That's interesting, it means that the Faroe Islands are both more conservative than Denmark, and have full autonomy in marriage and family matters too, am I correct?


Yup.
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politicus
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« Reply #389 on: December 02, 2014, 11:29:24 am »
« Edited: December 02, 2014, 10:42:29 pm by politicus »

So... if the Faroe Islands now decide to do it too and work fast, they might still beat us.

Don't worry, they won't. The Faroe Islands are that Alabama of Northern Europe. Finland could drag this decision out for twenty years and you still would beat them. Wink

Actually the two polls conducted on same sex marriage this year showed 61-62% support and 28-32% against, it is just that the SoCons are more influential than the socially liberal segment.

Due to the unionist/separatist split the odds are bad for a genuine centre-left or centre-left/social liberal coalition on the Faroes and a government will normally always include some SoCons in a strong enough position to block such legislation.

They have the socio-economic left-right scale replicated on each side of the unionist/separatist divide with their Conservatives on the separatist side and their Christian Democrats on the unionist side. Plus there are SoCon elements in the main unionist centre-right party the liberal Union Party.

Ideologically it looks like this (with the big parties underlined):

Unionist:

Social Democrats/Christian Democrats/Liberals

Separatist:

Left nationalists/Social Liberals/Conservatives/Very Conservatives

The purple ones are pro-gay rights, the browns are against. I think the best chance would be a government between the two big unionist parties (Social Democrats and the Union Party), but the Union Party is moving rightwards on economics at the moment and are currently in government  with the conservative Peoples Party, so that would require a change in their leadership.
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politicus
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« Reply #390 on: December 03, 2014, 01:57:42 pm »
« Edited: December 03, 2014, 02:02:34 pm by politicus »

2015 is going to be a major election year in the Nordic countries:

Three out of five sovereign nation states - Denmark, Finland and Sweden (+ Estonia for those of you that consider it Nordic Wink ) - and two out of three autonomous areas (Faroe Islands and Åland). This must be some kind of record? I don't think there has ever been a year where a majority of both nation states and autonomous areas had parliamentary elections.

A shame the Hammond expense scandal in Greenland couldn't have waited a couple of months, so we would have had full house on autonomous areas, but they might have to hold a 2015 election anyway given the result... Norway is out of the question and Iceland is very unlikely because the government know it will lose power, but maybe if IP breaks up in euro-philes and euro-sceptics or get really tired of PP incompetence while their numbers keep getting up, though that is a long shot.
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politicus
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« Reply #391 on: December 05, 2014, 12:56:08 am »

The Finns Party (or "The party formerly known as the True Finns") plan a motion of no confidence against the Finnish government over the common bank resolution fund for the Euro area,

"Finns can be responsible for the Finnish banking system, but Finns being responsible for the French, Italian and Greek banking systems, for example, is unacceptable,"

http://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/finland-news/politics/12921-finns-party-to-table-motion-of-no-confidence.html
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« Reply #392 on: December 05, 2014, 10:20:14 am »



Upside down Europe.
With politics heating up in the frigid Swedish winter we can’t help but get the sense that Europe is turning itself on its head a bit…

http://www.openeuropeblog.blogspot.nl/2014/12/upside-down-europe.html
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« Reply #393 on: December 05, 2014, 05:29:15 pm »

List of the popularity of the Danish ministers from 1-100. The grey bar shows last year's grade.



The most popular minister is Mette Frederiksen, the heir apparent in the Social Democrats. Despite some tough jobs as Minister of Employment with an ongoing discussion about how to handle the unemployment benefit reform adopted by the previous government and now as Minister of Justice with a quickly increasing number of refugees, she has managed to be seen as both compassionate and competent by many voters.
The Social Democrat Minister of Finance Bjarne Corydon is second. He is mostly quite popular among the blue voters who see him as a credible and able to deliver some sound budgets and public finances.
The Social Liberal Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard is way more popular than as Minister of Energy as he has been quite apt in the serious statesman role.
The two new young Social Democrat ministers, Magnus Heunicke and Dan Jørgensen, have made promising starts as well. Both have attracted quite a lot of coverage, although some of it might be somewhat ridiculous like the latter's decision to make an online referendum about what the Danish national dish should be, and been quite quick at reacting to developments within their field.
Also the PM is more popular than she's been for a long time, although 49.4 out of 100 is still not brilliant. The talk about broken promises is not as prominent anymore, the discussion about a possible EU job has emphasised her international reputation, and the many negative cases about the leader of the opposition have probably combined as reasons for her increased popularity.

At the bottom of the list, there are a number of ministers which are rarely noticed like Kirsten Brosbøl and Carsten Hansen. At rock bottom is the new Social Liberal Minister of Higher Education and Research Sofie Carsten Nielsen. She has become quite unpopular among the university boards and students with a plan to cut the number of students within humanities, especially in those educations which are not currently seen as paying off in terms of post-study jobs for the students. Furthermore, she has not handled the plan very well politically, and it seems like a majority without the government will force her to let the reform happen slightly slower and let the universities themselves decide which educations to cut back on instead of letting the Ministry decide upon that.
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politicus
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« Reply #394 on: December 05, 2014, 11:48:47 pm »
« Edited: December 05, 2014, 11:50:45 pm by politicus »


Given that your Greens are essentially social liberals glossed over with a bit of environmentalism it really is remarkable how weak the Finnish left is compared to the rest of Scandinavia - 25% combined looks like something from Switzerland or thereabouts Wink.
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politicus
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« Reply #395 on: December 06, 2014, 02:20:23 pm »
« Edited: December 06, 2014, 04:31:10 pm by politicus »

Former Deputy Chairman in IP Ólöf Nordal is new Minister of the Interior after HBK despite her not being an MP and currently living in Switzerland, where her husband is CEO of Alcoa. Party chairman Bjarni Benediktsson chose to sideline favourite Ragnheiður Ríkharðsdóttir, who is the most prominent europhile in IP.  He also stated that he chose Nordal because he has "total confidence" in her, which was interpreted by the pundits as a snub to the long list of IP politicians, that where eyeing the post, but didn't get it. Nordal is reasonably popular internally and a trained lawyer, which is the tradition for MoI in Iceland, so probably a good choice - but an unfortunate motivation.
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politicus
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« Reply #396 on: December 07, 2014, 01:24:58 pm »
« Edited: December 07, 2014, 05:15:28 pm by politicus »

Defence Attorney Thorkild Høyer has filed charges against four MPs for trying to pervert the cause of justice when they publicly denounced that terror convicted Sam Mansour wasn't expelled from Denmark (by a jury split 7-5). It is illegal in Denmark for politicians to try to influence an ongoing court case and since the case could still be appealed at the time the MPs commented Høyer claims that Pia Kjærsgaard, Martin Henriksen and Peter Skaarup from DPP and Inger Støjberg from the Liberals broke the law. The pols are, not surprisingly, up in arms about this and Kjærgård has called it "ridiculous and absurd" and labelled Høyer as "media horny", but I think it would be nice if this could help stop the incessant commenting on ongoing court cases from (especially) DPP.

EDIT: Høyer now adds immigration spokesman Karsten Lauritzen from the Liberals and legal policy spokeswoman Trine Bramsen from SD to the list.. 
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politicus
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« Reply #397 on: December 10, 2014, 01:11:09 pm »
« Edited: December 10, 2014, 01:29:30 pm by politicus »

The Danish government has agreed with SPP, the Liberals and the Conservatives about a referendum on the Danish exception to EU's judicial policy no later than March 2016. They want it replaced by an opt-in model, where Denmark can join common EU policy on the areas it chooses (which means no automatic participation on asylum policy). Polls show a majority for this model, but DPP wont be happy about this and it might strain the relationship between DPP and the Liberals. No info on whether the other EU countries have accepted this weird model, but I suppose the government has secured acceptance from the major players, otherwise it would be too incompetent, even for HTS & Co.
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« Reply #398 on: December 11, 2014, 06:08:45 am »

The Danish government has agreed with SPP, the Liberals and the Conservatives about a referendum on the Danish exception to EU's judicial policy no later than March 2016. They want it replaced by an opt-in model, where Denmark can join common EU policy on the areas it chooses (which means no automatic participation on asylum policy). Polls show a majority for this model, but DPP wont be happy about this and it might strain the relationship between DPP and the Liberals. No info on whether the other EU countries have accepted this weird model, but I suppose the government has secured acceptance from the major players, otherwise it would be too incompetent, even for HTS & Co.

This was a part of the Lisbon Treaty, which states that Denmark has the option to turn its automatic opt-out model into an opt-in model similar to the British and Irish one. The pro-EU parties then made this agreement which gives each of them a veto on proposals from the other parties to opt-in to anything concerning asylum and immigration. This means that the likelyhood of Denmark opting in to any EU rules on asylum is quite small, and is also an attempt to stop the obvious DPP attack line of "now our strict asylum policies will be weakened significantly". Not that it will probably stop them from using it, but it can perhaps make it less effective.
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politicus
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« Reply #399 on: December 11, 2014, 06:17:06 am »
« Edited: December 11, 2014, 06:23:03 am by politicus »

The Danish government has agreed with SPP, the Liberals and the Conservatives about a referendum on the Danish exception to EU's judicial policy no later than March 2016. They want it replaced by an opt-in model, where Denmark can join common EU policy on the areas it chooses (which means no automatic participation on asylum policy). Polls show a majority for this model, but DPP wont be happy about this and it might strain the relationship between DPP and the Liberals. No info on whether the other EU countries have accepted this weird model, but I suppose the government has secured acceptance from the major players, otherwise it would be too incompetent, even for HTS & Co.

This was a part of the Lisbon Treaty, which states that Denmark has the option to turn its automatic opt-out model into an opt-in model similar to the British and Irish one. The pro-EU parties then made this agreement which gives each of them a veto on proposals from the other parties to opt-in to anything concerning asylum and immigration. This means that the likelyhood of Denmark opting in to any EU rules on asylum is quite small, and is also an attempt to stop the obvious DPP attack line of "now our strict asylum policies will be weakened significantly". Not that it will probably stop them from using it, but it can perhaps make it less effective.

Okay, I missed that.

It will be a hard campaign for DPP because they will need to get around the fact that their position is tantamount to de facto being against efficient participation in Europol. They will try to make it seem like we can participate in everything important regarding Europol without changing the status quo - but it will be a hard sell. I think the law and order crowd will vote yes - that will get them the tough immigration policies/full Europol-combo.
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