Oil and gas in the capitals ///

Norway’s center-right government faces some fundamental issues concerning the country’s oil wealth. It is surprising the public by what it does not do, as well as by what it does do. On some accounts, it acts more like its center-left predecessor than like a conservative regime in economic policy. Like other oil exporters, Norway’s petroleum industry and macro-economy have been hit by low oil prices. Unlike other oil exporters, apart from Abu Dhabi, Brunei, Kuwait and Qatar, Norway has a big sovereign wealth fund. The allegedly conservative Norwegian government has chosen not to improve terms for the petroleum industry, which is the country’s economic backbone. Instead, it will dip into the Fund to sustain economic activity. The effect is not to fight unemployment in the activities and regions most affected, but instead to increase the public sector share of employment and of the economy, as a whole.

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