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Bondevik admits there are problems

The Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik and his government are having a hard time keeping their promises.

The Bondevik government have to pay a massive NOK 24 billion (USD 3.4 billion) in order to keep their promises. The Prime Minister admits that there are problems.

The Conservative-dominated government had to give up the plans of tax relieves of a couple of hundred millions when Bondevik and his partners entered into a compromise with the Labor party this weekend. The result is that that the government must give NOK 12 million (USD 1.7 million) in tax relieves in the budget for 2005 in order to keep the promises which were given in the Sem statement.


In addition, there is a mountain of bills waiting. According to a calculation made by the Norwegian paper VG, Bondevik must find NOK 25 billion extra next year if he is going to keep all his promises. The biggest expense posts are public transport and infrastructure, more money to the military, foreign aid, and education.

The Prime Minister admits that there are problems.

“We are aware that is going to be challenging to reach that many goals,” Bondevik said and stressed that tax relieves is not placed in a special position in relation to other goals.

Impossible to keep the promises

In other words, it looks gloomy for the promised tax relieves. The leaders of the Progress party (Frp) and the Labor party (Ap) have stated that they think it is impossible.

“The Sem statement is dead,” said Carl I. Hagen, head of the Progress party, to VG.

“Even the Conservatives (Høyre) can see that it is impossible to fulfil the tax relives,” continued Jens Stoltenberg, head of the Labor party.

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