Thursday, May 19

Carl I. Hagen: – Solberg gave Vedum the green light to Stoltenberg as central bank governor

Hagen sent one on Friday written question to Trygve Sagsvold Vedum (Sp) about the contact the Minister of Finance has had with individual representatives in the Storting in connection with the announcement of the position as central bank governor.

He points out in the inquiry to the new information TV 2 provided on Thursday about the hitherto hidden contact between Solberg and the Minister of Finance.

Solberg has on at least three occasions had confidential contact directly with Vedum about former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s candidacy for the job.

The sensational dialogue between the two party leaders began on December 13 last year, when Vedum called the Conservative leader to tell him that Stoltenberg was on the candidate list, which was to be published the next day.

The FRP veteran thinks this is messy.

– I do not think he should inform anyone except his own boss, the Prime Minister, and make sure that the process is independent of the names of applicants, Hagen says to TV 2.

– Gave the green light

As TV 2 has revealed, Solberg recorded the dialogue with Vedum on Friday 7 January. Then Solberg called Vedum to announce that her own deputy Tina Bru would go out Today’s business with a warning against hiring Stoltenberg.

Solberg confirmed to TV 2 that control was a topic between the two.

“I emphasized in the conversation that it is the government’s privilege to hire a central bank governor, and that I therefore did not consider it probable with a control case after a possible appointment of Stoltenberg.” wrote Solberg.

Thus, she made herself an actor, Hagen believes.

– Obviously, she is in contact with Minister of Finance Vedum, who is responsible for the appointment of a new central bank governor, about one of the candidates, Hagen says.

He reacts strongly to the fact that Solberg informed Vedum that at this time she did not consider it probable that an appointment of Stoltenberg would trigger a control case.

– Of course, it is in reality to give the green light. Although she has not spoken to her own members of the control committee, she has decided that the Conservatives will not make any control case, make no noise. It is a green light for Stoltenberg, it must be perceived as such, says Hagen.

He believes that the question of control does not belong in the dialogue between Solberg and Vedum.

– I think it is very strange that a leader of an opposition party, and a minister who risks a control case, that there is an issue between them, I do not understand, he says.

Takes the initiative for a control case

After the conversation on January 7, a number of revelations followed about, among other things, dinners between Stoltenberg, oil fund manager Nicolai Tangen and Labor leader Jonas Gahr Støre.

Then Solberg changed his opinion about a possible control case. It appears from a text message the Conservative leader sent Vedum on Tuesday 11 January.

“Hi! Just to be neat. There have been a lot of dinner conversations and disorder in the media since Friday. This may mean rounds in the control committee after a possible appointment. We do not plan for it, but can not rule it out “wrote Solberg.

– She must have received opposition to the fact that she gave the green light, and then she realizes that she has to change her opinion due to the situation in the public space, with a public debate, and then warns that there may be a control case anyway, Hagen says .

The FRP veteran says he will take this up in the FRP’s parliamentary group, and advise the party to present a case to the Storting’s control and constitution committee, regardless of who gets the job in the end.

– Now we must step in to ensure good processes in employment in top positions, especially in the state. We must have recruitment procedures that are objective and professional, and do not go on friendship and acquaintance and camaraderie, says Hagen.

Lysbakken refuses to answer

In the written question to Vedum, Hagen requests full access to all contact between political leadership in the ministry and individual representatives or advisers in the political parties in the Storting.

He also asks Vedum to inform about any oral and informal contact with parliamentary representatives and advisers.

It is customary for ministers to first answer written questions to the Storting before commenting on the media.

TV 2 has asked SV’s party leader Audun Lysbakken if Vedum informed him in advance that Stoltenberg was an applicant. But SV, which is the government’s partner in the Storting, refuses to say anything about the possible contact about the job of central bank governor.

“SV has openly and clearly communicated our view of Stoltenberg’s candidacy to become central bank governor through the media, and has no comment on the matter beyond that,” it is stated in the answer.

Solberg and Vedum have refused to be interviewed by TV 2 about the contact the two have had.

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