Hungary. Swimming facilities. Fishing. Current. Tanks. This is today’s card post!
This is a debate post. Opinions in the text are at the writer’s expense.
Glossy pictures and propaganda about Viktor Orbán
Zoltán Kovács, the Hungarian government’s spokesman, accuses Frank Rossavik of distorting the truth in his comment in Aftenposten on 19 January. At the same time, his own defense of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is so selective that it is reminiscent of propaganda.
Kovács begins by rejecting that Orbán needs to sweeten the porridge to win the election. But when the state increases wages and pensions for a number of groups at the same time as they advertises large tax cuts just before the election, it seems to appear as generous as an equally likely goal as economic sustainability.
Kovács also writes about effective measures against inflation.
For now, this remains speculation all the time inflation in Hungary is among the highest in Europe.
Kovács also expresses his concern about opposition divisions. However, “arguing” for compromises is fundamental to a democratic multi-party system. Authoritarian leaders like to brag about their effectiveness, but it is easy to show brilliance when avoiding public debate.
It is precisely debate that Orbán has been challenged by the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate. But the government rejects that it becomes relevant with such an exchange of opinions. This is of course very disrespectful to one’s own electorate, but has its natural explanation. Orbán rarely meets anyone but his own press-advertisement. He will hardly risk being asked critical questions on TV just before the election.
Finally, I observe that Kovács does not respond to Rossavik’s points about corruption in Hungary. Maybe that’s just fine.
Albert Didriksen, Hungarians and political scientists
Vestkantbadet must be for the whole of Oslo
Mala Wang-Naveen despairs over closed Oslo baths in Aftenposten on 24 January. I can not answer for the municipality, but for Vestkantbadet. Yes, we are closed.
The whole house is being rebuilt, but will be open to everyone until the autumn.
We have taken over part of Oslo history. A gift we will continue to share with the city. Vestkantbadet opened in 1932. Oslo Lysverker used the surplus heat from the head office for a bathroom for those who did not have a shower or bath at home. Now it is protected, but characterized by 90 years of use.
The restoration is painstaking work, in close collaboration with the city antiquary. Everything is set back to original with the mosaic of Per Krohg in the center. In addition, there is a treatment room and gym.
Yes, Stordalen is one of the owners, but the offer should be for everyone. And the entrance fee then.
Many are impatient. We look forward to welcoming you all again towards the end of 2022. In the meantime, we support everyone who cheers at the Oslo Baths.
Jarle Moen, hotel director at Sommerro
A small country, but a large port nation
Norway manages sea areas that are six to seven times larger than our own land area. It will provide important income, jobs and opportunities in the years to come – if we play the cards right.
The government has set a goal of increasing Norwegian exports excluding oil and gas by at least 50 percent by 2030. To achieve this goal, we are dependent on succeeding in developing both existing and new industries in the sea.
The fishing industry is our oldest industry and of great importance to the Norwegian economy. For me, it is absolutely fundamental that we take care of the traditional fisheries. The government has announced that we will upgrade ports and fairways so that we can get more goods from road to sea and ensure further development of fisheries-dependent coastal communities.
The government will also facilitate sustainable growth in the aquaculture industry. In connection with this, we will also develop a separate program for the production of sustainable feed based on Norwegian resources. This could also have the potential to become a new industrial adventure on the coast.
Both green shipping and the digitalisation of the maritime sector are areas where Norwegian players are leading the way in development. The government will present a green restructuring package for shipping that will cut emissions and further develop the complete maritime value chain Norway is alone in having.
We need both more climate-friendly healthy food and more renewable energy for a growing world. At the same time, new industries must find their place, without displacing existing ones. To ensure good coexistence between the various maritime industries, the government has announced that we will prepare our own business plans for the North Sea, the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
The government wants to manage and utilize the resources from the sea in a way that creates more secure year-round jobs and contributes to greater value creation.
Bjørnar Skjæran, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Affairs (Labor)
Statnett about the power cables
On 18 January, I asked Statnett three questions about the new foreign cables to the United Kingdom and Germany that were opened last year. Statnett responds on 26 January.
My first question was about electricity prices. Statnett still believes that the new foreign cables will only mean 3-4 øre / KWH in increased price in the long term. But they give no explanation for the very large price increase that has occurred after the new cables came. This is also difficult to understand because the net exports of electricity from Norway were not higher in 2021 than in previous years. I suspect that a weakly functioning electricity market and market cooperation may be part of the explanation.
My second question was whether high electricity prices mean a socio-economic gain for Norway. I note that Statnett clearly answers yes to this despite the obvious loss for Norwegian electricity customers (companies and households).
My third question was whether Statnett can tell how big the climate effect of the two new foreign cables may have been in 2021. The climate effect was a main argument Statnett used to build the cables.
They do not answer this, and the reason is that there has been no climate effect.
Anders Skonhoft, Professor of Economics, NTNU
The world’s latest tanks
Aftenposten is on track, but does not hit the point in the report on new tanks on 28 January.
It is not only General and former Chief of Defense Sverre Diesen and Lieutenant General and former Army Chief Robert Mood who consider tanks obsolete, but all countries we should compare ourselves with.
Our most important US land military partner, the Marine Corps, fulfills the function of a military signal that Major General and Army Chief Lars Lervik refers to, but has abolished tanks.
The British cut their number of Challenger II from 227 to 148 moderately modernized and will go further down. The Danes are building the army of the future on the purchase of 309 Piranha V 8-wheel tanks, which weigh half of a Leopard 2A7 and can be equipped with the modern sensors and weapons the future demands.
Minister of Defense Odd Roger Enoksen (Sp) should see the irony in Germany offering us the latest version of Leopard 2A7 at the same time as they themselves are betting on a German-French cooperation where Leopard 2A7 and French Leclerc will be replaced with a system of manned and unmanned vehicles, drones , helicopters, modern sensors and precision weapons for short, medium and long distances. In other words, the future.
As development progresses, it is easy to imagine threat scenarios where Norwegian tanks do not fire. Partly because they arrive late and partly because they do not arrive at all. They become dinosaurs.
John Berg, Oslo