There is a queue outside Oslo City Hall before the city council meeting, on this beautiful Wednesday May 24th. Granted, everyone at the city council hall firmly believes that the meeting is interesting, exciting, and relevant for the entire city, but wait, that’s usually not the case.
The reason is NATO. Possible.
However, the city council suddenly introduced a strict security regime last week. Incidentally, right before NATO will hold a giant summit to be precise in City Hall.
Security during the NATO meeting is so tight that the entire town hall has been sent home from work for three days next week. All employees!
Security checks have been introduced. To enter the city hall, you must go through a full airport inspection. Buckle up and head out with your laptop, whether you’re a casual passerby, a journalist or, for example, a newlywed couple.
In the room is preparation for the NATO meeting to go well. Where there used to be apples and bananas, suddenly there’s a lockable cell phone cupboard. In the meeting room there is a large information board for NATO people. The break room at City Hall that people usually walk through was suddenly filled with computers and screens and people looking serious. The restaurant is closed in the interest of NATO.
And in the Oslo Fjord lies the largest warship in the world, with wall-to-wall super-provincial coverage of presumably horny guests and overly enthusiastic locals in all media.
Yes, it’s a strange day in Oslo, it is. And a very strange day inside the town hall.
First point i the city council meeting also did nothing to quell the feeling of an abnormal meeting. The People’s Party has filed a vote of no confidence against City Council leader Raymond Johansen.
Now going it alone from the People’s Party is not something the other parties tend to care about. However, a motion of no confidence must be taken seriously. At least a little. As is customary, proposals should be handled at the start of the meeting, before the time of questions and so on.
The group leader in the People’s Party, Cecilie Lyngby, spoke up.
– City councilor Raymond Johansen has proved every day for eight years that he has no control over city funds, he says.
He continued with a long and thorough review of all the excesses under Johansen City Council. It is well formulated and factual. But is there reason for mistrust anywhere? At least no one else thought so.
One by one, they came forward and talked about exactly what a motion of no confidence was, and why it might have been filed.
– Not that hard to agree with individual points in criticism. It is quite possible to agree that the municipality of Oslo is financially poorly managed. But there is no majority in this room for a no-confidence vote in general, for a different policy, said Conservative Eirik Lae Solberg and left the ball dead at the first opportunity.
After all, Lae Solberg intends to become city council leader after the election. To allow loose use of disbelief would probably be folly, he might think on the fly.
– There is no factual basis for this criticism, said Andreas Halse of the Labor Party, not surprising.
– This looks more like an election campaign game and not a sensible use of city council time, says Eivind Trædal at MDG, before whom he in familiar fashion used much of city council time against the game.
– With respect to reports, I think it is difficult to take this proposal seriously, says Sarah Safavifard of SV, thereby at least demonstrating the usual use of the term “in connection with reports”.
Neither would Rødt, Venstre, the Center Party, KrF, or even the Progress Party share in the general distrust of the People’s Party. Turning the mother ship is not that simple
– To promote disbelief against politicians sits very deep inside. There is no joy or desire behind such acts, says FPS Cecilie Lyngby.
But no one believed him.
The People’s Party has done its part to create constant chaos and shock in the city council hall. They started with four representatives after the last municipal election, but even before their first city council meeting they were reduced to three, when Danny Chaudry left and started his own group. Then the three became just two, when Bjørn Revil changed his hat and jumped into the Progress Party.
But today the party group suddenly had three people left, as a result of the following impressive maneuver: Lars Petter Solås of the Progress Party was absent, after he was kicked out of the party. At the top of the Progress Party waiting list is Tone Ims Larssen, who was previously regional leader in the Oslo Frp, but was also kicked out half a year ago.
So, Ims Larssen has jumped in the opposite direction from Revil, and today FP is three left, ie Oslo newspapers have written. No one dares to guess how much the next time will be.
Not that strange vibes in today’s city council meeting. Perhaps the strangest case on the map is the proposal to enter into dialogue with the organizers of the Hardstyle DNA Grünerløkka festival, and find a more suitable place to hold this festival.
What was special was that the festival had long ended. It is held on the last weekend in April.
Therefore, the city council, in all its wisdom, decided to cancel the consideration of this proposal and instead send it to the city council. “Please try canceling festivals that were less than a month ago”, something like that.
Yes, these are strange times.
The NATO meeting quickly ended. But security at Oslo City Hall appears to have been permanently tightened. Then we’ll see if the mood in the hallway improves with time.
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