Thursday, August 2, 2012

Norway: Democracy & Disaster!

Ålesund ©2012 Am Ang Zhang
Disaster: in 1904 fire destroyed most of Ålesund.

It was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style and is arguably the most beautiful city in Norway.

Democracy: Voted against joining EU in 1972 and 1994.

Norway is one of the richest and most contented nations on earth, with a GDP per capita of £40,000 – compared to £23,000 in the UK, and an EU average of £21,150.
Unemployment is at 3.25 per cent, while GDP is growing at 2.75 per cent per year – as it has on average over the last 40 years.

It also regularly tops the UN's survey of quality of life, with a generous welfare system – women receive 46 weeks maternity leave at full salary, compared to Britain's six weeks on 90 per cent – and free education (incl. universities) is provided for all.

The country funds this through its huge reserves of oil, timber and fish which it manages prudently, stashing away large percentages of its oil revenues to fund the future healthcare needs of an ageing population.

Modern disaster:
BBC 21 July 2012
Memorial services will be held across Norway this weekend for the 77 people killed in twin attacks by Anders Breivik a year ago.

A car-bomb in Oslo killed nine people, while Breivik shot 69 people dead at a political youth camp on the island of Utoeya.

But Norway's handling of the massacre and its aftermath has been very different from other countries facing the threat of terrorism…….

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