1 Jun 2010

Are there any problems in Norway?

Norway is often referred to as among the world’s wealthiest, and the best place to live, but let’s consider some demerits and problems appearing in this “pink” country. First of all, Norwegian industry and actually whole economy is dependent on oil and gas. What if oil and gas will be gone? The country income from that source is a lot higher than the national budget. The excess money Norwegians keep in Oljefundet to save money for future generations when the oil won’t last anymore. On the other hand, a lot of the jobs and services are currently related to the offshore industry, what about them?

Next point is the perfect Health Care System I have described recently. It is free for everyone, but this commonness makes problems with cutbacks. There is never-ending waiting list for non-emergent operations and some hospitals have to little capacity and are forced to place patients in the corridors. Furthermore, there is a sickness absence among Norwegian employees. Recently the rate of absence due to sickness has been very high in Norway. Almost 10% of the total work force was absent due to sickness last year.

Maybe this absence is not caused by convenient Health Care benefits, but by mentally illness. It is said that 25% of the adult population in Norway falls mentally ill every year. Norway seems to be offering libing proof that money can’t buy happiness. Maybe this horrible sickness such as depression happens due to long, dark winters or just living without a social network.

Fourth problem raised in Norway recently is integration of immigrants. This occurs not only between Norwegians and immigrants, but also between immigrants themselves. Try to image Palestinians and Israelis living together in the same street or even building. That tensions are the soil for social malaise and protests.

One Norwegian told me that the cruise tourism causes a lot of pollution in fjords and cities. He concluded that there is a lot of black smoke coming out from the chimneys and leaving a haze around the whole area as the mountains block it from getting out. Well, I haven’t seen any haze, but I saw the movie and pictures from the BP catastrophe and that makes a difference. 

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