While Europe is struggling to get out of the economic crisis, it seems that Norway almost wonders what to do with all its money.
That Scandinavian state remained out of European Union and its troubled Euro Zone, for one and pretty much only one reason: oil. This is why the country is so prosperous. The wages are really high, the unemployment rate is very low, Norway is one of the wealthiest democracy in the world. Recently Norwegian voted against their 8 years old government, they wanted a change. The voters being tired is understandable. Some Norwegian people are probably afraid that the liberal government was not prepared for the after-oil era. Putting all your hopes on economy thanks to oil is probably not the best thing to do.
So, to opt for a change, even when everything is perfect, why not? The Norwegian chose the conservative party and the populists FrP (Progress Party) will access to the parliament. This party praises a very strict anti-immigration policy, and one of its former member is called Anders Behring Breivik… Of course the FrP had kept its distance since Breivik’s attack two years ago. Usually populists parties are more likely to grow on economic and social misery.
So why is this? One reason could be neoliberalism, and one of the claims of neoliberalism is that hardworking individuals are entitled to their wealth. In a society that praises this form of individualism, voters chose a party that gives them the illusion that the wealth of a country could not be shared. That they will never be rich enough to welcome new immigrants and give them jobs. This reaction is quite surprising. Like a spoiled kid who could not bare to share his toys, when he has already a huge amount behind him. The Norwegian can afford to keep apart from the rest of Europe. Let’s hope for them that their oil miracle will be enough, for a very long time.