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Catch up with the neighbours: The Local launches in Norway

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Catch up with the neighbours: The Local launches in Norway
18:04 CEST+02:00
The Local is taking another step out into the world, with the launch of thelocal.no, Norway's news in English. There's no better place to find out what's going on in Sweden's back yard, says editor Paul O'Mahony.

A lot has happened in the seven years since The Local made its first tentative steps onto the Swedish media scene. We've been there at two elections, a royal wedding and witnessed countless drunken elks make international fools of themselves.

As most of our readers are aware, our site in Germany has become hugely popular with readers there - and we're now up and running in Switzerland and France too. But until today, Sweden's closest neighbours have been sorely neglected. With the launch of thelocal.no we are righting that wrong and taking our first step out into the rest of Scandinavia.

So what can our readers on the other side of the Skagerrak expect from us? Well, Norway is certainly a fascinating place. If you ask a Swede, they'll mention its oil wealth, its internationalism (but arms-length approach to Europe) and its hearty, sporty natives.

But there's much, much more to it than that.

Currently on the site, we've got an article about how a third of all Norwegians are on some form of state benefits.

On a lighter note, we've also been reporting about how a couple of bungling burglars were easily caught by police as they went around in circles while attempting to make their getaway in a row boat with a single oar.

Fresh off the rack today, we have news of the potential reopening of the ferry route from Bergen to Newcastle, a move that would offer an attractive alternative route to and from Norway's scenic second city. This is something to bear in mind for Sweden-dwellers too, since there is currently no other way to get from Norway to mainland Britain by ferry.

Moving quickly from boats to planes: Ryanair, the airline that's seldom out of the news, is under fire for allegedly paying its staff in Norway less than the minimum amount paid out to the country's pensioners. And that hurts, because living in Norway doesn't come cheap.

There'll be plenty more to entertain, amuse and inform in the days, months, and years to come. So please don't play up to Norwegian stereotypes of people living in Sweden being scandalously ill-informed about the goings-on in their oil-rich back yard. Don't be that person. Don't be the past. Be the future. Read Norway's News in English.

And don't forget to let us know what you think!

Paul O'Mahony

Editor, thelocal.no

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