The post parliamentary press conference with Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Justice Minister Grete Faremo about the 22 July Commission’s report was the same mixture of rhetoric and promises.
“It has been an important day in Parliament - a day in which both the Minister of Justice and I have given our account of what happened on 22 July and it has been a good and important debate,” the PM declared at the conference’s opening.
Saying he will now get the job done by getting the facts on the table “to correct deficiencies”, he continued, “The report provides a basis for answers, but first and foremost provide the basis for taking action.”
“We come here so that Parliament may deal with it, which is why we’re giving an account,” NRK reported him as saying.
During his explanation to MPs earlier, Stoltenberg had admitted that he had not been unaware of how substandard Norway's emergency preparedness and understanding of risk were until he had read the Commission’s report.
His answers to questions posed, and the 19 measures he put forward to improve the safety of the country had not reassured the Opposition either.
Conservative Party (H) leader Erna Solberg called the report’s conclusions “discouraging” in light of the fact that “the attack on the government building in particular could have been avoided, and that authorities failed to protect youngsters at Utøya”.
She added that parliament should pose the difficult questions regarding the attacks.
When asked about a report in 2007 indicating the possiblity of terrorist attacks on Norway, Stoltenberg said that this warned against attacks from extremist Islamists and not from solo right-wing terrorists, which showed how challenging working with security is.
One of those most critical of Stoltenberg was Christian Democratic Party (KrF) leader Knut Arild Hareide.
“The painful truth is that security failure is the largest in Norway since the Second World War”
Jens Stoltenberg had declined to answer this allegation in parliament, however.
He wrapped the press conference up by declaring, “I look forward to answering any questions Parliament will have in the future too.”
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