Minister’s private jet application creates a political stir / News / The Foreigner

Minister’s private jet application creates a political stir. Solheim takes his hats off to avoid the flack. The Socialist Left’s (SV) Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, has been criticised by his own party for wanting to hire a private jet to travel between Tromsø and Madrid next week. As Minister of both the Environment, and International development, Solheim has two hats.

erik, solheim, environment, international, development, minister, madrid, tromsoe, segovia, norway, private, jet, norwegian, government



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Minister’s private jet application creates a political stir

Published on Tuesday, 9th February, 2010 at 17:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Solheim takes his hats off to avoid the flack.

Erik Solheim
Erik Solheim
Photo: Tore Berntsen/Norwegian government


Flying high

The Socialist Left’s (SV) Minister of the Environment and International Development, Erik Solheim, has been criticised by his own party for wanting to hire a private jet to travel between Tromsø and Madrid next week.

As Minister of both the Environment, and International development, Solheim has two hats.

The private jet would have meant he could have combined hosting a meeting of environment ministers from the Barents Region in Tromsø between 16 and 17 February, attended the International Development Minster’s meeting with the Spanish E.U. Presidency in Segovia until the 18, and then flown home to Oslo again.

Trond Viken, Solheim’s public relations manager, said Solheim wanted to rent the plane because taking commercial airliners between the two cities would have been impractical.

Unpopular

Viken goes on to inform the paper this wouldn’t be the first time the minister has used a private plane.

Solheim’s plans didn’t go down well amongst the ranks of his own Party, however.

“I think the government should use private jets as little as possible. It’s partly symbolic, and also because they pollute a lot,” Snorre Valen MP tells VG.

Whilst MP Hallgeir Langeland, a well-known environmental politician, says he thinks Solheim should have taken a commercial airliner.

Gate change

But though Solheim stressed the importance of attending both meetings in his application to the Prime Minister’s office, he’s now decided to drop the trip with the jet from Air Aisie; sparing the environment, and saving the taxpayer’s pockets for 418,356 kroner.

Heid Sørensen, State Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment will now be attending the Tromsø meeting, whilst State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ingrid Fiskaa, will be flying to Segovia.

Meanwhile, Minister Solheim will be staying in Oslo to attend a meeting with a presentation of a report on how Norway can cut its emissions.

“Cancelling the trip was a wise decision,” Langeland says.

Solheim declined to make any comment about it.



Published on Tuesday, 9th February, 2010 at 17:08 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: erik, solheim, environment, international, development, minister, madrid, tromsoe, segovia, norway, private, jet, norwegian, government.





  
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