Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway along with H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway attended the 156th opening of Stortinget (Parliament) in Oslo on October 3, 2011. During the formal opening, His Majesty King Harald gave a lengthy speech regarding the tragedy in Utøya, economic development, unemployment, and much more:
Respected President, People’s representatives.
I salute the Parliament welcomes the responsibility of working full time and wish that it must be for the benefit of his country.
Attacks 22 July was aimed at Utøya and its ministries, but affected the whole of Norway. The Norwegian people responded to defend the democracy. Out of the pain grew a strong popular desire for unity, openness and participation.
In the most critical hours and days our country has experienced since the Second World War, the people took responsibility for our values and showed the way forward. It strengthens democracy. Meanwhile, the tragedy affect people and society for a long time.
We must therefore continue to mobilize the community. As individuals, participants in voluntary organizations and governments at various levels, we must help to heal wounds and restore confidence.
A whole world has shown compassion for those affected. People all over the world have expressed their admiration for the dignity of the Norwegian people faced with terrorist acts.
The Government will carefully go through both the response in advance of the events 22 July and the handling of the aftermath. The report of 22 July the Commission will be a key contribution. In light of this review, the Government will consider the need for increased resources and possible legislative changes in various areas.
Also in the short term there will be a need for measures to strengthen our security and emergency preparedness. In addition resulted in terror attacks 22 Jul. significant additional costs in several areas. The Government will come back with proposals concerning allocation changes as a result of the attacks 22 July, beyond the proposals already submitted.
Government will balance the need for appropriate security and safe emergency response to a common desire for continued closeness between the Norwegian people and key actors in society.
The overall goal is to follow the popular will of a society marked by more openness, more democracy and more participation. It requires that we act with the prudence, humility and respect that the Norwegian people.
The Government invites the Parliament and the Norwegian people that with democracy and free speech should leave in dignity and security prevail over fear and hatred.
Government policy is based on an ambition that:
- Norway should have the lowest unemployment in Europe and increase value creation in the country,
- we shall defend, renew and improve one of the world’s best welfare societies,
- we should take the lead in the global fight against climate change.
Work for all is a major goal for the Government. There is considerable uncertainty about economic developments and there has been a summer of great turmoil in financial markets.The Government therefore follow developments closely. The best we can do is keep your own house in order, and still pursue a fiscal policy that contributes to stable economic development in both the short and long term.
To read King Harald’s speech in full please click here.
To watch a video as well as to view photos please click the links below:
Photo courtesy of: Kongehuest.no