Foreign Media Coverage About Norway’s Election Results Harms Norway’s Image

Dagbladet published an analysis made by the Foreign Ministry of Norway based on submitted country reports for Monday’s election. The report’s conclusion shows there is not a very good image on abroad for the upcoming government. 

-In much of the international media coverage of the election, it was mentioned that Anders Behring Breivik (ABB) has been a member of FRP. It is in any case indirectly created the impression that a party in government negotiations have similar views with Breivik, writes Foreign Ministry. 

Read Also: One Big Misunderstanding about Norway’s Election Results

The report says the press in 12 of the 19 focus countries, FRP was connected to Anders Behring Breivik. These countries include Japan, USA, Canada, Russia, Brazil, Italy, UK, Holland, Denmark, Germany, India, and France. 

Especially in Germany, Italy, France and to some extent the UK, both serious and tabloid media chose such approach in the discussion of the Norwegian election. Italy’s largest newspaper, Corriere della Sera used the headline “The xenophobic have allied themselves with the conservatives. Shock Options in Oslo: Breivik’s party heading for government. 

The link between FRP and Breivik is also focused in two of Germany’s major serious newspapers, Süddeutsche Zeitung center liberal and liberal conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). 

In France, Le Monde and Liberation pointed out the paradox of FrP’s entering into government first time in the general election two years after 22 July attack. Also in Russia and Spain, it was stated that 22 July terrorist has been a member of the Progress Party. 

New York papers also described FRP as an anti-immigration party. Canadian, Ialian, French and Brazilian media had also a similar coverage. 

However, the media coverage in neighboring countries, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland, have been much more nuanced, because knowledge of the Norwegian political system is greater. Outside Scandinavia, the media has chosen to use the 22 July and Breivik connection, writes Foreign Minstry. 

FrP Asks for Help from Foreign Ministry

Siv Jensen had in recent days reacted strongly to foreign media linking Progress and Anders Behring Breivik, and the foreign right-wing populist parties such as Sweden Democrats and the Danish People’s Party. Socialist Left Party (SV) politician and current development minister Minister Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås had also written on twitter that it is natural that the Progressive Party is perceived as a right-wing populist party and linked to Breivik and oher populist parties. 

In response to both domestic and international perception, Progress Party had asked the Ministry for assistance in dealing with the negative media coverage, and Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide has said that the Foreign Ministry will assist the party to come in contact with foreign media. 

Foreign Ministry today held a meeting with the Progress Party and State Secretary Torgeir Larsen has stated that the MFA contributes to clarify that all Norwegian parties, including FRP, condemn terrorism 22 July 2011. 

– The view of Norway that come up in such a context is not positive. There are descriptions of Norway as a xenophobic country, and it’s not positive, says Larsen. 

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