Norway Travel Guide
Norway History - Post War History
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From 1945 to 1961, the Labour Party held an absolute majority in the parliament. The government, lead by prime minster Einar Gerhardsen embarked on a program inspired by Keynesian economics, emphasizing state financed industrialization, cooperation between trade unions and employers' organizations. Many measures of state control of the economy imposed during the war were continued, although the rationing of dairy products were lifted in 1949, while price control and rationing of housing and cars continued as long as until 1960.
The war time alliance with Britain and the US was continued in the post war years. Although pursuing the goal of a socialist economy, the Labour Party distanced itself from the communists, and strengthened its foreign policy and defence policy ties with the US. Norway received Marshall aid from 1947, joined the OEEC one year later and NATO in 1949.
Around 1975, both the proportion and absolute number of workers in industry peaked. Since then labour intensive industries and services like factory mass production and shipping have largely been off sourced. In 1969 Philips Petroleum discovered petroleum resources at the Ekofisk field. In 1973 the government founded the State oil company, Statoil. Oil production didn't become a net income before the early 1980s due to the heavy investments in the petroleum industry required.
Norway was one of the founding members of European Free Trade Area (EFTA). Two referendums to join the European Union failed by narrow margins in 1972 and 1994. In 1981 a conservative government lead by Kåre Willoch replaced Labour with a policy of stimulating the stagflated economy by tax cuts, economic liberalization, deregulation of markets and measures to curbing of the record high inflation (13,6 % 1981).
Norway's first woman prime minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland of the Labour party, continued many of the reforms of her right wing predecessor, while backing traditional Labour issues like social security, environmentalism and gender equality. By the late 1990s, Norway had paid off foreign debt and started accumulating a sovereign wealth fund. Since the 1990s, one of the dividing issues of politics has been the level of spending of petroleum income.
Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia
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