By John Mowat
All the Nordic Countries have good standards of health, housing and other public services.
Wages, taxes and the cost of living is considerably higher than here. Poverty levels are much lower than in Scotland or the rest of UK. Norway is regarded as one of the best governed and most democratic, in Europe.
Housing standards and the quality of insulation, in houses, is much better than here too.
Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland & the Faroe Islands had Covid restrictions broadly similar to ours while, in Sweden where no lockdowns were imposed. People were however advised what they could and could not do & most people followed advice.
Scotland, at 5.45 million, has a population broadly similar to Norway, Finland & Denmark while Sweden has over 10 million people.
The numbers of Covid 19 Fatalities (2nd May 2022):
- Norway 2,932
- Denmark 6,183
- Finland 3,939
- Sweden 18,739
- Iceland 119
In Scotland, this figure is 12,058.
Travel to Norway and other Nordic Countries is again possible, with most restrictions now removed. Loganair will again have twice weekly return flights between Shetland & Bergen, in Norway over the summer of 2022. There are 143 weekly flights from Bergen to internal & external destinations, in Norway, including London Heathrow and Aberdeen.
The longest direct flight from Bergen is to Newark, NJ, near New York in USA.
Kirkenes in the far north, close to the Russian border, is the longest internal flight, in Norway, at 960 miles.
Norway is not an EU Member, but pays an annual fee, allowing for full, red tape free access to the Mainstream EU Single Market of 27 EU and 4 more EEA Countries.
Norway does not subscribe to the European Customs Union.
It is, however much easier for Norway to trade with Europe than is the case with the UK & Europe. This privilege, which lasted almost 50 years has been severely impacted by the UK’s Westminster Government’s Hard Brexit, from 1st January 2021. Long daily queues & delays at the Channel ports, plus a considerable drop in importing from & exporting to Europe have since resulted.