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Norway unveils new centre-left minority goverment amid suspected terror attack

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By Euronews with AP, AFP

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre he took over office in Oslo on Thursday.


Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre he took over office in Oslo on Thursday.

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Cornelius Poppe/NTB via AP

Norwegian prime minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, has presented the country’s new centre-left minority government.

The leader of the Labour party stood outside the country’s royal palace on Thursday alongside the ten women and nine men in his new cabinet.

The government now features two politicians who survived the 2011 Utøya massacre as teenage labour activists.

Tonje Brenna, 33, has been appointed to the Ministry of Education, while Jan Christian Vestre,35, will take the portfolio of Trade and Industry.

Emilie Enger Mehl became Norway’s youngest-ever justice minister at age 28-years-old, while the foreign minister portfolio went to another woman — Anniken Scharning Huitfeldt.

Meanwhile, the leader of the eurosceptic Center Party, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, becomes the finance minister.

The ceremony was overshadowed by Wednesday’s suspected terror attack, where a 37-year-old Danish man killed five people with a bow and arrows.

Norway’s domestic security agency says the attack appears to have been an act of terrorism.

Gahr Støre said it was “a special day” because of the “outrageous event” in the small town of Kongsberg.

“It is horrible what has been revealed, it is shocking to think about what people have experienced,” he told reporters before the swearing-in ceremony, pledging that the new Cabinet’s will fully examine the Kongsberg incident.

“Although the backdrop is heavy, this is still the day to present a new government,” Gahr Støre added before a cheering crowd in Oslo.

The Labour leader also praised the appointment of two survivors of the 2011 Norway terror attacks.

“Now that these talented young politicians are carrying this past, I feel that we have taken another important step and I am very proud of that,” said Støre.

The 61-year-old took over after conservative prime minister Erna Solberg was ousted in the September election after eight years in office.

The Labour Party — the largest in Norway — won 26.3% of the vote while the Center Party finished third with 20.4%.

The new government has already unveiled its 83-page policy programme for 2021-2025 where climate and the environment are among key areas of focus.

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