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Barents politician resigns

Pia Svensgaard and her Troms County Government is stepping down following a turbulent political situation in the northern Norwegian region.

One of the leading regional politicians in the Barents Cooperation, Pia Svensgaard, announces that she steps down from the post as head of the Troms County Government.

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Svensgaard has headed the regional government, the top executive body in the northern Norwegian Troms County, since 2009. In that period, she has been a strong proponent for enhanced cross-border cooperation in the Barents Region.

The resignation of the Troms County Government comes as the local Labour Party loses support from former partners the Conservative Party and the Christian Democrats. The Troms County is facing major economic hardships and is expected to cut its budgets with as much 400 million kroner (€48 million) over the next four years. The political leaders in the region have over the last year been strongly criticized for their handling of the situation in Troms Kraft, a major regional power generator. The company, which is 40 percent owned by the county, is now suspected by Norwegian police for cases of serious corruption.

“The parliamentarian situation in the county parliament must now be reassessed”, Svensgaard says in press release and at the same time announces that she and the County Council resign.

In the period 2009-2011, the Troms County chaired the Barents Regional Council and Svensgaard successfully worked for the strengthening of cross-border political cooperation in the region.

The political system in Troms is based on a the principles of parliamentarianism, according to which the executing County Government is appointed by a majority in the County Parliament.