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Editorial: A shame

Saga Petroleum's rusty property left in Benin is about to become an environmental disaster. Production on the Seme field, initiated by Norwegian state guarantees and loans, became a fiasco for the poor, West-African country. 97% of the minimal incomes from the production took its way into Norwegian pockets. The nearly 20 year old installations must be removed safely, but who shall pay for it?
Artikkelen er mer enn to år gammel. Ting kan ha endret seg.
Saga Petroleum's rusty property left in Benin is about to become an environmental disaster. Production on the Seme field, initiated by Norwegian state guarantees and loans, became a fiasco for the poor, West-African country. 97% of the minimal incomes from the production took its way into Norwegian pockets. The nearly 20 year old installations must be removed safely, but who shall pay for it?

Saga has been incorporated into Norsk Hydro, which is not willing to take responsibility. Norwegian authorities have refused the World Bank's request to contribute financially to the clean-up. At the same time, prime minister Bondevik travels around Africa with his business followers, initiating new Norwegian business projects. Benin was not one of the countries visited by the prime minister; at the time there is no profit opportunities for Norwegian companies in this country.

Minister of International Development and Human Rights, Frafjord Johnson, is busy working with relieving the foreign debt of the poorest countries in the world. Much of this debt derives from failed business projects, but the countries are not given the money to clean up.

Sometimes we are ashamed of Norway.

Norwatch Newsletter 2/00