Environmental activist Kurt Oddekalv blows up a Citroen 2CV outside the French embassy in Oslo.
Photo: Tor Richardsen / Scanpix
Norway's Environment Protection Association today sent a formal application to the police chief in Oslo to carry out an explosion of a BMW outside the German embassy in Oslo.
This as a protest against the German state's undue pressure on the Norwegian authorities and also against the Norwegian authorities' violation of democratic processes and kneeling before a foreign power.
Here is the text of the letter:
Bergen on 17 April 2020
Oslo police District
by Chief of Police Beate Gangås
Application for pyrotechnic detonation of a car/BMW outside the German embassy.
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) sees with great regret that the country is being destroyed by a wealth of unnecessarily large and land-consuming wind power plants. In most cases, it is financial muscle from foreign companies that is behind it. Despite a long series of well-documented errors and shortcomings in each of the cases, they have now been stamped through by both NVE and OED almost on an assembly line. None of the cases have been assessed individually as they should, but have been approved according to a previously unannounced practice. This practice has, in a very undemocratic way, put the entire administrative system out of whack in that the administrative authority has thus concluded the cases in advance BEFORE complaints and input have been received. This is a clear undermining of the democracy that we as a people have held so dear, and which we have a pillar of Norwegian society in the years after the occupation in the war years 1940-45. This undermines all of the democratic processes we depend on as a free and independent society.
Now it is the case that in most wind power cases, large, powerful foreign players are involved on the owner's side. Nobody knows how much pressure the respective country's authorities have exerted on the Norwegian authorities to get the decisions in their favour, but what is clear is that German companies and authorities are particularly arrogant and aggressive. The best known is perhaps the publicly owned German company Stadtwerke München (owned by the city of Munich in the state of Bavaria), which is central to several wind power projects in Norway. Perhaps the most famous is the Frøya case, where they, among other things, threatened Frøya municipality with a compensation claim of 400 million just before their case came up for a vote in the municipal council. Stadtwerke München has a solid ownership stake in 70%, while the municipally owned company TrønderEnergi is responsible for the physical muscles at the construction site during the construction period and operation.
Not only that Stadtwerke München/Trønderenergi threatened Frøya municipality with a compensation claim of 400 million when the case was due to be heard there, the German ambassador also had a meeting with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs when the case was pending there. At the same time that the matter was being considered by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the German Stadtwerke München were so sure that their authorities would be able to pressure the Norwegian authorities in their favor that they even went to the media with the message that they were going to build anyway. It is highly likely that this pressure from the German authorities was decisive for the case falling in Stadtwerke München's favor and the development could start despite strong reasons for them not to receive such a decision. Here, the German state was very decisive in a decision that was to be made in a Norwegian ministry.
- Trønderenergi threatens Frøya with millions of demands
- German wind power summit with a clear message to the campaigners: - We will build regardless
The other involvement from the German embassy is well described in NMF's article about the case. OED had just made a decision in which they overturned NVE's decision on a postponed deadline and extended concession period for Andmyran Vind AS in Andøy municipality in Nordland. The new German owners, the German fund manager Prime Capital AG, on behalf of the group company Prime Scandic S.à rl, thus lost a clear opportunity to realize the wind power plant within the deadline for the subsidy scheme electricity certificates (green certificates).
It is unknown how many other countries' embassies have exerted pressure on the Norwegian authorities in wind power cases where in the vast majority of cases there are financially strong foreign players who are in a majority position on the ownership side, but in this case it was the German ambassador Alfred Grannas who was so arrogant and powerful that, despite his diplomatic language, he sent a fairly undisguised threat (26.03.2020) to the Norwegian authorities at the OED. Quote: «- I do not think that a long trial in times of crisis right now would have benefited any of the parties here. Even less if this again starts a discussion about a possible risk for foreign investments in Norway in the energy sector.». Here lies a clear and undisguised threat from the German authorities about an imminent legal case between the German state and Norway if the decision is not again reversed in favor of the Germans.
This is no less than an unacceptable exercise of power vis-à-vis the Norwegian authorities, where the German authorities put undue pressure on the Norwegian authorities in administrative matters. The German ambassador also intervened directly in the Ministry of Local Government's treatment of the Frøya case, something he also referred to in his letter to the OED; «- But today I have to get in touch about a problem, which unfortunately is not the first time we have it on the agenda: investment security for foreign (here German) investors in the energy sector in Norway.»
Not only is the Norwegian administrative system being undermined by our own authorities (NVE/OED) through, among other things, an undemocratic "practice" not previously announced, but a foreign state, in these cases the German state, which exercises its position of power over Norway in Norwegian administrative matters. This is completely unacceptable and a threat to Norwegian society and democracy itself. At the same time, OED also undermines democracy further by speeding up a notification to the Storting on new licensing rules for wind power WITHOUT giving the public the opportunity to be heard through a prior round of public consultation.
Against the background that our own Norwegian authorities no longer work according to democratic principles in administrative matters and at the same time also allow themselves to be dictated by unacceptable pressure from the German authorities, we unfortunately find ourselves obliged to use our democratic freedom of expression in a more than ordinary way. The decisions are now being hammered through at NVE/OED, in recent times at an enormous pace, almost on an assembly line, and usual methods of protesting do not reach.
The Norwegian Environmental Protection Association (NMF) is therefore applying to carry out a symbolic pyrotechnic explosion of a BMW outside the German embassy in Oslo, where all security measures are taken care of in consultation with the chief of police.
The Norwegian Environmental Association carried out a similar demonstration when we "blow up" a 2CV outside the French embassy in Oslo on 21 August 1995 as a protest against French President Jacques Chirac and France's nuclear tests at Mururoa. Here, the action was carried out by an approved pyrotechnician and under the direction of the police directorates and security.
A similar action was also carried out against the Ford group in Bergen when the Norwegian Environmental Protection Association led by Kurt Oddekalv smashed a Ford Scorpio outside the local Ford dealership as a protest against Ford scrapping 440 factory-new Think electric cars as a result of a lack of investment in electric cars. In Norway there were already approx. 80 such factory-new electric cars ready to be scrapped instead of hitting Norwegian roads.
Such actions are, in very special cases, absolutely necessary means of freedom of expression in order to save important functions of Norwegian democracy. As the Norwegian administration now allows itself to be pressured by undue pressure from foreign nations, we unfortunately see no other way to achieve this than with such a demonstration outside the German embassy.
Details in the application:
The explosion of a BMW outside the German embassy in Oslo must be a simulated explosion with pyrotechnic effects similar to the one carried out outside the French embassy on 21 August 1995. The pyrotechnic effects and details in the demonstration must be carried out by an approved pyrotechnician in consultation with, and within the security regulations set by the Chief of Police. At the same time, given the current corona situation, we will also carry out the campaign in accordance with the health authorities' advice and requirements.
We are therefore asking the police chief in Oslo to designate a date for the implementation of this demonstration and to set up a channel to be used as a point of contact for planning and details for the given demonstration.
We consider this to be the last democratic tool within the constitutional and precious freedom of expression to demonstrate against the biggest threat to democracy and Norwegian administration. When no other means of action seem to be forthcoming, we feel sorry for not having other means of action left. Norwegian nature, natural diversity, the Norwegian landscape, and the public health of several individuals and local communities are now largely threatened by foreign companies that use their respective states to exert pressure on the Norwegian authorities. The German state in particular, which through undue pressure on the Norwegian authorities forces Norwegian administrative decisions in their favour. This is a clear and completely unacceptable threat to Norwegian democracy itself. As an organization whose purpose is to look after environmental issues, we have a clear responsibility to stand up for Norwegian independence and look after the principles laid down in the Constitution. §112 of the Constitution says in the first paragraph, clearly and distinctly; «Everyone has the right to an environment that ensures health, and to nature where productivity and diversity are preserved. Nature's resources must be managed based on a long-term and comprehensive consideration that safeguards this right also for posterity.».