Updated 23 october 2008 - A Federal Republic Updated 26 november 2008 - Final Chapter? (see below) When Tromsø was denied its bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics, it seemed to open some old wounds between Northern and Southern Norway. One Northerner felt enough was enough and decided to take matters into his own hands. Image from WikiCommons Two weeks ago, Håkon Winther from Tromsø formed a new group on Facebook called "Republikken Hålogaland" (Republic of Hålogaland). The aim: Make Northern Norway a separate state! Hålogaland is a name used for the Northern regions of Norway since medieval times, so the title is quite fitting. Although Norwegians have always considered themselves one nation, there has always been some (friendly) friction between the regions. Stereotypes are well established: The Northerners are rugged barbarians, the Western Norwegians are loudmouthed and rude and the people in the capital are ignorant snobs. It may sound harsh, but offense is rarely intended nor taken. It's just good Norwegian self-irony. However, Winther claims his Facebook campaign is no joke. He considers himself a "sick and tired Northerner" who has seen enough of his region's enormous natural resources being taken and administered by Oslo, with little given back. He thinks the idea of a North Norwegian state is very possible, and he has even worked out a plan for national budget, central bank, foreign collaboration and trade, military power and where the capital would be (Tromsø, of course.) There has also been massive support for this cause. Less than 10 days after the Facebook campaign launched, over 6000 people had joined the group. Not bad for a region of some 460 000 people in total! To further establish that they mean business, eleven group members including Winther himself came together in Tromsø last Tuesday to form the political party Hålogaland Partiet. On the same day appeared an article on Wikipedia about the new party. So far, the matter has received little media coverage - but things may pick up... I really don't see a new Yugoslavia or Norhtern Ireland happening here, but if this separation DID become a reality it could have some serious implications. For one, we would have to rename our website. And mylittlehålogaland.com just doesn't have the same... catch. What do yo think? Update 23/10/2008 - A Federal Republic: In an interview in today's local newspaper Tromsø, the founders of the party Republikken Hålogaland has made it clear that they do not want a complete secession of Northern Norway. Instead, their aganda is a separation of Norway into a federal republic of five independently governed states. This is to give the different regions more freedom to handle their own resources and infrastructure. The official name of the political party after the formation became Hålogalandspartiet (The Hålogaland Party). It should be mentioned that a complete separation from the rest of Norway would require either military action or a major change in the Constitution. The Norwegian Constitution firmly states in article 1 that "The Kingdom of Norway is a free, independent, indivisible and inalienable Realm." So, since they still want to abolish the monarchy I guess they have a challenge either way... Update 26/11/2008 - Final Chapter?: Shortly after the party was formed, founder Håkon Winther retired from the party. The reason for his early retirement was a wave of harassment on discussion forums, where Winther was compared to the Nazi traitors of WWII, as well as being named in context with a number of modern neo-Nazi activists. For the safety and peace of his family, Winther decided to pass the leadership of the Hålogaland Party on to other members. The party, however, has stated that their agenda remains the same and they will continue to promote their campaign in preparation for the next Parliament election in 2009. So this is certainly not the last we will see of Hålogalandspartiet. 

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