Home » In the popular sense, Stein Lier-Hansen was fired – Dagsavisen

In the popular sense, Stein Lier-Hansen was fired – Dagsavisen

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In the popular sense, Stein Lier-Hansen was fired – Dagsavisen

Our language is soon emptied of words and expressions that cover the morals and judgment of Norwegian leaders.

That’s why “but the hell is it possible” was the only thing that popped into my head on Thursday when E24 brought the news that Norsk Industri’s long-time leader Stein Lier-Hansen had spent NOK 2.4 million on renting hunting grounds on Hardangervidda and flying his contacts in by seaplane. Updated figures on Friday evening suggest that he should have spent around 1.2 million a year hunting. In total, the director must have spent two million annually on representation.

The beginning of December was the last time Lier-Hansen appeared in the newspapers’ headlines. He resigned very surprisingly and with almost immediate effect in NHO’s spearhead Norsk Industri. The counterpart to the Swedish Confederation of Trade Unions and LO, the employers’ man in front trade negotiations. A legend in Norwegian working life. The Labor Party politician who went over “to the dark side”, and conducted tough negotiations for the employers. Against working people.

No one on the board knew about the hunting grounds they were paying for.

No, it was time, was the story he told. Time for new cloths in the company he had led for almost 20 years. The 68-year-old himself was to start in Bellona. He said that he had always been passionate about the green shift. What a cause to go on! He should therefore throw himself completely selflessly into the fight for the future! It was almost touching. The portrait in Klassekampen on 30 December was entitled “Back to nature”.

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But Lier-Hansen has always been in nature. Even when he was supposed to be in the office. For eight years, Norsk Industri paid for access to a cabin in the fjords. Until 2015, he had paid for the use privately. But of course it is cheaper to let the employer foot the bill. 17,000 acres of hunting ground, where Lier-Hansen, according to E24, brought friends, family and probably business connections. No one on his board knew about the hunting ground that they – the members of Lier-Hansen’s organization – paid for.

Before last fall. The cabin practice was immediately put to rest by the board. On 1 January, Lier-Hansen was out. It is said that he chose to leave, but in practice he was dismissed and, in the popular sense, he was fired. Lier-Hansen believes the spending was “completely within”. Now he is completely out.

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Chairman Ståle Kyllingstad says that Lier-Hansen’s secret relationship-building “is far from what Norsk Industri wants to be associated with”. NHO chief Ole Erik Almlid has called it an “unacceptable use of the members’ money”. Fellesforbundet’s leader Jørn Eggum, Lier-Hansen’s long-standing opponent, but also friend, has said “we don’t spend money that way” and “this is totally incomprehensible”.

There is much that is startling in this story. The self-image, the rationalization of benefits for oneself, how high above ordinary people’s everyday life one can rise without realizing that the height of the fall has become too great. Without the ability, before it hits, to think the simple thought: What will it look like?

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But perhaps the worst is the secrecy. Because Norsk Industri, NHO’s largest member organization with 3,000 members, nevertheless planned to let one of Norway’s most powerful people get away. And get to sneak out honorably, under the guise of having to do a job for the green shift. Without the public ever knowing.

Read more comments by Lars West Johnsen

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