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Bush praised, Rio Tinto tossed in Norway

posted by Geordie Geography: Europe

September 11, 2008

Bush praised, Rio Tinto tossed in Norway

It was a busy 24 hours for a Norwegian Socialist Finance Minister.

Kristin Halvorsen, the head of the Socialist Left Party in Norway and Finance Minister in the coalition government banned government investment in mining giant Rio Tinto and said George W. Bush "showed good social-democratic tendencies".

Halvorsen was referring to the US governments decision to bail out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Norwegian government, which operates a massive surplus-fund, invested heavily in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and suffered major losses recently as a result.

On the same day, Halvorsen also reported that the same surplus fund would no longer be investing in Rio Tinto due to environmental concerns. "Wal-Mart, British arms manufacturer BAE Systems and US defense firm Lockheed Martin have also been blacklisted" in the past, according to the BBC.

The surplus-fund is Europe's biggest investor and holds nearly 1% of Europe's listed shares.

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