“It is an absurd case that harms the country’s interests,” says MP

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Conservative Parliamentary Representative Peter Frølich speaks about protectionism and government internal divisions in the battle for the future of the harvest vessel “Norwegian Gannet”.

On Monday, no less than two former Norwegian fisheries ministers will be in the witness box during the ongoing lawsuit between the shipping company Hav Line, owner of the harvest vessel “Norwegian Gannet”, and the government. Per Sandberg and Harald Tom Nesvik, both from Norway’s Progress Party (FrP) will testify about their views on the ongoing and pending case.

In an interview in the Danish newspaper Børsen, Peter Frølich, parliamentary representative and justice spokesman for the Conservative Party (Høyre), highlighted the government’s inner thoughts in this matter which, for the first time ever, has brought “production fish” into a government statement. “Production fish”, is fish with visible damage and wounds.

Frølich isays that this is not at all a matter of quality and reputation for Norwegian salmon, but rather pure protectionism.

“It is an absurd case that harms Norway’s interests. But the matter must come to light, regardless of whether it is embarrassing for Norway,” he told the newspaper.

“The matter has caused unrest and concern in the party, where we have discussed it for several rounds. My opinion, which is also shared by others, has not won. It is a protectionist line, which is being led for the sake of another party, and I apologize. But the public should know that the case is in no way about the reputation of Norwegian salmon or quality considerations. It is about protecting a business from development and market forces. Here, rules have been invented to meet the goal,” said Frølich.

Minister of Fisheries Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen (H) declined to comment on the matter.