Norway PM under Breivik pressure

Norway PM under Breivik pressure

Norway’s prime minister came under pressure to resign after an official report said police could have prevented a murder spree by far right extermist Anders Behring Breivik last year that killed 77 people, mostly young people.

One of Norway’s largest newspapers, VG, urged Jens Stoltenberg to step down on Aug. 14, saying he bears ultimate responsibility for a string of failures by police and other agencies during the July 22, 2011, attacks by Breivik.

“A more devastating verdict on our government could not have been made,” VG said, the Associated Press reported. “The government failed to protect the people because of incompetence. It would be intolerable if this didn’t have personal consequences for the people involved,” it added.

Public poll

Opposition leaders called in lawmakers from their summer break to discuss the report by a commission that criticized the government for failing to protect its headquarters from a deadly bombing attack and police for not stopping the ensuing shooting massacre at a teenage summer camp earlier.

Several polls showed that a majority of Norwegians wanted Stoltenberg to stay on as prime minister, but between 19 and 30.7 percent of those surveyed said they thought he ought to resign, Agence France-Presse reported. Stoltenberg, whose centre-left coalition holds a majority in parliament, has rejected the idea of a resignation. Stoltenberg accepted responsibility for the report’s findings, saying he would stay on to implement its recommendations.