"Norwegian villagers save their pay phone"

Kampen om telefonboksen i den lille bygda "Bjorke" har etter hvert funnet veien til medier verden over. New Jersey Record er blant avisene som har omtalt innbyggernes kamp, etter at de har mistet både postkontor og butikk.

Norges største avis omtalte denne saken forige uke. Dette førte blant annet til spørsmål til statsråden i Samferdselsdepartementet i spørretimen på Stortinget, men også til presseoppslag andre steder i verden. New-Jersey-avisa New Jersey Record omtaler saken på følgende måte i onsdagens avisutgave:


NEW JERSEY RECORD from Dialog.: The phone company's plan to remove their only phone booth was a call to arms for the people of Bjorke: Workers arriving to take the booth found it encircled by tractors and angry villagers.

Residents then hauled in four huge boulders and chained them to the booth. They threatened physical resistance.

On Friday, the state-owned Telenor retreated, saying it would let the booth remain in the settlement of 225 people, at least through the summer.

There has never been much in Bjorke, nestled in the fjords of western Norway 220 miles from Oslo. Now there's even less: In recent months, the post office was closed to save money, and then the general store went out of business.

Taking the phone booth was more than people could tolerate.

"This is a very symbolic case for us," a villager, Jon Egil Finnes, said Friday. "This is really about the government cutting all of our services."

He said villagers were tired of everything being measured in terms of profitability.

Telenor said people hardly use the booth, which is outside the town swimming pool.

"Its income is well below the profit margin," said Petter Bilden, director of Telenor's pay phone division. He said the company would see whether use of the phone increases in the next few months.

Taking no chances, villagers left the chains on.

"That phone booth is not going anywhere," said Finnes.

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