The krone (NOK) is the official currency of the Scandinavian country of Norway. The English translation for the word “krone” is “crown”, and the plural for krone is kroner. Norway has a total population of around 5 million, and shares land borders with Sweden, Finland and Russia. Its northern mainland lies above the Arctic circle, as does its northernmost territory, the archipelago of Svalbard.
Norway has an ambivalent relationship with the European Union. It has twice rejected membership of the EU, in both 1972 and 1994. As a result, it remains a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), but remains outside the EU itself. This means that it has a free trade agreement with all the members of the EU, and permits free movement of workers and people between Norway and EU members as part of the Schengen Agreement. However it only has to implement EU laws and regulations if they are part of the free trade agreement. Therefore, of the approximately 25,000 EU laws and regulations in force at the time of writing, only about 5,000 apply directly to Norway as part of the EEA.
The position of Norway is of course of great relevance to the debate about EU membership in the United Kingdom, with anti-membership supporters pointing to the free trade agreement that non-member Norway enjoys. Meanwhile, UK supporters of the EU point to the fact that Norway still has to contribute to the EU budget; conform to the free movement of labour regulations and has to implement many EU laws, without having any say whatsoever in the formulation of these policies.
Given its continued non-membership of the EU, the krone is likely to be around for the foreseeable future, with there being no imminent prospect of joining the euro. The modern krone was first introduced in 1875, when it was part of the Scandinavian Monetary Union, along with its neighbours Denmark, Sweden and Finland. This monetary union ended with the outbreak of World War One in 1914, when each country retained their own, now separated, currencies. Both the united currency and the latterly independent krone was linked to the Gold Standard, apart from a few brief interludes, until 1931, when it was instead pegged to the value of the British pound. In 1939, the currency was briefly linked to the US dollar instead, whereupon the German occupation of World War Two saw the krone pegged to the German Reichsmark.
Post war, the krone was linked to either the US dollar or the British pound until the decision was taken in 1993 to allow the currency to float freely on the international exchange rates, but with some government defensive currency reserve purchases to control speculation (managed float). At the time of writing, the value of the krone was approximately £1 = 12 kroner.
Norway is one of our closest geographical neighbours, and with bingo being particularly popular in its Scandinavian neighbour Sweden, there are sure to be some keen bingo players from across the North Sea using their hard earned kroner on United Kingdom registered online bingo and casino sites.