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Europe - Scandinavia - Occult

Norway won't budge on state aid for "nice witch"
(AFP, November 5, 2003)

The Norwegian government refused to give in to opposition demands to withdraw state subsidies it granted to a self-proclaimed witch so she could start a company that mixes potions for lost souls.

"Let's not turn this into a witch hunt. The application underwent the normal procedure and was properly documented. I do not want to overturn this decision," Trade and Industry Minister Ansgar Gabrielsen said during a question and answer session in parliament.

Last month, 33-year-old Lena Skarning, who describes herself as a "nice witch", was awarded 53,000 kroner (about 6,400 euros, 7,300 dollars) from a regional business-stimulation fund.

Her company, Skogheksa Magic Consult, makes creams that allow people to "dream more clearly", a lotion for dry feet that enables those who use it to "walk down new paths", and publishes magic recipes.