Norway won't budge on state aid for "nice witch"

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.