December 3, 2016 / 3:09 PM / 2 years ago

Norway government wins backing for 2017 budget, prevents collapse

Norway's Finance Minister Siv Jensen speaks to the media next to Prime Minister Erna Solberg (R) in Oslo January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Haakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s right-wing minority coalition has secured backing in parliament from two centrist parties for its 2017 fiscal budget, preventing a government collapse, politicians negotiating the deal told Reuters on Saturday.

Following weeks of difficult talks, the Liberal Party and the Christian Democrats will back the ruling coalition of the Conservatives and the Progress Party, lead negotiator Hans Olav Syversen of the Christians said.

A source earlier told Reuters the government was expecting to sign a deal by the end of the day.

The Conservative Party said the four parties would hold a joint news conference at 1800 GMT.

In power since 2013, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Finance Minister Siv Jensen have relied on the two smaller parties to help cut taxes and raise spending to counter an economic downturn triggered by falling oil prices.

If no agreement had been reached by a Dec. 5 deadline, Solberg’s cabinet could have been forced to step down.

Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Joachim Dagenborg; Editing by Toby Chopra

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