Disney’s ‘Frozen’ triples Norway tourism interest

The number of people visiting the US site of Norway's tourist authority has more than tripled since Frozen, Disney's new Norway-inspired film, premiered in November, the Aftenposten newspaper has reported.

Disney's 'Frozen' triples Norway tourism interest
The stunning Norwegian landscape in Disney's Frozen - The Walt Disney Company
At the same time, the number of people searching for flights from the US to Norway was up 153 per cent from 28 November and 31 January compared with the same period a year ago, according to data from Skyscanner. 
"There is great interest from abroad in the wake of the Frozen movie," Per-Arne Tuftin, the head of tourism for Innovation Norway told the newspaper.  "Specific figures for the number of tourists visits in the wake of Frozen are hard to get yet, but we are hoping for a marked effect in 2014." 
The film, which retells the story of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, is set in a world of icy fjords, Norwegian stave churches, traditional costumes, and the Northern Lights, and even features gløgg and lutefisk. 
The film has already taken $865 million in worldwide box-office sales since its November 22 release, making it one of Disney’s highest-grossing films ever, according to researcher Box Office Mojo.
Innovation Norway, which runs the Visit Norway site in the US, has paid a large but unspecified sum to Disney as part of a partnership which sees the film used in all marketing material by travel companies arranging trips to Norway. 
The film has pride of place on Visit Norway's home page. 

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Northern League leader lashes out over frozen bank accounts

The leader of the far-right Northern League has accused magistrates of trying to derail the party ahead of general elections after a Genoa court froze several of its bank accounts.

Northern League leader lashes out over frozen bank accounts
Northern League leader Matteo Salvini. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

The court froze the accounts after a request by prosecutors in connection to the July conviction of Umberto Bossi, the party’s founder, and two others for fraud.

Northern League leader Matteo Salvini said the court was trying to stop the party’s advance as it enjoys a “historic high” in popularity in the run-up to general elections, which are due before May 2018.

A recent poll suggested that the party, which mostly campaigns on an anti-immigrant platform, would win 15 percent of the vote if an election was held now.

“They are trying to get rid of us from newspapers, from TV, from radio and from parliament,” he was quoted by La Repubblica as saying.

“But they won’t succeed. In a democracy it’s the citizens who decide who wins and who loses.”

Bossi was handed a jail term of two years and three months for using thousands of euros in public money to fund an extravagant lifestyle. His son, Renzo, was also convicted in the case and given a one and a half year sentence.

Francesco Belsito, the party’s ex-treasurer, received the longest sentence of three years.

Prosecutors alleged that Bossi had used more than €200,000 in funds provided by the state to political parties to pay personal expenses between 2009 and 2011.

Belsito was found to have embezzled nearly half a million euros, while Renzo Bossi more than €140,000, including several thousands to pay traffic tickets and €77,000 to buy a diploma in Albania.

Bossi, once a key ally of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was forced out of his party in 2012 after the allegations emerged. Salvini has led the party since then.