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Norway set to axe Saturday postal service

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Norway set to axe Saturday postal service
Posten Norge, Norway's postal service, may make changes. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix
11:07 CEST+02:00
Posten Norge, the national postal service, may stop Saturday mail delivery after the government allowed the move this week in Parliament.

Many may loose their Saturday newspaper if the move goes ahead, while others will get their Friday newspapers on Monday.

Øystein Øygarden, editor of Vest-Telemark blad said to Klassekampen: “We are not prepared for this. For us it will be a dramatic move if Posten will no longer deliver newspapers on Saturdays.”
 
On Tuesday it was announced the Norwegian government will allow the country's postal service to stop mail distribution on Saturdays. The government may save 400 million kroner ($60 million) by reducing mail delivery from six to five days.
 
In a proposal that is now being looked at by MPs, the government has drafted two alternatives: One, where all mail distribution on Saturdays is cut. The other, that Posten Norge still has the responsibility for distributing newspapers only, but no other kinds of mail.
 
Political advisor Reynir Jóhannesson said: “Distribution of newspapers will in some places become a key part of the debate.”

Landslaget for Lokalaviser (National League for Local Newspapers) believes the change may get big consequences at a time when most papers are already struggling because of a fall in the amount of readership and a drop in advertising income.

National newspapers, such as Klassekampen, Dagsavisen and Vårt Land will be affected.
 
Communications director of Amedia, Stig Finslo, fears this will have dramatic consequences for many of the 78 local newspapers his company owns.
 
Finslo said: “This comes on top of other thing politicians have done to affect the national media in a very negative direction.”
 
The media expert listed the Norwegian government cutting 50 million kroner of direct press subsidies, raising VAT to 8 percent, and axing 50 million kroner ($7.5 million) of government advertisements in newspapers.
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