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Tourist brought 125 kilos of Norwegian coins to Oslo

A Chinese tourist was stopped at Oslo Airport with four burlap sacks filled with 125 kilos of Norwegian coins, customs officials said on Monday.

Tourist brought 125 kilos of Norwegian coins to Oslo
The coins totaled 220,970 kroner and weighed 125 kilos. Photo: Toll
The tourist arrived in Oslo from Shanghai via Moscow on Friday with four sacks full of Norwegian ten and 20 kroner coins that he said he had purchased from various coin dealers in China. 
 
The 29-year-old Chinese citizen also had coins in his checked luggage.
 
“On the luggage trolley were a rolling suitcase and four colourful burlap sacks. He was due to stay with a friend in Oslo for five days,” custom official Hans Wilhelmsen said. 
 
The tourist told officials that he had paid the equivalent of 15,000 kroner for the coins, which turned out to be a steal. 
 
“Officials uncovered coins worth 220,970 kroner in the man’s baggage and checked luggage. The coins weighed a total of 125 kilogrammes,” the statement from customs said. 
 
Because the man had not declared the currency, he and his coins were transferred to the Oslo Police at the passport. 
 
While the man's fate was not immediately known, he risks having the entire amount confiscated if Norwegian Customs suspects criminal activity. If no criminal activity is suspected, customs officials will impose a 20 percent penalty on the money.
 
A similar incident sprung up in Denmark in 2013 when two Chinese citizens were detained for 48 days after bringing a large bag of Danish coins that were originally thought to be counterfeit. 
 
The two tourists were allowed to go free after the Danish central bank determined that the coins, which totaled over €32,000 were legit and obtained in China from a scrap metal consignment company. 

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MONEY

How do food prices in Norway compare to the rest of Europe? 

Known just as much for its high prices as its stunning scenery, Norway doesn't have a reputation as a cheap place to live. But how much does food cost, and how does it compare to the rest of Europe? 

How do food prices in Norway compare to the rest of Europe? 

Famously known for being on the pricey side, Norway has many factors that draw foreign residents, such as the scenery, wages and work-life balance. 

However, one common complaint is the high prices. Is the cost of food and groceries as bad as everyone says? 

Unfortunately, according to the statistics, Norway lives up to its reputation for expensive food and groceries. 

Eurostat, which monitors price levels across the EU, EEA and EU candidate countries, has ranked Norway as the country with the second highest price level index for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Out of the countries monitored by the stats agency, only Switzerland had a higher price level index. A price level index measures the price levels of a given nation relative to other countries. This means that compared to the rest of the other countries measured, food and non-alcoholic beverages in Norway are the second most expensive overall. 

According to Eurostat’s data and price level index, prices in Norway were 49 percent higher than the EU average in 2021. Norway also had the highest price for fruits, vegetables, potatoes, and ‘other food’ products. ‘Other foods’ consist of chocolates, sugars, jams etc. 

READ ALSO: Why food in Norway is so expensive

In addition, non-alcoholic beverages in Norway were also the most expensive found among 36 European countries. The price of alcoholic drinks in Norway lived up to their reputation for priciness, with the cost of alcoholic beverages being 160 percent higher than the average and the second most expensive after Iceland

Scandinavia as a whole has a reputation for high prices, so how did Norway compare in this regard? 

Finland had the lowest overall food prices out of Scandinavian countries when measured by the price level index for food and non-alcoholic beverages. This was followed by Sweden, which had a score of 117, Denmark with 120 and Iceland with 139. 

This highlights that even among the Nordics, Norway is an expensive country for food. 

One noticeable trend is that the food prices in Norway are becoming less expensive compared to the European average. In 2018, food prices in Norway were 63 percent higher than the European average. Three years on, this had fallen to 49 percent. 

Even though the prices are high, is it really that expensive when considering wages? 

While food is certainly more expensive in Norway than in most countries, wages are also considerably higher. 

For example, the average monthly salary in Norway was 50,790 kroner per month in 2021. This equates to just over 5,000 euros. In 2022, the estimated monthly average wage in the EU was around 2,570 euros. However, it’s worth pointing out that large differences exist between EU countries. For example, the average monthly wage in Bulgaria was estimated to be around 852 euros, while in Denmark, it’s estimated to be about 5,979 euros (44,514 Danish kroner). 

Therefore, a more accurate way of measuring the true cost of food would be to measure how much of a household’s monthly income is spent on food. 

In Romania, food made up more than a quarter of household expenditure, making food more expensive there for households as it eats up a larger chunk of consumers’ budgets, despite lower prices than the EU average. Across 36 countries measured by Eurostat, food and non-alcoholic beverages made up around 13 percent of total consumption expenditure by households. 

In this regard, Norwegians actually spend less money on food than other European households. Food and non-alcoholic beverages accounted for 11.3 percent of households’ total spending in 2022, according to Statistics Norway

Typically, someone aged 31-50 years will spend between 3,100 – 3,660 kroner per month on food, according to the Consumption Research Norway’s (SIFO) Reference Budget for Consumer Expenditures

So even while Norway spends more money on food, it’s less expensive overall as it takes up a lower portion of household expenditure. fra

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