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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 
Somebody on an autumn hike in Norway. Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Interest rates go up 

Today, Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, is expected to raise its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points. 

The bank is also expected to announce another rise that will take place in the near future. 

Ola Honnigdal Grytten, a professor of economics at the Norwegian School of Economics, said the interest rates should be welcomed as it’s a sign that the economy is bouncing back.

This will be the first time that interest rates have risen for two years. Interest rates rising mean more expensive loan and mortgage repayments. 

Police increase presence after robberies on Oslo metro  

Police will be increasing their presence and patrols on the metro following a spate of robberies committed by groups of young people using weapons such as air guns and axes. 

Last weekend ten people were mugged. Police say they have the names of several suspects and are working to identify more. 

Most of those identified by the police are aged between 15 and 17 and are already known to the police. 

Government funding for controversial group ends 

Norway’s outgoing government has decided to end state funding for the controversial group Human Rights Service.

“It has not been a priority for us to support HRS, and we also proposed removing the support in 2019,” justice policy spokesman Peter Frølich told public broadcaster NRK

The group has become more controversial in recent years, and the group has been widely accused of Islamophobia. The group said it fights against the violation of human rights and advocates better integration for immigrants in Norway. 

The group’s critics had said the views of its leader Hege Storhaug have become more extreme in recent years. 

The group has received government funding since 2005. 

Norwegian rich list

A list of Norway’s 400 wealthiest individuals has been published by financial publication Kapital, and the list is comprised entirely of kroner billionaires. 

On average, they are all worth more than 4 billion kroner. Shipowner John Fredriksen tops this years list with a fortune of 114 billion kroner. 

This calculation makes Fredriksen the country’s richest man ever. 

Health chief: ‘next step of reopening is near’ 

Director of Health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Bjørn Guldvog, believes that the final step of lifting Covid measures in Norway is almost here. 

“I think in the near future we can take a new step,” he told newspaper VG

He added that he wanted to see more people get vaccinated before more measures are lifted, though. 

‘It’s nearly time’: What will life in Norway be like when last Covid-19 measures are lifted?

“The more people who are vaccinated, the easier the transition will be, and the less the risk of breakthrough infections,” Guldvog said. 

799 new Covid cases

On Wednesday, 799 new cases of Covid-19 were registered in Norway. This is a slight increase of 38 on the seven-day average of 761. 

In Oslo, 254 people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus in the last 24 hours. This is 20 more than the average for the previous seven days. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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