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

Here is today's roundup of the latest news in Norway. Pictured is a river splitting in two at Ål municipality
Here is today's roundup of the latest news in Norway. Pictured is a river splitting in two at Ål municipality. Photo by Sebastian ko on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Støre and Vedum under pressure to introduce dental reform

Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre and Centre Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum are under pressure to change how dentistry in Norway works. 

Norway’s heavily subsidised healthcare system does not cover dental work. Dentistry in Norway is only free for those aged under 18 and is subsidised for those between 18-20. 

Norway’s largest political youth organisation, the Workers Youth League or AUF, affiliated with the Labour Party, has said the next government needs to look at dental reform. 

READ ALSO: Will going to the dentist in Norway ever get cheaper?

“The goal must be a new, major welfare reform where dental health becomes part of the deductible scheme. I hope that the government declaration at least says that they want dental health reform and that they can start the phasing in for some groups,” AUF leader Astrid Willa Eide Hoem told newspaper VG.

The parties have pledged dental reform in one way or another as part of their election pledges. However, the parties have made previous promises to change dental care in Norway, which they made little progress on between 2005 and 2013. 

Erna Solberg to tender resignation next week

Prime Minister Erna Solberg has confirmed she will tender her resignation next week after the outgoing government presents its state budget for 2022. 

“It is an important democratic principle and tradition in Norway for peaceful and well-organised takeovers. Even though the centre party will not be part of the government, they have been clear that they prefer a Labour/Centre Party government,” Solberg said.

“The Conservatives have ruled the country for eight years together with the Liberal Party, the Progress Party and the Christian Democrats. We lost the majority in the election this autumn, and already on election night, I recognised the outcome of the election. I will submit my resignation application to the King when the state budget for next year has been presented, and a new government is ready to take over,” she added. 

Once she has resigned, the government will continue to rule in a limited capacity until the new government is ready to take over. 

Increased rainfall won’t lead to cheaper electricity prices 

Rainfall has meant that water in reservoirs has increased for the first time since the summer. However, electricity prices probably won’t go down. 

“It is positive for the price going forward that the reservoir filling increases again, but we probably need more precipitation before we get the big effects,” Power analyst Marius Holm Rennesund from the Thema Consulting Group told public broadcaster NRK.

READ ALSO: What are the knock-on effects of rising energy prices in Norway?

Additionally, much of the precipitation has occurred in lowlands, meaning reservoirs at higher altitudes haven’t seen much of the recent rainfall. 

480 new Covid-19 cases

On Wednesday, 480 new coronavirus infections were recorded across the country. This is eight cases more than the average for the previous seven days. 

In Oslo, 156 new Covid cases were recorded, four more than the day before. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: NIPH.

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