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

Pictured our mountains in Norway.
Read about budget negotiations and more in today's roundup. Pictured are mountains in Lyngen. Photo by Kevin Bessat on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Monday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Government and Socialist Left Party still far apart in budget negotiations 

The government and Socialist Left Party remain some way off of agreeing on a state budget for next year. 

“We have put a total of four proposals on the table and have experienced that there is still a wide range of input and feedback from the other side, and we are no closer to solving it at our level,” Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, from the Centre Party, told public broadcaster NRK.

According to the government, 3 billion kroner has already been shifted around next years fiscal plan during the talks. 

READ ALSO: The changes to Norway’s 2022 budget that could impact you

With a lack of progress between the parties fiscal committee, Socialist Left Party leader Audun Lysbakken has agreed to meet with the parliamentary leaders of the Centre Party and Labour. 

The current government has a minority in parliament and the Socialist Left Party have long been earmarked as potential budgetary partners.  

Population in Norway is growing in all parts of the country except the north

Over the last 12 months, Norway’s population has grown by 30,000, with the population increasing in all counties except the country’s two northernmost areas. 

Since 2001 Norway’s population has grown by almost 900,000. However, the proportion of people living in the north has shrunk from 10.2 percent to 8.9 percent. 

Statistics Norway estimated that at the end of this year’s third quarter, 5,415,166 people lived in the country. 

Outrage over grid rent increases next year

Next year gird companies have been given the opportunity to increase the total rent by 2.1 billion kroner or 12.2 percent, by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). 

“The increase in grid rent shows how unstable the electricity market is. The power companies being able to increase grid rent is a mockery of households. As if the prices were not unstable and high enough already, NVE gives the companies a free pass to strengthen the unfair market mechanisms,” deputy chair of the energy and climate committee in parliament, Sofie Marhaug, has told online news site Nettavisen

READ ALSO: How to save on your Norwegian electricity bill

Grid rent is the price you pay to transport electricity to your house. 

Industry organisation Energi Norge defended the role of electricity companies and said that electricity was, on average, cheaper now than since the government controlled the electricity supply

1,470 new Covid-19 cases 

On Sunday, 1,470 people tested positive for Covid-19. That is 314 cases more than the same day the week before. Over the last seven days, an average of 2,055 Covid-19 infections have been registered each day. The same average a week prior was 1,667. 

Covid cases tend to be lower on weekends as fewer samples are processed. 

A graph showing the total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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