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

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

A polar bear in Svalbrad.
Read about Svalbard making the first steps to go green, Anders Brevik's parole hearing beginning and the latest Covid-19 developments in today's roundup. Pictured above is a polar bear in Svalbard.Photo by Mathieu Ramus on Unsplash

Anders Brevik parole hearing begins

Anders Brevik will ask a court for parole today, a request widely expected to be turned down.

The request for parole comes just over a decade on from the July 22 attacks where Brevik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers.

For the attacks, Brevik received a 21-year sentence that could be extended indefinitely, the maximum that could be given at the time.  

He had to serve at least ten years of that sentence before making his first request for a conditional release.

His attacks were the deadliest the country has seen since World War Two.

Svalbard moving away from coal power 

Longyearbyen on Svalbard is in the process of acquiring a giant battery as the first step towards an emission-free energy supply.

Currently, the settlement is dependent on Norway’s only coal-fired power plant backed up by diesel-powered generators for power.

The battery system has an output of six megawatts, and the storage capacity is enough to power Longyearbyen for an hour.

The local council has decided that the coal power plant will be closed by autumn next year. The transition from coal to diesel will have the town’s C02 emissions by around half.

Beyond 2023 the local council is planning a zero-emissions solution.

11,031 new Covid-19 cases 

On Monday, 11,031 new Covid-19 infections were registered in Norway, 4,491 more than the same day a week before.

Over the last seven days, an average of 10,359 infections have been registered per day.

The same average a week before was 6,622, indicating that the infection trend is rising.

As of Monday, 240 patients in hospital had Covid-19. 79 of those patients were in intensive care, and 55 were on respirators.

READ ALSO: When will the current wave of Covid-19 infections in Norway peak?

High energy prices could impact tomato production

Just over a quarter of tomato farmers will not grow the vegetable this year, a new survey has revealed.

The reason why so many are opting out of growing tomatoes is due to high energy prices cutting into profit margins.

According to an annual survey carried out by the Green Producers’ Cooperation Council and reported by newspaper Nationen, the rising energy costs have contributed to farmers and greenhouse producers struggling to make ends meet.

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

Fatal traffic accidents, a Covid cash row and projects facing postponements are among the main stories from Norway on Monday. 

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

Several dead after traffic accidents

Four people died, and two were flown to hospital following an accident in the Steigen tunnel, Nordland, north Norway, on Sunday afternoon.

 Another two died in an accident in Voss earlier on Sunday. Four people involved in the collision were sent to hospital. 

“We are at full speed into the season where there are usually more fatal accidents than in other periods of the year,” Cecilie Bryner from Trygg Trafikk, which promotes safe driving, said to newswire NTB. 

37 people have lost their lives on Norwegian roads so far this year. Last year, 87 died in accidents. 

Deadline for agricultural settlement

The deadline for the state and agricultural sector to agree on subsidies and funding is today. 

The farmers demand 11.5 billion kroner from the government, while the state has only offered 10.15 billion. 

The two parties have remained tight-lipped on how close they are to a possible agreement or what’s being negotiated.

This year’s settlement is considered far more complicated than during a typical year. The agreement is supposed to cover farmers’ incomes for 2023 and cover the cost of soaring prices and inflation in 2022, agricultural paper Nationen writes. 

Norway’s municipalities in Covid cash row 

A row has erupted between the government and Norwegian municipalities as funding promised to help cover the bill for Covid to local authorities was not included in the revised national budget for 2022, public broadcaster NRK reports

Several municipalities have hit out at the government as a result. 

Norway’s Minister of Local Government, Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, defended the budget and said there wasn’t a cash flow problem in Norwegian municipalities and that things should “happen in the right order”. 

This opens the door for compensation to be agreed upon after a report on Covid expenditure is published in September. 

READ MORE: What the revised national budget in Norway means for foreigners

Road projects could be pushed back 

Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård has said that less money will be spent on road construction next year and that large national projects could be put on hold or scaled back. 

“We will need to review our priorities because there will probably be less money than planned for transport,” Nygård told newspaper VG

The minister didn’t say which projects were most likely to be put on the backburner, but it was most likely those that were still in the planning and preparation stages.