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

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

Bergen train station.
Read about the third day of Breivik's parole hearing, the latest Covid developments in Norway and a quarter or trains in Norway being delayed last year. Pictured is Bergen train station. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Breivik parole hearing continues 

On Thursday, the parole hearing for far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in the July 22nd attacks, will be brought to a close.

It is widely expected that his request for parole will be turned down. Yesterday a psychiatrist told a court that Breivik still posed the same threat to society now as he did then.

“The risk of future acts of violence has not changed since 2012 and 2013 when I did my first evaluations,” Randi Rosenqvist, who has conducted several assessments of Breivik over the past decade, told his parole hearing.

READ MORE: Norwegian court told Breivik as dangerous now as a decade ago

Breivik was handed a 21-year sentence that can be extended indefinitely, the maximum penalty that could be given at the time, in 2012 for the attacks.

15,987 new Covid-19 cases in Norway 

On Wednesday, 15,987 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. That is 4,162 more than the same day last week. This is also the highest number of reported infections recorded in Norway in a single week and the second day in a row that more than 15,000 cases have been registered.

Over the last seven days, an average of 11,744 Covid infections have been registered per day. The same average a week prior was 7,356.

READ ALSO: Norway registers over 15,000 daily Covid-19 cases for the first time

One in four trains in Norway hit with delays 

Figures from Bane Nor, the state-owned company responsible for Norway’s railway lines, obtained by newspaper VG, revealed that every fourth train in Norway was hit with some form of delay in 2021.

Last year 26.8 percent of all passenger trains in Norway were affected by some form of trouble or another. The issues range from delays of up to four minutes to cancellations.

The Oslo-Drammen line accounted for more than a quarter of all train delays in 2021.

The explanation for this line causing so many delays was the sheer amount of traffic on the line rather than the route being poorly operated. The Oslo- Drammen line is the busiest in Norway.

“We want as many people as possible to take the train. But the more trains we put on the track, the more delays one error will cause. That is the trade-off we have to make,” Sverre Kjenne, executive VP of operations and technology at Bane Nor, told VG.

10 deaths can be linked to Omicron

Ten deaths can be linked directly to the Omicron variant since the variant was first detected in Norway, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has told public broadcaster NRK.

The variant was first detected in Norway at the beginning of December last year.

1,412 deaths related to Covid-19 have been registered in Norway since the pandemic began.

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For members


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.