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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

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

Oslo Opera House.
Read about Taliban talks, the latest Covid developments and the culture minister meeting key figures from the sector to discuss the current rules in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Oslo Opera House. Photo by Andrea Brataas on Unsplash

Taliban talks in Norway continue

The Taliban and western diplomats will meet in Oslo on Monday for talks on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and human rights, particularly those of women whose freedoms have been curtailed by the fundamentalist doctrine of the Taliban.

The visit is the first that the Taliban has made to Europe since it retook power in Afghanistan last August. It will meet representatives from Norway, the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the European Union.

12,646 new Covid-19 infections

On Sunday, 12,646 new Covid-19 infections have been registered in Norway, 5,042 cases more than the same day a week before.

Over the last seven days, an average of 15,743 infections have been reported daily in Norway. The same average a week before was 9,717, indicating a rising infection trend.

Cost of the pandemic measures calculated 

The cost of Covid-19 support and measures has cost the Norwegian state 221 billion kroner since the pandemic began, newspaper VG has reported.

The figure is taken from the state budgets for 2020 and 2021. The sum is around 40 percent of what Norwegians have paid in taxes in this period. The cost of the pandemic per person has been around 40,000 kroner so far.

Experts have tried to estimate what the cost of unemployment, economic downturn, and the effects of the pandemic on industry and production caused by the pandemic will come to. When all this is accounted for, experts predict that the pandemic will have cost a total of 330 billion in 3 years.

Minister to meet cultural sector figures on Monday

Minister of Culture, Anette Trettebergstuen, will meet with industry figures to discuss the current Covid rules.

Last week the rules for theatres and shows were relaxed to allow a capacity of up 1,500 people in venues, but with a cohort system in place. The cultural sector has said that the cohort system makes it difficult for them to operate at the new increased capacity.

The meeting is aimed at trying to find the best solution for all involved.

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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.

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