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TODAY IN NORWAY

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.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Energy prices and cost of living are increasing in Austria as the government looks for ways to cushion the effects for the population. Pictured is a powerline. Photo by Fré Sonneveld on Unsplash

Electricity prices driving CPI rises 

Norway’s consumer price index (CPI) rose by 3.2 percent between January 2021 and the same month this year, figures from Statistics Norway have found.

The consumer price index tracks prices for goods and services in high demand by Norwegian households.

The data collection firm said that rising electricity and grid rent were among the most significant contributors to the Consumer Price Index. Prices rose by around 19.7 percent in the twelve months from the beginning of last year to the start of this year.

Statistics Norway said the rise would have been closer to 70 percent had the government not launched its scheme where it covers up to 80 percent of electricity bills.

Lack of competition contributing to rising food prices in Norway

Several everyday food items from dairy products to sausages and biscuits have risen in price by more than 10 percent since the end of January, public broadcaster NRK has reported.

Norway’s consumer council has said the price hikes are due to a lack of competition and variety between products.

READ MORE: Why is food in Norway so expensive?

“The competition in the Norwegian food market is obviously too bad. It has been for a long time and is documented here (through reports of price hikes),” Inger Lise Bylverket from the Consumer Council told NRK.

“This makes it impossible for us to use our powers as consumers to choose a cheaper alternative. When chains and other players in the grocery sector claim there is fierce competition, that is not true. Tougher measures are needed,” she added.

Supermarkets have said that the higher prices are due to higher bills from suppliers. Suppliers have put their prices up due to several factors, including high international shipping prices, larger electricity costs and the Norwegian agriculture sector charging more for their products.

Damage to Diechman Bjørvika is less severe than initially feared

Much of the Deichman library at Bjørvika will reopen on Thursday morning as damage sustained by the fire sprinklers to the library is less extensive than first feared.

The sprinklers were set off due to a sofa catching fire, and parts of the second, third and fourth floors will be cordoned off on Thursday.

The sprinklers dispersed around 1,000 litres of water, and the floors in certain sections of the library have been torn up.

20 glaciers in Norway have disappeared

Since 2006, 20 glaciers in Norway have disappeared, a report from the Norwegian Water Resource and Energy Directorate (NVE) has found.

The equivalent of 50,000 football fields, or 364 square kilometres, of ice, has melted away.

“The survey shows that glacier melting has accelerated since 2000,” Liss Marie Andreassen, a glacier researcher at the NVE, told NRK.

“The glaciers are melting due to climate change. They are very sensitive to climate change and adjust their size by increasing or decreasing when the climate changes,” Andreassen added.

25,086 new Covid-19 cases

On Wednesday, 25,086 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. However, due to changes the Norwegian Institute of Public Health made with testing on January 24th, fewer infections are recorded than before this date.

326 patients were in hospital on Wednesday with Covid-19, nine more than the day before. In addition, 45 patients were in intensive care, and 26 were on ventilators.

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

A shortage of GP’s, Oslo making it more expensive to own an electric car and Norway asking the EU to be exempt from a new rule are among the main stories on Friday.

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

Report: 150,000 without a GP

Last year, the number of people without a GP in Norway grew once again, according to the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s annual report on the fastlege system.

“The low recruitment growth and the increasing reduction in total capacity in the GP scheme underline the seriousness of the situation. We share the concern of GPs that the scheme is under great pressure,” Bjørn Guldvog, health director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health said.

The health directorate’s report found 150,000 were without a GP last year. 

Only 3 out of 100 medical students and newly qualified doctors in Norway have said that they think they will work as a GP, broadcaster TV2 reports.

READ MORE: How to register with a doctor in Norway

Hiker in Troms flow to hospital after fall

A hiker in her 20s was flown to hospital after a fall from the mountain Mjeldskartinden in the Troms region of northern Norway.

“It is a matter of a tour group of two people, where one person has fallen from the mountain as the snow shovel at the top breaks. The other person, who called the police, estimates that the injured person has fallen a couple of hundred meters,” Eirik Kileng from the local police district told newspaper VG.

The woman was flown to the University of Northern Norway Hospital by an air ambulance. Despite the reported fall of a few hundred metres, the patient is said to be in a stable condition with moderate injuries.

Norway to ask EU for exemption from egg rule

The Norwegian Ministry of Health will ask to be exempt from a new EU directive that will reduce the shelf life of eggs from 35 to 28 days, according to agricultural outlet Bondebladet.

The reason for the new rule is that parts of Europe are struggling with a salmonella infection.

Several figures from the agriculture sector have said that the new rule would led to increased transport costs and threaten the viability of egg production in remote parts of the country.

Oslo Municipality raises prices for charging electric cars

In its revised budget for the year, Oslo Municipality said it would raise the price for using municipal car chargers.

Currently it costs between 12 to 17 kroner per hour to park and charge a electric car between 9am and 8pm, and 7 kroner outside these times.

Parking will be raised to between 18 and 23 kroner between the day and 13 kroner at night.

READ ALSO: Norway to remove VAT exemption for electric cars

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