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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 lobster
Read about how protected areas have booster Lobster (pictured above) populations, record high Covid-19 admissions and an EU report which says Norway is facing a shortage of skilled workers. Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

EU report: Norway lacks skilled workers

Norway is lacking labour with the right skillset in over a hundred professions, a new EU report has found.

The report assessed the European countries with the biggest imbalance between demand in the labour market and available skills. 30 countries were included in the survey.

“I’m not so surprised that we lack the relevant skilled workers, but the fact we are at the top in Europe (when it comes to Labour shortfalls) is sad,” Tone Grindland, regional director of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), told public broadcaster NRK.

Six out of ten NHO companies said they lacked workers with relevant skillsets. For businesses, this means missing out on business and development opportunities.

Record Covid-19 hospitalisations

On Monday, a record number of people were in Norwegian hospitals with Covid-19. 509 patients have tested positive for Covid-19, according to figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

Of those patients in hospital, 63 were in intensive care, and 29 were on ventilators.

The figures included a mix of those admitted with Covid-19 and those admitted with Covid-19 and other diagnoses.

Protected areas to safeguard lobster populations has worked

Protected areas for lobsters along Norway’s coasts have had the desired effect over the last two decades.

The Institute of Marine Research has said that lobster populations in protected areas have increased sharply, NRK reports.

Quarantine hotels established to ease capacity fears were barely used 

Last summer, Asker, Bærum and Lillestrøm were asked to set up quarantine hotels to help alleviate fears of overcapacity issues.

Only 2,700 out of a possible 73,000 hotel stays that local authorities paid for were actually used. This means 96 percent of the nights paid for went unused. The price tag the municipalities paid for these hotels was around 112 million kroner, which was later reimbursed by the state.

Record results for Norsk Hydro

Hydroelectric firm Norsk Hydro recorded a record profit before tax of 9 billion kroner in the final quarter of 2021, compared with a 3.4 billion kroner profit the year before.

For the entire year, the company ended up with a pre-tax profit of 28 billion, more than double the result from the year before.

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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.