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

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

A panoramic view of Norway.
Read about the latest reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a debate over electric bikes and the dissolution of Viken county in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Norway's skyline. Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Norway not facing an increased threat following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Norway’s threat picture along its shared border with Russia remains unchanged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Chief of Defence Eirik Kristoffersen has said.

“For Norway, the threat picture is unchanged. People here at home should feel safe. There is no indication that we are facing an increased threat in the north,” Eirik Kristoffersen, chief of defence, said.

Norway’s armed forces had been following the situation in Ukraine closely for a long time and they have increased their preparedness and vigilance as the situation has developed.

READ ALSO: How Norway could be impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

One of the measures the armed forces say they have taken is ramping up their protection against cyber attacks.

Krisoffersen urged the Norwegian public to remain calm in light of the situation.

“Norway is a member of NATO, the strongest military alliance in history. Russia has no interest in challenging either Norway or other NATO countries,” the defence chief added.

Viken county council votes to dissolve

Viken, Norway’s largest county with around 1.2 million inhabitants and 51 municipalities, has voted to dissolve into the three counties of Akershus, Østfold and Buskerud.

The three historic counties of Akershus, Østfold and Buskerud were formed into Viken by the previous government.

49 members of the country council decided to dissolve while 38 wanted Viken to remain intact.

Cross shopping topped 2.5 billion kroner last year

Cross border trading was around 2.5 billion in 2021, up from the previous year, but massively below pre-pandemic levels, figures from Statistics Norway have revealed.

Most cross border shopping is driven by Norwegians heading to Sweden for cheaper groceries and a more varied selection.

READ ALSO: Is the return of cross-border shopping in Norway really a good thing?

Compared to the record year of 2019 cross border trade was still down 84 percent last year overall.

Majority against ban on electric bikes in Norway’s national parks

Just under two thirds of the public are against a ban on electric bikes in national parks according to a report from the Norwegian Institute of Natural Research (NINA).

The survey found that less than one-fifth were in favour of a ban on electric bikes.

The debate surrounding the use of electric bikes in Norway centers around how much of an effect they have on the terrain and whether they contribute to greater wear than normal bikes.

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For members


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