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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.

A reindeer in Lyngby.
Read about a reindeer grazing crisis, the latest reaction to the war in Ukraine and a ministerial crisis. Pictured is a Reindeer in Lyngen, northern Norway. Photo by Julien Chatelain on Unsplash

Labour and Social Inclusion minister resigns over commuter housing scandal

Labour deputy leader Hadia Tajik resigned from her role as Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion on Wednesday in the wake of a housing scandal.

Labour Party deputy leader Hadia Tajik has resigned after it was revealed that she received tax-free commuter housing between 2006 and 2010 on the basis of a rental contract that was never enforced.

READ MORE: Norwegian minister resigns over commuter housing scandal

“I’m sorry I made a mistake and have disappointed many. I apologise for that. I’m sorry I did not handle it better before. It is my fault,” she said at a press conference.

She received the tax exemption because she said she was renting a studio from her parent’s neighbours, with the lease making her exempt from being taxed on the commuter home.

However, she never lived in the studio or paid rent for the property, newspaper VG reports.

Reindeer grazing crisis in parts of Norway

Around 160,000 reindeer have been affected by a lack of quality grazing areas this year with herders forced to use supplementary feed.

Lots of ice and hard-packed snow make it difficult for the reindeer to graze naturally, meaning some herders in Troms og Finnmark have abandoned their winter grazing areas to go to their summer ones.

A crisis has been identified in 22 grazing districts.

READ ALSO: Norway’s Sami population say wind farms threaten their livelihoods and ancestral traditions

If herders are continually forced to supplement reindeers’ diets, it can alter their behaviour, meaning the animal doesn’t graze properly, even in years where there isn’t a crisis.

Norway starts to receive first requests to resettle refugees 

On Wednesday, Norway began receiving the first requests from other countries to help resettle refugees fleeing war in Ukraine.

“We have received the first request for assistance from Moldova for assistance to settle refugees who come there. There is a lot of pressure on neighbouring countries. This is an inquiry we will work with the other European countries to resolve,” Minister of Justice Emilie Engher Mehl told newspaper VG.

Immigration authorities have begun preparing to increase their capacity to receive refugees. However, Mehl said she was unsure how many refugees would come to Norway.

READ MORE: Norway prepares for influx of refugees from Ukraine

“It is too early to quantify how many will come here. We must work with the other European countries to find out. But Norway is prepared for this,” she said

Nearly 600 patients in Norwegian hospitals with Covid-19 

On Wednesday, there were 598 Covid-19 patients in Norwegian hospitals, the highest number recorded throughout the pandemic so far.

Of those patients in hospital, 46 were in intensive care. In addition, 19 patients were on ventilators.

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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