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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.

Trondheim, central Norway
Read about immigration authorities increasing their capacity to process refugees and Hadia Tajik resigning from her role as Labour Party deputy leader in today's roundup. Pictured is Trondheim. Photo by robin mikalsen on Unsplash

Hadia Tajik resigns as Labour Party deputy leader over housing scandal

Hadia Tajik has stepped down from her role as Labour deputy leader days after leaving her ministerial post over a commuter housing scandal.

She has been engulfed in the scandal since the end of February, when 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.

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 property or paid rent.

She will continue to serve as an MP for Rogaland.

UDI extends capacity to take in Ukrainian refugees

The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) will use the Scandic Helsfyr hotel in Oslo to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.

The UDI was currently processing around 700 refugees at the national centre for asylum seekers in Viken County.

READ ALSO: Norway prepares for influx of refugees from Ukraine

Despite having the capacity to accommodate more refugees at the national centre, the UDI will use the hotel as the facilities are better, and they expect more arrivals in the coming days.

The hotel can house around 1,000 refugees across 420 rooms. 

No new public shelters have been built in the last 20 years 

The number of public shelters in Norway hasn’t increased over the previous 20 years, with there only being capacity for 2.5 million people across the country.

In 1998, the requirement for all public builders to include a shelter was removed, meaning no more have been built over the last 24 years.

Erik Furevik from the Midtre Hålogalaand civil defence district told public broadcaster NRK that he had received an increasing number of inquiries from those who want to find out about their nearest shelter in recent days.

Sky-high sick leave in Norway

Absence levels due to sickness in Norway at the end of last year was 6.8 percent, the highest level since 2009.

“Sick leave in Norway continues to increase, and, in the previous quarter, it was the highest since 2009 – a year marked by swine flu and the financial crisis. Much of the increase can be explained by corona infection,” Head of statistics at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), Ulf Andersen, stated on NAV’s website.

The stats only include sick leave that doctors sign off on. Figures also found that sick leave was higher among women than men.

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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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