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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 humpback whale in Norwegian Arctic waters.
Read about new asylum rules for Ukrainian refugees, costlier building materials and more in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is a humpback whale in Norwegian waters. Photo by Felix Rottmann on Unsplash

Construction materials to cost more from April

Construction product chains have said customers should prepare themselves for higher prices from next month, with the cost of certain products becoming 20 percent more expensive.

The reason for the price hikes is the war in Russia means firms are no longer purchasing products from Russia or Belarus, which are major producers of lumber based products.

READ MORE: How will the war in Ukraine impact the cost of living in Norway?

“Then these (products) must be obtained from other markets. There will be greater demand, and the price may increase,” Pål Erichsen, director at building supplies firm Optimera, told public broadcaster NRK.

“The market will probably reach the highest price level we have seen in the last five years,” he said.

More than 300 left without a home after apartment block fire in Drammen

A fire in a nine-storey apartment block in Drammen, south-east Norway, has left 300 residents homeless.

“I cannot say anything for certain, but the building itself is probably uninhabitable as a result of the large fire and water volumes that pull down the floors as a result of firefighting work,” Anders Hæg, from the local fire service, told local paper Drammens Tidende.

Equinor ceases trading in Russian oil 

As part of its plans to wind up business operations in the country following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, state-owned Equinor has stopped trading Russian oil, Equinor CEO Anders Opedal told Reuters.

“When we said we wanted to start exiting the (Russian joint venture), we also stopped from that date trading with Russian oil,” he told Reuters.

READ MORE: Norwegian energy giant Equinor to pull out of Russia

At the end of February, the firm announced that it had decided to halt new investments in the country. The firm has been in Russia for more than 30 years and entered a cooperation agreement with Rosneft in 2012.

Temporary collective asylum for Ukrainians takes effect today          

From today, Norway will grant temporary collective protection for Ukrainian refugees.

Typically a refugee’s request for asylum will be assessed individually. The new rules will grant all Ukrainians who arrive in Norway and can document they are from Ukraine asylum.

The last time collective asylum was granted to nationals from one country was for Kosovans in the 90s.

In addition to the collective asylum, Norway has opted to allow all Ukrainians with a biometric passport to travel to Norway without a Visa.

They have also suspended deportation to Ukraine until further notice and have allowed Ukrainians in Norway to remain in Norway indefinitely, even if their residence has expired.

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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