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TODAY IN NORWAY

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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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Why food will be more expensive from today, a key strike deadline and a heavy rain warning for east Norway are among the main stories from Norway on Friday.

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

Food to be more expensive from today 

The price of food in Norway will be “noticeably” higher from today, with the annual shopping bill for families expected to rise by a few thousand kroner from July 1st. 

The reason is that July 1st is one of two days each year when supermarkets raise prices for many different food products. 

Food will become expensive for several reasons. Firstly, as part of the agricultural settlement this year, farmers are allowed to charge more for their grain, meat and dairy products, and fruit and vegetables. 

Suppliers to supermarkets have also raised their prices, and it has become more expensive for food to be imported to Norway. 

“There is no doubt that there will be price increases, noticeable price increases,” Bård Gultvedt, director of business policy and government contact in Norgesgruppen, which owns Kiwi and Meny, said. 

Oslo shooting: Police appeal for video evidence

Oslo police, which is investigating the shooting in Oslo that left two dead and 21 injured last weekend, has appealed for the public to submit more video evidence if it has any. 

So far, Oslo police have received more than 70 tips from the public. They have also asked that video recordings from CCTV and the like from before the attack be stored for eight weeks rather than the typical seven days. 

“We are now working primarily with what we call the video project,” police attorney Børge Enoksen said at a press conference. 

READ ALSO: Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped

Mediation deadline for potential SAS pilot strike 

The extended mediation deadline for SAS and pilots working for the airline to reach an agreement and avoid a strike is midnight, July 2nd. 

If the two parties cannot agree, nearly 900 pilots will go on strike, with 400 being in Norway. 

A strike would lead to many of SAS’s flights from Norway over the weekend being cancelled. Previously, VG has reported that a strike would ground around 140 flights. 

READ ALSO: What a potential SAS pilot strike means for travellers in Norway

Heavy rain warning

A yellow danger warning is in place for heavy rain in Eastern Norway on Friday. 

“Heavy rain showers are expected in the eastern region. There are large local variations in intensity and quantity, and the weather can change quickly. The location of the precipitation is uncertain. Locally, the precipitation is expected to pass 15 millimetres per hour,” meteorologists forecasted.

Rain is also expected in north Norway. 

“Heavy rain can cause locally difficult driving conditions due to surface water and danger of aquaplaning. Adjust the speed according to the conditions and have a safe and good trip,” the State Highways Authority tweeted. 

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