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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.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Passenger aviation taxes are likely to be reformed in Norway this year. File photo: CORNELIUS POPPE / NTB SCANPIX / AFP

Flight tax could be reformed in proposal later this year 

Norway’s Air Passenger Tax (Flypassasjeravgiften) could be replaced in a new government strategy for aviation, news wire NTB reported yesterday.

The government is set to propose changes this autumn that would see the Air Passenger Tax replaced by a different taxation.

The new tax will have a “genuine climate effect and better geographical profile,” the government said.

The existing flight tax is currently suspended as part of Covid-19 economic relief.

Government ally calls for tax cuts due to high prices

The Socialist Left party (SV), the minority government’s preferred budget partner, says it wants to see taxes being cut because of high electricity, fuel, food and goods prices which are likely to persist for the foreseeable future.

“Society as a whole must stand up for those who are struggling with high prices,” the party’s finance spokesperson Kari Elisabeth Kaski told broadcaster NRK.

“There is war in Europe, and that will obviously also affect Norway. We must therefore not just find new crisis packages, but take larger measures that can secure people’s finances,” she also said.

Norway ‘positive’ about helping Ukrainian refugees get to country

Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl told NTB on Sunday that the government is working on ways to help refugees from Ukraine to get to Norway.

“This is a job we must do in a responsible and controlled way, and it’s in the refugees’ interest that as many countries as possible join mechanisms designed to bring them in,” Mehl said.

Many private individuals from Norway have travelled to the Ukrainian border to pick up refugees and have called for Norwegian authorities to play a bigger role in helping Ukrainians who want to get to Norway, according to NTB.

“The government is positive about bringing refugees here, and Norway is ready to both receive those who get here on their own initiative and to transfer refugees if there are countries who ask for this,” Mehl said.

Covid-19: 1,912 new cases registered

Norway’s health authority NIPH registered 1,912 new cases of Covid-19 in its latest update this morning. That is 1,424 cases fewer than a week prior.

With restrictions relaxed in Norway and testing reduced, NIPH relies increasingly on other metrics to monitor the status of the coronavirus epidemic in Norway, notably the number of hospital patients with Covid-19.

As of Friday, 611 people in Norwegian hospital had a positive Covid-19 test, an increase of 87 compared to the preceding day. 55 of those patients were receiving ICU care with 23 on ventilator treatment.

The average number of daily infections over the last seven days is now 6,220, a notable drop from 10,939, the seven-day average a week ago.

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Fatal traffic accidents, a Covid cash row and projects facing postponements are among the main stories from Norway on Monday. 

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

Several dead after traffic accidents

Four people died, and two were flown to hospital following an accident in the Steigen tunnel, Nordland, north Norway, on Sunday afternoon.

 Another two died in an accident in Voss earlier on Sunday. Four people involved in the collision were sent to hospital. 

“We are at full speed into the season where there are usually more fatal accidents than in other periods of the year,” Cecilie Bryner from Trygg Trafikk, which promotes safe driving, said to newswire NTB. 

37 people have lost their lives on Norwegian roads so far this year. Last year, 87 died in accidents. 

Deadline for agricultural settlement

The deadline for the state and agricultural sector to agree on subsidies and funding is today. 

The farmers demand 11.5 billion kroner from the government, while the state has only offered 10.15 billion. 

The two parties have remained tight-lipped on how close they are to a possible agreement or what’s being negotiated.

This year’s settlement is considered far more complicated than during a typical year. The agreement is supposed to cover farmers’ incomes for 2023 and cover the cost of soaring prices and inflation in 2022, agricultural paper Nationen writes. 

Norway’s municipalities in Covid cash row 

A row has erupted between the government and Norwegian municipalities as funding promised to help cover the bill for Covid to local authorities was not included in the revised national budget for 2022, public broadcaster NRK reports

Several municipalities have hit out at the government as a result. 

Norway’s Minister of Local Government, Sigbjørn Gjelsvik, defended the budget and said there wasn’t a cash flow problem in Norwegian municipalities and that things should “happen in the right order”. 

This opens the door for compensation to be agreed upon after a report on Covid expenditure is published in September. 

READ MORE: What the revised national budget in Norway means for foreigners

Road projects could be pushed back 

Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård has said that less money will be spent on road construction next year and that large national projects could be put on hold or scaled back. 

“We will need to review our priorities because there will probably be less money than planned for transport,” Nygård told newspaper VG

The minister didn’t say which projects were most likely to be put on the backburner, but it was most likely those that were still in the planning and preparation stages.

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