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TODAY IN NORWAY

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. 

Oslo Opera House
Read about rising interest rates, record flu jabs and whether a former Norwegian Prime Minister will continue in their post as NATO General Secratary in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is a Oslo Opera House. Photo by Svein Sund on Unsplash

Stoltenberg on continuing with NATO: ‘It is up to the 30 countries to decide’

NATO Secretary-General, and former Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, has refused to give a solid answer on whether he would be willing to continue in his post, which he is due to leave later this year. 

“It is up to the 30 allied countries to decide. My focus is to prepare for the summit tomorrow,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference yesterday afternoon. 

The press in Norway has reported that several heads of state have asked Stoltenberg to continue in the role to avoid NATO looking for a successor amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Stoltenberg is set to move back to Norway later this year to take up the hotly debated post as governor of Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank. 

The appointment has raised eyebrows and drawn scepticism in Norway as Stoltenberg is a former colleague of current PM Jonas Gahr Støre. 

Interest rates going up 

The key interest rate is widely expected to be raised on Thursday. The key policy rate will likely be increased from 0.5 to 0.75 percent by Norges Bank. 

The bank is holding a meeting on interest rates at 10:30am. The decision to raise interest rates was announced in January, and economists believe that the bank will stick to the planned rate hike. 

READ ALSO: Five essential tips for saving money on food shopping in Norway

Rising interest rates mean more costly mortgage repayments and higher interest on loans however, rising interest also typically curb rising house prices. 

Record number of flu vaccines

A new study shows that a record number of those over 65 have been vaccinated against seasonal flu. 

75 percent of those aged over 65 said that they had been vaccinated against seasonal flu, according to a survey carried out for the Pharmacy Association. 

Last year only 59 percent of people in this age group said that they had the flu jab. 

National museum in hot water over job listings

Norway’s new national museum has received criticism from the Labour Party for listing 38 part-time jobs. 

The government has been vocal about decreasing the number of part-time roles offered by firms and replacing them with full-time listings. 

“With so many vacancies advertised, one would think that there was room to get more full-time positions. Involuntary part-time and lack of full-time culture is a big problem in parts of both the public and private sector,” Labour policy spokesperson Tuva Moflag told public broadcaster NRK

The museum has defended the listing and said that if they were to offer the jobs full-time, it would mean staff working six days a week and most weekends. 

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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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