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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

A new defence minister being appointed and a ship being held in Bergen due to sanctions against Russia are among the main news stories from Norway on Wednesday

Vestfjorden
Read about a new defence minister, a ship being held in Bergen and more in today's roundup of important news. Picutred is Vestfjorden. Photo by Artem Shuba on Unsplash

New defence minister appointed

Bjørn Arlid Gram will take over the role of Minister of Defence following Odd Roger Enoksen’s resignation. 

Enoksen resigned after it was revealed that he started a relationship with an 18-year-old high school student while in his 50s

Gram previously served in the armed forces in the Sør-Varnager garrison, which is responsible for patrolling Norway’s border with Russia. 

The new defence minister said his first job would be to get a thorough update on the situation in Ukraine. 

“The very first thing I will do when I start at the ministry will be to get a thorough update of the very specific situation we are in related to the war in Ukraine and its implications for Norwegian defence and security policy,” he said at a press conference. 

Ship held in Bergen 

The ship Havila Capella owned by Havila Kystruten, has been held in Bergen due to sanctions against Russia lender GTLK. 

“There is uncertainty about the insurance coverage which means that the departure is postponed. It is a situation that has arisen as a result of sanctions against the leasing company that has financed Halvila,” Lass A. Vangstein told regional paper Bergens Tidende

The ship which operates on the Bergen Kirkenes coastal line shares the licence to operate on that route with Hurtigruten. 

The ship was set to leave Bergen at 8pm but was held at the port until gone midnight. Havila has said that it was in contact with Norwegian authorities. 

Norway to look into double-decker trains

The Norwegian Railway Directorate has been commissioned to look at the possibility of increasing the capacity of regional trains in Eastern Norway, the transport ministry has announced. 

The ministry said that eventually, supply wouldn’t be able to meet demand between Oslo and Gardermoen and Moss and Drammen. 

The directorate will look into the use of double-decker trains, work out how much will need to be invested into infrastructure, and where it can cut greenhouse gasses. 

The majority support fine increases

Just under 60 percent of Norwegians support recently increased fines for using a mobile when driving, a new survey, which Norstat did for public broadcaster NRK, has revealed. 

Less than a quarter said they were too high. In March, the fine for being caught using a mobile was increased from 5,000 kroner to 7,450 kroner. 

READ MORE: Norway increases fine for being caught using a phone while driving

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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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