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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Ukrainian seasonal work permits, an increase in cases of flu and the beginning of Easter celebrations are among the main news stories from Norway on Thursday.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Easter eggs. Picture: Annie Spratt, Unsplash

Ukrainian seasonal workers in Norway not allowed to extend their work permits

According to a report by NRK, Ukrainian seasonal workers are not allowed to continue working when their permit expires but instead, they must register at a refugee centre and have their asylum application processed individually.

While they are waiting for a new work permit, they must be prepared to receive social support from Nav (Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration).

There are about 1000 Ukrainian seasonal workers a year in Norwegian horticulture, according to the Norwegian Horticultural Association.

The union has asked the Ministry of Labour and Social Inclusion to continue the same rules as during the pandemic, when seasonal workers received an extended work permit.

Minister of Justice and Emergency Management Emilie Enger Mehl says that the government will ensure that Ukrainian seasonal workers who are already in Norway are allowed to work. She can not yet say when or how it will happen. 

New asylum applications from Ukrainian citizens

315 new asylum seekers were registered from Ukraine in Norway on Wednesday according to NRK. 

A total of 2,344 new asylum seekers have been registered in the last week. On Tuesday and Monday, 496 and 408 new applications for asylum from Ukrainian citizens were registered, respectively.

The flu wave continues to grow

The influenza infection continued to increase in Norway last week, according to the National Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet FHI), in a new weekly report on the season’s flu outbreak.

1967 cases of influenza were detected in week 14. It is common for the peak of influenza to have passed at this time of year but this year’s infections started abnormally late due to the omicron wave this winter.

The flu is still increasing, and according to FHI it is uncertain when the peak of the outbreak will be reached, and how big it will be.

Easter celebrations begin

Easter celebrations begin in Norway today, on Maundy Thursday. Over Easter there are national holidays on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Schools are closed and most people do not work.

Easter is typically celebrated in Norway, with everyone getting as far away from the city as they can. Many Norwegians head to Sweden and Strömstad is expecting a large influx and has nearly quadrupled its police force, ready for the extra visitors, according to ABCNyheter,

READ MORE: Easter in Norway: Everything you need to know 

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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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