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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

The exploitation of Ukrainian refugees, low reservoirs in Oslo, and NAV employees' abuse are among the main news stories from Norway on Friday. 

Pictured is Lofoten.
Read about the exploitation of Ukrainian refugees, the abuses of NAV employees and low water reservoirs in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Lofoten. Photo by Fabian Jung on Unsplash

Kripos: ‘Very likely’ that Ukrainian refugees face sexual exploitation 

Norway’s serious crime agency, Kripos, has said it is very likely that criminals will look to exploit Ukrainian refugees sexually in an updated assessment. 

The agency had previously said that it was likely that refugees would be exploited, but this has now been upgraded. 

“The concern is the same. But in the last period, we have increased the assessment from that it should be likely to happen to, it (exploitation) will likely happen,” Emil Kofoed, head of the section for sexual offences at Kripos, told public broadcaster NRK

Kofoed said that there had been a small number of incidents in relation to the number of refugees. 

In Tromsø, a man in his 20s has been charged with raping a Ukrainian 17-year-old. 

Oslo is getting water from its neighbours 

The source of Oslo’s drinking water, Maridalsvannet, is running so low that the capital is getting water from its neighbouring municipalities to ensure a steady supply, newspaper VG reports. 

Oslo Municipality was also restricting the water flow to the Akerselva by around a third to save water. However, the municipality has said that residents haven’t done the best job of following advice to try and save water.

“We currently receive water from Bærum municipality and Nedre Romerike Vannverk, which together contribute 10 percent of Oslo’s consumption,” Frode Hult, from Oslo’s Water and Sewerage Authority, told VG. 

Oslo has four levels for water-saving measures. The city is currently at level one. The reservoir is around 20 percent less full than it typically is at this time of year. 

One in eight NAV employees has faced abuse

A survey among employees at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) revealed that 13 percent of workers have been subject to violence. 

More than two-thirds said they had received abuse, with more than 10 percent being abused on more than ten occasions. 

Last year two employees at a NAV in Bergen were attacked with a knife, one of the workers, Marianne Amundsen, died while her other colleague suffered injuries. 

Ukraine war causes losses for Norway’s sovereign fund

Norway said Thursday its sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, lost $74 billion during the first quarter of the year due to the market turmoil caused by the war in Ukraine.

The loss of 653 billion kroner, or 68 billion euros, represents a drop of 4.9 percent in the value of the fund which Norway has built up with revenue from its oil exports, said the central bank.

“The first quarter has been characterised by geopolitical turbulence, which has also affected the markets,” said the deputy head of the fund, Trond Grande, in a statement.

The value of the fund’s equity assets, which account for just over 70 percent of the total, fell by 5.2 percent in the first three months of the
year. The bond portfolio, which accounts for a bit more than 26 percent overall, slumped 4.8 percent.

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For members

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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