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

Drug reform, university applications and tax returns are among the main news stories from Norway on Thursday. 

Cabins on the coastline in Norway.
Read about drug reform in Oslo, tax returns, and more in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Lofoten.

Oslo to trial drug reform measures 

The city of Oslo wants the police to implement a light version of a much-debated drug reform package which has been debated in Norway for over a year. 

Under the previous government, a proposed drug reform failed to get the support it needed in parliament, but Oslo will try implementing its own package, newspaper Avisa Oslo reports

The city’s measures would aim to try and replace criminal punishment with counselling, health care and rehabilitation instead. 

Oslo’s police force will carry out the pilot scheme. The use of less punitive measures only relates to events where one is caught in possession of a substance for personal use. 

Half a million yet to check their tax return

Around 500,000 people haven’t even opened the document on the Norwegian Tax Administrations website ahead of Saturday’s deadline. 

 “I encourage everyone who has not opened and checked the tax return to do this within the delivery deadline. It is your responsibility to check that the information is correct,” Nina Schanke Funnemark told newswire NTB. 

The reason why people need to open their tax return before the deadline is that it is only partially complete when sent out to residents, meaning they will need to be completed. 

Fewer higher education applications in 2022

For the first time in a number of years, the number of applications for education has fallen. 

This year, 134,954 people applied to study in Norway through the Coordinated Admissions scheme. 

Compared to last year, around 19,000 fewer people applied to a Norwegian university. Figures are at their lowest level since 2016. 

Ola Borten Moe, Universities Minister, said that applications dipping was natural following record numbers throughout the pandemic from people who were unable to study abroad or were laid off deciding to retrain. 

Britbox launches 

Britbox launches in the Nordics today. The BBC-ITV joint venture into streaming will include plenty of programmes from both broadcaster’s archives and original programming made for the platform. 

For users in Norway, Britbox will be available via TV2 play. The service joins existing streaming giants like HBO and Netflix on the Norwegian market. 

A subscription in Norway will cost 89 kroner per month. 

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For members


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.