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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

The resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in Bergen, changes to BankID and restrictions on ordering passports are among the news stories from Norway on Friday.

Bergen from the top of Fløyen.
Read about Bergen settling low numbers of Ukrainian refugees, changes to BankID and passport restrictions in today's roundup of important news.

Bergen has yet to house any Ukrainian refugees

Bergen has yet to settle any of the 1,000 refugees it has agreed to house, newspaper Bergens Tidende writes

The city’s authorities have found around 600 homes to house refugees fleeing war in Ukraine. 

“We think it’s going to slow. Having as normal everyday life as possible is absolutely essential for the refugees. The settlement (of refugees) must take place faster,” Pål Nesse, head of the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), told the newspaper. 

Around 1,000 refugees are living in temporary reception hotels. 

Figures from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) have revealed that only around 3 percent of the refugees from Ukraine in Norway have been resettled.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Oslo Municipality was critical of the speed at which the authorities were finding a place for refugees to settle. 

READ MORE: Why has Oslo taken in a low number of Ukrainian refugees?

Passport restrictions in place until summer to ease backlog

The Norwegian Police Directorate has introduced restrictions on the issuance of passports to try and reduce a growing backlog. 

People are being asked to order a national order card that allows them to travel in the EEA rather than a passport if they will only be travelling within the EU/EEA. The measures will be in place until July.

“There is a great demand for passports, therefore, we encourage everyone who is only going to travel within the EU / EEA countries and Switzerland to choose a national ID card with the right to travel. If you only need identification, this is a very good alternative,” Bjørn Vandvik from the Norwegian Police Directorate said in a statement

READ ALSO: Long queues for Norwegian passports and ID cards due to production issues

BankID on mobile to be phased out

New technology will see the current BankID on mobile system phased out, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

“BankID on mobile was a revolution when it came in 2009, but now people expect an even simpler BankID than they have today,” Jan Bjerverd, from BankID Bank Axept, told NRK. 

Moving forward, users will be able to use biometric login with their face or thumb. The new system will shorten the process of using the service from around 30 seconds to 10 seconds. The new service wasn’t likely to be ready until next year. 

Drought in southern Norway may lead to water-saving measures 

The Norwegian Energy and Water Directorate has warned that the drought in south Norway could affect the water supply, and water-saving restrictions could be implemented as a result

Little perception and high temperatures have led to low reservoir levels. This could have knock-on effects on power production, agriculture, and boat traffic. 

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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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