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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Criminals in Norway taking advantage of the war in Ukraine, passport numbers and a shortfall of municipal workers are among the main news stories from Norway on Monday. 

A chruch in Finnmark.
Passports, worker shortages, and criminals exploiting the war in Ukraine are all in today's roundup. Pictured is a church in Finnmark. Photo by Arvid Høidahl on Unsplash

Økokrim believes criminals will take advantage of the war in Ukraine 

In a new assessment, Norway’s serious crime agency has said that the war in Ukraine will have several knock-on effects in Norway, and criminals will likely exploit the situation. 

“We see that there could be fraud in instances where the situation in Ukraine is emotionally exploited to achieve a gain,” Pål Kulø Lønseth, head of Økokrim, told public broadcaster NRK.

The biggest challenge associated with the influx of refugees, according to the crime agency, is that human traffickers and other criminals will try and exploit and force vulnerable asylum seekers into prostitution or forced labour. 

“It is especially (likely to occur) in sectors where there is a need for a lot of unskilled labour. It is construction, the cleaning industry, and the transport business, which will especially see this,” Lønseth said. 

The agency said that the war was also likely to affect the food and energy supply in Norway and lead to an increase in black-market goods. 

READ ALSO: Increased risk of Ukrainian refugees being exploited

335,000 in Norway have already applied for a passport this year 

335,000 Norwegians have applied to renew their passport in the first four months of the year, figures from the Norwegian Police Directorate have revealed. 

The Police Directorate told news site ABC Nyheter that the demand for passports is around 40 percent higher than in a typical year. 

“There is a great demand throughout the country. The demand for passports is now between 40-45 percent higher than in a normal year. In addition, 138,000 applications for a national ID card have been registered so far this year,” Arne Isak Tveitan, head of the ID section at the police directorate, told ABC Nyheter.

The reason for the increased demand is the easing of travel restrictions which had been in place globally for the past two years. Last week it was reported that the police would introduce restrictions on passport applications to ease the current backlog

Warmer climates could see spruce forests on Finnmark Plateau 

The Finnmark Plateau in Norway, famous for its gentle rolling landscape, could soon be dominated by spruce trees due to a change in the climate. 

“Areas that today do not have as much forest, such as the Hardangervidda and Finnmarksvidda, will have spruce forest,” Kyree Kausrud told newspaper Klassekampen. 

Kaursud led a group of experts who looked at the climate challenges Norwegian forests face on behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency.

Norway to need almost 50,000 more municipal workers over the next decade

Norwegian municipalities and county authorities will need 46,000 more employees within the next ten years, the Municipal Sector Organisation (KS) said in a report. 

KS added that it would be almost impossible to recruit that many workers. 

“We will not get hold of all the man-years that our projections say will be needed. There will not be enough employees in Norway for that,” Marit Roxrud Leinhardt from KS told public broadcaster NRK

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For members

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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