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

The revised national budget, a large increase in online abuse and long waiting times for passports are among the main news stories in Norway on Thursday.

Pictured is Trondheim
Read about the revised national budget, long passport waiting times and the police being armed on May 17th in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Trondheim.Photo by Artem Shuba on Unsplash.

Revised national budget to be presented

The revised national budget, the government’s updated plan for the country, will be presented by Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum on Thursday morning. 

The government will propose increasing the use of oil money by 30 billion kroner in the updated fiscal plan. The government has proposed cutting back on several construction projects too.

The government will make ferry routes with less than 100,000 passengers annually free. 

READ MORE: Why some ferry routes in Norway will be completely free this summer

Significant increase in online abuse figures 

The National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) has said that it has seen a four-fold increase in internet-related abuse between 2020 and last year. 

In 2020, it sent 500 tips to Norway’s police districts, compared to 2,000 last year. 

“We know that it is comprehensive. We have a lot of numbers – the number of tips, the number of people who possess or distribute abuse material, the number of people we believe pay for direct order abuse from vulnerable countries,” Helge Haugland, section manager for internet-related abuse at the investigation service told newspaper VG

“We have a number of figures, but we do not know how specific it is for the actual extent of sexual abuse online,” Haugland added. 

Police to be armed on May 17th 

Norwegian police will be armed on May 17th, Constitution Day, the Norwegian Police Directorate has said. 

The arming of police wasn’t due to a specific threat but to ensure that police were well prepared and equipped to respond. 

“This is something we take seriously to make sure we have good preparedness on this day,” Benedicte Bjørland from the police directorate said. 

Waiting times of up to ten weeks for a passport this summer 

The police, responsible for passports in Norway, have warned that those who want a new passport are facing waiting times of up to ten weeks this summer. 

“Demand is higher than available production, even with the measures we have implemented. Therefore, it must be expected that the waiting time will increase further in the coming months,” Arne Isak Tveitan from the directorate told broadcaster TV2

The current waiting time is around seven weeks, but this could rise to ten by July. 

ID cards are also facing long waiting times, between four to six weeks, according to the police. 

READ ALSO: How do Norway’s slow passport processing times compare to Denmark and Sweden?

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

Why food will be more expensive from today, a key strike deadline and a heavy rain warning for east Norway are among the main stories from Norway on Friday.

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

Food to be more expensive from today 

The price of food in Norway will be “noticeably” higher from today, with the annual shopping bill for families expected to rise by a few thousand kroner from July 1st. 

The reason is that July 1st is one of two days each year when supermarkets raise prices for many different food products. 

Food will become expensive for several reasons. Firstly, as part of the agricultural settlement this year, farmers are allowed to charge more for their grain, meat and dairy products, and fruit and vegetables. 

Suppliers to supermarkets have also raised their prices, and it has become more expensive for food to be imported to Norway. 

“There is no doubt that there will be price increases, noticeable price increases,” Bård Gultvedt, director of business policy and government contact in Norgesgruppen, which owns Kiwi and Meny, said. 

Oslo shooting: Police appeal for video evidence

Oslo police, which is investigating the shooting in Oslo that left two dead and 21 injured last weekend, has appealed for the public to submit more video evidence if it has any. 

So far, Oslo police have received more than 70 tips from the public. They have also asked that video recordings from CCTV and the like from before the attack be stored for eight weeks rather than the typical seven days. 

“We are now working primarily with what we call the video project,” police attorney Børge Enoksen said at a press conference. 

READ ALSO: Norwegian police to remain armed with advice to postpone Pride events dropped

Mediation deadline for potential SAS pilot strike 

The extended mediation deadline for SAS and pilots working for the airline to reach an agreement and avoid a strike is midnight, July 2nd. 

If the two parties cannot agree, nearly 900 pilots will go on strike, with 400 being in Norway. 

A strike would lead to many of SAS’s flights from Norway over the weekend being cancelled. Previously, VG has reported that a strike would ground around 140 flights. 

READ ALSO: What a potential SAS pilot strike means for travellers in Norway

Heavy rain warning

A yellow danger warning is in place for heavy rain in Eastern Norway on Friday. 

“Heavy rain showers are expected in the eastern region. There are large local variations in intensity and quantity, and the weather can change quickly. The location of the precipitation is uncertain. Locally, the precipitation is expected to pass 15 millimetres per hour,” meteorologists forecasted.

Rain is also expected in north Norway. 

“Heavy rain can cause locally difficult driving conditions due to surface water and danger of aquaplaning. Adjust the speed according to the conditions and have a safe and good trip,” the State Highways Authority tweeted.