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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Interest rates in big jump, a busy weekend at Norway's airports, more mediation talks in the plane technician strike and other news on Friday.

Pictured is a birds eye view of Trondheim.
Read about mediation talks, a busy weekend at Norway's airports and interest rate rises in todays roundup. Pictured is Trondheim from above. Photo by Prometheus Design on Unsplash

Interest rates to rise much faster than planned

On Thursday, Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, raised the key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 1.25 percent. 

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports that this is the first time interest rates have been raised so quickly for 20 years. 

Governor of the bank Ida Wolden Bache said that interest rates would be raised to 3 percent by summer next year. 

Up to 400,000 households in Norway could struggle with rising interest rates, according to the Forecast Centre and figures from Statistics Norway. 

Busy weekend at airports expected

Friday and Sunday are expected to be the busiest days of the summer at Norwegian airports, with just under 100,000 travellers passing through Oslo Airport on both days, newspaper VG reports. 

Airports in Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger are also expecting busy weekends. Despite the busy weekend ahead, Avinor, which operates Norway’s airports, said it should be able to cope without much disruption. 

“We are well prepared. We are an organisation with 2,800 employees at 43 airports trained to handle large numbers of passengers, so we look forward to doing a good job for all travellers and all airlines,” Joachim W. Andersen, communications manager for Avinor, told newspaper VG

Andersen added that travellers should arrive at the airport when they are recommended to by the airline. 

READ ALSO: What to expect when travelling through a Norwegian airport this summer

Air technician mediation talks to continue

Mediation talks between the Norwegian Aircraft Technician Organisation (NFO) and employer organisation NHO Luftfart ended at 10pm on Thursday evening and will continue on Friday from 10am,

Mediator Carl Petter Martinsen told public broadcaster NRK that talks on Thursday were positive. 

“Tomorrow, we will continue the talks. The good work we have started today will continue tomorrow,” Martinsen told NRK. 

“I think the parties are working well together now and with my assistance. It is too early to say if there is any great progress, but I think there is a certain development in a positive direction in the sense that they may have a little better understanding of each other’s positions,” he added. 

If an agreement isn’t reached by Sunday, NHO Luftfart will initiate a lockout, a move one airline said would eventually ground most flights. 

READ MORE: Lockout for aircraft technicians announced unless wage agreement can be reached

Bird Flu detected on Svalbard

Bird Flu was discovered in Svalbard for the first time after tests concluded that a dead seagull found in June in Longyearbyen had the virus. 

It is the first time the virus has been detected in the Arctic. The local government has asked the public to contact them if they find any dead wild birds on the archipelago. 

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For members

TODAY IN NORWAY

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

King Harald leaves hospital, the odds of power rationing this winter, a teacher strike when the kids return to school, and other news from Norway on Tuesday. 

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

King Harald leaves hospital

Norway’s King Harald was discharged from hospital last night after he was admitted for an infection last week, the Royal Palace said. 

The 85-year-old was said to be in good health after leaving the hospital, where he received antibiotics. 

Harald, whose duties are mostly symbolic, has suffered from a number of health problems recently, including Covid, knee surgery in 2021 and respiratory problems the year before.

The king also underwent surgery in 2003 for bladder cancer, then another operation in 2005 for heart valve problems, a valve which was replaced in another operation in 2020.

Chances of power rationing are lower than at the beginning of summer 

The likelihood of power rationing being brought in before next spring is now lower than it was at the beginning of the summer, Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland has said. 

Low reservoir filling levels and a European energy market crisis led to an increased chance of power rationing in Norway. However, this risk has now decreased. 

“The situation now is better than at the start of the summer,” Aasland told business and financial site E24.

Aasland said power producers had followed the government’s request to try and stop reservoirs from being too depleted.

Teachers’ strike to escalate

The Norwegian Education Association has announced an escalation of the teachers’ strike starting when kids return to school. 

“We have made a plan. I cannot reveal where, when and how many people will be affected by a strike. But it is only natural to imagine that an escalation will take place in connection with the start of school,” Steffen Handal, head of the Norwegian Education Association, told public broadcaster NRK.

Teachers decided to strike following the wage negotiation for the public sector in Norway. Teachers felt as if they had gotten the raw end of the deal during the last few collective bargaining agreements. 

While the overall package was accepted by the trade union representing the public sector, teachers decided to strike. 

The employer organisation for the public sector, KS, said that the money teachers want had been “used up”. 

One in three think it is safe to cycle in Oslo

The number of people who believe that Oslo is a safe city to cycle in has increased, but less than a third feel it is safe to cycle. 

This figure had increased massively from 2014 when just nine percent of people said it was safe to use a bike in Oslo. 

It is obviously an improvement, but it was a rather deplorable starting point. Much remains to be done before Oslo is a real cycling city. The goal is that cycling should be experienced as safe for everyone, whether you are eight or eighty years old, says Environment and Transport Councilor Sirin Stav (MDG) in Oslo to Aftenposten.

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