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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

The latest on the electricity crisis and why dangerous weather alerts don't always reach the right people, plus other news from Norway on Monday. 

Pictured is Lofoten in north Norway, famous for its mountain ranges and fishing villages.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Monday with The Local's roundup of Norway's news in English. Pictured is Lofoten in north Norway, famous for its mountain ranges and fishing villages. Photo by Secret Travel Guide on Unsplash

PM to meet parliamentary leaders 

Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, will meet with the leaders of the other political parties in his office today to brief them on the electricity situation and explain how the government intends to deal with it. 

Pressure has been mounting on the PM for weeks due to record energy prices throughout the summer. 

Yesterday the PM announced the electricity subsidy scheme would be strengthened a month earlier so that 90 percent of the bill, which costs more than 70 øre per kWh, will be subsidised by the government. 

Tourists very rarely receive weather warnings 

Norway is a hotbed for tourists, with many coming in their droves to experience its stunning scenery. 

However, in the event of dangerous weather conditions, visitors are very rarely notified, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

“It is largely based on people having to follow along (with the situation) themselves,” the emergency manager at Vestland County, Håvard Stensvand, told the broadcaster. 

In the event of a yellow danger warning, there is a limit to how much local authorities can notify people by sending out text message alerts. 

“With the current arrangements, our experiences so far indicate that it is unfortunately not possible to reach everyone with this type of information,” Johan Marius Ly at the Directorate for Social Security and Preparedness (DSB) said. 

As a result, a new system will be put in place. 

Government pledges to increase electricity support sooner and mulls export restrictions.

Increased electricity support will take effect from September rather than October, meaning the government will pay 90 percent of consumers’ bills where they paid more than 70 øre per kWh for energy a month earlier. 

The government has also said it will limit foreign exports when the reservoirs are low to avoid other measures such as rationing. 

On Monday, the government will also decide whether to reconvene parliament early to address the situation. 

Freya the walrus on the move

On Sunday, a walrus that has captured worldwide attention after being spotted in several locations in Oslo this summer was on the move once again. 

The 600-kilogram walrus named Freya by locals was spotted at Vollen Marina in Asker pursuing a duck. 

Both professionals in the Directorate of Fisheries and the police have several times asked people to keep a good distance from the animal to avoid dangerous situations and stress for the animal.

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Figures reveal how much household expenses have risen and school exams to go ahead despite teachers' strike disruption, plus other news from Norway on Friday. 

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

Consumers more concerned with energy bills than high-interest rates

Energy and food prices are more concerning for consumers in Norway than rising interest rates, a survey carried out by Sparebank 1 has revealed. 

On Thursday, Norges Bank announced it would raise the interest rate by 0.5 percentage points to 2.25 percent. 

According to the survey, three-quarters of respondents had taken action to deal with the cost of living increases across the board. 

Norwegian newswire NTB reports that 52 percent are worried about the high electricity bills, 46 percent about the high food prices, and 41 per cent are concerned about high-interest rates. 

Tests to go ahead despite teachers’ strike disruption

National tests will not be postponed, despite the ongoing strike’s disruption of students’ education. 

Nationwide exams are mandatory testing of pupils’ skills in reading, arithmetic and English in the fifth, eighth and ninth grades.

In Bergen, several schools have told the newspaper Bergens Tidende that they will struggle to be able to carry out the tests by the deadline of Friday next week. 

“In several schools, we see that it is difficult to achieve this (testing). If the students come back this week, it may be possible, but in the schools that are hardest hit by strikes, it may not be wise and appropriate,” Frode Nilsen told the paper. 

Still, the Education Directorate has said it would not extend the deadline and that tests will go ahead. 

Household expenses for typical household risen by around 1,100 kroner per month

The expenses for a typical Norwegian family have risen by around 1,100 kroner per month, according to researchers at the analysis institute Consumption Research Norway (SIFO). 

Costs for food, other groceries and running a car have increased over the last six months. However, the cost of childcare has fallen. 

SIFO said that it had to update its reference budget for households twice this year, the first time since the 1990s that it has done so. 

Interest rates could dampen the housing market

Norway’s association of estate agents has warned that recent interest rate jumps will lead to a sharp drop in home sales and house building. 

“If interest rates are raised too quickly, and too much, unemployment can become so high, and purchasing power so weakened that it triggers a housing recession in the form of a sharp drop in housing sales and housing construction”, managing director of the Norwegian Real Estate Association, Carl O. Geiving, said.

READ ALSO: The hidden extra costs when buying property in Norway

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