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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. 

Pictured is a file photo of Norway's King Harald.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local's roundup of Norwegian news in English. Pictured: King Harald of Norway arrives at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Photo by John Thys / Belga / AFP.

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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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Thursday

A new state budget proposal, a European summit on the energy crisis and other news in Norway on Thursday.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Thursday

State budget proposal for 2023

The Norwegian government will present its proposal for the state budget for 2023 on Thursday morning.

Several key figures from the proposal will be published even earlier, and Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum, of the Centre Party, is set to hold a press conference at 12:30 PM CET.

Trygve Slagsvold Vedum

Norway’s Finance Minister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. Photo by Ragne B. Lysaker / Center Party / Press
 

Both Vedum and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre have repeatedly warned that this budget will be very tight and focused on “responsible economic policy” and “reduced use of Oil Fund money.”

Cheaper pre-school 

From August 1 this year, the maximum price for pre-school (kindergarten / nursery) places in Norway amounted to 3,050 kroner, according to the Directorate of Education.

In its new state budget proposal, the government wants to cut the maximum price to 3,000 kroner, Minister of Education Tonje Brenna (AP) told the newspaper Dagbladet.

The cut will apply from January 1.

Summit on the energy crisis, war in Ukraine, and economic situation

Politicians from 44 countries are expected to attend a summit in Prague, Czech Republic, between political leaders in EU and non-EU countries. Norway will also participate in the meeting, represented by Prime Minister Gahr Støre.

The summit will focus on the energy crisis, the war in Ukraine, and Europe’s economic situation, and it will be the first meeting of the so-called European Political Community (EPF).

“The fact that so many European countries are gathering is a strong signal that we stand together against Russia’s warfare.

“Norway is now the largest supplier of gas to Europe, and therefore it is natural that I participate when the energy crisis is on the agenda,” Støre said on Wednesday.

Hurtigruten cruise ship in Ålesund evacuated after anonymous threat

On Wednesday, passengers of the Hurtigruten ship MS Nordnorge were evacuated in Ålesund after an anonymous threat was made in a phone call.

After carrying out an investigation, the police later clarified that the threat to the ship was not real.

The threat to the ship was described as vague, according to the police.

“As a precautionary measure, the ship contacted the police,” press contact Martin Henriksen in Hurtigruten told Dagbladet.

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