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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

The latest inflation figures, energy prices potentially forcing ski resorts to stay shut, and doubts over a pride event in Oslo this year are among the headlines from Norway on Wednesday.

Pictured is a off-piste skier in the Lyngen Peninsula.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local's short roundup of important Norwegian news in English. Pictured is a off-piste skier in the Lyngen Peninsula. Photo by Hendrik Morkel on Unsplash

Inflation at 6.8 percent over the last year

Norway’s consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased by 6.8 percent between last month and July 2021, the latest figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show

Big increases in the price of food and fuel helped drive the inflation figures. 

From June to July, the price of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose by 7.6 percent. There has not been higher growth in Norway since 1988. 

“A historically high price increase for food and non-alcoholic beverages in July was the most important reason for the rise in the consumer price index (CPI) in July. We have never previously measured a similar price increase for food from one month to another in the CPI,” Espen Kristiansen from SSB said of the figures. 

READ ALSO: How do food prices in Norway compare to the rest of Europe? 

Energy prices could force ski resorts to shut

High electricity prices and the potential of power rationing could cause significant issues for small and medium-sized ski resorts in Norway, business newspaper Dagens Næringsliv writes. 

Industry organisation, Norwegian Alpine Resorts and Mountain Destinations, has sent a letter to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the Minister of Culture calling for measures from the state to help businesses. 

Some of the highest costs for an alpine resort are artificial snow production, which requires large amounts of power. 

“In our area, with the prices that are predicted now, we are looking at a tenfold increase in power costs, perhaps more for the coming winter,” Odd Stensrud, deputy chairman of the industry organisation and general manager of Alpinco, which owns and operates the alpine resorts at Hafjell and Kvitfjell, told the paper. 

READ MORE: Norway’s Prime Minister warns that high energy prices could continue for years

Uncertainty over whether there will be a pride event in Oslo this year

Organisers are uncertain if they will have a pride event in the capital this year. 

The original celebration, planned for June, was postponed indefinitely following a mass shooting at a gay pub and other locations the night before the main pride event in Oslo was due to be held. 

“The safety of the public comes first. Oslo Pride has not made a final decision yet. We adhere to the police’s recommendations, and when the level of terrorism, according to the police, is as high as it is, it is not possible to plan the practicalities at the present time,” Oslo Pride leader Inger Kristin Haugsevje told LGBT paper Blikk.

Power costs could curtail church activities 

Churches in Kongsberg have nearly trebled their electricity budget for the year but still might need to close their doors due to high energy prices, Christian newspaper Vårt Land reports. 

Kongsberg’s ecclesiastical joint council has petitioned the government for energy support for businesses. 

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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Friday

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is announced, a tightening of rules for Russian fishing vessels, and other news in Norway on Friday.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Friday

Nobel Peace Prize

It’s that time of year again! The head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, is set to announce the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize winner at 11am local time.

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre is expected to comment on this year’s prize at the Prime Minister’s office at 12:30pm local time.

Many commentators in Norway believe that this year’s award will be connected to the war in Ukraine. The award ceremony will take place in Oslo in December.

In 2021, the Nobel Committee decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”

Norway tightens rules for Russian fishing vessels

Norway is tightening the control regime that applies to Russian fishing vessels. All such ships arriving in the country will have to be checked, and they may only dock in Kirkenes, Tromsø, and Båtsfjord.

Despite some criticism from the opposition, the government decided to keep the exception that gives Russian fishing vessels access to Norwegian ports in place.

During a Thursday press conference on the issue, Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt stated that Norway has closely monitored Russian activity in Norwegian waters and ports to avoid Norway becoming a transit country for transporting goods illegally to Russia.

The Customs Service will be responsible for inspecting Russian fishing vessels in Norwegian ports.

Budget negotiations

The Norwegian government presented its state budget proposal for 2023 on Thursday. As the government doesn’t have a majority in the Norwegian parliament (Storting), it must now seek support from other parties.

It will likely try to negotiate with the Socialist Left Party (SV) to secure the votes it needs to pass the budget through parliament.

The SV’s leader Audun Lysbakken plans to ask for higher tax levels for the wealthy and more measures aimed at promoting social redistribution and fighting climate change.

He rejected criticism from the Conservative Party and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) as “unfounded.”

“I think the criticism from the Conservatives and the NHO should be resolutely rejected. It is totally unfounded. They make it sound like there are massive tax increases for businesses and people with wealth and high incomes. That is not correct,” Lysbakken told the news bureau NTB.

Survey: Almost six out of ten Norwegians want Princess Märtha Louise to give up the title

Almost six out of ten Norwegians want Märtha Louise to renounce the title of princess. The elderly are the most critical of the princess, according to surveys carried out by the newspaper Nettavisen and Dagbladet.

In Nettavisen’s survey, 56.12 percent responded that they believed Märtha must renounce her royal titles and representative duties. In Dagbladet’s survey, 53.9 percent of participants said the princess should give up the title.

More and more Norwegians are becoming critical of Princess Märtha due to recent statements from her fiance, Durek Verrett.

Several associations in Norway have also chosen to end their collaboration with the princess.

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