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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

The GP system in Norway to undergo review, a windfall for Statnett and why low production is a sign energy measures are working are among the headlines from Norway on Thursday. 

Pictured are houses in Trondheim.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local's short roundup of news in English. Pictured are houses in Trondheim. Photo by Jo Sorgenfri on Unsplash

Norway to review the current GP system

The government has tasked an expert committee to devise measures to improve the current GP scheme, it announced on Thursday morning. 

More than 175,000 residents are currently without a GP in Norway, according to the government. 

“The current action plan (to improve the GP system) has several good measures, but they have not had the desired effect. Then we have to think again, and we have to take new measures. We cannot continue on the same track and hope that the situation will resolve itself over time,” Minister of Health and Care Ingvild Kjerkol said. 

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said next year’s budget would include more funding for the GP scheme. 

Part of the expert committee’s objectives will be to develop proposals for how the GP system should be funded and organised.

In a survey of The Local’s readers on the Norwegian healthcare system, being left on a GP waiting system or struggling to get an appointment were two common issues. 

READ MORE: What do foreigners think of the Norwegian healthcare system?

Windfall for Statnett 

State-owned Statnett has announced record bottleneck revenues for July. It made around 3 billion kroner in bottleneck revenues in July, taking the total for the year to over 11 billion kroner. 

Bottleneck revenues is income that Statnett receives when electricity flows from one area to another. The difference between the prices in different regions goes to Statnett.

Last year, Statnett made 5.3 billion kroner from bottleneck revenues. Around 75 percent of Statnett’s revenues have come from bottlenecks this year, according to Europower

One silver lining for those paying record high prices for energy in Norway is that Statnett will eventually have to return the additional income from bottlenecks to customers

Low energy production is a sign that measures are working

Historically low energy production in the south is a sign that measures to ensure a sufficient energy supply in the winter are working, Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland has said. 

“It is a positive development that shows that the power producers are holding on to water,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The low production output comes after the government asked producers to slow down production and provide regular updates on the power situation. 

Power production in eastern and south-west Norway fell to a historically low-level last week, according to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). 

Fears more could slip into fuel poverty this winter

The Norwegian Consumer Council fears that high energy prices could force more people into energy poverty. 

“Many consumers will have to save in other areas to pay the increased electricity costs, while others will struggle to cover the increased expenses”, Inger Lise Blyverket, director of the Consumer Council, said to the consumer rights group’s website.

The Consumer Council said that energy bills could double this year, and the poorest will likely be the hardest hit.

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Talks between teachers and employers to end the strike break down, Norwegians change their habits to adapt to high energy prices, plus other news from Norway on Monday. 

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

Mediation talks in teachers’ strike fail to reach an agreement

Talks on an agreement between teachers and employer organisations could not find a solution to an ongoing strike on Sunday. 

“Unfortunately, I can announce that we have not been able to reach a solution,” Mats Ruland from the national mediation service said. 

Norwegian Minister of Labour Marte Mjøs Persen has said that the responsibility to end the strike still lies with the two parties than with the government. 

As the strike has continued, more and more groups have called on the government to end the strike. 

Key vocab: Meklingen- mediation

READ ALSO: Number of teachers on strike in Norway passes 8,000

Norwegians change their habits to adapt to high energy prices

Households in Norway have adjusted to rising energy costs by changing their habits to use more energy when prices are lowest, the newspaper Bergensavisen reports. 

For example, BKK Nett told the paper that when prices were lower than the week before, on September 17th, consumption rose by 16 percent. 

Fjordkraft has confirmed that customers are shifting their consumption to the hours of the week when the electricity price is lowest. 

READ ALSO: What are your tips for saving on energy in Norway?

Red Cross: Inequality between refugees in Norway

Secretary General of the Norwegian Red Cross, Bernt G. Appeland, has said there is an inequality in how refugees are treated in Norway.

He wrote in an editorial for public broadcaster NRK that a refugee from Ukraine may receive more support than one from Eritrea- even when both arrive in the country under similar circumstances. 

As an example, Appeland points to Asker Municipality, where unaccompanied minors from other countries are given bikes to get around with while refugees from Ukraine receive travel cards which allow them to use public transport for free. 

Key vocab: klasseskille- class divide

Lots of rain in eastern Norway 

Southern and eastern Norway will see high amounts of precipitation at the beginning of the week, the newspaper VG reports. 

On Sunday, wet weather hit western Norway as low pressure from northeast Iceland made its way to the coast. 

“From Monday, there will be more precipitation in Eastern Norway than in the West, but it will probably linger a bit in Western Norway as well. The front will affect the weather in Southern and Eastern Norway in the coming days,” Magnus Haukeland from the Meteorological Institute told VG.

In Vestfold of Telemark and parts of Viken, a yellow weather warning has been issued. Rain and perception will clear up on Wednesday.

Key vocab: gult farevarsel- yellow weather warning

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