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

Authorities mull euthanising a famous walrus, a 'dramatic' new climate report, and a salmonella outbreak are among the headlines from Norway on Friday.

Pictured is Spitsbergen, Svalbard.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Friday with The Local's roundup of Norwegian news in English. Pictured is Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Photo by Jess McMahon on Unsplash

Authorities say Freya the walrus may be euthanised

Norwegian authorities are considering putting down a walrus that won hearts basking in the sun of the Oslofjord amid fears it is putting itself and the public in danger, they said Thursday. 

Despite repeated appeals to the public to keep their distance from the walrus — a young female weighing 600 kilos (1,300 pounds) that has been nicknamed Freya -the mammal continues to attract big crowds, the Fisheries Directorate said in a statement.

 Its text was accompanied by a photograph of a group of onlookers crowding near the animal.

 “The public’s reckless behaviour and failure to follow authorities’ recommendations could put lives in danger”, a spokeswoman for the fisheries agency, Nadia Jdaini, said.

“We are now exploring other measures, and euthanasia may be a real alternative”, she added.

The Arctic is heating up much faster than expected

Temperatures in the Arctic have risen four times faster than the rest of the planet, with the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard warming up even quicker, a new study has found. 

The environment minister Espen Barthe Eide has called the study’s findings dramatic. 

“These are dramatic figures. The study is another serious warning about how quickly climate change is happening,” Eide told Norwegian newswire NTB. 

“The ice is melting at record speed, the water is getting warmer, the permafrost is thawing, life on land as well as in the sea is changing,” he said. 

“Parts of Svalbard are in the process of changing from an Arctic to an Atlantic climate,” he added. 

The study concluded the temperature in the Arctic has increased by 0.75 degrees Celsius per decade, and this is almost four times as fast as the rest of the globe. In the areas around Svalbard and Novaya Semlja, the temperature has increased by as much as 1.25 degrees per decade. 

Salmonella outbreak linked to watermelon

An outbreak of salmonella has been linked to a batch of watermelon, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has said. 

The authority said it was working to identify the watermelons linked to the outbreak, in which 18 people have neem infected, but said it was unlikely that the batch in question was unlikely to be found in supermarkets anymore. 

Ukrainian refugees didn’t receive money they were entitled to from the UDI

A number of Ukrainian refugees did not receive the basic benefits they were entitled to when they first arrived in the country, with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) working to identify who may be owed money. 

“We cannot say anything about when we will start the repayments themselves, but UDI wants to make it clear that this is a high-priority matter and that there are many people working on the matter,” press adviser at the UDI, Per-Jan Brekke, told the newspaper Aftenposten

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For members


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.