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

Lower punishment for drug possession, a possible government worker strike, authorities contact tracing a potential monkeypox case and other news from Norway on Monday.

A lake and mountain in Norway.
Read about monkeypox, a potential strike on the cards and lower punishments for drug possession in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is a mountain range in Norway. Photo by Felix Rottmann on Unsplash.

Punishments for drug punishment reduced

Last week, Norway’s Attorney General presented new guidelines for how police should deal with drug possession cases, public broadcaster NRK writes

The Supreme Court advised that drug users should not be stopped, arrested, and searched on suspicion of personal use and that they should not be prosecuted for having quantities of drugs for recreational use. 

The new rules will apply to users in possession of up to five grams of heroin, amphetamine or cocaine. 

Those caught with quantities higher than this but less than ten grams should receive shortened sentences, too, the attorney general attorney said. 

Last year, the Conservative Solberg government presented a drug reform package, which was voted down in parliament. 

Oslo municipality contact tracing monkeypox infected who was in the capital

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) announced over the weekend that it received information that a person who visited the country between May 6th and May 10th has tested positive for monkeypox since returning to their country

The infected were said to have had symptoms during their stay but were only diagnosed after returning from Norway. 

Oslo Municipality is working with the NIPH to identify who could have potentially been exposed to infection. In addition, contact tracers are in touch with the health service in the person’s home country to establish where the infected had been during their trip to the country. 

Mediation for state and municipality workers

The ombudsman, unions and state and municipalities have until midnight to reach a wage settlement for the year

If parties do not reach an agreement, the wage settlement for 500,00 employees expires, and strikes could begin from early as Tuesday. 

One dead and three injured in fatal collision

One person has died, and three have been injured following a fatal car crash in Trøndaleg over the weekend. 

The accident was a frontal collision between two vehicles. Relatives have been notified of the death of a man in his 70s, newspaper VG reports.

There have been a number of fatal traffic accidents recently, with seven people dying in three crashes earlier this month. 

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

More than 160 SAS flights from Norway cancelled, three oil fields closed due to a strike and the population set to shrink in rural parts of the country. This and other headlines from Norway on Tuesday. 

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

SAS strike unlikely to be short-lived

Unfortunately for travellers booked with the airline, the current SAS strike looks set to rumble on for a while as there are two large issues pilots’ unions and the company will need to find consensus on before strike action ends, newspaper VG reports. 

“There are no reassuring signs that it will be short-lived. They have been negotiating for several days, with several postponements, and yet they did not agree,” aircraft analyst Jacob Pedersen from Danish Sydbank told VG. 

Pilots employed by SAS’s parent company, SAS Scandinavia, announced strike action because they were unsatisfied with their salary and working conditions.

In addition, the pilots are dissatisfied that instead of re-employing old SAS pilots, priority is given to hiring new pilots on cheaper agreements in the two subsidiaries, SAS Link and SAS Connect.

READ MORE: What the SAS strike means for travellers in Norway

At least 163 flights out of Norway were cancelled due to the SAS strike

On Tuesday, 163 services from SAS out of Norway were cancelled due to a strike, according to an overview from newspaper VG.

Of the cancellations, 79 were overseas departures, while 84 were domestic flights. 

Yesterday 900 pilots in Norway, Sweden and Denmark went on strike after the company and unions failed to reach an agreement by the Monday midday deadline. 

The airline said that up to 30,000 passengers per day could be affected. 

READ MORE: What can SAS passengers do if their flight is affected by pilots’ strike?

Population in rural Norway to shrink by 2050

Most rural municipalities in Norway will begin to shrink in population by 2050, while the cities and suburbs will continue to grow. 

This is according to a projection by national statistics agency Statistics Norway. 

Norway’s population is expected to grow from 5.4 million to 6 million by 2050 and 6.2 million by 2100. 

“The growth in the population in the next decades will be unevenly distributed across the country. Viken county is expected to grow by 19 percent by 2050, while Nordland is expected to shrink by 2 percent,” Statistics Norway researcher Sturla Løkken said. 

Three oil fields to go on strike

Union Lederne has taken 74 members out on strike, which will lead to the shut down of the Gudrun, Oseberg sør and Oseberg Øst oil fields. 

More oil fields could close on Wednesday when 117 more workers at three other oil fields could go on strike. 

According to Norwegian Oil and Gas, 13 percent of gas exports abroad will be lost due to the strike.