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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Cost of living crisis continues to intensify, growing Euroscepticism and other news from Norway on Monday.

Oslo
Inflation is hitting the most vulnerable groups in Norway hard. Photo by Barnabas Davoti / Unsplash

More Norwegians are asking family and friends for financial help

Almost one in four Norwegians have asked friends and family for financial help this year. The proportion has more than doubled since the coronavirus crisis.

The survey was carried out by Ipsos for the Salvation Army. When the same question was asked in November 2020, nine percent of respondents said they asked close contacts for financial help, compared to 23 percent this year.

“Many people also experienced challenges during the coronavirus crisis, when thousands were laid off. Now we see lower unemployment, but a historically high and steep increase in costs for food, fuel, and housing, among other things,” communications manager Geir Smith-Solevåg in the Salvation Army noted.

“Our survey also shows that an increasing number of people who have asked for help from family and friends have done so for the first time. Some 43 percent did so for the first time in 2020 compared to 54 percent this year,” Smith-Solevåg concluded.

Euroscepticism Norway on the rise in Norway

After record support for Norwegian European Union (EU) membership in May, EU scepticism is back. Only about one in four Norwegians want Norway to join the EU, a new survey shows.

The proportion of those who would say “no” if there was a referendum on Norway’s accession to the EU tomorrow is now at 55.8 percent. The proportion of those who would vote “yes” is at 27.2 percent, a decrease of 8.1 percentage points from the previous poll, the newspaper Nationen writes.

Support is also decreasing for the European Economic Area (EEA). In the previous survey, 64.9 percent of respondents said they would support the EEA agreement if there were a referendum tomorrow. Half a year later, the support fell to 58 percent.

READ MORE: Why isn’t Norway an EU member?

Voluntary mediation between SAS and cabin crew

New voluntary mediation between airline SAS and cabin crew in Norway will start on Monday. The talks will tackle a new collective agreement and efficiency improvements.

The negotiations started in September, and the parties have also engaged in mediation previously without reaching an agreement.

Around 500 cabin crew may go on strike if the parties do not reach an agreement, FriFagbevegelse writes.

Union leader Elin Roverudseter in the Cabin Crew Association has previously said that cabin crew would not compromise on salaries or working hours.

“We do not agree to have wages drop again. It is really completely out of the question in a profession that is already defined as a low-wage profession,” she told FriFagbevegelse ahead of the negotiations.

European Commission: No dialogue with Norway on train privatisation

Last year, the Norwegian government promised rapid dialogue with the European Union (EU) to stop train market privatisation in the country.

But the EU claims they have not heard anything from Norway on the matter.

“So far, we have not received any request for discussions on this matter,” a source in the European Commission told the news bureau NTB.

Within the EU’s fourth railway package, Norway will have to open all train traffic to competition after Christmas Eve, 2023.

In the Hurdal Platform, the Labour Party (AP) and the Centre Party (SP) stated that they would enter into a dialogue with the EU “as soon as possible” in order to secure exemptions from the privatisation requirements.

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For members

TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Electricity to become cheaper in upcoming months, violence in Oslo's schools, and other news from Norway on Tuesday.

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

Electricity prices in Norway expected to decline in coming months

Electricity prices are expected to decrease gradually from the current range of 60-70 øre per kWh to around 40 øre per kWh through spring and into summer, according to electricity market analyst Marius Holm Rennesund from consultancy firm THEMA.

Rennesund attributed this forecast to the mild winter in Europe, which has resulted in less gas expenditure.

Comparing the present situation to autumn 2022, when electricity prices soared up to 6 kroner per kWh in Norway, Rennesund highlighted a significant decrease in gas prices.

Currently, the prices are at only a tenth of their highest levels during that period.

Record high incidents of violence in Oslo schools

The Oslo school system saw a surge in violence and threats against staff last year, with a total of 5,623 reported cases.

According to the Oslo Education Agency’s annual report on violence and threats, incidents categorised as “very serious” against teachers increased by 21 percent from 2022 to 2023.

The newspaper Dagsavisen reported that these figures mark the highest ever recorded, alarming leaders like Marianne Lange Krogh of the Education Association in Oslo.

“We have far too many incidents of violence in the Oslo school. There were over 650 very serious incidents in 2023. And even one incident is one too many,” Krogh stated.

Among the reported incidents, 652 were classified as very serious, 2,137 as serious, and 2,835 as less serious.

Norwegian municipalities to accept 19,000 refugees

In response to the Norwegian Directorate for Integration and Diversity’s (Imdi) request to resettle 37,000 refugees this year, municipalities across the country have agreed to accept nearly 19,000 people.

That is a significant reduction from the original request.

Municipalities have collectively agreed to accommodate 18,885 refugees, with some municipalities exceeding their requested quotas while others met the exact number requested.

However, many municipalities have opted to accept fewer refugees than initially asked for.

PM Støre affirms strong support for Ukraine

Following a summit in Paris focused on Ukraine, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre reiterated the enduring commitment to supporting the nation.

According to the Norwegian news bureau NTB, Støre emphasised the unity among participants and the unwavering determination to stand by Ukraine in its time of need.

“This meeting confirmed how strong the unity is and that the will to support Ukraine is still great,” he said.

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