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Deal opens way to national begging ban

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Roma in Sofienberg - Anette Karlsen Scanpix
09:21 CEST+02:00
Norway could introduce a national ban on begging next year after the country's ruling right-wing coalition struck a deal giving it majority support for the measure.
"We are pushing to open the way for local bans as early as this summer and we have also asked the Government to initiate an investigation of a national ban," Ulf Leirstein, an MP with the populist Progress Party told Norway's NRK. 
 
The coalition on Tuesday afternoon won the support of the opposition Center Party after long negotiations in parliament on the measure. 
 
The government's two minority support parties, the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Democratic Party both oppose the measure. 
 
"I find it remarkable that the Centre Party is ensuring the government's majority for a municipal ban," the Christian Democrat's Kjell Ingolf Ropstad told NRK. "Poor people in Norway and Europe are asking other people for help as a last resort. It is very strange that we are now making this illegal." 
 
Beggars from Romania have in recent years become highly visible on the streets of Norway's cities, leading many in the Progress and Conservative parties to call for a ban. 

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However, in the coalition deal agreed after last September's election, the new government opted to leave the question of whether to institute bans up to local municipalities. 
 

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