• Norway's news in English
 

Norway parliament debates begging ban

Published: 16 Jun 2014 21:44 GMT+02:00

The proposal by the minority right-wing government, which is expected to pass and become law on Friday, would allow local authorities to ban begging from the start of summer.
 
An outright national ban would take effect at the start of 2015, as agreed by the two-party  governing coalition and a centrist opposition group, which together form a majority in parliament.
 
Those found guilty of begging in municipalities where the ban is enforced would face fines and up to three months in prison.
   
Norway's Justice Minister Anders Anundsen, of the ruling anti-immigration Progress Party, said there was "a link" between begging and crime, notably pickpocketing.
   
Norwegian authorities say the capital Oslo records as many pickpocket thefts as Berlin, whose population is seven times larger.
   
Roma immigrants from Romania are expected to be the most affected by the new law.
   
Out of 194 beggars that the justice ministry identified in Oslo in 2012, just seven were Norwegian nationals, while the others were mainly Romanian citizens. The vast majority of identified Romanian beggars had a criminal record in Norway, the justice ministry said.
   
Opponents of the law have likened it to anti-Jewish legislation that has since been repealed.
   
"How can you believe that in 200 years' time this will not be seen as an attempt to stop Roma entering the kingdom?" asked Bård Vegar Solhjell of the Socialist Left Party, referring to an article of the Norwegian constitution that barred Jews from entering the country 200 years ago. Other opponents said the law would not succeed in lowering crime rates.
 
"If they can no longer (beg), they will be obliged to turn even more to crime," Arild Knutsen, head of a national drug addicts association, told Norwegian television.
   
The ban would mark a return to anti-begging laws that were in place in Norway until 2005 and bring the country in line with legislation in other European countries such as Britain and Denmark.
   
Following a first vote late on Monday, the legislation will undergo a second reading on Thursday and the Norwegian king is expected to formally approve it on Friday. 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway pirate film sold in 100 countries
Captain Sabertooth as played by Kyrre Haugen Sydness. Photo: Storm Films

Norway pirate film sold in 100 countries

The Norwegian pirate blockbuster ‘Captain Sabertooth and the Treasure of Lama Rama’ has now been sold to more than 100 countries, raising hopes that it will justify its production cost in international sales. READ  

Norway's top four April Fools' Day tricks
The University of Oslo's Professor Ruth E. Vatvedt Fjeld. Photo: Yngve Vogt/Apollon

Norway's top four April Fools' Day tricks

Norway’s media was more than usually po-faced on April Fools Day this year, with the biggest newspapers and TV channels opting out. But a few brave publications stood firm against the sanctimonious tide to maintain the “Aprilspøker” tradition. Here are some of the best gags of 2015. READ  

April Fools' Day
April Fool! The Local's day in gags
In Norway we had you fooled that reindeer had become 'Norway's new salmon'. Photo: M.prinke/Flickr

April Fool! The Local's day in gags

No, you weren’t going crazy when you scrolled through The Local this morning. Today, our network temporarily lost its marbles for April Fools' Day. So, as the clock strikes 12pm, it’s time for The Local to fess up and reveal which of our stories were red herrings. READ  

Top Gear Stavanger show to go ahead
Jeremy Clarkson (right) with The Stig (central) and co-presenters in a rehearsal for a Top Gear Live event in Oslo in 2011. Photo: Morten Holm / Scanpix

Top Gear Stavanger show to go ahead

Sacked Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson and his former co-presenters James May and Richard Hammond are to bring their live show to Stavanger’s Sørmarka Arena after all, BBC Worldwide revealed on Tuesday. READ  

April Fools' Day
Farmed reindeer 'Norway's new salmon'
Reindeer roaming wild. Photo: M.prinke/Flickr

Farmed reindeer 'Norway's new salmon'

Reindeer in Norway could be now farmed intensively for their skins and meat for the first time, opening up the way for a new revenue stream for the country’s hard-pressed farmers. READ  

Norway keen to join China-led aid bank
Chinese president Xi Jinping with heads of delegations following the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Establishing the AIIB. Photo: AIIB

Norway keen to join China-led aid bank

Norway said on Tuesday that it wanted to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, even though Beijing has snubbed Oslo since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Chinese dissident. READ  

Norway brings in tough new immigration curbs
Justice Minister Anders Anundsen wants to make it harder for newcomers to Norway to win permanent residency. Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen / NTB scanpix

Norway brings in tough new immigration curbs

Norway wants to make foreigners wait an extra two years before they become eligible for permanent residency, as part as stiff new curbs brought in by the ruling right-wing coalition. READ  

Norwegian sets 60-hour organ marathon record
Nina Irslinger moments after retaking her organ record. Photo: Youtube Screen Grab.

Norwegian sets 60-hour organ marathon record

Norwegian musician Nina Irslinger won back the world record for the longest ever organ recital on Monday night after playing almost continuously for 60 hours. READ  

Norway sees Ukrainian asylum seeker boom

Norway sees Ukrainian asylum seeker boom

Norway saw a huge spike in Ukrainians applying for asylum in 2014, according to data released by Eurostat this month and analyzed by The Local. READ  

Atheists equal believers in Norway for first time
Arctic Cathedral in Tromsö: Henrik/Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Atheists equal believers in Norway for first time

The number of Norwegian atheists now equals those who believe in God for the first time since a key survey began, in a sign of increasing secularization in the once god-fearing nation. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
As it happened: Denmark rocked by terror attack
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Sport
Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,334
jobs available