• Norway edition
 
Norway parliament debates begging ban
Roma in Sofienberg. Photo: Anette Karlsen/Scanpix

Norway parliament debates begging ban

Published: 16 Jun 2014 21:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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Opponents of the law have likened it to anti-Jewish legislation that has since been repealed.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. 

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dogs give clue in hunt for schoolgirl attacker
Norway schools are shocked by the Bergen schoolgirl attack. Photo: locker room Shutterstock

Dogs give clue in hunt for schoolgirl attacker

Police hunting a man who sexually assaulted a primary school girl in Bergen on Tuesday, believe two dogs seen near the scene of the crime may help them catch the attacker. READ  

Planes can cope with new ash threat: expert

Planes can cope with new ash threat: expert

The imminent threat of a volcanic eruption in Iceland causing an ash cloud may be less serious a problem for airspace traffic due to new plane technology, says a Norwegian aviation expert. READ  

Teachers' unions meet to reach strike resolve
Teachers strike across Norway in protest against working day agreement. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Teachers' unions meet to reach strike resolve

The four main teachers' unions met KS on Thursday at Kommunenes Hus in Oslo in an effort to find resolution to the ongoing strikes taking place across Norway. READ  

Norway economy high growth exceeds forecast
Photo: Business write growth graph Shutterstock

Norway economy high growth exceeds forecast

Latest figures show Norway's economy is booming for the second quarter with GDP up 1.2 percent overall. READ  

Lavrans Solli makes Euro final after record swim
Norwegian swimmer Lavrans Solli. Photo: Erlend Aas / NTB scanpix

Lavrans Solli makes Euro final after record swim

Norwegian swimmer Lavrans Solli set a new Norwegian and Nordic record to make the final of the 50 meters backstroke at the Europe Championship in Berlin on Wednesday evening. READ  

Anders Behring Breivik's father to write book
Publisher Arve Juritzen promoting the new book from Jens Breivik, Anders Behring Breivik's father. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Anders Behring Breivik's father to write book

Jens Breivik, father of jailed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, is set to publish a book detailing his role as the father of Norway's most infamous terrorist. READ  

Man arrested in Øyer fire death case
Police search for the killer Bjarte Hansen of in Øyer. Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB scanpix

Man arrested in Øyer fire death case

A friend of the man wanted for the killing of Bjarte Hansen in Øyer last week is under arrest and charged with helping assist in the murder, it was announced on Tuesday. READ  

Car crashes into Oslo shopping mall
A car lost control and rammed into Kiellands Hus shopping centre in Oslo. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB scanpix.

Car crashes into Oslo shopping mall

A driver was lucky to be alive after crashing his car into a shopping centre entrance in Oslo on Tuesday. READ  

Norway's first drunk on a Segway charged

Norway's first drunk on a Segway charged

The Norwegian government lifted its ban on Segways in July, but it was only a matter of time before police caught their first drunk driver on a two-wheel vehicle. READ  

Ødegaard set for Norway international debut
Martin Ødegaard. Photo: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB scanpix

Ødegaard set for Norway international debut

Fifteen-year-old Martin Ødegaard has been called up to the Norway football team for the friendly against the United Arab Emirates on August 27. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
National
Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter
Culture
British Airways takes 'Slow TV' to the skies
International
Top Norway lawyers back Snowden Nobel
Society
Buy your own Viking warship for just €160,000
Politics
Norway PM beats Candy Crush level 300
Culture
Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish
International
Cold bathing craze leads to teen death
Society
Sweden threatens to 'annex' the ostehøvel
National
Baby squirrels survive cat attack
Society
Norway's 'cushy' prisons spurring foreign cons
National
Half Norwegians overweight: Gates study
International
VIDEO: Jagland doing press-ups in Donetsk
Business & Money
Striking Norway barbers: 'Let your hair grow'
Culture
Rihanna 'hard to please', Norway's Stargate reveal
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

316
jobs available