Norway’s conservative government coalition withdrew a proposal to not only ban begging nationwide but make aiding beggars a criminal offense well. The government needed support from the small Center Party, and as expected, the party wouldn’t offer it.
The begging ban proposal attracted little support when it was sent to Parliament earlier this week. Neither of the government’s two support parties would approve it, while most of the other parties in opposition wouldn’t take it seriously. Criminalizing the act of giving money or other assistance to beggars never seemed realistic in liberal Norway.
The small Center Party had earlier narrowly supported measures to restrict or ban begging itself, though, and the government parties thought they could secure the Center Party’s votes, giving it a slim majority in Parliament. Some Center Party veterans said they would advise the party against supporting the proposal, however, and on Thursday, the party’s parliamentarian leader Marit Arnstad told news bureau NTB that her group wouldn’t support the proposal that had been put out for hearing.
Peter Christian Frølich of the Conservatives confirmed to state broadcaster NRK that the government had thus withdrawn the proposal.