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Norway drops controversial anti-begging law

February 5, 2015

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norway’s right-leaning government says it no longer will present a law proposal making begging illegal across the oil-rich Scandinavian country.

Thursday’s move came hours after its key ally, the Center Party, withdrew its support for a Feb. 15 parliamentary hearing on the matter. Initially, the centrists, which are outside the government, had backed the idea that would have allowed police to clamp down on beggars.

In June, local authorities were granted permission to limit begging. The Conservative-led minority government then wanted a national ban and called last month for a hearing to find ways to ban begging.

Party leader Marit Arnstad told Norwegian news agency NTB on Thursday her party no longer supported a plan that would make it a crime “to give people clothes, food and shelter.”

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