A majority in the Norwegian Parliament have voted to restrict but not ban begging, leaving local governments and the police to decide how to deal with a new wave of migrant poor expected to arrive in Oslo this summer. Police in Oslo, meanwhile, have cracked down on an illegal camp in the forest at Sognsvann.
Police insist they’re not stalking or persecuting the migrants, mostly Roma folk, but rather are merely trying to enforce long-held bans on camping for more than two days anywhere outside an established campground.
The Roma camp, near the end of the popular Sognsvann metro line that leads from downtown into the forest of Nordmarka, was the subject of a complaint by Statsbygg, the state agency in charge of managing public buildings and land.
“It’s our job to take care of the public’s right to use the land, all of the land,” Hege Njaa Rygh of Statsbygg told newspaper Dagsavisen. “That means everyone must follow the rules, which clearly state that you can camp for up to 48 hours in the same place but you can’t live there.” That rule applies to everyone, Norwegians and Roma alike, she stressed.