The Luxembourg City municipal council recently voted in favour of adjusting police regulations on begging to make it illegal in the City centre, Gare, and Bonnevoie between 7am and 10pm.
The motion was passed with votes from the DP-CSV majority while opposition parties LSAP, The Greens, and The Left all voted against the proposal.
The majority parties stressed that this move is not designed to target individual beggars, but organised groups. However, no details around the implementation of the regulation have been revealed thus far. In theory, organised begging has been prohibited in the capital since 2015.
Luxembourg City Mayor Lydie Polfer acknowledged that it will be difficult to differentiate between individuals and groups: "It is challenging to find proof. But, that cannot be the reason to just give up." The limited and territorial ban is therefore hoped to bring about change.
The CSV's Paul Galles and Maurice Bauer expressed confidence that authorities will handle the situation delicately. They further argued that people involved in organised begging can rarely be convinced of accepting social support.
The LSAP meanwhile accused the aldermen council of using the issue for political gains ahead of the election as Luxembourg City residents and businesses are "annoyed" by beggars. He thinks that the change of police regulations does not comply with the constitution as the limitation of people's freedoms has to be retained through laws rather than regulations.
Mayor Polfer countered this criticism by referring to similar regulations already in place in Diekirch, Ettelbruck, and Dudelange. Alderman Serge Wilmes further noted that residents of these towns were informed about organised begging, which the municipality of Luxembourg City now also considers doing.
The Greens accused the council of inhuman behaviour and trying to solve a problem with measures that cannot be implemented. The Left also deemed the measure disproportionate and argued that begging cannot be equated with criminal behaviour.