The ongoing saga surrounding Luxembourg City's infamous begging ban appears to be far from over. Following the veto imposed by the Minister for Home Affairs on Tuesday, the mayor and the municipal executive board ('Schäfferot') have responded to the decision.
The ban on begging in Luxembourg's capital has become a contentious issue between the municipal executive (Democratic Party – DP, Christian Social People's Party – CSV) and the government (DP, Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party – LSAP, Green Party – déi Gréng).
Begging has been banned since the end of March in several quarters of Luxembourg City (Ville-Haute, Gare, and Bonnevoie) between 7am and 10pm, but the controversy surrounding it persists.
Minister for Home Affairs Taina Bofferding (LSAP) rejected the police decree adopted by the city, declaring during a press briefing on Tuesday morning that "the ban on begging in the capital cannot come into force."
© Maurice Fick
In response, the mayor and members of the municipal executive board swiftly organised their own press conference at the Citizens' Centre on Place Guillaume II at 2pm.
Municipality wants to appeal decision
"This morning," after receiving the official letter from the ministry, "we decided to hire a lawyer and appeal against this decision," Mayor Lydie Polfer announced on Tuesday afternoon. The mayor expressed the belief that Bofferding's decision appeared politically motivated, seeing as it coincides with the start of the municipal election campaign.
The intention behind the police decree issued by the municipality "is not to kick out people who (beg and) are experiencing hardship" but to denounce a "real market" of organised human trafficking. Polfer stressed that "we wanted to show that something must finally happen, including to save people," adding that "we even saw children on the street."
Amid this contentious issue, the mayor lamented that the problem of organised begging in the city continues to escalate due to a lack of definitive action.