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Keep 'criminal' French out of Norway: MP

Published: 03 May 2013 18:52 GMT+02:00

A Norwegian MP from the anti-immigration Progress Party has called on Norway to shut its borders to organised groups of Roma, Bulgarian and French people whom he accuses of being notorious criminals.

Per Sandberg, number two in the Progress Party which is Norway's main opposition party, proposed "three immediate measures to stop the influx of begging and crime," in a statement posted online on Thursday, which received widespread attention in the media on Friday.

"At the borders, police can [under existing laws] stop organised groups of Roma, Bulgarians or French because we know from experience that these people disrupt the peace and it has also been proven that many of them engage in criminal activities," he wrote.

He did not make it clear how the measure would be implemented in practice.

Sandberg, who is the head of parliament's standing committee on judicial affairs, was not reachable for a comment on Friday.

A debate is currently underway in Norway, one of the richest countries in the world, on whether to ban begging.

The Scandinavian country is to hold legislative elections in September, and opinion polls show the Progress Party could come to power in a coalition with the Conservatives.

According to Norwegian media, Sandberg's text initially only targeted Roma, but in order to not appear too discriminatory, French and Bulgarian nationals were added to the list of undesirables.

AFP/The Local (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

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