Romanian Beggars Invade Sweden  

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The stuff I haven't told you yet about Anaughtia (see previous and still unfinished, at this time, article) is on my mind, fighting its way into a sequel. But it will be a while. There are other stories for other blogs that also searching for a way out of my head. Until then, a somewhat easier subject, on Sweden.

romanian-begger-stockholm-1As usual, behind the headlines hide several conflated problems.

Rather than present my views, I’ll start by listing the evidence I gathered mostly from a few Swedish sources.
  1. The first article that caught my eye appeared in “” only a few days ago. Thousands of beggars have arrived in Sweden over the past two years, with ninety percent of them travelling from Romania, according to figures released by Stockholm's Social Administration in April. Most of them are members of the Roma community - one of the EU's largest minority groups - and arrive as EU tourists under the right to Freedom of Movement. Many live in tents or caravans and make a living by asking Swedes for money outside shops and underground stations. Romania has been criticized in recent months for failing to do enough to help Roma people living in poverty. The Swedish government and the EU has said the Romanian government should focus on improving living conditions in Romania, so that fewer people leave the country to beg elsewhere in Europe. Negotiations between Sweden and Romania broke down last spring under Sweden's previous centre-right government, but resumed in November when Sweden's Minister for Children and the Elderly and Gender Equality, Social Democrat Åsa Regnér, met with Romania's Ambassador to Sweden, Răduţa Matache. On Wednesday, Regnér announced that she would be holding talks with her Romanian counterpart Rovana Plumb in Stockholm in January. (..) Sweden is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for Roma beggars. "I like it here. People are very kind. I am poor, but I get more money than at home," one 20-year-old beggar in Umeå, northern Sweden told The Local last week. Giving her name only as Anna, she said in English: "It is not too cold on the streets. It is like Romania". (localse1)
  2. Upon seeing that the names mentioned in the articles are mostly of women, I was reminded of the Tacitus quote: Bordering on the Balts are the nations of Estonia. They resemble the Balts in every way but one - women are the ruling sex. Which shows their fall, not just below freedom, but beneath even decent slavery. (tacitus-germ) Some Scandinavian countries have long had gender quotas even for private firms (inbo-norway).
  3. Not all Swedes seem to support their government’s overly generous stance. The very fact that the crimes below (1-4) were discovered and prosecuted are actually proof that Sweden is still exceptionally awesome.
    1. A security guard was found guilty of assaulting a Roma woman for kicking her out of a subway station and also assaulting a passer-by who came to her assistance (localse2).
    2. Skåne man steals from a beggar’s cup. (localse3)
    3. A man, 33, stole the tablet device from his son's preschool in Sjöbo, south-central Sweden. Shortly after, he handed it to a beggar who was sitting outside a nearby supermarket. He then called the police and reported that the woman had stolen the computer from a car in the supermarket's car park. Police then arrested the woman, who was detained for around 24 hours. The incident, which occurred in August, was taken up by the Ystad district court on Tuesday and the man was charged with theft and making false accusations. The prosecutor said the fact that the woman was defenceless was an aggravating factor in the case. The prosecutor added that the woman's background and skin colour were also motivating factors in the 33-year-old's actions. (localse4)
    4. The authorities in Västernorrland put a notice on its website in August looking for information about a burglary. One of the suspects was referred to by the police as having a "Baltic" look while the other was said to have a "Roma appearance" in the online post. Sweden's recently formed Commission against anti-gypsyism (Kommissionen mot antiziganism) reacted to the wording of the statement and contacted the police for an explanation. The Equality Ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsmannen - DO) are now involved in the matter after being made aware of the original report. "We believe that this issue linking Roma to criminality only contributes to help maintain the stereotyped picture of Roma," Heidi Pikkarainen, head secretary of the Commission against anti-gypsyism, told the local Dagbladet newspaper. The organization was only set up six months by the government in response to the revelations that police in southern Sweden had kept a Roma registry. However, the police in Västernorrland have defended the wording of the statement. They said it was made after careful consideration and was based on witness statements. Sweden's National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) didn't agree and said the publication of the statement contravened existing rules and regulations. (localse5)
    5. "I am tired of the fact that all discussions start and end with the Sweden Democrats," party leader Göran Hägglund said on Thursday. The party's proposals include a reduction in benefits offered to refugees and the introduction of temporary residence permits to replace the current praxis of permanent residency. "This is an area where we haven't achieved sufficient success," Hägglund said referring to higher levels of unemployment among newly-arrived immigrants in comparison to people born in Sweden. Hägglund explained that the party, which has been languishing in the polls since the September election, would like to see the changes in order to "preserve the legitimacy" of Sweden's asylum policy. Among the measures is included a proposal that new immigrants be able to earn up to 100,000 kronor ($13,000) tax free per annum for their first five years in Sweden. At the same time the party proposed a reduction in introduction benefits to finance the initiative. While Hägglund underlined that the proposals were not a question of "closing the border", the move was welcomed by the Sweden Democrats (SD), who have proposed a dramatic reduction in immigration to Sweden. "This paves the way for a more informed debate about immigration," acting party leader Mattias Karlsson said on Thursday. (..) "If we want an open Sweden in touch with the Zeitgeist and part of a globalized world then we should not be regarding refugees in terms of a cost," Green Party spokeswoman Åsa Romson said. Romson expressed a hope that the other Alliance parties do not follow the Christian Democrats' lead. Experts however expressed little surprise at the tactic. "The question was not really if it was going to come, but when," said Ann-Cathrine Jungar, a political scientist at Södertörn University College. Jungar drew parallels with processes occurring in other European countries which have also experienced emerging nationalist and populist parties. "This is of course a deliberate tactic, to prevent more votes heading to the Sweden Democrats and to reclaim some voters who have already moved. The discussion about immigration has become very black and white as parties who wish to discuss the matter risk being accused of playing into the hands of the Sweden Democrats," she said (localse6). The PM criticized the suggestion (localse10). Meanwhile, the Migration Board will hire 1000 extra workers to deal with the significant number of refugees from Middle East and Somalia, refugees coming in numbers that had not been seen since the Yugoslav wars (localse11).
    6. Other echoes I could find are similarly critical about the phenomenon. Bob Arno, some dude who has a website about pickpocketing and con artists is suggesting that all the Romanian beggars are part of an organized network, much like what’s shown in Filantropica, 2002 – bobarno [playlist, 1, 2, MihaiJojoHD, gociur, bogdicinefilul, liberalul, iComedy, uzix111, poetul, complexa, final, scoala, dignity, kalkantaras, professional, cvflorin, can’t]. Elsewhere, on a website dedicated to business, in an article published on July 30, 2013, the editorial team summarizes a TV news item which included an interview with the Romanian ambassador in poor English (scancom).
    7. Yet not everything is bleak. A Romanian beggar won 210000 kronor ($27000) in lottery (localse7) and a dentist offers free dental care to Roma beggars (localse8).
    8. About a year ago, Sweden criticized Romania for not doing enough to better integrate the Roma community (zamoca-swe1). Around the same time, the Swedish Liberals stated that Romania must pay for beggars (zamoca-swe2). Around the same time, a longer article in the same Local detailed the discrimination Romanians working in Sweden felt (zamoca-swe3). The Romanian ambassador in Sweden, Raduta Matache, indicated in February 2014 that she supports a begging ban, claiming that the ease of making a living begging in Sweden makes it more difficult for Romania to integrated its Roma minority (localse9).
    9. Elsewhere in the Scandinavian world, Finland has already cooperated with the Romanian police years ago (finland1-4). Norway has re-enacted a law banning begging (local-no) but the most popular name of newborn males is in Oslo, just like in Tel Aviv, Mohammed (mohammed-no-is). Denmark has cleaned its streets of beggars, sending them to Sweden (localse-denmark). In UK, signs in Romanian warn of the presence of plainclothes police officers. (uk-pickpockets)
  4. Attempts to criminalize or outlaw (i.e., sweep under the rug) “aggressive panhandling” seem to have hilarious and unwanted results (bryant-panhandling). People fined for such behaviour can never pay the tickets, but are slapped with them the moment they get a home and are trying to leave that life behind them and live a normal one. Additionally, this behaviour is not punished or even considered negative when it comes from “charitable” organizations (pro-beg). ..Or cats (caturday).
  5. Sweden was recently ranked fifth in the world for business by Forbes (after Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland and followed by Canada, Norway, Singapore, Switzerland and Finland). Swedes were voted the best looking by other Scandinavians, while in other tops Swedish and Ukrainian women were voted to be best looking.

When I started writing this article, I had quite a few ideas I wanted to write about, but in the process of listing the evidence I based it on, I sort of lost it in a tremendous headache.

What are the ideas I get from the above?

  1. Most Gypsies just love the color orange, judging by how many I’ve seen wearing it. It is a rather uncanny coincidence with the Dutch Royal House, the Orange Revolution and Orange is the New Black, not to mention this very blog. And don’t forget “A Clockwork Orange” or “the mechanical orange” as it was translated in Romanian : – )
  2. Gypsies draw from a different palette than most Scandinavians, who, as Lutherans, go for more austere colors.

Maybe more in a new article, hopefully denser in opinions and relying on the factual stuff (i.e., news) presented here.

Sources / More info: caturday, localse1, scancom, bobarno, tacitus-germ, localse2, bryant-panhandling, pro-beg, localse3, localse4, localse5, localse6, localse7, localse8, inbo-norway, imdb-philanthropy, zamoca-swe1, zamoca-swe2, zamoca-swe3, finland1, finland2, finland3, finland4, mohammed-no-is, localse-denmark, localse-no, localse9, uk-pickpockets, localse10, localse11, localse12, localse13, localse14

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Sunday, December 21, 2014 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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