NORWAY/SWEDEN. I’m unsure how many years ago it was that the beggers came. All of a sudden they were outside every store, even in small towns.
There was a kind of national panic about the beggars, who are often called EU-migrants as they come from eastern Europe, mainly Romania. Media urged us to give money to this group and let them live in our houses. Some even said that they should get free health care, school for their children and apartments even though EU will give 336 billion kronor (€31 billion, $35 249 460 742) from 2014 to 2020 to Romania to help them care for their poor. And the beggars already have welfare at home so no they aren’t starving.
But once again it was the Swedish civilians and taxpayers responsibility to fix a complex problem. We had to show compassion and everybody who uttered a word about how this was disturbing was called a xenophobe. It was the same thing if one said that these people were being trafficked or commited crimes. That was just a racist myth.
All around the country large camps were created with tents, rusty caravans and cars. The beggars squatted in parks and on private land and the police couldn’t manage to get them to leave. As you can understand, it didn’t take long before the camps became a sanitary inconvenience. There were also beggars living in schoolyards and some janitors had to start every morning cleaning up the feaces and urine. Then there’s the fighting and fees for the good places to sit and beg and shopkeepers reported that their sales went down as potential customers didn’t want to pass the beggars at the entrance. Though the rules say that people from other EU-countries only can stay for three months many stay for years and years. That’s why several municipalities are now trying to find ways to ban begging.
By now there have been a couple of courtcases where beggars have testified that they have been trafficked and forced to live under terrible circumstances. This Tuesday the police in Gothenburg arrested a group of seven migrant women that have been selling drugs in the city for some time. The cups in which people give them money have been used to handle the drugs. It’s believed that one of the bigger drug networks in Gothenburg is behind this.
Here’s a Norweigan documentary about the beggars in the city Bergen. Unfortunately it doesn’t have English subtitles. But the summary is that a criminal network, that made 100 million kronor ($10 785 159) in five years, on begging, drugs and prostitution were active there. The money was taken back to Romania where the leaders of the network lived in luxury. One can easily conclude that beggars cause a lot of problem when they come here and giving them money seldom help them.