Slumming in Stockholm
|Moa Karlberg for The New York Times, 8/8/15|
Turns out that the poor of EU have learned to migrate to collect money in the more affluent countries, and return to their own when they have enough. Romania, from which many Roma come, has one of the lowest wealth levels in the E.U, and given their status as part of the European Union their citizens may move freely within the 28 nation bloc.
I won't give all the details (read this excellent article for more insightful information - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/world/poor-eu-migrants-test-limits-of-swedish-tolerance.html? from The New York Times) but needless to say it has given many Swedes some serious pause for thought and questioned their values. Do you give the beggars money or not? They don't get government assistance because they don't live in Sweden, but they also don't add anything either. I felt guilty seeing them beg, but honestly I chose not to help. Does that make me awful or just American? I guess we're used to seeing beggars as awful as that is ... and I didn't understand who these people were at the time. I haven't ever seen this before in Sweden!
The Roma are nomads and this is part of their identification, but it seems that times have moved on yet they haven't. I mean is it OK to just wander into a country, ask for money, and leave? And what will EU do with this quandary? It's a huge issue and further complicated by the fact that many beggars unfortunately put their lives on the line in the beautiful land of Sweden (77 crimes in the last 18 months against beggars were reported) and that's just not right.
|from - http://criesfromthedepths.blogspot.com/2014/04/swedish-police-stand-by-while-roma.html|