On thursday, the city council of Eskilstuna, Sweden adopted a decree requiring beggars to apply for a permit to identify the needy populations and identify trafficking, reports the Swedish public radio.
“An authorization from the police authorities for the passive collection of money is mandatory in certain geographical areas,” states the text adopted by an absolute majority with the votes of the Social Democrats, conservatives, centrists and extreme right.
From the entry into force of the decree on October 1, a permit will cost 150 crowns ($23), under penalty of a fine.
Ecologists, Left Party, Liberals and Christian Democrats voted against.
“We are a civilized society, where order reigns, with bureaucracy, institutions. But also a society where the margin increases, outside the law, “justified a Social Democratic Deputy, Jimmy Jansson.
The idea is not to hinder begging, but to allow associations or welfare services to get in touch with people living begging, argue its promoters. And if necessary “to help them to return to their country,” added the elected.
Social Democrat Prime Minister Stefan Löfven called the initiative “interesting” while rejecting the Conservative and far-right proposal to ban begging at the national level.
The text still needs to be endorsed by the county and could be ruled unconstitutional.
In Eskilstuna, a city of 69,000 inhabitants about 100 kilometers west of Stockholm, as in many municipalities across the country, Roma from Romania and Bulgaria have been begging for several years.
Diane Elliot is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years experience. While studying journalism at University of Southern California, Diane found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Coastal Morning Star, Diane mostly covers human interest pieces.