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'Sweden discriminates against Roma'

TT/The Local · 4 Sep 2010, 16:42

Published: 04 Sep 2010 16:42 GMT+02:00

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Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg, and archbishop Ander Wejryd argue in a debate article in the Dagens Nyheter daily on Saturday that Sweden's deportation of 50 Roma EU citizens is evidence that the country is complicit in the ongoing discrimination of the ethnic group.

The deportations have been defended by the migration minister Tobias Billström who has argued that the EU rules on the free movement of labour are not intended to encourage begging.

The deportations have been carried out despite the uncertain legal framework, Hammarberg and Wejryd argued.

"They are identified as a danger to society by politicians who seek to win political points on demands of a tough line against this already vulnerable group. They are subjected to arrest and collective deportations."

Hammarberg and Wejryd wrote that the growing "anti-Romaism" has to be fought across the whole European continent. They maintain that the legal rights of the Roma has to be taken seriously and that their citizens' rights within the EU have to be given the same importance as other EU citizens.

Story continues below…

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:18 September 4, 2010 by Finnish guy
I don't think that allowing begging or crimes are solution to the Roma problem. They just cause the problem to become bigger as the next generation will become bigger and spread to larger area but the children will still be without real education and have no way of getting real jobs instead of begging and doing al kinds of crimes.

The solution is stopping this Roma culture that is based on begging and make sure that the children go to school and get education and that the adults go to work. And teen marriages should also be stopped. Some of these problems have been partially caused by discrimination but also the Roma culture has to change.
18:32 September 4, 2010 by dwb5555
This is so crazy.

Come on these guys are criminals. Why is it wrong to get rid of people that are lazy and just want to take your hard earn money. I say kick them all out and any other people that don't want to work. The rest of us have to work hard all day and don't get to spend time with are family and these lazy bums don't do anything.

If there is a ethnic group of lazy bums you can't work with them and they show no respect so they just don't matter and send them back where they came from. There are people from other ethnic all over this world treat worse than these that would be willing to come to europe and work hard.

I say send them back and make Romains to get work visa to entry other countries that way if Romains are happy about they will deal with these people and change their way.
20:07 September 4, 2010 by petrasflorin
Believe me, if the numbers of Rroma people wouldn't be so huge in Bulgaria and Romania these countries would have deported them on a deserted island long ago. They are causing huge problems in these countries for ages, the EU just met them but the Romanian people and the Bulgarian people are trying to integrate them for a long long time. They simply cannot integrate, their society is a closed society, if someone tries to change their way of being they just become violent.

They steal from you, they swear at you, they spit at you, they even poo on the streets, they camp wherever they feel like it and they camp in masses.

Rroma are rroma, with their own "culture" if you can call it a culture, gypsies are different, they are gypsies, they resemble rroma but they aren't rroma, in the long run they kinda behave the same way and Romanians are not rroma. Romanians are white caucasian people, blonde, brunette but mostly in-between. You wouldn't tell the difference between a blonde Swede and a blonde Romania, for example, search Google for Cristina Rus - a Romanian singer or... Andreea Banica, or even the Minister of Tourism, Elena Udrea.

Do not mistake Romanians for rroma for they aren't rroma. Rroma are a problem which Romanians are trying to solve for ages but it's difficult due to the Rroma society being a closed society, they talk their own language, have their own traditions, breed between them and establish their own communities. They simply refuse to blend with anyone or anything that isn't rroma.

Of course, there are exceptions with bright intelligent rroma who managed to have a normal life but that doesn't mean there's spring with a single flower.
20:52 September 4, 2010 by space2
@petrasflorin: well spoken, I couldn't agree more.
20:57 September 4, 2010 by Kaethar
They should make begging illegal in Sweden as it is in Denmark (I think). Then Roma beggars can be arrested and deported for begging. :) This would also put a damper on human trafficking. As for citizens begging they can go to jail for a few days. :)
21:00 September 4, 2010 by Syftfel
I don't think anyone disputes the fact that Swedes, and most other European countries, discriminates against the Roma. But that's not the question. The question is Why? Why are we discriminating against them? Does anyone care to provide a cultural analysis of the reasons, and how we cure this situation? I note that some of you above have attempted, although in less than politically correct language. What do we do? How do we re-educate them or get rid of them? I'd like to hear some sensible suggestions.
21:27 September 4, 2010 by StockholmSam
According to the article, Hammarberg and Wejryd "maintain that the legal rights of the Roma has to be taken seriously and that their citizens' rights within the EU have to be given the same importance as other EU citizens."

Are their EU citizen rights being violated? What is the EU law that is applicable here? Can an EU citizen move from his/her home country to another EU nation and stay there indefinitely without a job? I think freedom of movement in the EU does allow this, though there are exceptions regarding security and health in the receiving society. There might be other restrictions, as well. Can an EU country (Sweden) deport EU citizens to another EU member? I have no idea, but that would seem strange because a fundamental right of EU membership is freedom of movement without regard for employment, if I am interpreting what I read correctly.

I also read on the EU Commission's website that the EU laws regarding freedom of movement are subject to much greater restriction for 7 years after a nation joins the EU. Bulgaria and Romania joined January of 2007, so they are still subject to restrictions on movement. I could not find clarity on what those restrictions are.

I also know that since the Roma are the ethnic group most subjected to discrimination in Europe, they might be entitled to some sort of protected status that excepts them from the standard application of the EU's freedom of movement laws and/or any restrictions resultant from recent EU accession.

Basic human rights for the Roma fit into this puzzle somewhere, as do the rights of Swedish citizens to create the kind of society they desire.

A muddy issue indeed.
23:27 September 4, 2010 by Finnish guy
If the children don't go to school, the children should be taken from the parents and the parents could be put to jail. And the adults could get shelter and food if they don't decline to work or study, but earning money by begging should be illegal. And if this causes them to be violent, they should be put to prison for long time.

I hope Finland follows soon the example of Sweden in this issue. Although at the moment Astrid Thors, the minister of the Swedish People's Party of Finland (this party has almost always 1-2 ministers and even election results don't seem to affect this at all), seems to try to fetch all the poor people in the world to Finland and give them even more money than Sweden.
09:23 September 5, 2010 by rybo1
I encountered the gypsies several years ago in Moscow. I was at the central station underground. A bunch of them, women with babies on their backs surrounded me and started babbling a language I didn't understand. While babbling they frisked my winter coat and stole my wallet and my monthly salary. They send their children on the trains to beg and they about 3 or 4 years old.

In Kenya, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and South Korea and Sweden, where I have worked I have never encountered such people. Oops sorry, I have encountered them here in Sweden and they are rude and care about nothing but themselves.

They waltz around in black garb and really don't give a crap about the society they've chosen to pickpocket and screw. Simply, they are scum. Sorry for not being politically correct.
11:01 September 5, 2010 by JulieLou40
rybo1-I agree entirely. Show me a decent, hardworking roma person, & I will eat my words.

(It's not going to happen).
11:42 September 5, 2010 by Finnish guy
StockholmSam, as far as know, there is no automatic right to stay in another EU country for over 3 moths unless you have a job there. I think the 3 month period is mean for searching job, but I don't think it gives the person the right to receive any social security during that time.

But I don't think the situation is completely hopeless. At least in the Finland some of the Roma people do go to real work and some are even well educated. Unfortunately working Roma person is still too rare and it seems that their culture is really against integration, education and working. I don't think that that culture that is against working is worth preserving and it has to change.
12:01 September 5, 2010 by Frobobbles
I completely agree with those that say that we should not change the laws, and allow theft just because it is convenient for some ethnic groups to live on it. The same rules must apply to everyone.
12:12 September 5, 2010 by AndreaGerak

Don't forget that it is exactly the hard working, decent, tax payer Swedish people who help to keep up begging: if no-one gave them money, there would be no point for them to beg...

I have seen it many times that there was a street musician from whatever countries, with a GREAT performance, beside some beggar - and which one got the money from the Swedes? Yes, you guessed right: the dirty bum who didn't give anything as an exchange, and not the artist who gave his or her talent and worked hard for each coin...

Swedish people should stop contributing to the criminality of those who are getting money for no performance - regardless of skin color or ethnic origin, etc, including abuse of the world famous, hyper-super-fantastic-world-wide-number-one welfare system, where the good workers have to PAY high taxes because they are performing well, and others who are unable AND/OR unwilling to, they RECEIVE money from that.


Growing up in Eastern Europe - just ask me, how many shall I list for you?

Bon appetite to your words! :-)

And maybe you can also educate yourself a little bit in music, for the Romani (or Gypsy) people gave us MANY world stars... (Enjoy my latest blog post, if you missed a recent concert in Stockholm: http://www.thelocal.se/blogs/stuckinstockholm/2010/09/04/queen-of-the-gypsies-esma-redzepova )

Yes it's true, there IS a problem there as well, but your racist generalization plainly sucks.
12:31 September 5, 2010 by Swedesmith
Discrimination against a person because of their ethnicity, or religion is wrong. Discrimination against a person because they cannot follow the rules of society is not.

If a certain group cannot follow the laws and will not integrate into society and they get deported they have no right to complain.
14:22 September 5, 2010 by benchamrk
Comment: I just can't believe. The hatred comments about Romas makes me vomitting! These 100% gul och Blå don't question their administration about the cost of the military presence in Afghanistan and your so called "democratic objectives". As we say: 2 poids - 2 mesures. (unbalanced opinion). Reading such above comments may consider that a majority of Swedes drapped into their own hypocrisy are in favor to expel the Roms. Bearing in mind, that everyone in Europe (except Span who build an insertion program for them) First reaction is: "Wash his hands" or have the common attitude "Not in my backward" when they have to face the extreme misery of this minority close to their doors: they approve security measures: Expel. Makes no mistakes: the same measures applied for decades by numerous non-democratics regimes. As always, ignorance build the bed of fear and by extent, physical discrimination. Obviously, you Swedes can't excape to this evidence.
14:59 September 5, 2010 by deblom
Roma bring nothing to the table... under the table plenty... Begging, conning, thieving and general anti social behaviour... the only part of their esteemed culture they care to share with us....says it all!!! Lose them quick Sweden.
17:31 September 5, 2010 by Finnish guy
One frigthening thing in begging are the children who are often sold for begging. In some developing countries perfectly healthy children have limbs amputated or made blind to make them more pitiful and therefore better beggers. There has been some news that even in Europe some of the children have had bones broken for the same purpose. And if begging is allowed to continue, the situation will just get worse and we may see children getting injured to make them better beggers.
18:26 September 5, 2010 by petrasflorin
To all of you, to this website and to the whole Europe, they are called Rroma not Roma. Double R.

18:58 September 5, 2010 by zircon
Education- Montenegro. Good film to watch when you're Swedish. Leading actor E. Josephsson.
21:19 September 5, 2010 by _scythe_
It could be shocking to you (as it was to me, when I read it), but maybe it is the other way around. You can read this article in a Bulgarian news site (http://news.ibox.bg/opinion/id_1869403609) and learn more about the problem. (Use your online translator of choice, the source language is Bulgarian).

Unfortunately one of the reasons I chose to get the hell out of Bulgaria is the increasing trend of the gypsifying of the whole society - music, speеch, mentality.

One more thing, last week there was a gypsy holiday, and there was a brides market near a famous Christian Orthodox monastery (http://www.trud.bg/Article.asp?ArticleId=593268). Due to the economic crisis 'first-hand brides' are sold as low as 2000 euro, 'second-hand ones' - for only 150. This is tradition, you can understand.
00:00 September 6, 2010 by sendia
@ stockholm sam

Its not possible for a EU citizen to move to another country and live indefinitely without a job or any proof that you are financially secure to support yourself. I think a Eu citizen can stay in Sweden without job for three months.


I have seen such things and if another passenger tries to alert you then they get violent and start shouting at that person who tries to alert you.

@julie lou

I have spent some time in Romania and there are few romas who are educated and have regular jobs but as florin says most of them are trouble and they simply dont want to change their ways and be constructive. Most of them just go around breaking public property or steal it,, for example the wood from chairs in park !
03:04 September 6, 2010 by engagebrain
The Roma are people and deserve to be decently treated.

They are still persecuted in many European countries and should be treated as victims.
05:11 September 6, 2010 by porksteak
Viking culture stopped preying on Normandy, Kent, and Waterford some time ago. This type of existence dropped out of favor before the printed word came into vogue.

The Roma deserve to be treated decently but in all fairness they need to knock it off and get a job if they want respect.
07:50 September 6, 2010 by flintis
Romany's, Gypsy's or whetever else you want to call them have been causing problems with the inhabitants of many land for 1,000 of yrs, maybe they should be returned to thier origins but I doubt if the Indian goverment want more.
11:46 September 6, 2010 by Audrian
I find it disturbing to hear Hitler type of hatred being repeated in this discussion board. Roma people and Jews were Hitler's target of hared and persecution.

There is nothing one can do about his birth. If you were born to Roma parents, you learn to live on the margin of human society, just to sustain a very low living standard. Stealing or begging does not bring them enough money to survive. In Eastern Europe they live in houses that do not have proper insulation system, no running water or a toilet. Some walk bare footed. They standard of living is lower than cats and dogs who are well bed and homed. Take away these amentias, the dogs and cats will begin stealing food when it is possible. The same is true of human beings. To survive people might kill and not just steal

I think the discussion should focus on how to break this circular life of misery Roma people are living. This can be done by government talking to them rather than telling them what do; command solutions do not work.
12:51 September 6, 2010 by flintis
For as long as the World "powers" throw trillions away, manufacturing weapons of "peace" & warring in the name of "peace" instead of educating the ignorant, then unfortunately there will always be poverty.

These people (Romany) are no worse off than millions of people in Africa, Asia, Central & South America etc etc, the majority of whom do not steal or beg to stay alive they work to support themselves & their families
18:12 September 6, 2010 by zircon
Western Nations: which side of civilization are you exactly civilized?
03:27 September 7, 2010 by DavidtheNorseman
There are some Roma who are escaping the culture:


The laws of a land must be respected by natural citizens and aliens. A persons' beliefs do impact their behaviour (politically incorrect but true).
06:04 September 7, 2010 by porksteak
Audrian. No need to drop the H-bomb.

In Western cultures, if you contribute you can go very far.

Stealing can get you in jail or kicked out. In other cultures, you loose a hand. The West is better.
06:21 September 7, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
I've had a few encounters with them in Gavle. Yes, they do live in thier own closed society, much like the arabs and africans in town. And yes, they hold steady to the klepto stereotype.
18:36 September 7, 2010 by Raiha
"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." William James.

It's really, really sad, that few people here can see past their own bigotry.

dwb5555: "If there is a ethnic group of lazy bums..."

rybo1: "Simply, they are scum."

JulieLou40: "Show me a decent, hardworking roma person, & I will eat my words.

(It's not going to happen)."

Fllntis: "These people (Romany) are no worse off than millions of people in Africa, Asia, Central & South America etc etc, the majority of whom do not steal or beg to stay alive they work to support themselves & their families."

(Obviously never been to those places Fllntis?)

Petrasflorin: "Romanians are not rroma. Romanians are white caucasian people, blonde, brunette but mostly in-between. You wouldn't tell the difference between a blonde Swede and a blonde Romanian"

Finnish Guy: "I don't think that that culture that is against working is worth preserving"

Let's hazard a guess that the majority of you are white, grew up in privileged homes, never had to go without food, and have no understanding of how discrimination and poverty is a self-perpetuating cycle.

Tell me the probability of a Rroma getting a job in Sweden if they were 'educated and clean'? Seems like most non-white foreigners have problems with this so how many of you would employ a Rroma over a Swede???

You sound like a bunch of rednecks with not an ounce of compassion, understanding, or insight. THIS is the REAL SWEDEN. Passionately hateful to anyone outside their homogenous zone. Shame on you! And while you're at it. What's your record with the Sami's?
13:48 September 11, 2010 by vijay73
LOL. I have been in splits after reading people's experiences with Romanis on this blog even though I sympathize with them :-)

I am from India and am familiar with this. The Romas of Europe are similar to "lambadi" or Domari caste in India. They are nomadic people who perform street acrobatics, perform dance/music, work in crematoriums, sell "magic" Ayurvedic potions that will cure one of impotency :-) and what not. The Indian tourism industry employs them in big way for providing "entertainment" to tourists.

Trying to integrate them into mainstream won't work. They are just different and "like that only" . Enjoy the entertainment they offer when they perform dance and ignore them when they pester you, and everything will be fine :-)
20:03 September 25, 2010 by AndreaGerak
Hahaha, THOUSANDS of Swedish people were admiring and enjoying a concert recently in front of the Stockholm Opera House, by Gypsy artists from the Balkans and France...

Every time when I perform for any kind of Swedish people and I announce I will do some Gypsy song, they all get excited, happy, yayyy, how they love it!! And I bet there are a few Roma haters here who like Gypsy Kings, let's say, or Flamenco... In many countries of the world, these talented, hot-blooded, passionate people are hired to entertain those who won't create and perform so lively art.

Maybe with a bit smarter thinking, also some event organizers, restaurant owners etc who deal with live music, dance and so on, whose interest is to make sure their guests are happy, could do the same also here in Sweden...
11:24 January 31, 2011 by Takai
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The law crystal clear: EU citizens are free to come and go inside of EU countries. Period. No matter their citizenship, criminal antecedents, religion, culture, ethnic, status, etc. If Sweden does not like it, then the country needs to change their approach, discussing that with other EU members, before modifying anything. If the country judges that to be in the EU is mostly bad, then leave it. Follow the rules Sweden likes and disobey the ones that Sweden dislike is unacceptable.

Thank you.

No trolling, pro discussion and exchange of knowledge and opinions. Doubts? Ask. Misunderstood? Ask.
05:20 March 21, 2011 by supanordic
As mahatma Gandhi says, 'be the change you wish to see in the world'

No self respecting Roma would abuse a child or turn to crime. The trouble is that those who are most marginalized have lost their self respect & see no hope & no other way.

There are many types of Roma. The Lovari people for example are largely university educated & you wouldn't know they were Roma if they lived next door to you. The Roma have a stringent cleanliness protocal called Marime. Look it up, please. Their beliefs are highly moral & God fearing. They have a concept of an evil/devil called Bengh which is to be avoided.

As humankind we gain nothing by racism & devisions. We gain in assisting others to reach their full potential. Do our Nordic people proud & do not spout ignorance & hatred.


PS There are also many notable Roma in the arts & politics. For you Elvis fans, he was one (Black Dutch)
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