Dozens of Roma beggars ‘helped’ to move home

Around 60 Roma migrants living in southern Sweden are going home, after Romania promised financial help on their return.

Dozens of Roma beggars 'helped' to move home
A Roma beggar in Sweden. Photo: TT

The move follows rising concerns about growing numbers of Roma migrants begging on the streets of Blekinge in southern Sweden as well as in other cities across the country.

Aid organisations in Blekinge alongside individual campaigners and the Romanian embassy have worked together to arrange flights home for around 60 migrants. 

Romania has promised to help them find accommodation and pay their electricity and heating costs while they reintegrate into society there. It has also said that it will offer vocational training, according to Sveriges Radio channel P4.

“Based on their wishes and the problems that they have told us they have at home, we've got a plan,” Olivia Costea who works at Romania's honorary consul in Sölvesborg told P4.

Meet northern Sweden’s frozen Roma beggars

Roma beggars became a common sight around Sweden in 2014. 

As EU migrants from Romania, they can easily travel to Sweden as EU tourists under the right to Freedom of Movement, without the need for a visa or a work permit.

All Swedish municipalities are advised to follow national guidelines to provide support to beggars, but it is up to each region to decide exactly what or how much help they should offer. 

The Swedish government and the EU have both urged the Romanian government to focus on improving living conditions in Romania, so that fewer people leave the country to beg elsewhere in Europe.