Sweden: A Beggar on Every Corner

Nobody knows exactly how many of them there are, but for the last few years Sweden has been overwhelmed with Roma beggars from Romania and Bulgaria. In 2014, the newspaper Sydsvenskan reported that an estimated 600 Roma beggars lived in the country; a few months ago, the government-appointed “National Coordinator for Vulnerable EU Citizens,” Martin Valfridsson, found that there are now around 4,000.

You see beggars sitting outside virtually every store, not just in the big cities, but also in small rural villages. In the far north of Sweden, at gas stations in the middle of nowhere, patrons are greeted by beggars saying “Hello, hello!” while holding out their paper cups.