Archive photo: Kaarina Wallin/Sveriges Radio.

Romanian minister to Sweden to discuss beggars

The Romanian Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu is to come to Sweden in March to discuss the problems of Romanian Roma who temporarily come to Sweden to beg on the streets. Few of them have EU blue insurance card, reports news agency TT.

The EU citizens who lack the card could face a huge medical bill in another EU country. "There is no easy and quick solution. According to the (Romanian) ambassador, all Romanian nationals have such cards but they are not awarded automatically," Sweden's Social Affairs Minister Göran Hägglund told TT.

All EU citizens with a health insurance card can receive care in another EU country, take the bill home and then settle up with their own health insurance. But if one only has a passport, which most Roma have, it becomes a problem with settling the bill after treatment. At worst, a Roma stands to be left with a very high hospital bill that he or she cannot pay.

"It's problems like this that I want to discuss with Eugen Nicolaescu. Romania itself must highlight the situation , the situation there has to be such that people want to remain there, very few want to leave their children to beg, for example in Sweden," said Göran Hägglund to TT.

"There are also positive sides with the country, the economic development is fast, unemployment is relatively low and it can seek support from other EU countries."

The meeting was organized following a meeting between the Social Affairs Minister and the Romanian Ambassador to Stockholm on Wednesday.

On Wednesday it was reported how a Stockholm hospital demanded SEK 11,000 from a pregnant homeless girl from Romania to take care of her when she was having a miscarriage. She did not have a blue insurance card.

Also on  Wednesday it was announced that the beggars who have been staying at a camp in the Stockholm suburb of Högdalen will have to move. On Wednesday afternoon, the City of Stockholm formally requested their immediate eviction, the daily Dagens Nyheter reported.

People have been staying for a few years on the site, in tents, sheds, cars and caravans. Forty people are mentioned in the eviction documentation. The youngest is seventeen years old. According to Dagens Nyheter they are "vulnerable Romanians" who during the day are begging on the streets of Stockholm, or working as street musicians.

The reason given for the eviction is that the people are occupying the grounds illegally, and that they have committed environmental crimes as well as illegally tapped power lines.

According to Dagens Nyheter, the request arrived at the Enforcement Office after the staff there had left for the day. It is unclear when the eviction will take place.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
Du hittar dina sparade ljud i menyn under Min lista