European Affairs Minister disapproves of remarks about Roma beggars in Parliament
”This forum must not be used for this type of discussion”
A heated debate on the influx of itinerant Roma beggars from Romania upset European Affairs Minister Alexander Stubb (National Coalition Party) in Parliament on Thursday.
”This is an attempt to label an entire nation. We are speaking of how they cannot read and write, we are alleging that they are criminals”, Stubb argued.
According to Stubb, we should tackle the causes of begging.
Stubb’s view created a stir in the audience, as several MPs had demanded that begging should be banned in Finland.
The loudest MP to demand a ban on begging was Ben Zyskowicz (National Coalition Party).
”This phenomenon does not belong to the Finnish society”, Zyskowicz said, adding: ”It is clear that the ban on begging would not resolve these people’s real problems, but allowing them to continue begging would not solve anything either, would it?”
Having started the debate, Jussi Halla-aho (Finns Party) suggested that Finland would oppose accession of Romania into the Schengen zone as long as the ”beggar rally” to Finland continues.
The citizens of the Schengen member states are allowed free movement within the area without routine border inspections.
Stubb lost his temper again, saying: ”Schengen is one thing, while the beggar problem and poverty are quite another matter. You are now trying to create an impression that free movement is the basic reason for this problem, which it is not”.