Half of Swedes would like a ban on begging, says new Poll

beggars 2According to an opinion poll by Sifo commissioned by Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper, at least half of Swedish nationals would like to see a ban on begging. The opinion poll shows that 27 percent of Swedes are against the ban while the rest have no opinion over the matter.

When it comes to political parties, the poll shows that 94 percent of voters of the racist party, Swedish Democrats (SD), would like a total ban on begging compared to 7-8 percent of the Moderate Party and Left Party sympathizers.

According to Åsa Regnér, the Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality who spoke to SvD, the new figures reflect a frustration over the situation in Sweden. The Minister did not however indicate whether she was referring to frustration within SD voters or within the general Swedish population.

In Parliament, SD remains the biggest political party advocating for a ban on begging although both the Moderate Party and Christian Democrats have considered the position of allowing Municipal authorities to decide over the matter.

In the recent past, Swedish major cities have been invaded by organized beggars from Romania who are now found at almost every corner of the streets, a development which has angered sympathizers of the Swedish Democrats.

Unlike in Denmark, there is no law preventing people from begging in Sweden and several debates as to whether there should be a ban continues to rage. Those opposed to begging believe that the network of beggars in Sweden are simply exploiting the generosity of Swedes while those opposed to a ban say that giving a beggar money is a personal decision and that banning the activity is tantamount to controlling people’s sympathetic feelings.

Okoth Osewe

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