Migrant Tales asked Monday what kinds of arguments will politicians now come up with to criminalize begging after a police report didn’t reveal any links between Romany beggars and human trafficking and organized crime.
The police report not only exposed shameful urban legends used to victimize poor Romanies from Romania and Bulgaria, who make 10-20 euros a day, but revealed the populism, racism and sheer contempt that some politicians have for this minority.
Conservartives like Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen for her homophobic, anti-abortion and anti-immigration views. Read full story here.
After over six years, this blog has taught me an important lesson: intolerance blinds. Those who are blinded by their prejudice and bigotry have learned to dress their arguments with suits and ties. One of these concerns the Romany minority.
The old stereotype about the Romanies in Finland was that all of them are criminals and therefore shouldn’t be trusted. An old prejudice that existed in Finland at the turn of the century was they were horse thieves.
Many of the politicians who want to criminalize begging, grew up at a time where the Romany minority were seen as criminals.
The most incredible fact about those politicians who want to criminalize begging is that they’d care less for the victims. If you look closer, they are shedding crocodile tears if that.
Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen, a conservative who believes that homosexuality is an illness and claimed this summer that it’s ok to break the law (abortion) if it is against the Bible, is the first politician to comment on the police report.
“There are perceptions as well that [during 2005-09] there are links [to human trafficking and organized crime],” she was quoted as saying on YLE.
Why is Räsänen so keen on maintaining a view that these Romanies are victims of human trafficking or victims of criminal organizations? Because that’s what her argument has been all along in order to criminalize begging.
The same argument will be used by other MPs. These are National Coalition Party’s Arto Satonen and Jussi Halla-aho and Olli Immonen of the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party, both who are members of the extremist Suomen Sisu association.
YLE interviewed on Tuesday Helsinki Mayor Jussi Pajunen, who said he would be in favor of criminalizing begging because it “isn’t something we’re used to” in the Nordic region.
We should ask Pajunen, who makes about 200,000 euros a year, more than the mayor of London, if it is in the Nordic spirit to make so much money and care so little about the needy.
Shame on Pajunen and all those that want to sweep the Romany problem under the rug.