Beggars coming from all over Europe to a Swedish town, Eskilstuna, will have to pay 250 Swedish krona, or approximately 25 euros ($28), the town's municipal Council has announced, becoming the first in the country to introduce a license fee for beggars. Those who pay this monthly fee will be able to beg wherever they please, and those who don't will be subjected to a fine, said the municipality in a statement. The municipal council first made the decision to introduce a permit requirement in May 2018.
"We are bureaucratizing and making it more difficult, and we can see how that goes," said municipal councilor Jimmy Jansson, a Social Democrat, as reported by the Local Sweden digital news service. "I hope that the police will be able to implement it so that a new permit is needed for each day."
Even though begging is forbidden in some Swedish towns since last December, municipalities are asking for legal action to be taken over the situation because of the rising number of beggars in Sweden. On the other hand, municipalities are helping beggars, especially those who have children, to find shelter.
There are approximately 5,000 beggars in all of Sweden's cities who have moved to the country with intention of begging for a living. According to their own personal statements, they are earning in one day in Sweden what they earned in a month in their own country. Beggars who come to Sweden often return to their home countries after a three-month stay.