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Clash over Roma

European Affairs Minister Alexander Stubb expressed indignation over remarks by Finns' Party MP Jussi Halla-aho about Roma beggars from abroad during a session of questions to the government in Parliament on Thursday.

Jussi Halla-aho puhumassa eduskunnassa.
Kuva: Yle

In recent years, Finnish cities have seen an influx of itinerant Roma, mainly from Romania and Bulgaria, many of who beg on the streets.

Finns' Party MP Jussi Halla-aho issued a demand that the government take action to sweep the phenomenon of begging from Finland's streets.

"The activity includes features of human trafficking and organized crime," Halla-aho stated.

Stubb shot back, saying that he hoped that the debate on the issue would not be carried out in the tone used by Halla-aho.

"We are on the verge of an attempt to label an entire people," said Stubb, who represents the National Coalition Party.

Christian Democratic Interior Minister Päivi Räsänen pledged an examination of whether or not organizing begging should be made a criminal offense.

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