Part 2: No More Place for Beggars in Geneva

Article published on Dec. 7, 2007
community published
Article published on Dec. 7, 2007
The new law that renders beggary illegal in Switzerland, was approved on 30 November by 52 liberal and centrist votes against 30 green and socialist votes and 5 abstentions.

Although the plan of evacuation of the Roma shelters, their identification and control of their legal status in Switzerland has been effective – in some twenty Romanian Roma leaving Geneva after the 16 November police raid – the coalition strongly defended Romand citizens’ right to a begging-on-one’s-knees-free city. ‘We should not let people begging on the sidewalks in the name of human dignity’, Yves Nidegger of UDC maintained. The Green voices gradually faded away, despite noble slogans: ‘We cannot find an answer to exclusion in exclusion’, insists Mathilde Captyn (Les Verts).

Traian Basescu, President of Romania, met Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Swiss Confederation, on 4 December, in Berne. The central topic on the agenda was the freedom of movement between the two states. Romania has many hopes from its partner, with the antecedent of one billion Swiss Francs that went to the 2005 new EU Member States and its own treasured memory of the Swiss financial aid for transition between 1992 and 2006. A possible further aid to Romania as a freshman in the European club will be subject of a referendum, according to federal law. With this fall’s agitation over the Roma beggary, one particular canton might not be as enthusiastic as one would desire.

by Ioana