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Beggars From New EU States In Your City?  
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9101 times:

A Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat wrote (in English) about a new phenomenon in Helsinki:
"Beggars on their knees cause consternation on Helsinki streets":

http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Beg...+on+Helsinki+streets/1135231254146

Lately more beggars have been arriving to Helsinki from the new EU states, some with small children. It seems even the local authorities have been a bit confused with them here, begging is not illegal but it have been rather unknown phenomenon.
It seems the wave of the people escaping poverty in the new EU states has reached now Helsinki, how is it in the other EU cities?

[Edited 2007-10-30 06:56:21]

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineToast From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9085 times:

I'm almost sure the beggars you're referring to are Gypsies. I don't know in Finland, but over here all other "mainstream" Eastern European immigrants are very hard workers and wouldn't dream of begging anywhere.

A surefire way to annoy the hell out of a Romanian or Slovak is to label their countries as the main sources of Gypsy beggars and petty thieves. It's an embarrassing problem, and Gypsies have been spreading all across Europe for years already, including to other Eastern European countries. I'd compare their problems with those of the Aboriginal people of Australia: alcoholism, illiteracy, petty criminality, unwillingness to integrate. Discrimination and police crackdowns have been pushing them out of Eastern Europe, and I'm willing to bet the Finnish will eventually adopt a heavy-handed approach towards them as well.

There really is no good solution of the problem in sight. The Polish government used to build permanent houses for Gypsies and force their children to go to school. A very civilized approach, but it didn't work. Then you had the Czechs who started building a dividing wall between Czechs and Gypsies in one town, to the justified outrage of world opinion. In Slovakia and Romania, where there are entire Gypsy settlements, law enforcement and public services tend to give them a wide berth - that's where Sacha Baron Cohen shot "Borat"...


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11669 posts, RR: 60
Reply 2, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9081 times:

Quoting Toast (Reply 1):
I don't know in Finland, but over here all other "mainstream" Eastern European immigrants are very hard workers and wouldn't dream of begging anywhere.

Certainly here in Birmingham, in the UK that is true. The only beggars are the washed up locals who have often become addicts and then been forgotten about by society.


Dan Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6815 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 9081 times:

Quoting Andaman (Thread starter):
how is it in the other EU cities?

Watch your pockets in London....

http://www.londonlogue.com/travel-ti...london-pickpocket-gang-jailed.html
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2015746,00.html
http://www.yjb.gov.uk/en-gb/practiti.../ExamplesofGoodPractice/NewhamYOT/

Organised thievery rather than begging, but I expect the begging is sometimes more driven by criminals than poverty.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9536 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9062 times:

Nothing new in German cities. Most of them are not even Gypsies. The Gypsies have more sophisticated means to draw money from other people's pocket.

The beggars come mainly from Romanian rural villages and it is indeed organized crime. A guy from the village packs them into his mini bus and brings them to another country in Western Europe, puts them out on the street and exploits most of the money from them. They get shit to eat and live in basements under conditions no one would keep a dog here.

This is slavery, nothing less and the authorities should close it down, should arrest the people who exploit their slaves,m confiscate the money, send the beggars back and put the criminals in jail - in their home countries and not in our western style resort jails.

. .



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Azerbaijan, joined Oct 2003, 14078 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9057 times:

Years ago my Sierra Leonian ex-wife used to live in a refugee center in Berlin, together with Romanian gypsies and became friends with one family. Through her I got introduced to them as well and learned a bit about their customs.
The begging is actually a racket. You can be sure that the begging women are being watched by some overseer somewhere. One reason is that gypsies in Romania are forced to borrow money from criminal loan sharks at exorbitant interest if the need it, because very few banks will give them a loan. If they cannot make their payments, they get sent abroad to beg.

Another thing is the tradintion. Gypsy society appears to me to be quite conservative. I know that the mother of the faily I knew had to split from her husnand (who was beating her anyway) and from her family to enable her daughters to be sent to school and not to be married off at the age of 14 (mostly at the insistence of the grandparents, becaudse "We always did it this way!".
She herself is almost illiterate, but working as a translator for the Red Cross.

If you know some of them more closely, they are often very nice and kind people and good friends, but if they see you just as a mark, you'll be ripped off.
I never give these beggars a cent.

Jan


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9032 times:

Quoting Toast (Reply 1):
I'm almost sure the beggars you're referring to are Gypsies. I don't know in Finland, but over here all other "mainstream" Eastern European immigrants are very hard workers and wouldn't dream of begging anywhere.

Yes they must be Gypsies, the paper just didn't want to use the word for some reason. Finland has got immigrants mainly from Russia and Estonia, no beggars there.
Before the new states joined EU, we also got a lot of of Gypsies from Slovakia and Romania seeking for asylum, but really few of them were allowed to stay. Hopefully their situation is improving in Eastern-Europe, but it seems the process is really slow.

Finland actually has a rather large, 500y old Gypsy - or Romany - minority itself, a lot larger than in the other Nordic countries. The Finnish Romany people have roots in Northern-India originally, I don't think the term Gypsy means the same thing everywhere in Europe. Nowadays they are not out of the society in Finland anymore, like they once were, though many of them have kept their own old traditions, which is great I think. Most likely there is some Gypsy blood in my family too. The traditional Finnish Gypsy dress is very colourful:


[Edited 2007-10-30 07:53:05]

User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 9027 times:

Quoting Andaman (Thread starter):
Lately more beggars have been arriving to Helsinki from the new EU states, some with small children. It seems even the local authorities have been a bit confused with them here, begging is not illegal but it have been rather unknown phenomenon.
It seems the wave of the people escaping poverty in the new EU states has reached now Helsinki, how is it in the other EU cities?

-
I first saw this "phenomena" on a holiday-trip to Prague in 1991, and then later on in various places, LONG BEFORE the countries in question joined the E.U.. So that it is NOT "new EU countries" but "former WarsawPact countries". To do political correctness aside it usually is Romania and from there it generally is "Gypsies". And here we land right nicely in the midst of a nice racism problem. You now canNOT regard all Romanians or all Romanian Gypsies as beggars or thieves. And you ought to realize that a lot of the social and economic problems still are results of the disastrous reign of Nicolae Ceaucescu.
-

Quoting Toast (Reply 1):
I'd compare their problems with those of the Aboriginal people of Australia: alcoholism, illiteracy, petty criminality, unwillingness to integrate.

No, I am not a specialist on Australian affairs and never been there, but the Aboriginals ARE THE locals and are THE original people there, while the Gypsies are outsiders everywhere. Millions of Gypsies in reality over centuries have become integrated in Europe in fact. Whether alcoholism is a problem of the Gypsies can at least be doubted. So that some minor parallels are more than outweighed by differences.
-


User currently offlineTuRbUleNc3 From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 519 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 8963 times:

I have always lived by the same ritual, i find it hard not to give money to those in need. Id prefer to give my money to someone busking and actually doing something rather than just sitting there. However im always reluctant about what they will use the money for. If i suspect it to be drugs or alcohol, no chance of any money. If they say they are hungry i buy them food, if they are thirsty i buy them a drink.

There was one oldish guy (40's) who sat outside the bus station every day begging for money. All he wanted was some money to get him by. He got beat up most nights by chavs and drunks. I'd see fresh bruises and cuts on him each day.
Each and every morning without fail i met him and took him 2 bacon sandwiches and a big cup of coffee. As years went on, i got to know this guy very well and gave him a bed at my house, bought him some new clothes and found him a job. He then moved on in life, met a partner what became a wife and lived with her and now has a better job than me!
Him and his wife still come over from time to time especially at christmas and he never forgets what i did for him and always says without fail how grateful he is for how ive changed his life.

To this day, i feel a great sense of pride for what ive done for this guy but something that means nothing to me, means the world to someone who has nothing at all.


User currently offlineDc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8899 times:

I can confirm there are a lot of Romanian gypsies in most major cities. These people annoy the hell out of me, because they make my country look bad. Certainly, the majority are Romanian (duh, largest country except Poland, w/ largest gypsy population).

I heard a story about the gypsies setting up camp in Hyde Park in London. I am uncertain if it was made up or not, but I hear that Romanian translators are called every time there's a gypsy offense, be they from Romania or not. This sounds to me like mass discrimination. People must undestand not all Gypsies are Romanians, and not all Romanians are Gypsies. In fact, Gypsies are often hated in Romania for what they do outside of the country more than their actions within Romania, which are annoying, but mild...

They live in complete poverty, especially in medium-size cities, where they've nothing to do. Of course they're going to run away. The Romanian government will turn a blind eye to this mass emigration just to get rid of the 'problem' without doing anything. Ceausescu marginalized them.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 4):

This is slavery, nothing less and the authorities should close it down, should arrest the people who exploit their slaves,m confiscate the money, send the beggars back and put the criminals in jail - in their home countries and not in our western style resort jails.

Haha, yeah, that'd be good... Never going to happen in Romania, trust me. The government doesn't give a flying fuck. Those elected care about fighting amongst themselves.

Quoting Toast (Reply 1):
Aboriginal people of Australia: alcoholism, illiteracy, petty criminality, unwillingness to integrate.

Describing our native Romanian gypsies (those who live in cities mainly) exactly. They are alcoholic (goes for villagers too), petty criminality is rampant (Ferentari neighborhood, the only really dangerous place in Romania, really is 90% gypsy), illiteracy, yes (due to tradition they don't go to school... not after they're 14), Integration.... well, they attempt to, but fail, thus leading to the other three.

By the way, as sort of a rant, many Romanians hate the EU and consider that the European Union wanted to fuck Romania (and Bulgaria) over economically (to be used as markets for Euro goods and nothing more), thus the gypsies in return, from both countries, are fair game... Not really a joke, not really reality. I, for one, did not want for Romania to be part of the EU...


User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3771 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 8884 times:

We get some once in a while where I live too. There seems to be one family that comes through Lund (city where I live) once every few months (two adults, three kids) and they'll mostly hang around the train station. Most often they'll be spread out, and I must say that I'm very disturbed seeing a lone child, maybe 7 or 8 years old, sitting next to the station entrance wearing shorts and a sweater and holding a 7-eleven paper cup out in cold weather. Not sure if they're from a new EU member state though.

Cheers
Mats



Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2723 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 8867 times:

Yes, in Paris, with up to 85 Million official visitors each year, the number of 'transients' is growing and the gypsy beggars are everywhere. One can readily distinguish between the Romani 'profiteers' and the local destitutes.


When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (6 years 12 months 23 hours ago) and read 8823 times:

Quoting Dc9northwest (Reply 9):
These people annoy the hell out of me, because they make my country look bad.

These people should not "annoy" you as they mirror the enormous problems your country had and has to overcome. They of course are a nuisance to Romanians like you and to people outside Romania, but they and their problems are one of the problems Europe got out of the decades of a divided Europe. A "bad name" for Romania ? Maybe, but your country rather still suffers from the "bad name" produced by Messrs Gheorgiou-Dei (spelling possibly wrong) and Ceaucescu, while "Count Dracula" rather makes Romania "special" !  Wink  Wink
-


Quoting Dc9northwest (Reply 9):
many Romanians hate the EU and consider that the European Union wanted to fuck Romania (and Bulgaria) over economically (to be used as markets for Euro goods and nothing more)

while many West Europeans despise Romania and Bulgaria, considering that the two countries fuck the rest of Europe over economically and just want European subsidies and nothing more  Big grin  sarcastic 
-


User currently offlineScooter01 From Norway, joined Nov 2006, 1205 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (6 years 12 months 6 hours ago) and read 8777 times:
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Quoting Andaman (Thread starter):
Lately more beggars have been arriving to Helsinki from the new EU states, some with small children.

Yes, we had them here in Oslo too, but it seems to be a seasonal thing. The beggars seem to become better off as winter is getting closer and there are fewer foreign tourists around.

On another note; there is an open-air market in Lithuania where (according to Norwegian police) you could buy back the stereo or airbag stolen from your car....

Scooter01



"We all have a girl and her name is nostalgia" - Hemingway
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (6 years 12 months 5 hours ago) and read 8765 times:

TuRbUleNc3,

That is an amazing story. Welcome to my RU list.

I often think when I am in London that all alot of these people need is a chance. I'm sure most of them are not there through their own chice directly, more through making bad decisions or splitting up with partners. I have spoken to a few and most are nice people and appreciate that you have stopped to give them the time of day. The one thing that does annoy me though are the ones who sit directly under the cash machines, so you have to reach over them to get your money !!.

I have often thought that the councils should set up a scheme to help get them off the streets, but make them work for it to make them feel worth something and that they are pulling themselves out of the situation rather than being given handouts which alot of them don't want as they still have some pride even though they live on the street.
I thought that giving them printed hi-visability vests showing they are genuine and a bucket and a squeegee and getting them to stand at junctions and clean car windscreens. I know this is usually frowned upon in London, but with a genuine organisation that is publicised to let the public know what they are doing, then it could be a cheap way of getting them into jobs that could ultimately pull them out of their situation through their own hard work, not other peoples pity.

 Smile



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineDc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (6 years 12 months 2 hours ago) and read 8743 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 12):
Maybe, but your country rather still suffers from the "bad name" produced by Messrs Gheorgiou-Dei (spelling possibly wrong) and Ceaucescu, while "Count Dracula" rather makes Romania "special" !    

It's Gheorghiu-Dej  Wink Right, but the gypsy problem would exist even if Churchill wouldn't've given the USSR 90% control over Romania... The problems are certainly there, but I think the image created by these people is worse than that of the dictators... I'd rather we be considered a poor country than a poor country full of beggars and thieves.


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8717 times:

Quoting Dc9northwest (Reply 15):
the image created by these people is worse than that of the dictators..

amazing is that Ceaucescu managed to create quite a splendid image of himself in Western media and an image of Romania which was far above realities, so that actual Romanian realities came to a Western audience rather as a kind of shock. In regard to the Gypsies, Romania has to solve the problems WITH them, even if it may be tiresome. Switzerland in the early 20th century tried to do a "forced integration" by taking the children of Gypsies away from their parents and giving them to foster parents. Such simply cannot be the way to go and the Swiss Federal government some years ago formally apologized and even paid some cents to the Gypsies as "compensation".
-

Quoting Dc9northwest (Reply 15):
I'd rather we be considered a poor country than a poor country full of beggars and thieves.

beggars are a nuisance but thieves and burglars are more of a serious problem. And yes, there IS a reputation problem of your country in the West, as people tend to generalize. In the mind of many, all young people from former Yugoslavia drive on highways with at least 180kms per hour, all Romanians are trying to burglar houses, all Arabs are terrorists, all Turks want to have Turkish customs observed, all Italians talk as loudly as a Caravelle III, and all Spaniards are in the church at least four times per day.


User currently offlineLAXspotter From India, joined Jan 2007, 3650 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8709 times:

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 11):
gypsy beggars

can someone explain the Gypsy situation to an outsider, I have friends from the Eastern bloc countries, particularly Moldova and Ukraine and they seem to have a unfriendly view of the Gypsies.



"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8703 times:

Quoting LAXspotter (Reply 17):
gypsy beggars

can someone explain the Gypsy situation to an outsider, I have friends from the Eastern bloc countries, particularly Moldova and Ukraine and they seem to have a unfriendly view of the Gypsies.

where the Gypsies originally came from is disputed but it looks as if they came from Northern India. They for centuries in Europe moved around and were active as craftsmen sharpening knifes, repairing kitchenware and selling household articles and clothing. They also were known to make nice music and dancing and entertainment. BUT they in recent centuries increasingly got a disastrous name for stealing cats and dogs and rabbits, burglaring and being pocket-thieves. And in the law-and-order minded Europe of the 19th Century they increasingly became a nuisance to "society". In some countries they arranged themselves better than in others, but problems continued. And while things in Western Europe, at least after WW-II did improve, much remained bad in the "Eastern Bloc" not least as the problem simply was ignored by the Communists. When Eastern Europe became free after 1990, the local Gypsies found out that Europe was open to them again, and many locals including local and national governments supported that idea in order to get rid of as many of them as possible.


User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5760 posts, RR: 32
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8671 times:

Yup, even a small town here on the periphery of the EU has its fair share of Roma begging in the streets. Some of them play instruments, others have babies in their arms. A group of 30 or so had to be repatriated recently, living as they were underneath cardboard sheets in the bushes on a roundabout serving the country's busiest motorway. They went home without protest, having been soaked to death in the dreadful summer of 2007.

User currently offlineFiatstilojtd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8667 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 19):
others have babies in their arms

...and most of the times the babies or young children are under heavy medication to keep them quiet or make them look asleep the whole day, or another example are people without legs and without a wheel chair in the middle of a pedestrian zone....who in his right mind would believe that they got to this place themselves?


fiatstilojtd


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8656 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 18):
much remained bad in the "Eastern Bloc" not least as the problem simply was ignored by the Communists. Wh

That's not entirely true, if at all. Czechoslovakia had several attempts to improve their situation, or assimilate them. Gypsy families were given flats in apartment buildings along with the majority population, children were supported in schools, secondary and university students were given free lodging and food...No change, the free spirit of these people prevailed. They simply didn't blend in. The biggest mistake was to take their traditional craft from them (gypsies were, for instance, famous blacksmiths).


User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 8646 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 21):
much remained bad in the "Eastern Bloc" not least as the problem simply was ignored by the Communists. Wh

That's not entirely true, if at all.

I said "much" and NOT "everything, and I said "by the Communists" but not "by the ....." . Difference? Stubborn communists refused to acknowledge even the existence of the problem while many officials in these countries tried to tackle matters. You however say that "they didn't blend in" and this again is partically correct and partially wrong. As quite many Gypsies in Europe have done so. It is those who do NOT who get "coverage".

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 19):
soaked to death

the pictures of the Irish Tourist Board show places in Dublin in the nicest sunlight !  Yeah sure  Wink


User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 8637 times:

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 22):
You however say that "they didn't blend in" and this again is partically correct and partially wrong. As quite many Gypsies in Europe have done so. It is those who do NOT who get "coverage".

We're talking about the population in former Warsaw pact countries. There, unfortunately, the was majority didn't blend in. And yes, the stubborn commie leaders weren't able to acknowledge a simple fact that a nation used to free life won't change in a matter of minute, settle down and do whatever is ordered.

[Edited 2007-11-01 06:53:06]

User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 8619 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 23):
majority didn't blend in

in the short-term I would expect a majority not to blend in, but in the long-term (50 years to 500 years) I would say that a majority DID blend in.


25 WildcatYXU : Not really. It may be true for the old EU countries, but in the new ones... Let's speak about the one I know, former Czechoslovakia. The percentage o
26 ME AVN FAN : Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 25): The percentage of gypsy population living the same standard as the majority is very low. That's a simple fact. - In Swi
27 TuRbUleNc3 : Thankyou. Nowadays you dont know who is genuine and who uses it for drugs or alcohol. I feel pity for those dependant on drugs or alcohol. He actuall
28 WildcatYXU : That takes a lot of goodwill and tolerance from both sides. Congratulations Switzerland!
29 Post contains images OV735 : Yes, we get them regularly. Hold on, we are one of the new EU states... Seriously though, it's probably a growing problem for the EU states with an un
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