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Why....

Bangkok, Thailand
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Why....

do the authorities nothing about the many begging gangs in Salzburg?

Last Sun morning I was at the main station getting trains tix from the tix machines. As soon as I got my purse out to pay an Eastern European walked up to me to ask for money. I told him to push off.

A few mins. later the same guy tried his luck again. Altogether I got approached by this bugger 4 times. I wasnt the only one. Then I saw he joined a group of guys who were waiting for him inside the station area. I felt quite uncomfortable. Apart from this experience it is annoying having to make your way through large groups of these ppl the moment you walk out if the station. In town, esp. in the old town one can barely walk 20 yds. without passing a beggar mumbling something. On Sat 3 sat in the short through way at Hoellriegel bookshop and one of the real con artists trying to look crippled wandered about the market sticking his paper cup towards anybody who looked a worthwhile target.

I just ignore this lot sitting around town. However, as an older person I feel very unsafe having to negotiate my way through the gangs around the station area in the evening on the way back to the hotel.

Salzburg has a great new station but the moment you step outside it is a pigsty. Guys do something about it.

Midlands, UK
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1. Re: Why....

If you are on Facebook you could post this same comment on the Salzburger Nachrichten (Salzburg News) Newspaper FB page:

https:/…

I've looked at the newspaper on-line website but can't find a contact address, but putting your comment on the Facebook page would certainly get their attention.

Sadly I've noticed the beggars increasing year by year. I always buy the street magazine because the sellers are legitimate and deserve help, but I try to avoid the others.

Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Why....

No, Im not on facebook. I also support the ppl selling the magazine as I dont consider them to be beggars. But the other lot are a nuisance. Mind you, I have noticed the increase in their numbers in Munich compared to my last visit. I am also aware of the controversy in Salzburg re beggar problem. The supporters of them dont seem to use the station or public areas where these guys hang out.

Bad Ischl, Austria
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3. Re: Why....

I have noticed a big increase in the number of beggars over the last two years.

They are not working in isolation, They are part of a coordinated gang. They work the same pitches and work on a timetable. You will see one walk off on their mobile phone and soon a replacement pops up where they were. There is obviously somebody controlling/exploiting them. This problem is not restricted to just Salzburg or even Austria.

Yes the magazine sellers are official. A bit like the big issue sellers in the UK. They are polite and nice to approach.

Dublin, Ireland
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4. Re: Why....

do I sense a bit of bigotry here? beggars are in every city in the world, and some are genuine people down on their luck. some I have seen in Salzburg have obvious disabilities (not faked), and despite the Austrian welfare system being so good, there are those who cannot cope. I would not give to the pushy, able bodied beggars, but there are certainly some of the more unfortunate who would get a euro or two from me.

Bangkok, Thailand
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5. Re: Why....

#4, I dare say that you know little about the begggar situation in Salzburg. Most of those crippled looking guys hobbling around with a cane or any old stick are perfectly able bodied people once their 'shift' is over. Im a frequent visitor to Europe and Austria esp. to Salzburg. The no. of beggars from a particular Eastern European has become overwhelming once you walk out of the station. I am familiar with beggars and the culture of begging as my home is in a S.E. Asian country. We have less beggars per mile than Salzburg has per mile. Our beggars are not so pushy either. I would never get hassled in any official building like a railway station or when going to the market unlike in Salzburg.

Bad Ischl, Austria
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6. Re: Why....

Agree with #5, disagree with #4.

The one's I have seen are faking. Come shift change time they burst into life and disappear with a shiny new mobile phone clutched to their ear. Come back a short while later and another one is in the same spot.

The majority are an organised gang. There are very few genuine beggars on the streets.

Dublin, Ireland
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7. Re: Why....

nomad. I hardly think that a beggar who has no legs, or an elderly lady who is bent double would be classed as able bodied. of course there are some scam artists, but don't dismiss them all as "eastern Europeans". that is what I meant by bigotry. even allowing for some of these being scam artists, they have often had a far harder life than you or I could envisage.

and as I said, why pick on Salzburg? why not enter London, or paris, or Dublin or any other capital city? they all have the same "problems" or worse.

it must be difficult having little compassion.

Bangkok, Thailand
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8. Re: Why....

#7, I dont care what Dublin or London or Paris does. I am in Salzburg.

Be sure the guy with no legs is part of the gang brought from guess where? The old lady is quick straightening up.

There are very few genuine beggars in S., and they do not hang around the Schrannenmarkt or along the bridges or in the railway station.

If you are happy to support a gang, go ahead. This is not compassion.

Edited: 16 October 2013, 17:33
Dublin, Ireland
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9. Re: Why....

nomad. how sad to read your comments. I guess that you are from Thailand, were I have found many poor people begging as well.

you have come on here to slag off Salzburg, and to post bigoted comments about people who are not too well off. I am not saying that all who beg are genuine, but your comment about somebody who has lost both legs is just plain sick. do you really think that he magics two legs out of thin air?

why have you picked on Salzburg to start off your bigotry?

Midlands, UK
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10. Re: Why....

Let's get back to the opening post. There are definitely some intimidating characters hanging around outside the train station. We encountered some in June and I was genuinely frightened. I go to Salzburg three times a year every year and I've noticed a gradual increase in people hassling us for money. I'm VERY soft hearted and usually end up handing some over because I am sympathetic towards those less fortunate (I grew up in a poor neighbourhood and know what it's like to have very little). But the beggars do now have an organised side to them. We've seen people handing over a poor little dog to the person taking over the begging spot, in order to appeal to a wider demographic. It's quite sickening. I don't think anyone here is bigoted or denying that there are genuine hardship cases but the scammers are making life harder for the genuine ones as well as us.

Edited: 16 October 2013, 21:03