Beggar problems in the EU

As the EU has expanded to the eastern Europe this has brought many problems. One is the beggar problem. These people from Romania, Bulgaria and elsewhere may walk from door to door and show a piece of paper telling something about them asking money. In the 1980s the world was much better, did not see so many beggars.

I’m from Romania and I kind of resent that. We work hard, harder than many other countries in the EU, in jobs so lowly paid you wouldn’t even bother get off your social insurance in the first place for. We read a lot, learn multiple languages and most of us younger Eastern EUropeans try to understand capitalism after the communist legacy and have our own businesses. That’s the reality of Eastern Europe, which you don’t see because you only meet beggars and only read their pieces of paper asking for money.

Also, I see no connection between this thread and the SZ forum.


I’m in the United States, and we are seeing a lot of Mexican immigrants. To me, they seem a little wilder than us. There are a lot of Mexican gangs, but a lot of Mexicans are working really hard. They work in the produce fields under very hard conditions. I don’t think anyone else could keep up with them in the fields. When they’re motivated they can really crank out the work.

I’m in the US. I’d say that nearly all the panhandlers and beggars I’ve come across have been fellow Americans rather than immigrants and most of them white Americans. I know when I was living in Boston I crossed paths with a group of Sudanese kids who “owned” numerous beggars, mostly old homeless men. They’d demand a substantial cut of the donations in exchange for the right to beg on certain more lucrative spots. Nothing against the Sudanese mind you, I’ve known some outstanding people from Sudan.

I’ve also run across a few NYC street punks who begged for a living. One guys girlfriend could bring in upwards of $400 a day begging in certain places of the city. I guess it helped to have a dog and a good report with the passers by.

I don’t judge anyone for stooping to or finding themselves in the position of begging. Though going door to door as I think you described is a bit much.

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Same here in KL. Recently the governor announced that anyone donate money to beggar would be fined or penalized. Also, the seats around KL city have been redesigned so that beggars will not be able to sleep on them.

I have a feeling you live in an area that has a large Mexican community.

I’m not trying to be defensive or hit the bee hive… I think this country has a gang problem anyway…

Hells Angles… Aryan Brotherhood… Crypts Vs. Bloods… Every culture has a gang. Anytime kids are brought up in poverty and have no access to any positive resources… and no positive influence in their life… gangs will happen… any culture… any place… any age.

Those that have nothing will try and take from those that seem to have it all.

This just makes my heart heavy when I read this. Thank you for the nice idea, but so many of my family has an education that eclipses mine by far… but because of the anti-mexican sentiment in America, they aren’t going to get a chance.

I have a cousin in Mexico who designs infrastructure. He’s a structural engineer, has a two masters degrees in different facets of engineering but people see him and think “agriculture”

A lot of immigrant’s have to do the jobs that no one else wants to do.

Just my pondering… Thanks…

In Europe one guy was studying for his masters’ degree as a foreigner, in a Western country. He was Romanian. He happened to have an Iphone and he used it in the subway. He was detained for having “stolen” it, on the grounds that a certain romanian ethnic group (romanian gypsies) do steal in subways, and he was Romanian. He was absolved because there was no evidence, but spent the night in jail anyway. The guy was a brilliant student.

Some people say the story is a bit more complex, there was a misunderstanding regarding an intercepted phone call, and they mixed up the phones. But the “he’s Romanian” factor certainly weighed down a lot.

As for the ethnic group itself, there is absolutely no escape for them than to beg or steal. Gypsies in Romania (romaness, as they are politically correct called) have been slaves up to early 1800, when they were liberated they only had their crafts to live on: some of them were artisans, some entertainers (musicians, “ursari”, people who trained bears to make a living etc). SOme of them are still good at their crafts, but few buy from them because they are gypsies and because, not having money for education, they cannot understand our culture to merchandise their products correctly.

My husband once showed me a cashieer in Carrefour here. He told me her story. Her mother has sold caramel lollipops she made herself for years, gathered money from her poor paycheck and, when her girls were grown up, she paid for a facial surgery on her girls to hide the specifically gypsy nose (which I find endearing , actually). This is why the roma girl could get a low-paid but respectable job as a cashieer in Carrefour. Otherwise she would have been turned down at the interview without any explanation. It’s illegal, but it still happens, discrimination against ethnic groups. This is how they become beggars, this is why you see them here carrying iron and plastic, selling wild fruits and mushrooms even 10 years olds - in order to feed their families. They live in a medieval era, and it is our fault, not theirs.

After we have the second child and get ourselves together with the business we want to have, we want to adopt a child, as a fifth member of our family. I hope he or she will be a roma ethnic. I hope I will find a way to provide a good life for that person, a better future. That’s all I can do, unfortunately.


In my little town we have many Roma people, some are very good Christians, but still some are the old type gypsies. I do not have many friends, but one of these is one poor gypsy. Typically, gypsies have very nice automobiles such as Mercedezes and they can use modern technology very well. Even teenage girls have smart phones and younger Roma people have their ear appliances with cell phones. In Finland here are not many Roma people, but in my little town the concentration is bigger than elsewhere.

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This makes me forgive you for what I perceive as an insensitive post/thread.

Anyway, there are also the outrageously rich gypsies, you can find them here too. They usually are the ones who benefit from the begging ande stealing poor gypsies, also from the selling of human flesh etc. I’m not generalizing, but whenever I see someone who can’t explain from where they have their money, I kinda have an idea what they are doing. WHen I said a bright future for my adoptive kid, I was not referring to having a lot of money made illegally, but an education, a normal, healthy life, a family if he or she wishes, contentment. Things that anyone should have.

Here is some Roma music from Finland.

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I don’t know how to embed videos in my posts, so Here’s a link to a shukar collective video

Shukar collective is a Romanian project put toghether with a few Roma singers: they try to do some electro music that , in my opinion, sounds very good. They also try to represent their culture as well as they can.

I also like this one

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There is a lot of good music that comes from Romania such as this:

I come from a group that does not particularly enjoy this kind of music. I am more into this kind of music and maybe, if you want something in English, this one, which always gets in my head when I listen to it

I’d give you more of it, but the best are in Romanian.

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In the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” there was this guy who would collect orphan children from the slums of India and cripple them so they would be better beggars. He would blind them, cut off a leg, or something like that. Then he would send them out to beg, and then he would take their money. I’ve heard of that practice being carried out in Victorian England also.

Here are some of my favorite Romania music.

Or, because jazz has no language barrier, the best gypsy there was , Johnny Raducanu (RIP)

I like also this Edward Maya.

I’m Romanian by birth. We’re not not gypsies, we have a large gypsy population that definitely doesn’t do much for our reputation abroad. It’s like saying Americans are Mexicans because the country has a large Mexican population. Gypsies originated from India. Romanians originated from the Dachians. Big difference.

But yes, we do have a problem with our Roma population - part of this is racism but the mistrust and fear didn’t come out of nowhere. Having lived there for for a short period in my teens, I can assure you that they are often very unpleasant. Now, you could say they are the way they are because of economic disadvantage and so forth. But we’re talking Eastern Europe - former communism, corruption, poverty…most people are disadvantaged.

My experience was negative so I’m not surprised they behave similarly abroad.

That’s neoliberalism for you.

Nobody said we were gypsies.

My Roma neighbour is the most helpful and cheerful person in the building.

The Roma old man who takes out the garbage every day is the most well-behaved person I’ve met. this guy is the best craftsman I ever saw , the things he can do with only a hammer and some copper are amazing. ALso, the simple, straight-forward, gramatically correct way he explains his craft is amazing.

I’m sorry for your negative experience, but please don’t be the bad kind of Romanian - don’t discriminate against an ethnic group that is as good or as bad as others. At least they didn’t get into any war and they didn’t kill thousands of people on ethnic, economical or political grounds. Are we Europeans or them Americans any better? How is that?