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Old 02.05.2021, 13:04
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Re: Basel offers homeless free one-way ticket to European destinations...

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A few years ago, the SP in Basel decided to adopt a different approach to begging - effectively, total tolerance.

This has ended up with Basel being a Mecca to beggars - including the organised gangs. There's a woman who has her spot by the Denner near Wettsteinplatz. Like many of the others, she's shrouded in blankets to keep out the cold, a sign saying (in English) "Please help, 2 kids to feed". I used to walk by about the same time each Saturday morning. She had a mobile phone, a packed lunch (usually hidden away, as it doesn't go with the look), and sometimes her gang members would visit her for a chat.

A few weeks ago, I saw a child of about 12 begging on Mittlerebrücke - exactly the same MO as the rest of this obvious gang.

Organised begging isn't allowed, but the police have been told not to challenge any beggar.

These people will not be accepting the offer. They're making too much money out of gullible tourists.

There is a Swiss man on IV. He has a disability which makes walking difficult. He supplements his income by begging, and while out, tends to exaggerate his disability. How do I know this? He was interviewed by TeleBasel and was quite open about it. Again his target is tourists. As a Swiss man, he won't be taking the offer.

However, I do know a few homeless people in Basel who would take the offer. They want to move on, but lack the wherewithall to do it. No one is forced to take the offer, and as it stands Basel is (in my view over) tolerant of begging.
I suspect that quite a few people who came to Basel from abroad to make some cash off tourists may have gotten caught up in the pandemics and couldn't get back home, maybe..Because of lack of funds, no tourists, borders were closed at some point, etc. Would that be a reason why the city proposed this help? How will they go about the PCR tests prior flying?
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