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European Journal

Austria: Ban on Begging

Beggars are not welcome in Austria. Styria has joined Vienna and Salzburg in issuing a ban on begging.

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Historic center of Graz

Bettlerin in Graz, Österreich

The move has triggered an impassioned public debate, with mendicant orders in Graz pointing out that alms and charity belong to Christian culture - but the local authorities don't care. Those who support the ban, meanwhile, argue that beggars are organized in gangs - but police and prosecutors have no evidence to back this up.  Legal experts predict that the constitutional court in Vienna will receive so many complaints that the ban is likely to be revoked.