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Commenting article: Sofia City Hall Bans Street Begging

The Sofia Municipal Council issued Thursday an order banning street begging in the city.

The fines for those caught begging will range from BGN 10 to 50.

For years now street begging has been a problem for Sofia, triggering complaints from residents and visitors, who say they have often been harassed by beggars.

mms - 12 Mar 2009 // 16:30:16

to ban begging? and what ? are they going to feed the poor ? what they sould do is to stop wasting time and make some good for once, how about to ban SMOKING in close places like restaurants or cafes? it is a SHAME that parents can NOT take their kids for a piece of cake because all the smokers take the places like bars

fishbrain - 12 Mar 2009 // 16:54:49

You know there is a ban on cars driving Vitosha Blvd? There is a ban on speeding. There is a ban on parking cars in school. There is a ban on taking the law into your own hands. Guess what? None of the bans are working.

The question I have- what if the beggars cannot pay the fines? What will happen to them then?

What annoys me is that beggars get banned but in Vitisha Blvd, NDK and sorrounding areas there is a nice little scam going on for years. Some people approach you (usually teen girls) and try to give you some postcard and you accept it thinking is free but then they ask you for a donation to some fake foundation. Silly people ofcourse give 2levs and foreigners even more. The scam works because there are always gullible people. The authorities and everyone else who lives nearby know it as a scam and yet nothing is done to stop it. So how about stopping such stupid scams?

There are many other things that are more pressing but yet the Municipality decided to pass superficial laws that really will not have any impact on society. How about removing the trash perhaps?

NellieotAmerica - 12 Mar 2009 // 17:46:15

Oh, another law that will never be respected or enforced. The gypsies are shaking in their tzarvuli. lol

NellieotAmerica - 12 Mar 2009 // 18:06:11

"There are many other things that are more pressing but yet the Municipality decided to pass superficial laws that really will not have any impact on society."

It is easy to talk the talk but not so easy to walk the walk. It doesn't cost them anything to pass laws and the law makers feel like they are doing something besides hanging out in cafes. When it comes to enforcement, it is another story. There is a big disconnect between making laws and enforcing them in Bulgaria.

Having said this, I for one would be happy to see fewer gypsies, most of them children, begging in the center of Sofia. There are no ethnic Bulgarians begging, they mostly steal and rob. They feel they have entitlement.

fishbrain - 12 Mar 2009 // 18:36:40

Can they ban street dogs also...? How about banning rubbish? or... perhaps.. maybe banning people tossing rubbish on the streets? or... banning people emptying their care ashtrays in the middle of the road... or how about banning people wearing guns and hanging outside some restaurants looking like referees?

CJB - 12 Mar 2009 // 22:13:21

"The councilmen also issued several other decrees. One of them prohibits restaurants and bars located in residential buildings from remaining open for business after 10 pm. Violators will be fined BGN 2,000 to 10,000. Loud music and manufacturing activities are also now prohibited in residential buildings."

If the rule on restaurants and bars is ever enforced, it will kill the centre of Sofia. They have got to be mad!

AmMan - 13 Mar 2009 // 08:06:36

I guarantee nothing will come from this new law banning begging in Sofia. Today iit will be "begging as usual." It seems the police never hear about any of these new laws the city passes or if they do, they choose to just ignore them. Begging is one thing but to allow people to take a prominent spot in the middle of the street, down on all fours and groveling for the money is just plain stupid. This country's police are totally oblivious to every infraction of the law that DOES NOT net them money. NOW, if they pass a law that says the beggars have to give their donations to the cops when they are apprehended, that would be a different story. These guys don't work for free, they need some "give me" incentive.

CreepyS - 13 Mar 2009 // 18:13:36

"If the rule on restaurants and bars is ever enforced, it will kill the centre of Sofia"

thats right. the sofia "booming economy" and "low unemployment" comes 25% from bars and restaurants - bosses pay rent to the owners so the latter have a higher income, bartenders, waitresses, cooks are an important percentage of the working people in sofia, the companies that supply the bars and the restaurants and employ people will lose a lot too.

When you cut 20% of the time where they make the most of their money during the evening, there will be less money to pay rent, taxes, to hire people etc.

I wonder why these guys from city councils, parliament etc are so obsessed to introduce stupid and useless laws but dont have any answer.

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