Begging in Madrid

I am deeply concerned about poverty. I think social support in modern societies should provide the basic living standards that prevent people from becoming homeless and/or beggars. It is shocking to see the state of beggars in Madrid. On Gran Via (see my previous post), they sleep in their cartons at the middle of the day and hope that people give them some money. Unfortunately it appears that this situation is quite normal for local authorities since they don’t even bother to address this matter in areas frequented by international tourists.

A beggar confidently sleeping in front of people passing on the Gran Via Street:

A disabled man begging on the Gran Via street:

It is worth noting that although these beggars remind us of poverty, which is also present in the developed world and is really a sad state of affairs, some of Madrid’s beggars can make a lot of money: they first approach you and say something in Spanish; when you respond by sharing that you do not speak Spanish, they subsequently speak in English perfectly and ask you to give them just one Euro for a bus ticket or for some other need. I admire their talent and language skills.

* Both photos by me –click to enlarge.