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'Mafia beggars must be kicked out': Spanish MP

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'Mafia beggars must be kicked out': Spanish MP
The mayor of neighbouring Badalona is currently facing xenophobia charges for linking Romanian immigrants to crime problems. File photo: Javi Sánchez de la Viña/Flickr
11:12 CEST+02:00
A politician belonging to Spain's ruling party has called for a census to be drawn of all homeless people in the Catalan city of Tarragona, alleging that "the majority belong to organized crime groups" and should therefore be forced out.

Popular Party MP Alejandro Fernández announced on Tuesday he would call for the measure as “begging isn’t allowed in Tarragona” and it “should be considered a serious crime” rather than a mild one.

“(Residents) shouldn’t have to put up with not being able to withdraw money at an ATM, or go into a shop or being hassled in the middle of the street,” Fernández said in the written statement.

He cited former New York mayor Rudoph Giuliani as an example to follow, the man controversially credited with ‘cleaning’ the streets of the Big Apple of its homeless population over a decade ago.

“Do-gooder politics don’t work, just as we’ve seen in Can Vies”, Fernández said in reference to the Barcelona squat where local authorities gave up on evicting its residents after days of rioting.

The PP spokesperson is also claiming the census will allow Tarragona authorities and NGO groups to identify “those who don’t belong to mafia groups and in most cases need help with addiction, alcoholism, etc”.

According to the latest official data, 15.4 percent of Tarragona’s population are foreign, with Moroccans and Romanians representing the biggest immigrant groups.

Xavier García Albiol, mayor of the neighbouring Catalan city of Badalona, is currently facing xenophobia charges for linking Romanian immigrants to crime problems in a campaign flyer.

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