The city of Basel is offering beggars and homeless people one-way tickets to anywhere in Europe in exchange for agreeing not to return.
The city’s immigration office offers rail vouchers and 20 Swiss francs to any beggar who agrees to leave and not return.
To get the voucher, beggars must sign a written contract promising not to return to Switzerland for a certain period of time. If they are caught returning, they risk deportation.
So far, 31 people have accepted the offer. 14 from Romania, 7 from Belgium, 7 from Germany, 2 from Italy and 1 from France.
According to the Basler Zeitung newspaper, the city has allocated 60 Swiss francs for the flight to Bucarest for those who come from Romania.
Some parts of Switzerland have no tolerance for beggars. In 2014, a woman begging on the streets of Geneva was fined 500 Swiss francs. Unable to pay the fine, the woman was detained for 5 days.
In 2016, the government of the Swiss canton of Vaud passed a law banning begging on the entire territory of the canton.