AT least 7,000 people have signed a petition against the Catalán rail board’s campaign to encourage passengers to report beggars on the trains.
The regional government-owned railboard, the FGC, has set up a mobile phone application to advise of train times, but this also includes a section whereby the user can report beggars and buskers to the authorities.
Busking and begging is defined as ‘anti-social behaviour’ by the FGC.
Student Miquel Rubio, of Catalunya Open University (UOC) has spearheaded a movement which is pushing for the regional government to withdraw the application.
Rubio calls it ‘a direct attack on society in general’ and ‘in particular against the underprivileged’, and considers it particularly insensitive at a time when unemployment is rife and no new jobs are being created.
For every signature added to the petition, an email is sent to the public relations department of FGC.
“It is shameful and a great pity that a public institution such as the rail board of Catalunya would conduct such attacks on the dignity and integrity of people in general,” the petition text states.