Christmas Scrooges on the council in an Austrian city have turned park benches near a popular Advent market in a local park into Christmas tree stands to stop homeless people sleeping on them.
Images of the benches where the homeless people sometimes sleep despite the intense cold were posted online by local media Linza.at which described them sarcastically as an: “Innovative Christmas solution for the beggar benches in the Linzer Volksarten park.”
They added: “In order to have a disturbance free, magic Christmas market available to visitors, the public benches have been turned into Christmas tree stands. The Christmas rebels could not have been ringing more sweetly.”
The decision was made by the conservative People’s party department responsible for markets led by Deputy Mayor Bernhard Baier. It was also criticised by his colleague, mayor Klaus Luger from the social Democrats. He said: “I find it completely unacceptable. I was shocked, when I read the story in the daily newspaper.”
The pictures showed how the Christmas tree stands have been put directly in front of the benches making them unusable in order to make sure that the benches were not slept on by beggars and homeless people.
On the Facebook page of Linza.at angry locals expressed their disgust.
‘Susanna Aigenbauer’ wrote: “Christmas would have been even better if there wasn’t any need for beggars benches.”
‘Gabriella Egger’ added: “It is time to think about others and therefore the advent market in Linz is somewhere I won’t be going this year. This action has nothing to do with Christmas. It is very sad when appearance becomes more important than humanity.”
And ‘Rainer Benatzky’ said: “Great to drive away the homeless. That way visitors to the advent market don’t have to look at poverty and instead can give their euros for unnecessary plastic rubbish.”
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