For decades after the Second World War, Paris’ clochards (the French word for beggers) were a tourist attraction. Homeless had obviously existed in other European capitals and industrial democracies, but in Paris they were a chronic problem - a side-show attraction for the socially curious people and watched closely by the social services.

In 1991, when Hungary embarked on the path toward democratisation by implementing a series of necessary reforms, the homeless made their appearance on the ...


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