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To give, or not to give

Zurich, Dec 24 (Reuters): The monks of a Swiss monastery at Einsiedeln were facing a Christmas dilemma, trying to thwart a begging racket while staying faithful to their holy pledge of charity.

Father Othmar, spokesman for the Benedictine Abbey, 50km south of Zurich, said the monks feared dozens of beggars were being exploited by a shadowy organisation.

“We noticed that the beggars are being brought to the abbey by minibus and have to give up most of their takings to an organisation,” he said.

He said the monks wanted to continue helping the needy, but the beggars had become a nuisance.

“We have seen a worrying rise of late. There have always been beggars and buskers but now we have the feeling it has become a racket,” he said.

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