There are several main undercurrents, I think, in this way of thinking about Vlad Ţepeş. (And, later, I did meet another person -- a woman, as well, and also in her 30's -- who echoed the sentiments.)


Another undercurrent, specific to the matter of begging — and both of these women I spoke with considered begging a legal problem — is that Romania has an image problem in many places in wider Europe, because the Romanian Gypsies go there for to beg. Romanian gypsies, some of whose families have great mansions where nobody even seems to live, represent the Romanian population to many people in foreign countries.

The Gypsies, often playing up a hard-life story as poor-mouthed as they can act it, are not representative of the character of the Romanian people. I think that the knowledge that this is the face that many Europeans see of Romanians causes some discomfort with begging that might not otherwise exist.