It is early evening at a restaurant in central Madrid and Jose Silva sits down for a meal of rice, meatballs and vegetables as waiters flit from one table to another.
All very normal, except for one crucial detail: Silva, 42, cannot afford to pay.
He lives rough under the platform of a cable car station in Madrid’s sprawling Casa del Campo park, one of dozens of homeless people who have started dining for free at the “Robin Hood” restaurant that opened this week.
The project is the brainchild of the “Messengers of Peace” association, led by Angel Garcia, a 79-year-old rebel priest with a thick head of white hair and kindly smile known for his charity work and alternative church.
By day, the restaurant charges regular customers for breakfast and lunch with an 11-euro ($11.7) menu, subsidising the same meal for the homeless at night, even if the association will likely have to …