Germany Plans to Pay Street-Cleaning Alcoholics With Beer

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Great. Photo: Fifi Banana / Flickr

A taxpayer-funded project in Germany would supply a steady beer ration to be distributed to homeless alcoholics who log three to six hours a day cleaning city streets. The program, Addict Support Essen's Pick-Up Initiative, is one of Germany's so-called "one-euro jobs," where people pay unemployed and usually homeless workers €1 an hour. The visionaries behind this new initiative credit their visionary Dutch neighbors, who pioneered a similarly controversial program last year that compensates workers in light beer. Not surprisingly, some charitable groups call the idea undignified and exploitative, and while there's no word on ABV — also, pilsners? doppelbocks? The organization pitching the plan says medical treatment and counseling are part of the deal, and argues anyway that without beer, "they would not turn up in the first place." [RT, Related]