By Ioannis-Alexandros Ioannidis
20/11/13 11:28 CET
A group of alcoholics in Amsterdam that was causing a public nuisance has been put to work cleaning the city’s streets. The group of men suffering from a chronic level of addiction usually find it impossible to hold down a job but have been persuaded to work under an imaginative scheme that sees them paid in beer and cigarettes.
For a day’s work each one is rewarded with half a packet of rolling tobacco, five cans of beer and 10 euros. To keep the workers motivated the beers are handed out in three doses: two in the morning, two at midday and one in the afternoon, once the work is done.
The project, run by the Rainbow Foundation, is financed by the Dutch state and donations. Gerrie Holterman, head of the organization, told AFP: “This group of chronic alcoholics was causing trouble in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women.”
“The aim is to keep them occupied, to get them doing something so they no longer cause trouble at the park” she explained.
Split into two groups of around ten people, the alcoholics work three days a week. The average day starts at 9 o’clock when each one is offered two beers and a coffee before heading off to clean the nearby streets.
“We need alcohol to function, that’s the disadvantage of chronic alcoholism” admitted 45-year old Frank.
For lunch, the team gets two additional beers as well as a warm meal before going out again for the afternoon shift.
At around 15:30 the shift is over and each gets one last beer.
“You have to see things like this, everyone benefits” said Holterman. “They’re no longer in the park, they drink less, they eat better and they have something to keep them busy during the day.”
The original approach to the problem may seem shocking to some, but in the Netherlands they are used to taking a pragmatic stance.
However, there have been mixed reviews from the workers about whether the job really reduces their drinking.
Frank told AFP, “When we leave here, we go to the supermarket and transform the 10 euros we earned into beers.”
By Ioannis-Alexandros IoannidisMore about:
- 1Pope Francis kisses hands of Holocaust survivors
- 23D, 360° virtual reality is ready to launch – on an adult film
- 3Bombing in Syria not World War III, says Russia’s EU ambassador
- 4Migrant crisis: Hungary poised to shut unofficial border crossings with Croatia
- 5Syria: We believe that Russia has the wrong strategy, says US
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Syrian refugee tripped by shamed camera woman is named
- 3Hungarian camera woman caught on video kicking and tripping migrants could face jail
- 4Hungarian reporter who tripped migrants apologises for her actions
- 5NASA discovers evidence of “liquid briny water” flowing on Mars
- 6Latest News Bulletin
- 7At least 220 dead in stampede outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia reports
- 8International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 9Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees…or are they?
- 10Hungarian camerawoman fired after being filmed kicking migrants
- 11Why aren’t rich Gulf states welcoming Syrian refugees… or are they?
- 12[Live] All the Rugby World Cup news in one place
- 13Spain: Catalan President faces ‘civil disobedience’ charges over breakaway vote
- 14International news | euronews, latest international news
- 15Banzai back in the vocabulary as Japan passes law allowing combat deployments
- 16Exclusive: shipwatchers chart Russian hardware heading into Med
- 17Which European countries offer the most social benefits to migrants?
- 18What the top tweets worldwide are saying about #refugees
- 19[Live] Catalonia: separatists heading for clear win in crucial elections
- 20Israel agents ‘incite’ stone-throwing in West Bank
Wires > News
- 08:06 CET Baby dies after migrant boat breaks down off Greek island
- 07:02 CET Australia, Philippines negotiating asylum seeker transfer deal
- 04:47 CET Malaysia arrests lawyer critical of PM Najib
- 02:17 CET France train attack hero Stone stabbed in California
- 23:44 CET SpaceX raps ULA bid to get U.S. waiver for Russian engines
- 23:28 CET Insight – Collision course with a hurricane: How doomed U.S. ship…
- 23:20 CET In India, a test for Modi’s economic reforms and Hindu agenda
- 23:15 CET Myanmar official accuses China of meddling in rebel peace talks