To Help Clean the City, Amsterdam Gives Alcoholics Free Beer

Should you pay alcoholics in beer? This is the ethical dilemma thrown up by a city project in the famously liberal city of Amsterdam.

"In Amsterdam, the Rainbow Group Foundation is running a pilot project where it will pay 20 chronic alcoholics to help clean up the city," writes Rich Heap. "The idea is to reduce antisocial behaviour caused by alcoholics in public park Oosterpark, and it is being funded by public money and donations. The element that has attracted most interest is that the daily pay is five cans of beer, half a pack of rolling tobacco, and €10 (US$13)."

"Gerrie Holterman, who leads the project, told French news agency Agence France-Presse that these alcoholics 'were causing a nuisance in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark: fights, noise, disagreeable comments to women' and that this project has helped to reduce that:

'You have to see things like this: everyone benefits… They’re no longer in the park, they drink less, they eat better and they have something to keep them busy during the day.'”

Full Story: Amsterdam Gives Alcoholics Beer to Clean City


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