Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Ve Haf Vays...

The British Daily Telegraph reports:

Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job or lose her unemployment benefit.

Last company I ran there had to pay 2 years wages each to a couple of clerks we had to let go after 3 months on the payroll. So things must be looking up. However:

Prostitution is now legal in Germany and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – are granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

And so:

A 25-year-old information technology worker who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit.

Now, one of the lessons the German High Command drew from their failure to win WW1 was the German lack of a sense of humor. I thought they'd fixed this when their Foreign Minister announced during Operation Iraqi Freedom that "no country has ever been made democratic by military action". Sadly it turned out he was serious.

But maybe this story is the very first German Urban Legend (sort of Dachshund in der Ofen). In which case the future augers well for that great nation.

If the story is true, I hope Germans won't take it lying down.