Monday, May 21, 2007

Goats for jobless

Jobless Romanians are to be given goats instead of welfare benefits as part of a scheme to make them contribute more to the economy.

Under the pilot project, welfare benefits are to be axed from September in a collection of villages in southeastern Romania, the Independenta district, where unemployed families instead will receive 10 goats each.

They will be expected to milk the animals and sell milk and cheese to earn an income, and when they find work, they will have to return the goats to the local council.

The scheme has been set up by the council's campaigning mayor, Cristea Gascan, who said: "We have 30 families that are on benefits, and just paying them cash does not help them or us. But with goats they are making a positive contribution to the economy and will be working instead of sitting at home expecting handouts."

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