German pub offers free advice to long-term jobless

Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:18pm EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - A Berlin pub has set up an advice desk to help the long-term unemployed get back on their feet. Many regulars to the "Kindl Klause" in Berlin's southern Neu-Koelln district live off Germany's minimum jobless benefit, known as Hartz IV, so offering free advice on how to find work again seemed logical, the bar's boss Michael Hasucha said.

"About 98 percent of my clients are regulars and every fourth person in Neu-Koelln is on Hartz it made sense," he said. "As far as I know there's no other one like it."

The point is not to get drunk, he added. "Most people seeking advice just have a coffee or a cola then go," he said.

The desk, which operates between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m on Fridays, is run by two social workers who once stopped off at the bar after work and got into conversation with locals.

(Reporting by Dave Graham, editing by Paul Casciato)

<p>Job councillor Carsten Paschen (R) advices a woman on German Hartz IV unemployment regulations in the backroom of the "Kindl Klause" bar in the Neukoelln district in Berlin, September 10, 2010. REUTERS/Thomas Peter</p>