Germany now has its own Marie Antoinette, but, instead of eating cake, Henner Schmidt would like the poor to catch rats for one euro a rodent. Schmidt is the head of the Free Democrat party in the Mitte district of Berlin and would like to pit the poor against the rats to deal with two social problems at once.
Schmidt explains that “[e]specially people who usually collect bottles could get one euro for every dead rat.” Of course, most bottles do not carry diseases or bite.
This has not proven a popular idea in Berlin. Schmidt timing just before the holiday is truly impeccable. Ah, the memories of all those little German urchins chasing rats in the streets of Berlin as holiday music plays from the homes of the appreciative well-heeled families. It is enough to bring a tear to the eye of the urban haute bourgeois.
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