German jobless protest, cut their hair

3rd January 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 January 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Some 50 jobless men on Tuesday cut their hair in front of the regional parliament in the south-western German city of Mainz in protest at a politician's advice to one of their peers to shave if he wanted to find work.

3 January 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Some 50 jobless men on Tuesday cut their hair in front of the regional parliament in the south-western German city of Mainz in protest at a politician's advice to one of their peers to shave if he wanted to find work.

The protestors held banners reading "Help us, Mr Beck" while they were getting cropped, a reference to the bearded leader of Germany's Social Democrats, Kurt Beck, who made the remark.

Beck, who is also prime minister of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, on December 12 told unemployed Henrico Frank to "get shaved and you will find work in three weeks' time."

Frank, who sported long black hair, a beard and three nose piercings and later admitted that he was drunk at the time, had approached Beck and blamed him for legislation that has cut benefits for the long-term unemployed.

The remark sparked an outcry because it was seen by some as an insult to Germany's almost four million unemployed.

But Frank, who subsequently shaved and removed his piercings, said he could understand Beck's reaction as he had provoked him.

He briefly became famous after the incident and received a host of job offers, but has so far failed to take up any of them.

DPA

Subject: German news

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