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Germany

"Florida Rolf" to Draw Pension Instead of Dole

German pensioner Rolf John, dubbed "Florida Rolf" by the media after revelations that the 64-year-old was living it up under the Florida sun and palms for years at the expense of the German state, plans to come back to Germany. His return is said to be prompted by changes made to existing laws by Chancellor Schröder's government after the "Florida Rolf" case sparked outrage across the nation. The new rules no longer treat the misuse of Germany's generous welfare system with benevolence and only allow Germans living abroad to draw social benefits under special conditions, none of which apply to "Florida Rolf." The former bank manager had been justifying his lifestyle on the grounds of a certificate issued by a psychiatrist, attesting that Rolf John wasn't psychologically cut for a life in gloomy Germany and was prone to commit suicide if he lived there. But "Florida Rolf" isn't unduly worried about his financial future after the elimination of his monthly handouts of €1,600. He told news magazine Spiegel that he had hardly paid into Germany's pension coffers so far, but that "there's a new basic pension rate since last year for people like me. I believe that's higher than the social welfare limit."

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