- Italy is offering newcomers in its southern region €700 monthly for three years so they could stay in its villages
- The government of the region is however giving the money out on the condition that the new residents must open a business there
- According to Italian National Institute of Statistics, the country has more old people than young, and lack of birth rate and migration has depopulated it
Molise, an underpopulated region in southern Italy, is offering to pay newcomers €700 every month for three years so they could stay in one of its villages.
The condition for the payment is that the village must have over 2,000 inhabitants and before a newcomer qualifies for the payment, he must vow to open a business there, The Guardian reports.
According to the president of the Molise region, Donato Toma, offering money without the condition for investment will make the whole plan like an another charity gesture.
He said that there are no restriction on the legal business that could be opened in one of the villages, saying that the strategy is targeted at breathing life into the region and increase its population.
“If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture. We wanted to do more; we wanted people to invest here. They can open any sort of activity: a bread shop, a stationery shop, a restaurant, anything. It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population,” he said.
Toma also went further to add that every qualified region would receive €10,000 (€9,000) to help it build infrastructure and facilitate cultural activities.
“It’s not just a matter of increasing the population. People also need infrastructure and a reason to stay, otherwise we’ll end up back where we started in a few years,” he said.
The Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat) puts Molise with a population of 302,000, a region that lost most of residents in recent times and 9,000 have left the region since 2014.
The Guardian also reports that more than 2,800 of its population died or migrated to another place and no birth has been recorded in nine of its towns for long.
It should be noted also that the population of Italian citizens living in their country has slid by about 55 million.
According to Istat, two factors of low birth rate and migration of its citizens have contributed to the under-population of the country.
It was also recorded that about 157,000 people left the country in 2015 as there is the fear that the European country’s population may even fall lower in five years to come, according to the United Nations.
The country has the greatest number of older people as there 166.7 old people (of over 65 years) to every 100 young citizens.
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Recall that Legit.ng earlier reported that a small village in Poland, Miejsce Odrzanskie, did not record a male birth in it for almost a decade, which created a situation where nobody knew what could be wrong.
The mayor, Krystyna Zydziak, of the village is also offering to give out rewards to anybody who may have information on the missing males in the village.
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