Image: Giorgio Galano/Alamy Stock Photo
Interestingly, there is an underpopulated area in the southern part of Italy which is on the verge of offering €700 a month to visitors for three long years! All this money so that they stay in any of the few villages that it has. But, it isn’t just a pledge offering- one has to start a business, and the village mustn’t have more than 2000 residents.
Donato Toma, Molise’s president mentioned to the Guardian, that instead of offering charity to the people, the government is trying to ensure that life is breathed upon the people in the village, with the establishment of any large, or small businesses. As long as the above-mentioned criteria get filled. The main purpose isn’t to just increase the population, but also to make people want to stay there.
Also, a town with lower than 2000 residents would be provided with $10,000, to improve its infrastructure and also organize cultural activities. Toma believes that if they don’t invest in this, then they would go back to square one with people leaving as soon as their needs are met.
The Italian National Institute of Statistics reports that Molise, whose population was a little over 300,000, has seen a loss of more inhabitants than it has gained since 2014. The last year saw around 2800 people either die or move out to some other part, while no birth was recorded. Italy is going through a population crisis, where the number has fallen below 55 million in 90 years.
In the last 5 years, the number of Italian residents had a deficit of almost 677,000. The Institute finds two important factors for the cause- one, that people are moving to search for better job opportunities (around 150,000 left Italy for other countries in 2018), and two, the lesser and lesser number of births each year.
It is a matter of national importance, for Italy is said to be the sole major economy in Europe whose population would keep decreasing in the coming decade or so. Needless to say, it ranks just behind Japan in the highest number of an aging population.
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The mayor at Sutera, in Sicily’s Caltanissetta, has decided to open up its houses to seekers of asylum. Especially the ones who crossed the big Mediterranean Sea from Libya. While some other mayors, like the one at Sambuca, has decided to sell any house which is empty and abandoned to anyone who is willing to reside permanently. The price set is at €1, just a symbolic figure.
Unbelievable! Well, we know who is packing their bags as we speak.