The Italian Govt. has promised to reward parents with a piece of land who agree to have a third child.
According to the government, it said it was doing this in a bid to reverse the country’s plummeting birth rate.
The plan, which was included in the draft budget for next year, would see the state concede parcels of agricultural land for 20 years to parents who have a third child between 2019 and 2021.
Minister of Agriculture, Gian Marco Centinaio said;
“They say that Italians have few children and that something is needed to turn the trend around”
“That’s why the ministry wants to contribute, favouring rural areas in particular, where people still have children”
Italy has the lowest birthrate in Europe. According to report, 464,000 births were registered, a record low, leaving Italy with a significantly older population and a demographic time bomb.
Political commentators say that it would not be easy, as the law provides civil unions with most of the same rights as marriage.
Foreigners interested in the offer would need to have been resident in Italy for at least 10 years.
Reacting to the statement, Corriere della Sera said;
”The association of Italian agricultural companies, the state owns half a million hectares (1.2 million acres) of farmland worth nearly 10 billion euros ($11.3 billion).
“Why give them away rather than sell them, particularly at a moment when all that money could go towards the government’s many and costly pledges?”
Because “for the most part, the lands are what is left at the bottom of the barrel,” adding that in some cases local councils were currently having to shell out for their upkeep.