Have three kids, get a land as gift, Italian govt tells citizens

Italy’ s populist government plans to reward parents who have a third child by awarding them a piece of land, in a bid to reverse the country’s plummeting birth rate , media reported Wednesday .

The plan, cooked up by the far- right League and 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 .

“ They say that Italians have few children and that something is needed to turn the trend around ,” said Agriculture Minister Gian Marco Centinaio.

“ That ’s why the ministry wants to contribute , favouring rural areas in particular, where people still have children ,” he told the media .

Italy has the lowest birthrate in Europe . Last year some 464 ,000 births were registered, a record low , leaving Italy with a significantly older population and a demographic time bomb.

The land-for -children idea is supported by Italy ’s ultra -Catholic families minister Lorenzo Fontana , who said however that it will be limited to married couples, rather than those in civil unions.
Political commentators said that 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.

According to Coldiretti, 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?” asked the Corriere della Sera daily .
Because “ for the most part , the lands are what is left at the bottom of the barrel ,” it said , adding that in some cases local councils were currently having to shell out for their upkeep .
( AFP)
Have three kids, get a land as gift, Italian govt tells citizens Have three kids, get a land as gift, Italian govt tells citizens Reviewed by KOC on 06:29 Rating: 5

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