One of the underpopulated regions in southern Italy is offering newcomers €700 per month for three years to live in one of its villages.
There are a few catches, however: the village must have fewer than 2,000 residents, and the newcomer must pledge to open a business.
“If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture,” Donato Toma, the president of Molise, told the Guardian. “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.”
Toma also announced that each town with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants would receive €10,000 (£9,000) with which it would build infrastructure and promote 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.