An Italian town has made foreigners an offer they cannot refuse as they try to keep up their population and stop their town from becoming a ‘ghost town’.
Locana, a quaint little town in Piedmont, the mountainous northwestern region of Italy, has offered Italians from other regions and even foreigners who are ready to relocate to the area $10,000, an incentive meant to reviltalize the area’s population struggles and stop institutions in the town from going under.
The mayor of the town, Giovanni Bruno Mattiet, made the offer in a bid to beat a similar one from another struggling Italian town.
Speaking with CNN Travel, he said the population of the town has drastically fallen in the past two decades and they need measures like he’s proposing just to stay afloat.
“Our population has shrunk from 7,000 residents in the early 1900s to barely 1,500 as people left looking for a job at Turin’s big factories,” he said.
“Our school each year faces the risk of shutting down due to few pupils. I can’t allow this to happen.”
According to CNN many small towns in Italy are becoming such ‘ghost towns’ and Mattiet is desperate for Locana not to follow the trend. Statistics show that 40 people die in the town every year versus only 10 people being born.
“We’re looking to draw mostly young people and professionals who work remotely or are willing to start an activity here. There are dozens of closed shops, bars, restaurants and boutiques just waiting for new people to run them.” the mayor said.
The $10,000 incentive would be paid to families who agree to move to the area, on the only condition that they have a child and make at least 6,000 euros annually.
“Locana offers a healthy lifestyle, great food and folklore fairs all-year round.” the mayor added.