NEWS » 2,000 Euro incentive to move to Bormida

2,000 Euro incentive to move to Bormida

The mayor of an Italian mountain village in Liguria is offering a bonus of €2,000 (£1,700) to anyone willing to move there, to boost its dwindling population of only 394 inhabitants.

 

Daniele Galliano, mayor, of Bormida, the rural municipality in the mountainous Liguria region, posted an advertisement on Facebook seeking new inhabitants for his village.

 

What makes the ad attractive, on top of the €2,000, is that the mayor is offering to newcomers a rent of just €50 (£40) a month for small properties, and €120 (£101) per month for bigger properties. The post had prompted international responses of people willing to relocate from the UK, US, Brazil, and Uganda, and in just two days reached its population target. However, the mayor specified that it was still only a proposal, which must be approved by the municipal council.

 

As reported by “The Guardian”, the population of the village has shrunk in recent years as young people have left to find work in the closest city of Savona or beyond. Bormida sits 420 metres above sea level in the north-west Liguria region. Genoa is the nearest big city to Bormida, at a distance of 50 miles.

 

The details of the cash offer still need to be worked out and approved by the local council, but if all goes well, from next year anyone who transfers their residence to Bormida and either rents or buys a property there, will receive €2,000. Some potential new inhabitants wrote that they would renounce the cash gift in return for a job in the town, underlining the difficulty of living in a place without work.

 

The mayor will of course have to face the lack of jobs problem, but for now the village is the ideal place for those who would love a stress-free simple and natural life surrounded by forests, goats, and plenty of good food.

 

Unfortunately, Bormida is not the only deserted town in Italy. A report last year by Legambiente, the Italian environmental association, found that 2,500 villages across the country risked being abandoned owing to depopulation. Italy is home to some 5,627 towns and each of them have less than 5,000 inhabitants. 2,430 of these villages are facing a population crisis.

 

The towns at risk are currently home to some three million Italians, meaning the issue of ghost towns directly affects more than five percent of Italy's total population. Over the past 25 years alone, one in seven small town inhabitants - some 675,000 people - have moved elsewhere.

 

Over the next 25 years, as elderly inhabitants start to die and the trends of emigration continue, many villages will be left almost completely deserted. For this reason, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism named 2017 the “year of the village” as part of an attempt to promote tourism in places at risk of becoming deserted.

Giulia Lombardo

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