Monday, September 5, 2011

Serbia: helping love along

This was just too cute to resist re-posting. Many European nations are not replacing their members as family size gets smaller and people move away for better jobs in other countries. The population of Serbia has been declining over the last 20 years and has now reached 25,000 people annually. Particularly hard hit are rural areas. Recent wars, poverty and a low standard of living are all part of the problem. To help, one mayor is trying something new.

But in the nearest town, Jagodina, there is a new and unusual attempt to reverse the tide: Mayor Dragan Markovic has introduced a scheme in which 150 single men and 150 single women, all over the age of 38, are being given a free holiday to the Greek coast in September in the hope that sparks might fly and a few more babies emerge. The venture is funded by the municipality and, he says, private sponsors. 

According to a BBC article, "Serbia tries singles nights to fight population decline" incentives to marry and have children include "free bus passes and stationery for schoolchildren, generous maternity leave and cash bonuses for new parents."

To read the full article, click here.

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