viernes, 12 de mayo de 2017

Save an Italian village from abandonment ... | MercatorNet | May 12, 2017 |

Save an Italian village from abandonment ...

| MercatorNet | May 12, 2017 |

Save an Italian village from abandonment ... moving there!
Marcus Roberts | May 12 2017 | comment 

As this blog has reported before (indeed earlier this week even!), Italy is one of the countries which is at the forefront of demographic decline: low fertility (1.35 children per woman), an ageing population (the average age of the population is now 45) and population decline (there were 167,000 more deaths than births in 2015) are all mixed into a heady cocktail that the Italian state is having to imbibe. There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip however, and some in Italy are trying to reverse this somber demographic trend.
For example, and for those of you who missed out on moving to small town New Zealand last year, there is this opportunity to move to the village of Bormida, in the north-west of the country. The mayor of the village, Daniele Galliano, is not going to take depopulation of his mountain village lying down and he has offered a lump sum of 2000 euro to anyone who moves to the village starting 2018. Furthermore, there is also a low rent plan proposed under which a small property will cost only 50 euro to rent per month and a larger property would cost no more than 120 euro per month. Thus, putting the lump sum towards the rent could see you living free of charge in Bormida for nearly three and a half years!
Now, the finer details still need to be worked out and approved by the council, so nothing is definite until that happens (although the mayor has posted it to facebook, so that’s pretty much official, right?). But according to one councilor it sounds pretty positive:
“We’re still working out the plan, but anyone is welcome to come and live here…We’re a small community but very welcoming. We’re high up in a mountain area but also not far from the sea – it’s a healthy lifestyle, the air is very clean.”
Despite this, you have to know what you’re getting into: the current population of the village is only 394 people and has been described as a “ghost town”.   Furthermore, the job prospects are not great – many young people have left to find work in the big cities. In the Guardian, the owner of one of the village’s four restaurants said that:
“There is nothing much to do here. But life is so simple and natural, we have forests, goats [!], the church, and plenty of good food. Life would definitely be free of stress.”
So if you can think of something to do there (it looks as if restauranteur might be well provided for already…perhaps goat herding?) then this does sound like an ideal place to live. Perhaps if you are retired or are an aspiring writer this could be for you? But if you do miss out on this opportunity, do not worry, I’m sure there will be another one soon. In 2016 an Italian environmental association, Legambiente, reported that 2,500 villages across Italy were at danger of being abandoned due to depopulation. The culture ministry named 2017 the “year of the village” to boost tourism to small places that are risk of being deserted. So take the next step, don’t just be a tourist, but move there and enjoy the bucolic Italian life and help save a village…
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May 12, 2017

We have a few reminders in today's articles that religious belief is hard to stamp out. A major report from the Pew Research Centre finds that in the former communist bloc belief has rebounded and that the majority people identify themselves as religious even if they do not go to church or pray. (So there's plenty of work for the churches to do in that part of the world!)
There's a nice coincidence here, since May 13 is the centenary of the famous Fatima apparitions, in which the Virgin Mary warned three shepherd children about the harm "Russia" could do to the world, and urged them to pray and do penance for that country's conversion. See Michael Cook's article on this.
Then, in an essay on Cormac McCarthy we find a novelist who, though not embracing any particular faith is "profoundly religious". Behind his apocalyptic vision of where contemporary culture is leading, McCarthy clings to a belief and hope in a "goodness" that seeks us out. I have not read this author but his last novel, The Road, is said to be compelling -- and so it sounds, from Michael Kirke's description.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

in Europe.

Cormac McCarthy: Clinging to hope in a devastated world
By Michael Kirke
The writer’s harrowing visions challenge us in our comfort zones.
Read the full article
Religious belief predominates in former communist countries
By Carolyn Moynihan
Eastern and central Europe 25 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Read the full article
The message from Fatima
By Michael Cook
Apparitions of the Virgin Mary a century ago are still relevant
Read the full article
Save an Italian village from abandonment ...
By Marcus Roberts moving there!
Read the full article
Why Conservatives should be Environmentalists
By Nathan J. Beacom
The pre-political demands of our shared home unite us.
Read the full article
Dad and daughter dynamics
By Helena Adeloju
Some tips from the father of four girls.
Read the full article
Abuse unchecked: why the illegal cutting of girls in the West continues
By Carolyn Moynihan
The US has its first federal prosecution. Britain after 30 years has no convictions.
Read the full article
With firing of FBI director, a new national nightmare could take off
By Luca Trenta
Where is the credible justification for firing Comey?
Read the full article
Abortion litmus test forces Democrats to choose
By Sheila Liaugminas
Make room for pro-life beliefs in the party, or force them out?
Read the full article
Italy’s ageing and shrinking future
By Marcus Roberts
The next 50 years will also see the North preponderance grow.
Read the full article
Are there ‘good suicides’ and ‘bad suicides’? Or are all of them bad?
By Margaret Somerville
An elderly Australian couple says that euthanasia is better than life in a nursing home
Read the full article

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