IN an effort to halt its disappearance off the map entirely, a tiny village in Castilla y Leon is offering its residents cash bonuses of €300 if they adopt or give birth to children.
Aldeasca is a rural village with a current population of 254. In 1970, 610 people called the small farming community home, meaning that its population has dwindled considerably over the last half-century or so.
Such instances are not uncommon in Spain, especially in recent years as youngsters head towards the big cities in search of work. Unfortunately, it is causing residents of villages such as Aldeasca to fear that they are members of a dying breed. Aldeasca mayor Jesus Izquierdo therefore decided to introduce the new ‘baby cheque’ as a way to get the population to stabilise.
Izquierdo acknowledged that although “no one is going to get pregnant just for a grant of €300,” it may encourage people who were planning to hit the road to think otherwise.
Aldeasca is not the only Spanish municipality to introduce such an incentive. Other towns with ageing populations have offered similar grants, whereas the village of Olmeda de la Cuesta in Castilla-La Mancha has offered up plots of land for bargain prices in a bid to bring in a bit of young blood.