I find this situation incredibly interesting – a proper, real life social experiment playing out in front of our eyes.
So in a nutshell, the village of Castelnou has lost it’s population. Whether to the perils of old age, the searing heat, the lure of near-by (ish!) Barcelona, the rising costs of having children or lack of employment opportunities the sad fact remains – the population has petered out to a mere 109 citizens. Community institutions have started to shut down which further exasperates the problem – I mean seriously, would you move somewhere where there was no Church???!
So in an attempt to fight back and win over a juicy segment of Spain’s 45 million population the Mayor of Castelnou has proposed the following:
‘In an attempt to attract new inhabitants, Castelnou is now offering cheap houses, free land, an exemption from municipal taxes, and even a municipal babysitter to those families who wish to settle and bring children who might give the village a future.’ Mayor Jose Miguel Esteruelas has decided to concentrate all efforts on attracting young people predominantly, with a secondary focus on businesses. Those who bring both go to the top of the queue!!