Rome, June 12 (IANS/AKI) A priest in a small village in northern Italy says the weak economy is scaring couples away from the altar. So he has started offering an incentive for wedding ceremonies — 500 euros out of his own pocket.
“I’ve decided to guarantee a little help for all the young couples from the Volania parish who decide to marry,” said priest Giancarlo Pirini in an article by news website Il Resto del Carlino.
Volania, a village of around 300 families, has seen a steep decline in weddings. In 1960, the village registered 17 weddings, but in 2006 nobody married, a trend which may be repeated this year.
“I imagine that many young people these days would like to wed but are dissuaded because of the difficult economy,” he said.
“There might be engaged people still living with their families because they can’t afford the costs that come with marriage, such as a new house.”
Italian joblessness in April hit a 12-year high of more than 10 percent as the country’s faces its fourth recession since 2001. The rate has jumped to more than 35 percent for Italian youth between 15 and 24 years of age.