An Italian village has withdrawn an offer of a cash reward for people who agree to move there, after an avalanche of interest.
The mayor of Bormida, in the mountainous northwest of Italy, had suggested payouts to new arrivals in an attempt to stop its precipitous decline in population.
Daniele Galliano had promised €2,000 (about $2,200) to anybody who wanted to join the 394 people who currently live in the remote community.
He also suggested using public funds to subsidize rents, which could have been pushed as low as $55 a month for an apartment under the scheme.
Although the village offers few employment opportunities, it boasts a picturesque location, boundless countryside and a relaxed, rural way of life.
The idea proved far more popular than Galliano anticipated, however, forcing him to pull the plug.
Within days, local authorities had been contacted by 17,000 people – 43 times Bormida’s current population.
It prompted Galliano to clarify in a Facebook post that the cash incentive was only an idea, rather than current policy.
He did not rule out one day implementing the scheme, but said that the news had been “reported in the wrong way”, creating false expectations among would-be residents.
Featured image via Flickr/photobeppus