A small Croatian town in the east of the country concerned with the birth-rate and number of single people is offering a cash payment to couples who tie the knot in 2016…
As an incentive to increase the number of marriages in the eastern Croatian town of Otok, a payment of up to 5,000 kuna (650 euros) is to be offered to couples to walk down the aisle in 2016.
“We are concerned with the number of Otok residents who live alone. We have thought for a long while now to encourage them to enter into marriage and to form a family. We will try this one-off assistance. I know that the amount is not large, but it is worth a try. If there is interest, it will not be a problem to increase the moment, even by a few times,” Branko Samardžić, head of Otok Council, told daily Slobodna Dalmacija.
Those who will be eligable for the payment will be men who live in the Otok area. Women are not eligible for the payment.
“It is important that we have made this decision and opened the door. The point is to encourage more marriages so there are less single people in the town,” said Deputy head Ivica Perković.
With fewer marriages and children being born recently the town is taking the problem seriously and hopes the new initiative has results.
“We have decided to take a pro-birth policy. We have decided to co-finance a crèche for children and have almost doubled the previous amount of compensation for those who give birth. From 1 January the amount paid to those for having their first child will increase to 2,000 kuna, 4,000 kuna for the second child and 6,000 kuna for a third child in the family,” Samardžić said.
Otok is located 20 km south of Vinkovci, in eastern Slavonia. The population of the town of Otok according to the latest census in 2011 was 6,343.
(main photo credit/Dalmatia Events)