Friday, September 22, 2006


If the taxes don't work, there are always carrots:

The governor of a Russian province gave workers an afternoon off and told them to go home and multiply in the most direct attempt yet by officials seeking to tackle the country's growing depopulation crisis.

....In exchange for an afternoon of state-sponsored passion, his "Give birth to a patriot" campaign launched last week offers parents who give birth next year on June 12, Russia's Independence Day, a range of incentives from a fridge or washing machine to a four-wheel-drive vehicle, depending on how many children the couple already has.

The Kremlin is offering even more substantial inducements. In a state of the nation address in May that was redolent of the Soviet era, Mr Putin encouraged Russians to make more babies and promised to give £5,000 to every mother who gives birth to a second child.

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