Austrian village offers free land to boost population

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 08 2009 10:57 AM | Updated as of Mar 08 2009 06:57 PM

VIENNA – A village in northern Austria, worried by its dwindling population, is offering free land to all who pledge to start a family in a decade, the Kurier newspaper reported Saturday.

Plots of 800 and 900 square metres (8,611 to 9,687 square feet) are up for grabs at Rappottenstein, near the Czech border, to both singles and married couples who pledge to have at least one child in the next 10 years.

Singles also have get married. Other conditions stipulate that the new owners have to build a house on the plot in three years. If the conditions are not fulfilled, the owners will have to pay 12,000 euros (15163 dollars).

The commune where the village is located is home to only 1,760 people.