Italians could be paid to marry in church — RT World News

Italians could be paid to marry in church — RT World News
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La Liga political party wants to subsidize religious weddings, arguing it will strengthen the family

Young Italians of modest means who marry in a church ceremony could see their nuptials paid for by the government if a bill introduced on Sunday by five La Liga lawmakers is passed. The initiative aims to revive the tradition of religious marriages and encourage Italians to start a family.

Eligibility for the benefits – which would be split into five annual installments, presumably so couples can’t rip off the government with quick divorce and remarriage programs – would be limited to newlyweds under 35 with a lower combined income at €23,000, earning less than €11,500 each. Both spouses must have Italian citizenship for at least ten years and the marriage must take place in Italy.

The figure of €20,000 was decided as representing 20% ​​of the cost of religious adornments, including flowers, booklets, clothes for the bride and groom, hair, make-up, photography, catering and party favors.

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The bill’s first signatory, La Liga MP Domenico Furgiuele, predicted the benefit would be extended to all marriages, “whether they are celebrated in church or notif it is debated in Parliament. MPs Simone Billi, Ingrid Bisa, Alberto Gusmeroli and Erik Pretto also signed their names on the proposal. While Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s office has denied any involvement in the initiative, it is said to be working on its own measures to support the family.

Some 47.4% of the 184,000 marriages that took place in Italy in 2019 were religious marriages, according to the statistical agency Istat. This represents a significant drop from 1990, when 82% of Italian marriages took place in church. Since 2018, civil marriages have outnumbered religious marriages, part of a general decline in religious observance nationwide. While 75% of Italians identify as Catholic, less than a quarter attend mass regularly.

The marriage subsidy proposal had already been submitted in 2019 but was never considered as the government collapsed when La Liga chief Mattteo Salvini revoked his party’s support in the cabinet.

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