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The socialist government of Spain has surprised everyone by adopting a pro-natal policy.

Each newborn will receive a check for Euro 2,500 (about 3,938 dollars).

If the newborn is born into a family with three or more children, the amount is increased to Euro 3,500.

In announcing the policy, President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said to the Parliament that “In order to continue progressing Spain needs more families with more children. And families need more aid to have more babies and more resources for their upbringing.”

Even a blind man could see that this is so.

In only 30 years, the average size of the Spanish family has dropped from 3.8 members to 2.9.

Today, two and a half million Spanish people live alone. There are now only about 1.7 million large Spanish families–that is, families with three or more children–and the number is steadily falling.

Along with Italy and Greece, Spain has one of the lowest fertility rates in the EU. Spain’s population is again rapidly, and is on the cusp of absolute population decline.

In 1996 Spain added only 11,177 people to its population. Since that year, the numbers have gone up, but only because immigrants from Latin America and North Africa are having children.

[18Mar08,, Carlos Beltramo]