Summary

Cash for babies, $10,000 gifts, $1 homes: The battle for the soul of rural Italy

Jan 29, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

(CNN) — Tempted by the recent offer of an Italian home for just over a $1? Well, you might want to hold out for a better deal.

Now one town in the country is offering foreigners $10,000 to move there. Another says it will even pay newcomers more than $1,000 per child to make babies.

The deals may seem too good to be true for many who dream of escaping the rat race for the idyll of a rustic Italian village. For the destinations involved, they represent a last-ditch battle to save the souls of their dying communities.

But it's complicated -- this is a country where local property regulations are often tangled up in byzantine legalities.

And, of course, it's a place where attitudes towards foreign incomers are sometimes ambivalent, as highlighted by a recent rise in political hostility towards economic migrants arriving from Africa and the Middle East.

The latest deal to beat them all comes from Giovanni Bruno Mattiet, the mayor of the tiny Alpine village of Locana, in Piedmont, the mountainous northwestern region of Italy that borders France and Switzerland.

He's willing to pay up to €9,000, or $10,200, over three years to families willing to move in and take up residency amid snowy peaks and flower-strewn pastures, as long as they have a child and a minimum annual salary of €6,000.

"Our population has shrunk from 7,000 residents in the early 1900s to barely 1,500 as people left looking for a job at Turin's big factories," Mattiet tells CNN Travel. "Our school each year faces the risk of shutting down due to few pupils. I can't allow this to happen."

Ghost towns

Italy wants you: In a fight to save their dying communities, numerous small towns across Italy, like Borgomezzavalle pictured here, are offering incentives to encourage foreigners to move there.

In Locana each year there are 40 deaths versus just 10 births. It's a familiar picture across Italy where, in the last 30 years, one in four small communities have become ghost towns. There are now 139 villages with fewer than 150 residents.

And while Mattiet's deal was initially offered just to Italians or foreigners already living in Italy, he's now so desperate to save his town from dying, he's extending it to non-Italians abroad too.

"We're looking to draw mostly young people and professionals who work remotely or are willing to start an activity here," he says. "There are dozens of closed shops, bars, restaurants and boutiques just waiting for new people to run them."

Locana isn't the only town in Piedmont badly in need of a rebirth. A little farther north, on the Swiss frontier, the mayor of Borgomezzavalle is playing what he hopes will be a winning card.

To revitalize a population that's dwindled to barely 320 residents, Alberto Preioni is not only selling abandoned mountain cottages for just €1 -- just over $1 -- he's also paying all newcomers who are starting a family.

"This town was created in 2016 with the fusion of two neighboring villages which were disappearing," he tells CNN Travel. "We've got tons of money to invest but we need kids and youth.

"That's why I'm offering €1,000 for each newborn and another €2,000 to anyone willing to start a business and register for VAT."

Local taxes are very low and Preioni also promises free public transport to all students. There's not even any need to take up residency.

Borgomezzavalle -- the name means "the town between the valley" -- is stuck inside a canyon, but there's sunlight all day thanks to a huge mirror placed on the opposite hillside that reflects the rays.

Brightly colored houses with thatched roofs, carved from the mountain flank, are clustered around neat cobbled piazzas with wooden benches and flower pots.

Narrow winding alleys lead to frescoed arcaded porches with decorated columns and lavish palazzos featuring loggias. The €1 buildings on sale include crumbling wood and stone cottages, barns, stables and former farm and artisan dwellings.

The only catch is that the new owners must commit to refurbishing the houses within two years.

"I invite anyone interested to come see what a peaceful place this is, our untouched nature offers a detox and unplugged stay far from the madding crowd", says Preioni, who's also recovering abandoned agricultural lands for use by would-be farmers.

Borgomezzavalle and Locana are just the latest in a series of towns in Italy offering cheap, dilapidated properties to foreigners or paying them to move there (and take note, it's intended to be a permanent move, not just the offer of a cheap vacation home).

Extremely low taxes, great life quality, cheap services and rentals have successfully turned many dying spots into havens for foreign retirees.

In the Sicilian towns of Partanna, Caltabellotta, Giuliana, Siculiana and Cianciana renting a 50-square-meter apartment costs just €150 per month, while breakfast at the bar with local pastry specialties is €2.

Is it working?

If this all sounds too good to be true -- well it is and it isn't. Andrea Ungari, contemporary history professor at Rome's top LUISS University, says shoring up communities with an influx of foreigners will fail to address the issues that caused people to desert the towns in the first place.

"It's OK in the short run, foreigners love Italy's beauty and crave for an eternal holiday in a sunny spot," he says. "But in the long run, even they need upgraded infrastructures, good and nearby hospitals, efficient services, especially retirees.

"You need a long-term plan to develop the local territory and keep people there."

One solution might be to populate the dying towns with the migrants who flock to Italy on boats across the Mediterranean, fleeing peril or hardship in Africa or the Middle East. Indeed some have moved into places like Riace, in the southwest Calabria region or Val Camonica in northern Lombardy.

It's a strategy unlikely to gain traction in Italy's current political climate though. The country's new coalition government, particularly the populist League party of Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, has spoken out against hosting migrants in Italian villages.

In two shrinking towns first reported by CNN -- Ollolai and Candela -- the deals aimed at attracting more economically attractive foreigners seem to be working out well.

Candela, in southern Puglia, offered people up to €2,000 to move there plus tax credits. It now boasts a dozen new residents of all ages, nationalities and professions, says former mayor Nicola Gatta.

In just over a year Ollolai, on the island of Sardinia, has sold several dozen €1 houses that have already been refurbished. Six are currently being restyled while another 20 will soon be handed over to new owners.

Foreign newcomers are mostly young professionals who work remotely or retirees, but there are also Italians who have returned to their hometowns.

"We weren't expecting such a success, with people coming from Europe, the US, Brazil and Australia as our new next door neighbors", says Ollolai's deputy mayor Michele Cadeddu.

Fashion designer Marije Graafsma, who sold her home in the most northerly part of the Netherlands to relocate to Ollolai together with her partner, is enthusiastic about the move.

"It's great, I'm so happy," she says. "We're almost done restyling our lovely house with a fantastic view of Sardinia's wilderness. We can't wait to settle in for good.

"In Holland people are always on the run, they don't talk much. Here they're welcoming, very friendly, you get offered coffee and treats. We feel part of a big family."

Red tape

Graafsma has spent €75,000 on rehabilitating her attractive new dwelling. It's a good price compared to average property costs in Italy.

She says she didn't mind having to deal with a bit of red tape given she was "prepared for it" and the local mayor's office helped with the paperwork.

Bureaucracy can be hell in Italy -- but some say it's worth it. In the Sicilian town of Gangi, where 200 crumbling €1 euro dwellings have been sold mainly to European professionals and artists, it took Danish computer science engineer Torkel Jensen almost two years to jump through all the necessary administrative hoops.

"That's OK, I knew what I was in for," he says. "But finally, now, this lovely house, 150 square meters, is our new home. I used to live between Sweden and Denmark, so cold and dark, we wanted a sunny place", he says.

"Here it's gorgeous and warm, people are so nice and open. My wife and I will be spending six months a year, hopefully more. I've retired but keep working remotely".

Jensen has spent about €100,000 on an elegant renovation. While basic building materials are cheap, specific items can be more expensive. "Still a great deal, though," he adds.

But, says Jensen, there's another issue to consider for families. "These towns are great for retirees and couples without kids. For children it's not so great if you plan to live here all year-round."

Empty gimmicks

While a few copycat towns have been unsuccessful in the endeavor due to real obstacles others have turned out to be empty gimmicks or too complicated to sustain.

Bormida, in the northwest Liguria region that adjoins France, rescinded its offer to pay people to move there when its mayor admitted he was just trying to draw attention.

Montieri in Tuscany initially advertised €1 homes but then placed them on the market for prices starting at €20,000.

The mayors of Carrega Ligure in Piedmont and Lecce nei Marsi in central Abruzzo tried hard to get their own deals off the ground but were thwarted by red tape, Italy's hellish property restrictions and bickering between family members over who owned old houses.

"It was impossible to track down and convince all the originals owners of the crumbling ruins, most had migrated in the 1940s, says Guido Gozzano, the former mayor of Carrega Ligure.

< p> "And even when we did, the state wouldn't allow us to dispose of the land where the dwelling was built on.

"In the end, I gave up."


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中国人打败中国人,安徽砀山人李西廷成2022年新加坡“首富”!

Sep 25, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership

近日,福布斯新发布了2022新加坡富豪榜,安徽砀山人——迈瑞医疗的李西廷以156亿美元(1090亿人民币)的身价,成为新加坡新任首富

可笑的是,2019年开始,新加坡富豪榜变成了中国人的秀场!

2019年,海底捞的张勇夫妇(四川人),以138亿美元的身家跃居新加坡首富

2020年,张勇夫妇以190亿美元,蝉联新加坡首富

2021年,冬海集团李小冬(天津人),以211亿美元击败海底捞张勇,成为新加坡首富,可是风光背后,李小冬感受到了任正非所说的“寒气”,不到一年时间,财富缩水80%

2022年,李西廷问鼎新加坡首富,他创立的迈瑞医疗正以肉眼可见的速度席卷国内医疗器械市场。

疫情的爆发,让迈瑞医疗开始“大口呼吸”,迅速进入爆发期!

随着我国老龄化程度加深,高龄人群对于呼吸机、监护仪、心电图仪等医疗设备需求激增,造就了国内广阔的市场空间。

李西廷也看到了这一市场蓝海,带着迈瑞闯入这一赛道。

创业之初的迈瑞,仅是一个小小的进口医疗设备代理商。看着进口医疗的高昂价格,以及作代理微薄的利差,让李西廷萌生了自己研发的念头。加之当时国家也支持科学研究,支持企业研发,迈瑞随后也获得了深圳官方的支持,出面为其协调了100万无息贷款支持。

曾几何时,感恩于政策的支持,李西廷誓言:一定要为国争光!

作为“中国医疗器械第一股”,迈瑞的产品,相比昂贵的进口医疗设备,物优价廉的优势突显出来。加上,国内不断提倡发展本国科技企业,支持国产,因此,迈瑞有了越来越多的市场!

近两年yi情致使世界各国急需采购呼吸机和监护仪等设备,迈瑞轻松开拓了海外市场,也赚得盆满钵满。

去年一年营收超250亿美元,总市值一路飙升至3500亿,被誉为“医疗界华为”,李西廷更因此获得了“呼吸机大王”的称号。

李西廷坦言:疫情让迈瑞的发展,提前了至少五年!

迈瑞成功了,李西廷也拥有了千亿身家。

可是,令人唏嘘的是,他早在2018年就移民新加坡,加入新加坡籍,曾经的豪言壮志不过是一句口号!

小编想问的是:

迈瑞以后是算外资还是内资?

还有没有政策扶持?

总不能什么便宜好事都占尽,最后赚得盆满钵满的,转身变成了外国友人!

在2022新加坡富豪榜上,我们又看到了一个熟悉的身影——立邦漆创始人吴清亮以130亿资产屈居第三 。

总有新人换旧人!

自张勇2019年成为新加坡首富以来,首富人选换了一茬又一茬,而不变的是他们都是中国移民。

谁将是未来替换李西廷新人呢?最近,新加坡媒体锁定了一个新目标:“支付宝女王”彭蕾!

“支付宝女王”彭蕾被爆出,和丈夫携巨额资产移民新加坡,并在当地购买了一套价值3亿人民币的大平层,引得新加坡媒体舆论热议:新加坡首富宝座或将易主!

网友们开始调侃:新加坡富豪榜,是“新加坡籍中国富豪榜”!

为何中国富豪们都如此热衷移民新加坡?

作为“全球合法避税天堂”,新加坡最吸引富豪的是“省钱”。新加坡是全球领先的私人银行和财富管理中心之一,拥有亚洲最为安全的银行。

移民新加坡+海外避税天堂公司+与内地有协定的香港公司——这是富豪们做税务筹划(避税)+资产保全的最基本的操作!

富豪们赚了大把的钱,更想省更多的税,而这钱,又不可能让他捐给国家和人民,更甭谈捐给地球和人类,他们只想牢牢的守住这些钱,做好财富的传承。

事实上,不管这些富豪们,是为了避税,还是为了企业发展的考虑,选择移民都是个人的权利,只要能创造价值,回馈社会,也无可厚非!

但小编个人觉得——人可以过去,但钱请留在国内!

在未来10年,我国富豪财富增速预计可达120%-130%。顶级富豪们的移民路径和资金走向,无疑将对国内甚至全球经济发展产生重要影响。

然而商人中也有真正的民族企业家,像中国首善曹德旺告诫子女一旦接受美国绿卡,则无法再继承他的财产,娃哈哈宗庆后则是强制要求全家注销绿卡。

然而像宗庆后、曹德旺这样的民族企业家毕竟是少数,所以2019年银监会公开表示,禁止通过开放式方式增加非标资金池业务,同时增加信托现金管理规模。

从限、留两方面稳住富豪,这意味着“非标”收缩已成必然。