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Mayor Giving Out Free Viagra To Help Boost Town Population

A French mayor is offering free Viagra to couples in his town in order to boost the local birth rate.

Jean Debouzy, the mayor of Montereau in northern France, issued a decree saying he was 'favourable to the distribution of the little blue pills'.

He said he was taking action because the town's falling number of children meant that two local schools were threatened with closure.

Couples who already live in the village and others who move there from elsewhere are eligible for the pills, The Local reported.

'A village without children is a village that dies,' the mayor said.

A feeling of decline in provincial towns has helped to fuel the months of Yellow Vest fury at the government and French establishment, it is feared.

However, the mayor said he had not yet obtained a supply of the drugs and would need the local council's approval.

He acknowledged the move was intended to be eye-catching and draw attention to the plight of the local schools.

Frenchmen normally need a doctor's prescription to get Viagra so it is doubtful whether Mr Debouzy can fulfil the promise, it is reported.

France has long pursued a policy of encouraging a higher birth rate in order to ease the burden of an ageing population.

The government in Paris provides large subsidies and tax breaks for families with children.

There are also childcare services and parental leave is available until the child turns three years old.

In a 2018 list, France's fertility rate - the average number of children born per woman in her child-bearing years - was 2.06.

That made it higher than most developed countries, with the UK on 1.89, the United States on 1.87 and Germany way behind on 1.46.

Nonetheless, the overall birth rate fell for a fourth year in a row in 2018.

In Britain, Viagra is now available over the counter after the drug was reclassified by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Manufacturers said they hoped more men would seek treatment for erectile dysfunction as a result. 

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