Via Media

Going to pay:

Middle-class mothers in France could be paid up to €1,000 (£675) a month – almost the minimum wage – to stop work for a year and have a third child under a government scheme to boost the birthrate, already among the highest in Europe.

Despite female employment statistics that are the envy of the continent, the government remains worried about the reluctance of better-educated women to have babies. A plan to be unveiled by the prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, today is expected to double an existing cash incentive for big families.

"Big" is apparently a relative term…

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