French mayor offers 'free Viagra' to boost local birth rate and save school

Henry Samuel
French mayor to hand out free Viagra to boost local birthrate and save school - www.alamy.com

AFrench mayor has issued a decree pledging free handouts of Viagra to all couples in the village - including newcomers - in an unorthodox attempt to boost the local birth rate and keep its school open.

With the number of babies falling, Jean Debouzy, mayor of Montereau, population 650, in the Loiret department south of Paris, decided to take the bull by the horns.

"The mayor is in favour of distributing little blue pills," read the text.

The decree stipulates that “pills will be handed out to couples between 18 and 40 in order to give them every possible chance to conceive and thus preserve the schools” in his and a neighbouring village under his charge.

He also said he was ready to hand out special one-off “bonuses” for any new babies born, as an incentive.

Falling birthrates are putting pressure on the local schools, he said.

“One or two of four classes could shut…we want our children to stay in Montereau,” the mayor told France 3, the local TV channel, saying that without more babies, children would have to travel to neighbouring areas for education.

Can free Viagra save a French village school? Credit: AFP

He said the Viagra decree “came to me out of the blue” as a good way of “get people to talk about the school”.

He confessed, however, that there had been no mad rush as yet by local men for stocks of the performance enhancing pills. Indeed, not one had put in a request since the decree was issued last Thursday.

It was unclear whether he could legally hand them out as in France Viagra can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription.

The “desertification” of towns and villages has become a hot button issue in provincial France, which has been wracked by six months of “yellow vest” revolt. Many protesters complain about dwindling public services including schools. That prompted President Emmanuel Macron to promise that none would shut during his mandate.

French village mayors are prepared to go to great lengths to raise awareness about their problems.

The mayor of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, also in the Loiret department, recently issued a decree making it illegal for residents to fall ill. The aim was to highlight the lack of medical care in the area.

In another case that caused a stir, a mayor enrolled a flock of sheep into a local school to bump up numbers.

They were even given their own pen.