‘Ducati’ banknotes issued to Italian town residents
THE small Italian town of Castellino del Biferno has begun minting its own banknotes in a bid to help residents struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 lockdown.
The town, which has just 550 residents, is handing the ‘Ducati’ notes out to residents based upon their economic needs.
The notes can be spent at local shops for food and necessities, with the shops returning the notes to the town council upon which they are reimbursed for their sales.
The denominations of the notes is exactly the same as a Euro, five Ducati is five Euro and 20 Ducati is 20 Euro and so on. The move was agreed to help the elderly, who need the help the most, understand the new currency.
The mayor of Castellino del Biferno received a grant of €5,500 from the government to issue food vouchers to vulnerable families during the pandemic. The town council added its savings and distributed "Ducati" banknotes to over 200 families in town.
The mayor of the town hopes the notes will do more than just help people buy everyday items. It’s reported that he sees the crisis money as an opportunity to increase the town's sense of belonging. To try and do that, the banknotes depict local symbols like the church, the public swimming pool, and also the statue of the Virgin Mary.
Castellino del Biferno sits in a mountainous region of southern Italy called Molise. The areas rugged geography and sparse population have so far meant the number of COVID-19 cases is low, although the citizens are still clearly feeling the effects of the Italy-wide lockdown.