Italian town introduces fake money to help migrants

These alternative euros swap aqueducts for socialist leaders...

The small town of Gioiosa Ionica on the southern tip of Italy has come up with a novel way to aid refugees.

The town has a population of only 7,000 - its leftist mayor Salvatore Fuda was elected on a platform which welcomed migration to the town which has struggled economically.

The town has experienced an influx of migrants, the government in Rome gives the town €35 per person per day for each person who comes to the town.

This money takes time to administer, and can be delayed so the alternative notes are given to refugees and can only be used within the village.

Local businesses then hold the notes and exchange them for euros when the money arrives from Rome.

Cuba's Che Guevara graces the alternative €10 note, with Hugo Chavez on the €20, and Karl Marx on the €50 - while local Giovanni Maiolo, the co-ordinates the village's refugee services, is on the reverse. The lower trim reads "No racism."

The mayor explained to the BBC that close to €1m comes in through the scheme:

"This money is given to the town, not to the migrants, If you compare that to our annual town budget of around €8m, you can see it's a significant economic help for us," he told the British broadcaster.

"The children of Gioiosa Ionica will have no difficulties if they meet people of a different colour, culture or religion. They'll have learned for example that in Afghanistan or India people play cricket, not football, and they'll have seen how to play cricket," Mr Fuda continued.