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LETTER : Fewer babies, emptier buses no sleepless nights

Why the worry about Italy's declining birth-rate ("Baby? I'd rather have a mobile", 2 March)? Yes, the cost of caring for the aged will fall on fewer working Italians but so will there be a decline in the cost of education. While we agonise over where to build new towns, the Italians will be able to choose which of its housing estates to knock down. While we watch our road system collapse for sheer weight of numbers, the man on the Calabria omnibus will find his journeys ever more pleasant. And while the task of creating jobs drives other leaders to distraction, the Italians may have stumbled across a novel solution: create fewer workers.

Edward Baring

London W11