Articles - 'a', 'an' and 'the'


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Birth rates in many countries are falling to alarmingly low levels. Politicians in Japan and South Korea are pondering questions about future economic viability of their countries. recent conference in Italy has addressed country's looming demographic crisis. Italy has one of lowest birth rates in world. The government is warning of considerable strains on pensions and welfare system as Italy's population rapidly ages. The head of Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has warned that having children is becoming more unaffordable for many couples. He lamented that starting family in Italy is now "titanic effort" that only rich and wealthy can afford.

Pope Francis encouraged Italians to have more children, even amid rising prices. He cautioned young couples for making "selfish, egotistical" choices that are resulting in record low birth rates. He said this is threatening Italy's economic future. He called situation "demographic winter". Italy saw record low number of births last year of 392,000, which combined with elevated number of deaths - 713,000. The Pope urged couples to have babies instead of pets. He rebuked woman who asked him to bless her "baby," which was actually dog. The BBC wrote that Italy is often dubbed " country of empty cribs". It quoted Elon Musk as tweeting that: "Italy is disappearing."

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