updated 11/25/2008 12:05:12 PM ET 2008-11-25T17:05:12

What's in a name? A little extra cash, if the name is that of Italy's wartime Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini or his wife.

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A far-right party is offering euro1,500 ($1,900) to parents in southern Italian villages who name their children Benito or Rachele after the Mussolinis.

An official with the neo-Fascist Fiamma Tricolore party, Vincenzo Mancusi, says "they are nice names." He says the initiative is a way to pay homage to his party's roots and keep alive names that are rarely used.

Mancusi said Tuesday the bonus applies to five villages in the Basilicata region where birth rates are especially low. Designed as an incentive, it applies to babies who are born in 2009.

Mancusi said the cash should be used to buy clothes or other items for the child.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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