Italy Faces One Suicide-Per Day Amid Deepening Poverty

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The deepening economic crisis in Italy along with the country’s soaring unemployment has led to a social crisis in the European nation, Press TV reports.

Since 2010, the average financially-motivated related suicide rate has been over one per day.

The victims are affected by rising unemployment, utility prices and a mounting fiscal pressure, currently at over 55 percent.

On Monday, the Italian Bureau of Statistics put the unemployment rate at 9.3 percent, with the youth unemployment jumping to 31.9 per cent, the highest since 2004.

The cost of the fines and accumulated interests on unpaid taxes is also placing an unbearable pressure on many Italians, who have been faced with mounting bankruptcies, foreclosures, evictions, and layoffs.

Harsh austerity measures taken by the government of Premier Monti have sparked protests and strikes as the cuts and reforms have failed to help Italy’s economic growth, with the GDP expected to fall about 1.5 percent this year.

“In the present glooming economic crisis, turning the screw on people means practically killing them,” said Ivano Giacomelli of CODICI Citizen Rights Center.

“We receive a large number of calls on a daily basis from desperate citizens seeking help. They cannot pay for fines and bills and the interests accumulating are enormous while the taxes add to their debts,” he added.

Last year, over 11,000 companies went bankrupt in Italy, largely due to hugely delayed payments on the part of their clients, with the Public Administration among the late payers.

Luca Zaia, the governor the Veneto region, has announced that 52 businessmen from his region have committed suicide in the past 24 months.

Giacomelli regretted that an official study on this kind of suicide has never been carried out in Italy, expressing concern that “it is not a coincidence.”

“A study would reveal the existence of a tragic situation and once the figures are made public, politicians will be forced to change the present tax system,” he said.

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