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Poverty rising in Italy amid economic crisis

21 February 2015 23:10

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A study by an umbrella charity group in Italy shows that poverty is growing in the country as the euro region’s third-biggest economy is still in the grip of recession and crisis, Press TV reports.

According to the study, recently published by Caritas Europa, one in four people in Italy is at the risk of poverty or social exclusion.

Caritas Europa, an umbrella group for the national Catholic Caritas charities that run kitchens and shelters for homeless people, added that Italy is one of the seven EU countries suffering from high poverty risk, along with Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania.

The worsening economic situation has also led to a rise in the unemployment rate among Italians, which now stands at around 13 percent, with more people seeking help from charities such as Caritas.

“There is an increasing number of Italians who seek a meal a shelter… many of them are very young unfortunately. Some are in their 50s – too old to be reinserted in the labor force,” Mario Urbinati from Caritas Italiana told Press TV, adding, “But what worries me the most is the fact that entire families often come to see us to get a meal.”
Maria Soldati, a veteran social worker in Rome, also noted that the situation in Italy has “worsened big time,” expressing concern over the future of the country’s younger generation.

Italy’s national statistics agency Istat, meanwhile, in a separate study that is based on 2013 data warned that almost one in four Italian households is facing economic woes.

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest-growing economy in the eurozone as tough austerity measures, including spending cuts and pension reforms, have stirred serious concerns for many people in the country.

Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity and hardship over the government-imposed austerity packages in recent years.

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