A 78-year-old Italian woman jumped to her death on Tuesday after her pension was cut as part of Italy’s increasingly stringent austerity measures, according to Reuters.Her children said she jumped from a fourth floor balcony after authorities had recently reduced her monthly pension from 800 euros ($1,067) to 600 euros ($800). She had become overwhelmed with the worry that she would not be able to make ends meet, said Reuters.
According to Reuters, suicide attempts connected to economic troubles have become common in Italy as it struggles with a recession, rising unemployment and implementing severe austerity measures.
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On Monday, new data revealed that Italy’s unemployment rates rose to the highest level since 2001 in February, with the austerity measures which were meant to combat the debt crisis pushing the economy into a recession, according to Bloomberg.
Unemployment was at 9.3 per cent in February as Prime Minister Mario Monti was planning to implement a 20 billion euro ($26.7 billion) package of spending cuts and tax increases, designed to eliminate the budget deficit for next year and tackle the 1.9 trillion euro national debt.
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Italian Industry Minister Corrado Passera told CNBC, “It’s difficult, but we have to work on all the levers at the same time and guarantee both austerity in terms of fiscal consolidation and reforms for growth,” on Monday.
The cure that the European Union has prescribed for our country is the one that has already caused a disaster in Greece and is beginning to do so again in Spain,” said former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Reuters said that last week two men facing financial troubles set themselves on fire in separate incidents in northern Italy, and on Monday another man hanged himself due to what he called “overwhelming economic problems” in a suicide note.
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