Euro Crisis

Suicides Driven by Poor Economy Spark Anti-Government Protest in Italy

The economy is shrinking and driving Italians into poverty

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Three middle aged family members who killed themselves over unpaid bills in a small Italian town have fuelled a nationwide debate over rising poverty and prompted an anti-government protest when a politician showed up for their funerals on Saturday.

Romeo Dionis, 62, an unemployed builder, and his wife Annamaria Sopranzi, 68, a pensioner, hanged themselves on Thursday in Civitanova Marche in the Marche region of Italy after accumulating debts estimated at 30,000 euros.

Soprazani's brother Giuseppe, who lived with the couple, drowned himself at sea when he learned they had committed suicide.

Dionis lost his job four years ago and had struggled with odd jobs, falling five months behind in his rent and unable to keep up with payments that would have allowed him to collect a pension.

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