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Italians resort to 'survival strategies' as crisis bites

Families sell gold, use a bicycle and grow vegetables to get by

07 December, 15:16
Italians resort to 'survival strategies' as crisis bites (ANSA) - Rome, December 7 - Italy is characterised by a ''parallel discontinuity'' with the political institutions engaged in putting the country's financial house in order on the one hand and economic and social institutions having to apply ''frantic survival strategies'' on the other, according to the annual report of the social statistics institute Censis published Friday.

Some 2.5 million families have resorted to selling their gold or other precious items over the last two years, the statistics institute said. Further, 85% have eliminated waste and excesses, 73% look for special offers and 62.8% have cut back on travel to save petrol.

There has also been an increase in the use of bicycles to get around and 2.7 million Italians now grow their own vegetables for daily consumption. Consumer spending fell by 2.8% in the first three months of 2012 and by nearly 4% in the second three months, fuelled by the tendency to renounce or delay spending in an attempt to save money. photo: Censis head Giuseppe De Rita