Macerata, April 5 - A couple in economic difficulties were found hanged Friday morning in the Marche region. The man, 62, was one of thousands of so-called 'esodati' ('exiled ones') left without a pension or wages because of the government's hike in the retirement age 16 months ago. Police told reporters there was "no doubt" the couple killed themselves out of desperation at their inability to survive economically. Neighbours who found the dead bodies in the town of Civitanova Marche told police the pair were unable to get by on the small pension of the 68-year-old wife. "They couldn't even pay the rent," neighbours said. Suicides have risen during Italy's worst recession in years, deepened by outgoing Premier Mario Monti's austerity policies. The government passed a law to help 40,000 esodati through till retirement but unions say their overall number is much higher, at least 150,000.
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di Giovanni Pastore