Over 31,000 firms shut down this year in Italy

Rome, April 19 (IANS/AKI) A total of 31,351 companies in Italy went bust in the first quarter of this year, the highest figure since 2004, a leading business group said Friday.

“Even in the depths of the 2009 recession, things went less badly, with the close of 30,000 companies,” Unioncamere said in its report.

Craftsmen were the hardest hit, accounting for 21,185 businesses that closed — over two-thirds or 67.6 percent of the total — according to Unioncamere.

It said the political deadlock after the inconclusive elections in February that failed to produce a government has impact businesses.

“I hope that as soon as a new head of state is elected, the parliament will immediately be able to start work on approving measures to help the economy,” Unioncamere president Ferruccio Dardanello said.

Italy has been in recession for the past six quarters – the longest since 1993 – and its fragile economy is only expected to make a weak recovery in 2014.

–IANS/AKI

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