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Italy has sold soul to German devil: Opposition leader

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Italian Five Star Movement opposition leader Beppe Grillo

Italian opposition leader has used harsh language against lawmakers, saying they have “sold their soul to the German devil” and the only way out of the recession is to exit the euro or face a default.

“Italian politicians have sold their soul to the German devil in return for their survival, at the expense of the people, who have to suffer from austerity and deflation,” Italian Five Star Movement opposition leader Beppe Grillo wrote in his blog entitled “the devil wears Merkel” on Tuesday.

The satirist-turned-activist criticized the European Union banking institution, who uses a fixed exchange rate system that benefits strong countries like Germany that are completing the “economic annexation” of weaker states.

“Today we have to decide whether to restructure our debt while staying in the euro or returning to the lira,” warned Grillo, adding that the move would be “the only way in which Italy can see the light again.”

Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone as tough austerity measures, spending cuts, and pension changes have stirred serious concerns for many people already grappling with the European country’s ailing economy.

This is while Italy’s unemployment rate in 2013 reached its highest level in at least 36 years, with 40 percent of the youth being out of work.

Italy started to experience recession after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.7 percent in the same year’s fourth quarter.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.


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