ROME (Reuters) – Times are now so tough that Valerio Novelli, a sheet examiner on Rome‘s buses, is formulation to sell his aged bullion teeth.
“I can’t get to a finish of a month though using adult debts,” pronounced Novelli, 56, who has to support an ex-wife and daughter. “I know we won’t get much, though we need a money.”
In a nation pang from economic crisis, selling bullion off unfortunate people has turn one of a few bang industries.
City centers are being remade as normal shops go out of business, their signs transposed by ones that announce “Compro Oro”, or “I Buy Gold”.
The Eurispes thinktank estimates a series of “Compro Oro” shops has quadrupled in a final dual years. The expansion of a attention is “a unequivocally good indicator of a turn of hardship in a country,” pronounced Gian Maria Fara, a consider tank’s president.
“Business is unequivocally good, we can unequivocally feel a crisis,” pronounced 30 year-old Alexia Messi, who works in Oro Change on Via Medaglie D’Oro in northern Rome. It non-stop a initial bend 5 years ago and now has 7 outlets in Rome.
“People are never happy to sell, though now they come in with anything – gold, silver, aged stuff, new stuff. we would contend we have twice as many business a day as we did a year ago.”
Meanwhile, a fee of a predicament is being felt by normal retailers. In executive Rome, Massimo Della Rocca, 57, who has run a men’s’ panoply emporium EDEL given inheriting it from his grandfather 30 years ago, is formulation to sell up.
“Things have been removing worse for years though now it’s apropos impossible. Sales this summer are down 25 percent from final year,” pronounced Della Rocca, whose panoply are all done in Italy from internal fabrics. “It’s unhappy given this emporium has been going for eighty years.”
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was brought down by an sharpening debt predicament in November, favourite to explain that with restaurants still full and Italians selling as many electronic gadgets as ever, there was tiny petrify justification of mercantile downturn in Italy.
But a proliferation of pawn shops, with an estimated annual turnover of 7 billion euros, is a unequivocally manifest pointer that for millions of Italians life has altered for a worse.
The euro zone’s third largest economy has been in retrogression for a year and shrank during an annual rate of 2.5 percent in a second quarter.
There are an estimated 28,000 “cash for gold” outlets in Italy, according to Gianni Mancuso, one of 6 centre-right lawmakers who final month presented a ask in council for a supervision to umpire a zone some-more strictly.
Several new shootings in Rome have concerned owners of Cash for Gold outlets. Parliament has discussed justification that a zone is being taken over by mafia groups.
“They are all crooks, they shouldn’t exist,” pronounced Valeria Arcidiacono, a 46 year-old singular mom whose teenage son took and sole her bullion and pearl earrings during a internal guaranty shop.
“They were value 1,000 euros and they gave him 42 euros for them, with no receipt or anything,” she said.
Ranieri Razzante, conduct of Italy’s anti-money laundering watchdog AIRA, pronounced pawnbrokers had “virtually taken over from banks” as a form of financing for Italian families, as crisis-hit lenders are increasingly demure to offer credit.
Bank loans to households were down during an annual rate of 0.6 percent in June, notwithstanding acceleration of some-more than 3 percent.
Some 8.5 percent of Italians sole equipment during a pawnshop in 2011, according to an Eurispes survey.
Some operators are active for only a few weeks before offered on their licenses, creation it formidable to opposite their activities of income laundering and receipt of stolen goods.
“It’s a good determined settlement that orderly crime tends to take a lead purpose in new, high-growth sectors,” pronounced Razzante.
‘PUT IT ASIDE’
While pawnshops in northern Europe buy and sell a far-reaching array of used items, a importance in Italy is on gold, reflecting a deeply secure southern European tradition in that bullion is a adored gift, starting from baptism.
“Since we was a child we remember that bullion was given as a present on several occasions and people used to say: ‘Put it aside’,” pronounced Ivana Ciabatti, who represents gold- and silversmiths during employers’ run Confindustria.
“We used to giggle during it, though they incited out to be right. Many families are flourishing interjection to this gold.”
Meeting her business gives Giorgia Standoli an insider’s perspective of a hardship caused by a mercantile crisis. She has worked for 4 months in a pawnshop on Via Cesare Baronio, a still travel in southern Rome’s Appio Latino district.
“It’s mostly women, aged ladies that sell whatever they have to be means to do a shopping,” she said. “I consider a saddest box we have had was a lady of reduction than 50, with 3 kids, who had mislaid her husband. She came in to sell her marriage ring to try to make ends meet.”
While pawnbrokers are thriving, life has never been so tough for normal shops, generally tiny ones that are shutting down during an shocking rate. Consumer spending will tumble in 2012 by some-more than during any time given World War Two, according to inhabitant emporium owners connection Confcommercio.
Rome’s tiny shops and boutiques have been quite tough hit. More than 1,500 have tighten so distant this year, including some shining names, says tiny sell organisation Confesercenti.
Lina Rocchi, a storied ladies’ conform boutique on a primary site subsequent to parliament, announced final month that it was shutting down after 80 years.
“There is a clarity of recklessness among a members,” pronounced Confesercenti President Valter Giammaria, who foresee that unless a economy somehow picks up, another 5,000 shops in Rome and a background would tighten before a year is out.
Italians are even shunning record summer discounts, with sales down around 25 percent in Jul compared with a year ago, according to a artisans’ organisation CNA.
The pawnbrokers, by contrast, can frequency keep adult with business. They routinely have a bullion fast melted down and sent abroad, creation it one of Italy’s fastest flourishing exports. Official bullion sales to Switzerland leaped 65 percent final year to 120 tonnes, adult from 73 tonnes in 2010 and 64 tonnes in 2009.
(Additional stating by Svetlana Kovalyova; Editing by Peter Graff)R Soft Web Hosting