Hit hard by the crisis, small entrepreneurs in Italy often face a double drama: economic and psychological. In the last four years a growing number of small-and-medium businessmen have been committing suicide, especially in Lombardia and Veneto, the two most productive regions of the country. Many are still on the verge of collapse.
The Italians entrepreneurs struggle to keep up with their payments. According to latest data, at least 47 thousands companies have been unable to fulfil prompt payments in 2012: not a big figure compared to the total number of the monitored firms (around 2 million), but a 45% increase compared to 2007, the last year before the crisis.
During the Conclave, cardinals will be forbidden to communicate with the world and to tweet. The penalty is excommunication.
The postal administration of the Vatican City State prepares and issues special postage stamps, marking the upcoming "sede vacante", to be used during the period that will precede the election of a new pope.
Italians have begun voting in crucial general elections as the country, one of Europe's biggest economies, battles recession and high unemployment. Four candidates are taking part in the first general election since former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of those standing, resigned in November last year after becoming embroiled in a series of scandals and escalating the country's debt crisis.