- The Daily Telegraph
A DECADE of almost zero economic growth has sent an increasing number of desperate Italians into the esoteric embrace of tarot card readers, spiritualists and sects, experts say. Italians concerned about how to pay the rent or their food bills are turning to fortune-tellers and soothsayers. Each year, 13 million Italians seek advice from a diffuse community of gurus, astrologists and faith healers – up from 10 million in 2008, when the economic crisis began – according to Codacons, Italy’ s consumer affairs association. It is estimated that around 95 per cent of the business goes undeclared and untaxed, with the sector worth around 8billion (£7.4billion) a year. Last year a call-centre based in Perugia in Umbria was found to be offering customers good luck amulets, which would supposedly guarantee them finding a job, for 200. It also offered clients “a year of guaranteed economic serenity” for a monthly payment of 300. An investigation by Italy’ s finance police found the call centre had earned 4million in four years, none of which had been declared to the authorities.
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