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5 Agosto 2019

Italians seek comfort from tarot cards, faith healers and spiritualists amid decade-long slump

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 whether they have enough money to put food on the table are turning to a growing number of fortune-tellers and soothsayers.Each year, 13 million Italians seek advice from a diffuse community of gurus, astrologists and faith healers, according to Codacons, Italy’ s consumer affairs association – up from 10 million in 2008, when the economic crisis began.It is estimated that around 95% of the business goes undeclared and untaxed, with the sector worth around eight billion euros (£7.4bn) a year.While much of the business is conducted face-to-face, some of it is online or over the phone.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 euros.The call centre, which employed around a dozen people, also offered clients ‘a year of guaranteed economic serenity’ for a monthly payment of 300 euros.
nick squires rome

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