Rome. A Moroccan worker in Italy set himself on fire on Thursday in protest at not being paid for months, a day after an Italian businessman set himself alight over a tax dispute, police said.
The 27-year-old construction worker is recovering in hospital after dousing himself in petrol and lighting it outside Verona city hall in northern Italy, the Guardian informs.
Police said the man told them he was desperate after not being paid for four months and running out of money.
On Wednesday, a 58-year-old businessman tried to kill himself by setting himself on fire in his car outside a tax office in Bologna. His appeal against a demand for thousands of euros in allegedly unpaid taxes had been rejected, according to Italian media reports. He is being treated in hospital for severe burns.
Prime minister Mario Monti’s government is cracking down on tax dodging, which authorities estimate deprives Italy of an about €120bn (£100bn) a year.
Unions say austerity measures, including tax hikes, spending cuts and pension changes, weigh disproportionately on ordinary workers.
Vincenzo Scudiere from Italy’s CGIL trade union said the construction worker’s self-immolation was a “symptom of the utter exasperation felt by the weakest employees,” and warned the government not to underestimate discontent among workers.
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