Over the past two years, loans granted by banks to households and businesses have fallen by almost 100 billion euros. A fact that, as highlighted, risks bringing the phenomenon of usury to increasingly worrying dimensions, especially in southern Italy and in regions such as Campania, Calabria, Abruzzo, Puglia, and Sicily.

In particular, between the end of 2011 and the same period of 2013

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The decrease in bank loans to households and businesses was 97.2 billion euros, with a contraction of the first of 9.6 billion (- 1.9 %) and the latter even by 87.6 billion (-8.8%). In addition to the effects of the economic crisis and the decline in credit demand, this sharp reduction was also due to the sharp increase in bank doubtful loans which, in June of this year, reached the record figure of 168 billion euros.

With the strong credit crunch and the increase in unemployment


Which have contributed to reducing income levels, there is therefore a serious danger that usury , already present in our South more than elsewhere, will no longer take a course controllable. The motivations for which many people fall into the arms of the loan sharks are easily identifiable: in addition to the continuing crisis , it is above all the oppressive fiscal deadlines that push many small entrepreneurs into the grip of usurers, while unemployed or employed workers are instead victims of financial problems that usually emerge after brief illnesses, bad injuries or following important family appointments such as weddings, baptisms or general events (occasions for which many banks dedicate loans for ceremonies).

It is therefore necessary that especially in the areas where there is more unemployment, high interest rates, greater suffering, few bank branches and many protests, the institutions intervene with targeted measures that induce the citizens to refuse usury and to turn to credit systems decidedly more conventional. However, greater availability on the part of banking and financial institutions would also be needed.

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