Italian dies after setting himself on fire outside parliament

ROME Sun Aug 19, 2012 9:38am EDT

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ROME (Reuters) - A 54-year-old man died on Sunday after setting himself on fire outside the Italian parliament last week to highlight his struggle with unemployment, police said.

Angelo di Carlo suffered 85 percent burns after the incident in front of the lower house of parliament - the Chamber of Deputies - in central Rome during the early hours of August 11, Italian media reported.

Police on duty nearby put out the flames with fire extinguishers and took him to hospital.

The widower was facing economic difficulties after losing his job and had struggled for years before that with temporary work contracts that offered little protection or benefits, according to media reports.

Italians are grappling with a recession and rising unemployment while facing higher taxes and state spending cuts introduced by the government to try to help rein in Italy's massive public debt.

Di Carlo's death is the latest in a wave of highly publicized suicides linked to financial woes in recent months which have highlighted the human cost of the country's economic crisis.

(Reporting by Catherine Hornby; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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