In northern Italy there is a novel way to deal with the financial crisis.
In these straitened financial times one particular village still manages to keep a street-sweeper, a park-keeper, a drain-cleaner and a bin-man – all that and Torlino Vimercati is saving money at the same time.
Because Mayor Giuseppe Figoni does it all himself.
“My fellow citizens are proud of me,” he said. “I’m always available for them, and every day they see me cleaning the sewers and manholes and the roads.”
In the village of 450, he is a hero.
“He really does it all,” said one, “he’s dedicated his whole life to this small village.”
Another added: “He’s very clever. Everyone should have a mayor like him to save Italy.”
By rolling his sleeves up, this one-man municipal marvel has been saving the village 50,000 euros a year, so now it has a cash-pile of 200,000 in the bank and the lowest council tax bills in the country.