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Italian newsagent has a message for Europe

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Italian newsagent has a message for Europe

The Italian flag waves over the Quirinal Palace in Rome
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REUTERS
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A newsagent in the Italian town of Perugia is putting his own twist on German - Italian relations. A sign has been placed in front of the stand reading 'We would like to inform our German clients' prices for them will be increased by 50 percent. As we are a nation of freeloaders we are sure you will understand.'

The newspaper seller Andrea Fonte says the sign is meant to be 'funny' and 'ironic' adding 'I could say that blame needs to be shared. With Germany and its interference and our country that has never had the strength or attributes to oppose or pull itself out of this situation.'

Signs have been popping up around Italy in reaction to comments by a German EU commissioner saying 'the reaction of financial markets would give Italian voters a signal not to vote for populists.' Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger has apologised but his comments angered many Italians.

Italy has been in political turmoil for several months. Uncertainty has spooked the markets and Italy's financial situation is a point of concern. Italy's caretaker Prime Minister Carlo Cottarelli is still trying to form a government.