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Discovery of woman two years after her death sparks debate on loneliness in Italy

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By AFP  with Euronews
Nearly 40% of Italian people aged over 75 live alone, according to 2018 statistics.
Nearly 40% of Italian people aged over 75 live alone, according to 2018 statistics.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Luca Bruno, FILE

The discovery of a woman's decomposing body in Italy has reignited debate about loneliness.

Police confirmed the remains of a 70-year-old woman had been found on Friday at her home in Prestino, near Lake Como.

She had no living relatives and her neighbours had not seen or heard from her for at least two and a half years, according to local media.

Police were initially called to her home due to the risk of trees falling in her garden.

Authorities say there was nothing to indicate her death was suspicious and the Prestino municipality is expected to pay the burial costs.

"What happened ... the forgotten loneliness, hurts our consciences," said Elena Bonetti, the Italian minister for equal opportunities and family.

"Remembering her life is the duty of a community that wants to remain united," she added on Facebook.

"We need to stop limiting our horizons to the private sphere and return to caring for each other. Caring for each other is the experience of families, of institutions, of our citizenship: no one should be left alone."

In Italy, almost 40% of people over 75 live alone, according to a 2018 report by the National Statistics Institute (Istat). The same percentage of people have no relatives or friends to turn to in times of need.