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Italian mayor turns handyman to save town budget

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

An Italian mayor and his council members have decided to fight the economic crisis proactively, picking up paintbrushes and re-painting the walls of their offices themselves to spare the town budget.

They worked overtime and even chipped in for the material themselves.

"The idea spread quickly and all the employees contributed," Gino di Cicco, who is in charge of the budget in Avezzano, told AFP on Monday.

Avezzano is a small town close to the earthquake-struck city of L'Aquila in central Italy.

"In a time of economic hardship, we managed to save 10,000 euros ($13,000). My colleagues, mayor Giovanni di Panegrazio and myself paid for the 470 euros of material necessary for the work," he said.

Nearly all the offices have already been repainted. Families of the council employees and other local residents have contributed with food and drink to reward the town managers for their sense of civic duty.

Italy has been stuck in a painful recession for the past two years and many local governments are struggling to drum up revenues and are often badly in debt.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130708/italian-mayor-turns-handyman-save-town-budget