July 30, 2014 Last Updated 12:42 pm

Italian newspaper L’Unità folds as shareholders pull the plug

The Italian newspaper L’Unità, for years the voice of the Italian Communist Party, has folded – at least for now.

LUnita-front-sm“After three months of fighting, they did it: They killed L’Unità,” wrote Giovanni Rossi, president of the FNSI (National Federation of the Italian Press).

The final issue, 24 pages in total, featured three pages of editorial, one ad for the paper’s online bookstore, and then 20 pages left blank.

L’Unità was founded in 1924 by Antonio Gramsci, a founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy. Only two afters starting the publication, the paper was suppressed by Benito Mussolini and was forced to go underground, only reappearing after the Germans were driven from Italy.

But, like other papers, L’Unità has fallen into debt, with the paper’s administrators demanding 1.6 million euro in guarantees to keep the paper going.

This is not the first time, however, that the paper has had to close due to its financial problems. In 2000, the paper closed for a time when it was $33 million in debt. At that time the paper had a staff of around 200, with 123 of them journalists.

Today, the closing will effect around 80 employees, and L’Unità’s has grown to over $50 million.

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