Police are currently scouring Italy for spaghetti and macaroni hoarders, as the growing Italian pasta price war comes to the boil once more.
MVs People leaving supermarket loaded with bags of pasta (3 shots)
SCU PAN INTERIOR Supermarket empty shelf
SV & MV Women buy up pasta and packing it into cartons (3 shots)
MV Man carrying carton of pasta
SV Woman cooking spaghetti
MV Family eating
Initials BB/1956 TH/DW/BB/2006
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Background: Police are currently scouring Italy for spaghetti and macaroni hoarders, as the growing Italian pasta price war comes to the boil once more. Two days ago (29 August), the italian Government temporarily banned pasta price rises due during September. Now the police have been given the job of making sure that shops don't hold back supplies to force up the price.
Despite the vigilance, many shopkeepers have nevertheless put up prices -- official permission or not. Housewives have been buying up the available supplies. And some wholesalers and suppliers have been holding back stocks.
The overall result has been that pasta has disappeared from the shops. Reactions have varied. Some angry housewives have staged demonstrations; in Naples, women stormed a supermarket; and in Sicily, two pasta factories have been occupied.
SYNOPSIS: Italians have been out on a buying spree for their staple food, pasta, these last few days. On Thursday, the Government temporarily banned price rises due during September. But there was an immediate reaction, and the threat of the price rises brought hoarding on a big scale. Consumers bought up all available supplies, while some wholesalers and suppliers kept back replacement stocks, hoping to force up the price anyway.
And there were some reports of shopkeepers putting up prices despite the Government ban. The reactions of the Italians to all this has varied. Here in Rome no incidents were reported. But the passionate Neapolitans stormed a Naples supermarket, angry housewives held demonstrations and in Sicily two pasta factories were occupied.
By the weekend, the pasta crisis had blown up to such proportions that police patrols were out searching for spaghetti and macaroni hoarders. This pasta price war has brought home the Italian economic crisis to the average family more than anything else.