Italian Communist party paper folds after 90 years

The official newspaper of the Italian Communist Party ceased publication on Friday, almost 90 years after printing its first issue.

Italian Communist party paper folds after 90 years
No more. Photo: AFP

L'Unita, launched in 1924 by one of the founders of Italian Communism, Antonio Gramsci, suspended publication after shareholders failed to agree on a plan to save the debt-ridden daily.

"They killed L'Unita" read the newspaper's front page on Wednesday — an issue that consisted almost entirely of blank pages.

The newspaper's website carried a similar message: "After three months of fighting, they have succeeded: they have killed L'Unita."

The last official circulation figures from April show that L'Unita was distributing around 21,000 copies a day.

The failure of the publishing company to reach an agreement has left some 80 people — who had reportedly worked the last three months unpaid — without a job.

There was frustration among some staff that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party, a principal shareholder in the newspaper, has not stepped in to save it.

"It is still surprising that the (Democratic Party) has not been able to find a solution," said Luca Lando, who was the newspaper's editor.

Politicians on both sides of the political spectrum lamented the newspaper's closure as a blow to media plurality in Italy.

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