The public health sector is behind two or three years, “one of the worst records in Europe,” according to Marco Beltrandi, a lawmaker from the Radical Party, who estimates the outstanding credit as between $118.3 billion and $131.5 billion.
In the ancient Roman Republic, Roman citizens could pledge their person as collateral if they could not repay a loan, a practice called nexum. Those who did so lost their libertas (freedom) but were supposed to retain their rights as Roman citizens and not become slaves, who were the res (property) of their masters and could be sold, killed or treated in whatever way their owners wanted. If a paterfamilias, the head of a Roman household, felt into debt, he could offer his son for nexum instead of himself. Nexum was abolished in 313 BCE and the Roman Senate passed the Lex Poetelia Papiria, under which property could be seized as collateral, but not your person.
Hearing about the “suicides by economic crisis” occurring in Italy, Ireland and Greece can make you feel that things haven’t changed so much since the days of nexum.
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