By  on June 25, 2012

MILAN — From the silk mills of Lake Como to the leather tanneries of Tuscany, the economic scenario is beginning to call to mind the abandoned factory lines and downcast city streets of the Great Depression.

Fashion leaders here are calling for immediate government action as the small and medium-sized companies that uphold the nation’s artisan allure face increasing difficulty in obtaining lines of credit, serving up another blow to Italy’s beleaguered small businesses. Loans to the small and medium-sized textile and fashion companies dropped 3.4 percent in February compared with a year ago, according to data compiled by Italian fashion and textile consortium Sistema Moda Italia.

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