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New Italian Stamp To Speed Up Mail

June 20, 1999

ROME (AP) _ In Italy it takes stamps and an act of great faith to mail a letter.

Now, the Italian postal service is introducing a special stamp to boost that trust that domestic mail will arrive speedily at its destination.

Starting Monday, a new stamp will go on sale worth about 66 cents. Sticking the special stamp on an envelope will greatly improve chances that the letter, which must also bear the ordinary postage, will arrive anywhere else in the country the next day if slipped into collection boxes in time to meet pickup schedules.

It’s common for domestic mail in Italy to take weeks to reach its destination.

The postal system predicts that 70 percent of the letters bearing the special stamp will arrive the next day. Mail to European destinations is also supposed to move faster when bearing the new stamp.

Timing of the launch of the new stamp is itself an act of faith. Relations between management and labor are tense because of stalled contract talks and work slow downs are possible.

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