Tags: italy | government | cars | ebay

Italy Government Cars: eBay Sale Cutting Back on Unnecessary Vehicles

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 04:16 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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In a battle against government waste, Italy’s Premier Matteo Renzi has posted the first of 151 unneeded government cars that he plans to sell on eBay, and already bids are mounting on an Alfa Romeo, BMW, and others.

Renzi, who during his tenure as Florence mayor auctioned off four government cars, contends the government will save on maintenance and upkeep costs on the cars that aren’t being used, The Associated Press said.

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Selling on eBay were a 2009 BMW 525, which quickly climbed to $18,000, and a 2007 Alfa Romeo 166, which was at $8,500. The Interior Ministry previously owned the cars.

Italy has been in tough economic straits, and Italians have been angry about what the AP called a “surplus of official cars.” Before Renzi took office, the government had made strides toward correcting the issue, dropping the number of official cars by 50 percent.

Renzi was put into office with the expectation that he will spearhead reforms, and he has delineated what those reforms will be, all designed to create jobs and help the country grow, said CNBC.

But some doubt the Premier, young for the Prime Minister job at 39, can make it happen. He is inexperienced in parliament and politics, and CNBC said analysts doubt he will be able to hold strong long enough to make “bold reform” plans happen.

President Barack Obama was in Italy this week, and he praised Renzi for his efforts to pull Italy out of its longest recession since the mid-1900s.

“I want to say that I've just been impressed by the energy and vision that Matteo's bringing to his position," Obama said at a Rome news conference. “There's a seriousness and ambition of ideas, and I think the spirit and the energy of the Italian people has the opportunity to be unleashed in a way that will be good for Italy, but it will also be good for Europe.”

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