Italy’s Government Auctions Off Luxury Cars Online

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In a move to crackdown on government waste and boost revenue, Italian authorities are putting 151 state-owned luxury cars up for sale on popular online auction site eBay.

The government first started listing cars last week, reported CNBC, which included models from BMW, Alfa Romeo, and Lancia.

The first set of cars to go under the hammer – 2 BMWs, 2 Alfas and 2 Lancias which were once owned by the Interior Ministry – had attracted bids totalling $82,000 by 6.00 a.m. London time on Friday morning, CNBC reported.

At current time, there are still 33 cars available on the site, with the highest offer now for a 2009 BMW 525D at 21,250 euros ($29,246). The lowest available car at the moment is a 2000-year model of the Alfa Romeo 156.

The auction is expected to last for another two weeks. Authorities say that the cars were sale had been deemed “non-essential” for current needs.

According to CNBC, new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi first announced the auction on March 12 as part of a drastic effort to cut costs. In a statement, the government said the sale would be focused on the state's chauffeur-driven vehicles – known as "blue cars" – and added that it highlights the changing relationship between citizens and government.

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Reportedly two Jaguars from the Justice Ministry and nine Maseratis once owned by the country's Defense Ministry will be listed soon on the site.
Italy’s debt-to-GDP ratio is currently at 127 percent, the second highest in Europe behind Greece.