Italy: Hundreds of executive cars to be sold on eBay

Alan Johnston: "Would you buy a used car from an Italian politician?"

Italy's new government is selling off hundreds of executive cars used by government officials, in an online auction on eBay, it has been reported.

Bidding on the vehicles is open until 16 April, and shortly after the first cars were posted, offers appeared to be coming in at a brisk rate. Around 1,500 non-essential cars will eventually be sold off, reports the La Repubblica newspaper.

A list of 151 car makes and models for sale has been posted so far - among them are dozens of BMWs, Alfa Romeos, and Lancias. There are also a few surprises, namely nine high-powered Maseratis owned by the Defence Ministry, and a couple of Jaguars.

The initiative is championed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who says the official vehicles have come to be seen as a symbol of wasteful government spending, according to La Repubblica. He had previously held similar auctions when he was mayor of Florence, and promised to do the same at the national level shortly after becoming premier.

In one of his first posts as the Democratic Party secretary, Renzi tweeted: "Why should an undersecretary have an official car? The undersecretary should go by foot," the newspaper says.

Interior shot of a BMW being sold by the Italian government The cars up for auction include BMWs, Maseratis and Jaguars

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