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Letta says he want to 'proceed quickly' on privatization

Government intends to sell parts of publicly owned assets

15 January, 17:53
Letta says he want to 'proceed quickly' on privatization (ANSA) - Rome, January 15 - The Italian government wants to move quickly on its privatization plans, Premier Enrico Letta said Wednesday.

During a meeting with members of the privatization committee, Letta - who had just returned from a three-day State visit to Mexico - said the government intends to "proceed quickly" on the sale of parts of certain publicly owned assets.

The meeting of the committee, established by the economy ministry, included Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni.

In November, Letta announced that Italy will raise up to 12 billion euros from the sale of government stakes in several companies including oil and gas giant Eni.

Half the proceeds from the sale, which should net between 10 billion euros and 12 billion euros, will be used to fund economic stimulus measures, said Letta.

The other half will be applied to reducing Italy's debt, said Letta, who added that this privatization package was only the first with more sales likely in the future.

The Italian government has also been in talks to possibly sell off up to 40% of the postal service for at least four billion euros, Letta's office has said.

That sale would inject much-needed capital in Italy, whose debt of over two trillion euros makes it one of the largest debtor nations in the world.

Poste Italiane is a public company but in total control of the Italian government, whose sole shareholder is the economy ministry.

It also provides financial in addition to postal services.