Rome

Govt chauffeured limo pool shrinks by 13.7%

Unpopular perk of office driven down amid disaffection

Govt chauffeured limo pool shrinks by 13.7%

Rome, June 28 - The government's pool of chauffeured limousines has fallen 13.7% since January 2012 as part of spending cuts spurred by public anger over the perks of a scandal-hit political and managerial class, the civil-service ministry said Friday. Siren-blaring so-called 'blue cars' which regularly irk motorists and pedestrians as they halt traffic around Italy, have become an embodiment of what voters see as the undeserved privileges of government officials and public-sector managers. Successive governments have vowed to shrink the fleets but the first real drive began last year amid widespread voter disenchantment that produced an unexpectedly big anti-establishment vote in the February general election. Blue-car numbers fell 6.3% in the first five months of 2013, the ministry said.

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