Italy grappling with cutbacks to 'auto blu' government cars

Almost half of offices behind in savings effort

Italy grappling with cutbacks to 'auto blu' government cars

(ANSA) - Rome, August 13 - Cutting back Italy's notorious fleet of "auto blu" government cars, which routinely zip through traffic lights and regularly ignore highway speed limits, is expected to save some 280 million euros, but many public offices are behind schedule in meeting reduction targets. According to government monitoring authority Formez, some 44% of public administrations had not yet implemented cuts to their fleets as of June. Public expenditure on chauffeured cars in 2011 reached 1.2 billion euros, of which 73% is for personnel costs. Since 2009, following a government decree which aimed to cut down the cost of the fleet, outlays have decreased by 15.9%, according to Formez, or 10.5% excluding personnel costs. In absolute terms, compared with 2009, public outlays for "auto blu" dropped by over 200 million euros a year, and is forecast to reach 280 million euros in 2012, including the fleet cuts carried out in the first half of this year.

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