MILAN Oct 27 Italy plans to unveil by year-end
the details of a debt-cutting privatisation plan that is likely
to include stakes in state-owned companies, Economy Minister
Fabrizio Saccomanni said in an interview with Italian
Asked whether Rome was planning to sell a lucrative 4.3
percent stake in oil and gas major Eni, which belongs
to the Treasury, Saccomanni responded: "We have said, and
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta also said, that we intend to
announce by the end of the year a privatisation plan that will
include real estate assets and also stakes in companies, which
are still numerous despite past privatisations."
Saccomanni, who was attending popular Saturday night talk
show 'Che Tempo Che Fa', added, "We are considering all options.
I don't want to add more details."
Reuters reported on Friday that the government was planning
to start selling state-owned assets by the end of 2013, with the
sale of the 4 percent of Eni, worth 2.8 billion euros, as a top
The government is working on a list of stakes it could
dispose of without losing direct or indirect control over the
companies involved, sources with direct knowledge of the
situation told Reuters.
Asked whether the state could consider selling state-owned
television network RAI, Saccomanni said: "RAI is one of the
companies in which the state invests. We are looking at all
options. Our goal is to help cut Italy's debt."
Italy is looking for a quick way to start reducing its
public debt, which has ballooned to around 133 percent of its
gross domestic product.
In the interview, Saccomanni said he was optimistic about
the strength of the current coalition government despite turmoil
within Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right.
"The damage on Italy's economy and society deriving from a
new bout of political instability would be so great that I am
convinced that in the end, political forces would not want to
choose this path," Saccomanni said.
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca; editing by Jane Baird)