Oct. 14, 2013
A Grand Inquisitor’s villa, a Pope’s fort and a Venetian island will
be sold off to fill Italy’s depleted state coffers, local media reports.
It’s hoped the 50 historic sites will raise 500 million euros needed to
obey strict EU austerity rules.
The plan to offer some of Italy’s state-owned real estate to private
investors is part of an emergency decree aimed at keeping the country’s
2013 budget deficit within 3 percent threshold set by Brussels, the
Corriere della Serra newspaper reports.
Apart from receiving direct revenue from the sell-offs, Prime
Minister Enrico Letta’s government is hoping the castles and villas will
be converted into hotels, restaurants and museums, creating much-needed
jobs for the country’s struggling economy.
Greece, another European country under tough EU-imposed austerity
rules, last year also enacted a similar sell-off, offering some if its
islands, beaches and ski resorts to private buyers. Italy sold off
several lighthouses on the island of Sardinia last year.