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PM Giorgia Meloni Puts Poste Italiane, Nation’s “Crown Jewel”, Up For Sale

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To address a massive public debt, Italy is considering selling a portion of its postal service, which Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni once referred to as the nation’s “crown jewel,” as reported by AFP on Monday.

The goal set by the hard-right administration under Meloni is to sell off a chunk of Poste Italiane in order to raise 20 billion euros ($21.6 billion) by 2026.

A major component of the government’s financial plan is Poste Italiane, which is well-known for its profitable banking and insurance operations in addition to its stakes in the energy behemoth Eni and the rail operator Ferrovie dello Stato.

But according to analysts, the sale of a chunk of Poste Italiane won’t make much of a dent in Italy’s “mountain of debt,” which is estimated to be worth more than 2.8 trillion euros ($3 trillion)- the second highest share of gross domestic product in the eurozone.

“Our approach will be light-years away from what we have seen in the past, when privatisation rhymed with gifts for lucky entrepreneurs,” Meloni said, as quoted by AFP last week.

Maintaining state control is another pledge made by the leader of the post-fascist Brothers of Italy party, which won the 2022 elections on a populist and nationalist platform. “We can sell some stakes in public companies without compromising public control,” Meloni stated.

Meloni’s position differs from her public declaration from 2018, when she was against the Poste Italiane being privatised. “No to the privatisation of Poste Italiane. It is a crown jewel that must remain in the hands of Italians,” She stated on Facebook at the time, according to AFP.

The government had intended to own a 51% majority in Poste Italiane, but Giancarlo Giorgetti, the minister of finance, stated on Friday that the government might only own a 35% share.

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