For the past two years, Greece taken extremely severe austerity measures to reduce its debt – though their implementation has left a lot to be desired. Italy and Spain are considered by many analysts to be next in line.
Yet the Italian Ministry of Defense recently ordered 19 range-topping Maserati Quattroporte limousines for government officials!
It comes to no surprise that the move caused an outrage in Italy as the ministry is supposed to cut its budget by €2.5 billion (US $3.5 billion) in the next three years.
“At a time when millions of Italians are being affected by a very serious economic crisis, is there a good reason for the defense minister to add 19 armored Maseratis to the ministry’s car park?” pondered opposition MP Emanuele Fiano in the parliament.
The defense minister, Ingazio La Russa, accused the opposition of conducting a “witch hunt” since he says that the vehicles were paid for with funds from the 2008-2009 budget, before Silvio Berlusconi's government introduced the cuts.
La Russa also played the patriotic card: “What’s the problem? Maseratis are Italian and they cost less than their German equivalents", he said.
Truth to be said, he does have a valid point there but only if you don’t take into consideration that last time we checked, several Fiat, Lancia and of course, Alfa Romeo models are still produced in Italy. Unless of course, an Alfa 159 sedan, for example, is far too mundane for the government officials' fancy tastes….
Story References: The Telegraph