Turn on the news. Or go online. Greece is going, going, gone, Spain is having a bad romance with unemployment, Germany is trying it’s best to be a good neighbour, and Italy is going through just about everything at the same time. Fiat group’s CEO says he sees a slowdown for the European car making business.
But that’s no matter, because Italy is one of the wealthiest nations in the world (number 7), as are all of its neighbours on Ye Olde Continent. So even though they’re supposed to be going through savage austerity measures right now, the Defence Ministry has just taken delivery of 19 top of the range, armoured, dark blue Quattroporte.
Italian officials have long been known for their penchant for what is colloquially called the “auto blu” – large fleets of dark black or blue limousines and saloon cars which force their way through traffic with the aid of police livery and flashing lights. Pretty flashy huh?
How did they manage to get around the cuts? Ignazio La Russa, Italian Defence Minister states that the cars were paid for with money out of the 2008-2009 budget, before drastic cuts were announced in the summer by Silvio Berlusconi’s government. In his own words, “What’s the problem? Maserati’s are Italian and they cost less than their German equivalents,” – defence minister, Ingazio La Russa. Good on then Mr. Russa.