ITALY’s prime minister, Ms Giorgia Meloni, confirmed at a press conference on January 4 that the government is considering privatising Italian State Railways (FS) and Post Italy, the country’s national postal service, as a means of raising government revenue without increasing taxes.

“My idea is to reduce the presence of the state where it is not necessary and reaffirm the presence of the state where it is necessary,” Meloni said on January 4.

“This concerns the issue of reducing the shares of state shareholdings which does not reduce public control, it could concern the Post Office, just as I think there is the possibility of having private individuals enter minority shares in companies which today are entirely under public control, and this is the case with the railways.”

According to a projection by Italy’s business newspaper, Il Sole 24 Ore, the state could earn between €4.7bn and $6.7bn by putting 49% of FS and less than 30% of Post Italy on the market.

Last September it was estimated that almost €20bn could be generated in three years from the sale of some shares in Italy’s most important state-owned companies.

However, Meloni admitted privatising part of FS could take a long time to achieve. “The timing especially on railways requires a series of fairly long steps; it doesn't depend only on me,” Meloni said.