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Italy's privatization goal is 'ambitious': Bank of Italy

A bicycle is parked in front of a Bank of Italy sign in Rome October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A bicycle is parked in front of a Bank of Italy sign in Rome October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's annual privatization target to lower its 2-trillion-euro debt may fall short, the Bank of Italy said on Tuesday, citing a much lower average sales rate from the past.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will sell 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in assets per year, including shares in the postal service and oil producer Eni .

In testimony to parliament, Bank of Italy Deputy Director General Luigi Signorini said that over the last decade Italy has been able to sell 0.2 percent of GDP in assets per year on average, calling the government's goal "ambitious".

The central bank also said that state tax revenue and spending patterns during the first few months of the year are in line with the government's target to lower its budget deficit to 2.6 percent of GDP from 3.0 percent last year.

(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; writing by Steve Scherer)

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