The Italian Finance Ministry succeeded in selling 3.75 billion euro worth of benchmark 10-year bonds on Tuesday, with debt-servicing costs dropping for the first time since the European Central Bank (ECB) started buying the nation\'s debt three weeks ago. The 10-year bonds\' yields fell to 5.22 percent, or more than 100 basis points since the ECB stepped in. The Ministry also sold 2.99 billion euros of bonds maturing in 2014, it said in a statement. The sale will help the country repay 9 billion euros worth of securities maturing on August 31. The nation still faces 75 billion euros of bills maturing this year and needs to sell some 80 billion euros worth of bonds to pay for redemptions and finance its budget deficit. In June Italy\'s public debt reached a record of 1.9 trillion euros, some 120 percent of gross domestic product. In August, the ECB started purchasing Italian and Spanish debt as yields soared to euro-era records on concerns the countries could become the next victims of a eurozone debt crisis that has already claimed Greece, Ireland and Portugal.