Italy's government on Friday said it had raised 371,400 euros ($513,200) so far in an eBay auction of luxury official cars in a symbolic effort to cut outrageous spending by ministries that has sparked public anger. The 52 cars sold were being used by the police, the fire brigade and the defence ministry and included five BMWs and two Audis, the government said in a statement. "The average final price was 7,142 euros," it said. A total of 151 chauffeured cars will be auctioned off by May 16 in an initiative that has gained broad public support and was launched by centre-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi shortly after coming to power in February. The cars yet to be sold include eight armoured Maseratis formerly used by the defence ministry. A brand new Maserati can cost around 100,000 euros. The government said the official cars chosen for sale were "those that the public administration retains no longer essential for institutional ends". As Italy struggles to recover from a painful two-year recession, national and local authorities have been forced to cut down on thousands of official cars known as "auto blu" (blue cars) that have been for decades one of the many perks for the political class..