Italy's post office invests $1.3 billion to refurbish branches

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's post office Poste Italiane plans to invest 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of mostly public money to renovate 7,000 outlets across the country, aiming to help older people in small towns who are struggling to access public services online. Poste said it would tap a fund financed by the Italian state for 800 million euros and add half that amount of its own money to refurbish thousands of post offices, with a particular focus on towns with less than 5,000 people. Under the terms of the plan, the renovated post offices will provide less digitally savvy customers with machines to access online services within branches, with staff assistance. "The message we are sending with this initiative is that we want to unite Italy," Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said while presenting Poste's Polis project on Monday. "One Italy, with the same rights and the same services for everyone," she said, adding Italy's 7,900 towns were the country's backbone and it was important to fight their loss of population. Italy's ageing population has been struggling to embrace the technological push of its notoriously inefficient public administration, which has introduced a digital identity system using a username and password...

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