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Italian voters reject gov't policy

06-14-2011 14:12 BJT

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Four referendums challenging government policy in Italy passed on Monday. After two days of voting on nuclear energy, water utilities privatization, water prices and a legal shield for legislators, it seems Italian voters have dealt Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi a serious political blow.

Results from the referendums overturned laws passed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government to revive nuclear energy, privatize the water supply and help him avoid prosecution.

Voter turnout topped 57 percent, safely above the 51 percent needed to validate the vote. It is the first time since 1995 that a quorum has been reached.

Salvatore Barbera, Director of Nuclear Campaign for Greenpeace Italia said, "That's very simple. 22 and a half million Italian people said 'Yes'. 'Yes' means 'I don't want nuclear in this country'. And this means that the only possibility is to go to renewable energy. Germany, Japan, Switzerland and now Italy. It is the third G8 country in a few weeks that is going out from nuclear and it has now to invest into renewable energies. Its a 60 billion Euros investment that the Government wanted to put on nuclear energy and this money now has to be reinvested on renewable energy."

People celebrate following results in Italian referendums on water
and nuclear power in Rome, Monday, June 13, 2011. Italian voters
dealt Premier Silvio Berlusconi a serious blow Monday, overturning
laws passed by his government to revive nuclear energy, privatize
the water supply and help him avoid prosecution. (AP Photo/Roberto
Monaldo, Lapresse)

Referendums aimed at halting the privatization of the water system and the imposition of market rules on water pricing were also passed.

Berlusconi's government had passed a law mandating that the water supply be privatized by the end of 2011.

A final referendum on whether top government officials could enjoy a "legitimate impediment" from defending themselves in court due to official business, was the most direct swipe at Berlusconi.

He is facing four criminal cases in Milan, including charges of having paid for sex with an underage teen and then using his influence to cover it up. That trial continues on Tuesday. So far,Berlusconi has denied any wrongdoing in all the cases.


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Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CNTV.CN

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