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After all the boycott attempts made by the Italian government and especially by the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his party, the 57% of Italian people went to vote for the four referendums last Sunday and Monday.
More than 29 millions of Italians went to the polls and 95% of them said no to the return to nuclear energy, no to privatization of public water and no to parliamentary immunity law.
These results are very important both for the future of the country and for the political sign given by the electors to the government. Italian people rejected all the programs and the laws introduced by Berlusconi and his parliamentary majority, giving another slap in the face to the Prime Minister and the government just after the heavy defeat of the local elections of May.
In spite of the numerous abstention requests made by Berlusconi and his party, the electors – also the right-wing ones – expressed their democratic will on the four fundamental questions of the referendum, ruining the government’s plans.
The need of change and the frustration of the Italian people were stronger than the boycott campaign carried out by the government by any means. The appeals to the courts for the referendums to be declared invalid and illegal and the sabotage of the television information turned out completely vain and useless.
Italians sent another strong signal to Berlusconi and the ruling class. It is clear that the distance between people and government is getting wider every day, and that the country has the will to change and want to express its disapproval of the disastrous policy of the government.
Also from a political perspective the results of the referendums are very important. The right-wing governmental coalition seems to be giving way after the defeats suffered in the last weeks. Northern League – the second party of the majority – expressed its discontent in regard to Berlusconi’s policy and his party’s line. Moreover, many Northern League exponents have publicly opposed Berlusconi’s program in occasion of the referendums’ campaign.
It remains to be seen which will be the choices of the government in the matter of energy, the country needs an energy plan but we don’t know yet what will be chosen as “substitute” to Berlusconi’s dearly beloved nuclear plants.
Anyway, for the second time in 24 years, Italy says no to nuclear energy – the first referendum had been held in 1987 – and for at least the next five years the country won’t start any atomic plan.
About the questions on privatization of water, Italians decided to keep the service public as it has been until now, confirming the value of water as a fundamental public good.
The other question was about legitimate impediment law which, if not rejected by electors, would have warranted the parliamentary immunity to the Prime Minister and the other ministers, saving Berlusconi from his numerous trials – four at the moment.
Thus, a terrible blow for the Premier and his government, and a strong signal by the people that there is a need for democracy and change.