Berlusconi faces more humiliation


Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is set to face more humiliation in a referendum that concludes today.

The Prime Minister had asked people not to vote in order to prevent the 50% turnout being reached. This would trigger the referendum as having legal validity. By close of polls yesterday turnout was already 41% and Italians have today to vote as well.

The referendum covers four votes, two on water privatisation, one on the return to nuclear power and a crunch one for Berlusconi on whether the prime minister should be exempted from prosecution.

The referendum follows on from local elections which humiliated Berlusconi after he had turned them into a vote on his leadership, and lost. A further defeat today is likely to cause even more strains in the ruling coalition and further questions about Berlusconi’s leadership.

Polling stations are open today from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and results are expected later today or early tomorrow morning.

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