If passed it would be the most radical shake-up in the constitution’s fifty-eight year history. New Prime minister Romano Prodi is firmly against the bill which would mean more power to the premier and also to the regions. “This law reduces the power of the constitutional court, means confusion in both houses of parliament and takes all power away from the president of the republic. The country just wouldn’t function.”The bill passed through parliament in November but without the required two thirds majority. It was the idea of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote. “Everyone’s been saying for nearly thirty years that the constitution needs changing but no-one has managed it. Because we were in power for five years we were the first government bring about an organic reform to modernise the state.” Berlusconi has even called for the ballot to be delayed until after Italy’s world cup match on Monday, fearing that voters’ minds will be elsewhere.
Italians will start voting on Sunday in a referendum on a proposed overhaul of their constitution