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Berlusconi faces fresh setbacks in referendums

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Berlusconi faces fresh setbacks in referendums


Voting has ended in four referendums in Italy.
The issues being decided are water privatisation, the price of water, nuclear power, and whether or not government ministers should be exempted from appearing at trials in which they are accused of a crime.
The Italian interior minister is reported to have said that the turnout was around 57 percent, more than the 50 percent needed to ensure the validity of the vote.
If most people have voted “yes” to the changes then it will be seen as another blow to the beleaguered Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is attempting to distance himself from the results.
The Italian leader is still embroiled in a sex scandal case, and three fraud trials and is smarting from heavy losses in local elections last month. 
Another defeat could spell his political downfall.
Berlusconi is pro-nuclear, and many see this issue as more important than political arguments.
The disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant has heightened concerns about nuclear power across Europe.
Opponents say that Italy’s nuclear plants are unsafe in a country that is also prone to earthquakes.

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