BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

Berlusconi passes major constitutional reform

Comments
Berlusconi passes major constitutional reform
Text size Aa Aa

There was mixed reaction in Italy’s lower house of parliament as Silvio Berlusconi managed to pass a series of major constitutional reforms.Some MPs clapped, others jeered. The Prime Minister has sold the changes as a way to strengthen government.

The so-called Devolution Bill works on two fronts. Firstly, it will give more power over areas like education and health care to Italy’s regions; secondly, it will strengthen the prime minister’s position by allowing him or her to hire and fire ministers more easily and keep a firm grip on policy making. The left-wing opposition argues that the changes are a plot by Berlusconi allies the Northern League to avoid having to share their region’s wealth with the poor south. “Today represents a major step back for the country,” says leader Romano Prodi. “I believe that only the Italian people can correct this in a vote.” The reforms have to be passed in a national referendum next year, for which no date has been set.Italy is expected to hold a general election in spring next year.