Italian voters have resoundingly rejected plans to overhaul the country’s constitution in a national referendum. 61.7 percent were against reform, while only 38.3 were in favour. It is good news for Prime Minister Romano Prodi, who was against the plans.
“As the majority it is our task to start a dialogue with all groups, because we have to work together to modernize the institutions,” he told reporters.
Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi championed the reforms and claimed they would end Italy’s revolving-door style of politics.
The country has had 61 governments since 1945. However, the centre-right Northern League, which holds the balance of power in Berlusconi’s alliance, had threatened to pull out if the plans did not get the go ahead. The changes would have strengthened the powers of the prime minister and given Italy’s 20 regions autonomy over health, education and policing.