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Berlusconi not voting in Italian referendum

After the poor performance of his party in local elections, the Italian premier seems to be trying to mitigate the impact of his unpopularity on the referendum.

Image: AP Photo/Octav Ganea

ITALY’S SILVIO Berlusconi has decided he won’t vote in today’s referendum on issues including nuclear energy and water privatisation.

The referendum, which also questions whether ministers should have to attend a court case in which they’re being prosecuted, is seen as a major test for Berslusconi.

Growing public anger towards Berlusconi could see people voting against his government’s position and a ’yes’ vote would allow the repeal of existing laws. A number of Italian ministers have urged voters not to turn out at the polls, according to Reuters, in order to miss the necessary turnout quorum of 50 per cent plus one vote.

ABC reports that the referendum covers Berlusconi’s plans to revive nuclear energy in Italy and privatise its water supply. Berlusconi supports nuclear power and his government last year introduced a law to re-start the country’s nuclear energy programme, according to Euronews.

Berlusconi’s party suffered heavy losses recently in a series of local elections. The Italian prime minister said he was “surprised” and saddened by the results.

Read: Silvio Berlusconi continues to hold ‘bunga bunga’ parties >

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