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Italians vote in reform referendum

A polling station officer shows a ballot on the eve of a crucial referendum on constitutional reforms. - AFP

A polling station officer shows a ballot on the eve of a crucial referendum on constitutional reforms. - AFP

04/12/2016 13:17

(Vatican Radio) Italian's are going to the polls Sunday in a referendum to change the constitution in a way that would potentially streamline Italy’s legislative process.

Listen to Ann Schneible's report

Sunday’s referendum seesItalians voting on whether to amend the constitution to make it easier for the Italian government to pass laws.

The bill involves a proposal to shift power from the Senate in such a way that would allow the lower house of parliament to pass legislation without Senate approval.

Under the current Italian constitution, both the Senate and the House of Deputies are needed to pass legislation, resulting in a process that is costly and time consuming.

The bill was put forward by Prime minister Matteo Renzi who has claimed that such a reform would improve efficiency in the government, reduce bureaucracy, and lower government spending.

Arguments from those opposing the bill have expressed fears that the move would reduce vital democratic checks and balances in the government.

Earlier this year, Renzi announced he would resign as prime minister if the bill failed to pass.

 

04/12/2016 13:17