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A Referendum Puts Italy's Government to the Test

Nov 28, 2016 | 09:35 GMT
A Referendum Puts Italy's Government to the Test
Most opinion polls suggest that Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is likely to lose an approaching referendum on his proposals for constitutional reform.
(FRANCO ORIGLIA/Getty Images)

At a time when Europe is still digesting the results of the Brexit referendum and the U.S. election, Italy has become yet another source of uncertainty for the Continent. On Dec. 4, the country will hold a referendum on several constitutional reforms. The goal of the proposals, introduced in 2015 by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's government, is to ensure that future Italian governments are made more stable by reducing the powers and size of the Senate, granting the lower chamber more authority and transferring prerogatives from regional administrations to the central government in Rome. The idea behind those changes is to sever the link between political instability and financial fragility in Italy. Ironically, though, the reforms meant to reduce uncertainty in Italy are raising questions about its future....

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