Italians to Cast Votes on Water and Nuclear Power

Fri, 06/10/2011 - 04:30

After several important regional elections brought Silvio Berlusconi’s hold on power into question, Italians are once more heading to the polls to cast their votes on four crucial referendums.

On Sunday and Monday, voters will decide Italy’s stance on nuclear power, vote on two issues regarding water privatization, and support or oppose a law which allows Mr. Berlusconi to avoid prosecution while in office because it interferes with his official duties.

In a similar 1987 referendum following the Chernobyl disaster, Italians voted to abandon nuclear power. Prime minister Berlusconi overrode this decision in 2008 and had planned to start construction of nuclear power plants in 2014.

The water referendums will either allow or prohibit private companies to make a profit off of the sale of water, which many consider to be free by right.

In all cases, Italians will vote “Yes” to repeal the law, essentially saying no to everything the law provides for. Voters will cast “No” at the polls if they consider the law correct as it stands.

50% of eligible voters must turn out for the referendums to be considered valid. It looks likely that this minimum will be exceeded as citizens are eager to weigh in on the political future of the country.