World Economy

Renzi Blasts Opposition on Last Referendum Campaign Day

Renzi Blasts Opposition on Last Referendum Campaign DayRenzi Blasts Opposition on Last Referendum Campaign Day

Italians head to the polls Sunday to vote on measures that Premier Matteo Renzi says will make the country more competitive. 

On what is the last day of political campaigning ahead of the Dec. 4 referendum, Renzi on Friday compared accusations of fraud in the electoral vote of fellow citizens living abroad to "a movie that keeps getting played over and over again," news outlets reported.

The prime minister also dismissed opposition allegations that a "yes" win on referendum would lead to snap elections as so much "fictional politics".

"I won't even take that into consideration," said Renzi. "It's up to the president of the republic and parliament to decide when elections are to be held," he stressed.

On Sunday, Italians will be asked in a single Yes or No question whether they accept or reject a constitutional reform law aimed at streamlining and modernizing the country's notoriously slow, expensive and inefficient political machinery.

They are being asked to vote on whether they approve of amending the Italian Constitution. The changes would mean a third of their constitution would be rewritten–47 articles out of a total 139.

Only a simple majority of voters need to vote ‘yes’ to usher in what would be the biggest reforms in Italy since the abolition of the monarch after World War II.

Many analysts see a ‘yes’ vote as crucial for economic reform and fear that ‘no’ would doom Italy to further stagnation.

The foreign constituency of over four million Italians is divided into four electoral districts: Europe, the Russian Federation and Turkey; South America; North and Central America; and Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica.

Some analysts have estimated between 1.4 and 1.5 million Italians abroad—or 5 to 6% of the total electorate—will vote in the referendum on Sunday.

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