Italy’s highest court gives green light on referendum over constitutional changes

Italy’s highest court gives green light on referendum over constitutional changesItaly’s highest court on Monday approved a national referendum on constitutional reform, which due to take place in autumn.

The court had 30 days to examine signatures in a petition needed to call the referendum, which totaled more than the 500,000 threshold required by law, but reached a decision quickly.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says the referendum will guarantee political stability and on which he has staked his future. Renzi has said he would resign if people voted against the reforms, one of the main pillars of the agenda of his centre-left government.

New rules, approved by parliament in April, aimed at increasing political stability and make it possible to revive the country’s debt-ridden economy. Both houses of parliament approved the proposed reforms, which will effectively abolish the Senate as an elected chamber, but changes to Italy's 1948 republican constitution must be put to a popular referendum.

Renzi emphasized constitutional changes are the only way to strengthen political stability and end decades of revolving-door governments that have made it difficult to revive the country's debt-ridden economy.

Under Italian law, now the government has 60 days to set a date for the vote, which must be held on Sunday. Referendum would probably be between October and December.
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