Politics Life at 28

Italy: Ciao to nuclear power

20 April 2011
Presseurop
Corriere della Sera

Corriere della Sera, 20 April 2011

"Government abandons nuclear energy," headlines Corriere della Sera. In a surprising move, the government has cancelled plans for the construction of new nuclear power stations, citing the need "for more scientific proof." The opposition and commentators like Corriere’s Sergio Rizzo have been quick to suggest another reason for this decision: the desire to avoid holding a referendum, originally scheduled for 12 and 13 June, which could have resulted in the abrogation of the law on nuclear power. Recent polls have highlighted the emotional impact of the Fukushima accident, which could have boosted support for the anti-nuclear front, leading to an embarrassing defeat for the government in the run-up to crucial local elections. According to La Stampa, the move may also have been prompted by "a second goal," which is to avoid a high turnout at other referendums to be held around the same time. Italy’s citizens will also be called on to vote on the issue of the privatisation of water supplies, and more importantly, on the abrogation of the law guaranteeing Berlusconi’s de facto immunity from prosecution while he is still in office.