Italy's constitutional reforms referendum to take place on December 4

Italy's referendum on constitutional reforms, seen as potentially destabilizing for the entire European Union, will take place on December 4, an aide to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Monday.

Cabinet office undersecretary Claudio De Vincenti confirmed the date to reporters after a cabinet meeting in Rome.

The proposed package is the biggest shake-up of Italy's 70-year republican set-up. It slashes the powers of the Senate and regional bodies, with the stated aim of giving the country stronger and more efficient governance.

The 'yes' and 'no' camps are neck-and-neck in opinion polls. Opponents of the reform say that changes proposed by Renzi unduly strengthens the executive and undermine democratic checks and balances.

If reforms are rejected, a government crisis is likely to follow, with uncertain outcomes. A possibility is early elections in 2017 that sweep into power the populist Five Star Movement, which wants to take Italy out of the euro.

Last update: Mon, 26/09/2016 - 19:26

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